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Wayne State “Word Warriors” aim to revitalize, revive, rejuvenate, and revivify our vocabulary

Rob White


In this era of texting and tweeting, we’re at risk of losing some of the marvelous words that add texture and meaning to conversation and writing.

A good place to begin to up our collective language game is by checking out the newest list from the Wayne State University Word Warriors. The group dug around in the linguistic cellar to recover neglected words that deserve a place in 2018.

Jerry Herron, Dean of the Irving D. Reid Honors College at Wayne State University and an editorial board member of the Word Warriors website, joined Stateside to strengthen our vocabulary.

Listen to the full conversation above, or read highlights below.

On the importance of “great words”

Word Warriors claims as its mission “bringing back great words.” To Herron, a “great word” is one that helps to define our world ever more precisely.

“I think the world is only as interesting, as delightful, as colorful, as our ability to experience the world,” he said.

Herron believes that bringing back great words “will make the world more vivid, present, and also accurate.”

On how words slip away from us

“Well, I think what happens is that we have the richness of the English language with perhaps a quarter of a million unique words. We’ve got so many of them, we oftentimes forget to use a word or a particular set of words, or we forget that we’ve got this range of experiences we could describe with one of these great words, so it’s worth thumbing through that lexicon occasionally to see if there are good words that we need to bring back.”

On how you can help

The Word Warriors rely on the public to find new words worthy of featuring. Anyone can suggest a word to the group by visiting wordwarriors.wayne.edu.

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