Somebody recently found my blog by googling “mudville hard words,” which I guess was done to fill in a blank on a book report. I’m not a big fan of book reports, but it set me to thinking about how for me some words are inexorably linked with the books where I learned them. To me, radiant means shining like a milk-washed pig and curious is how you feel when you’ve just seen a waist-coated time-conscious rabbit.
One I remember particularly well is tedious, which is how Mr. O’Brien describes the chore of chewing through a rope for a field mouse in Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. I rarely do some tiresome task without thinking about that little mouse gnawing at the rope. For me that is the very definition of the word. I am even encouraged by remembering her diligence.
And so might you be, as you page through Mudville in search of hard words. Let me know if you find any.