I've always had a love affair with words.
I remember recondite and desuetude, I remember
when I first learned them, that is: the fuzzy feeling
in my head and gut, much like being in love.
I've never managed to learn the meaning
of contumely. I look it up once in a while
and learn its meaning, but somehow it never "sticks."
It seems like it should be an adverb but
it is not. That may be the confusion there.
That's a word I cannot love.
Using words well is more vital than knowing them
in the abstract. A word misused causes a hiccup
or shiver in the universe
of words. But only through these mistakes
does language change like a vital organism.
Some think the words are mostly names of things,
objects or categories of things. But this is
not true. Who has seen a therefore or an at
lying in the street? Who has seen a why?
No, words are not names (though some are!)
But functions, ways of doing things
like writing a poem or asking for help.
You would think poets would be good with words.
Some are, indeed, and those that aren't aren't really
poets, are they?