One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die. —Evelyn Waugh
Noah Webster first started work on his dictionary, now known as Merriam-Webster, in 1806. He learned 26 languages and worked two decades before his first edition of A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language was published.
I don’t know about you, but that makes me seriously question my use of “like” or “um,” when searching for words in daily conversation. Truly, I find myself endlessly disappointed with my lack of understanding of the many gorgeous words available to us. There are so many times when “cool” really does not suffice or “cute” falls so short of the brilliance of a newborn baby. Yet, I find myself using these well worn terms just as much as the next person.
These days we are challenged by the influx of the texting language and the many abbreviations associated with the fast-paced world of social media and hashtags. With communication via anything other than a phone on fast decline, perhaps there is a call more than ever before to become reacquainted with the English language.
Yet, as working women responsible for our families, jobs and social lives, where do we carve out the time for a seemingly frivolous thing like vocabulary?
As a graphic designer, letterforms and words have become a very important part of my job. Maybe I don’t have time to look at flash cards every evening, but what about decorating with words? The beautiful words you see featured in the artwork throughout this article have been made available to you as a high-resolution download. Perfect for printing out, you can pin them to a bulletin board, on the fridge or at your office desk. There they will be, with ebullience beckoning at you, inspiring the lilting compliments of your friends while you demurely learn in secret. See what I did there?
I hope you enjoy the celebration of beautiful words within these art prints. Hopefully, it’s a resource that we can all use in challenging one another to use the eloquent vocabulary we have available at our fingertips … and also, at the tips of our tongues!
Typography by Jenni Kupelian