Adopt a Word

I’ve heard it said that if you’re not ready to have children that you might want to start with a pet. I’ll take that a step further, though. If you don’t think that you’re ready for a pet, then you might want to start with adopting a word. They’re easy to take care of–no morning walks in the cold, no trips to the vet,  and no kennels needed for vacation.

A Web site,, encourages you to do just that–adopt a word. I believe it’s a creation of Oxford Dictionaries. After you go to the site, you will be sent a virtual room where words facing the possibility of extinction will vie for your attention. Clicking on the word will give you a definition, an example of how to use the word, and the opportunity to sign in and adopt the word.

Adoption is a responsibility, so signing up comes with a pledge:  “I hereby promise to use this word, in conversation and correspondence, as frequently as possible to the best of my ability.” Keep it up, and you’ll be able to get that dog soon.

I have to be honest. I have not adopted any words myself, and I have no intention of doing so. I’m more interested in clear communication than in just throwing around a couple of frutescents and senticouses just to prove how smart you are.

By the way, it’s just a coincidence that I have no children, no pets, and shaky record with plants–and I’m not going to adopt a word.

Of course, if hitherto and henceforth were on the list, that might be a different story.


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4 Responses to Adopt a Word

  1. Love this site, Paul, thanks.

    Sadly, I can’t adopt any of them either – I have no idea how to pronounce them and saying them incorrectly would just be wrong.

  2. Laura Payne says:

    Hi Paul and Sherry, I just discovered your site the other day and I love it. I checked back in today and I couldn’t be more thrilled; I love promoting worthy words. I adopted a word and posted it on my blog along with a link to I will return on a regular basis to your blog and recommend it to my friends. Good job.

    • languageandgrammar says:

      Reply: Welcome, Laura!

      We’re glad that yet another word has found a home through savethewords. Leave it to the linguists to come to the rescue. 🙂

  3. Laura Payne says:

    Hello again Paul and Sherry,
    My tired typing fingers missed typing the “k” in the name of my blog last evening. I would love it if you would check out my blog and let me know what you think.

    Laura, Thanks for the update–we’ll correct the link in the comment, and we’ve already taken a look at the site. We love it.

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