Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Keeping Company: Words and Themes

Celeste asked us to share our favorite place of Commonplace Keeping.  I love keeping a Commonplace for a couple of disparate reasons.

First, I love keeping Words.  If you're new around here, you may not know that every Wednesday I post a linkup called "Wednesdays with Words." Cindy Rollins graciously allowed me to take over the linkup when she closed her blog [moment of silence for those who loved Ordo Amoris].

We participants enjoy sharing with one another words, phrases, and ideas that caught our minds as we read.  You can always find the words I post in my commonplace book from the last week.

I like keeping Words because I love to see how creatively and powerfully writers can use the English language.  Well-turned phrases are beautiful to me. I love a well-turned phrase that starts with one idea and twists it to mean something else. I love seeing unusual vocabulary used.  I love historical ways of expression.

When Words make me stop and consider the author's usage and intent, I am a happy reader. The variation of usage and expression show man in the image of God who created all things with His Words. I've "Count[ed] on Perchance" of faith with Tolkien, I've viewed "The Whited Air" with Emerson. I've learned how "Hubris is [a] Death Knell" to learning with Karen Glass.  And that's all in the last three weeks! Look at the vocabulary - Perchance, Whited, Hubris - and the phrasing; so beautiful. Keeping is, I hope the start of imitation.  Oh, that I could write even a little bit such as they!

I also like keeping Words and Ideas because I begin to see themes and trends in my thinking. You might be amazed to see how ideas and words from disparate locations start to run together in your reading. Thanks to Mystie's Paperless Home Navigation, I keep an Evernote account [ETA: Ooooh ... she's starting a whole new series on Evernote!].  In that account, I've been collecting ideas that I find on the web that particularly relate to my word of the year, *Revel.*  I used many of those notes when I wrote my summary post at the end of January.

My written commonplace book does the same thing. I may not see the connections until much later, but going back through words I've collected, I see clear patterns and themes that have affected my thinking and practices.

I do my keeping, generally as I go.  I underline and write in books a lot. It works better when I copy immediately because the quantity adds up quickly and then I fail to get them written in my copybook.  I'm actually at such a standstill right now.

M-girl has taken to the idea of commonplaces and been very excited about it. In our Ambleside reading, she has hopped up several times and copied sentences that have sturdy ideas down.  I'm very impressed by the selections she makes to include in her notebook. I included this picture in Our Weekly Amble on Friday.

Linking up with Celeste and the Keeping Company.



11 comments:

  1. I've always admired your love of words & the amount you read! :) I wondered where I had seen "weds w/ words" but couldn't put my finger on it. I've enjoyed reading it, even though I haven't commented. :( You should share a picture of your commonplace book!

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    1. Heather I'm sure I will in the future, but I posted a picture last month, too.

      Thanks for your kind words, friend :)

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  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Dawn! :) I've been poking around yours and am loving it! :)

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    1. Thanks for the return visit and the kind words. Hope you stick around!

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  3. "When Words make me stop and consider the author's usage and intent, I am a happy reader." << Me too, me too! I used to tell my students when I was teaching English way back when that a mark of great literary writing is play between form and function. As a reader, that play is so satisfying!

    I know what you mean about the backlog of commonplace entries! I do try to add more than weekly for that very reason, but weekly is my minimum to avoid getting overwhelmed! :)

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    1. Amazing how quickly they add up! I like that idea, play between form and function. I might have to think about that some more.

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  4. How wonderful that your daughter is already following your example! Thanks for sharing Mystie's series too- I love Evernote and learning tips for it.

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    1. She's a sweetie. I love Mystie's work, it is always so clear and helpful to me.

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  5. She's following your example already! Wonderful. Thanks for linking Mystie's EN series- I'll check it out.

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