My mum would say to me that reading wasn’t my hobby, as a hobby was something you did in your spare time. I used to read ALL THE TIME. It was an escape from reality, but there was another reason…
Words- In crosswords, books, newspapers, online, dictionaries, recipes, patterns, the back of the cereal box. Love ’em, as I have said before
Foreign words especially were intriguing. My Year 7 maths teacher, Sister Catherine used to explain words and mathematical concepts with providing the Greek or Latin origin of the word/concept. Greek is still all Greek to me, but she inspired me to studyRomance languages such as French and Italian.
What are the most fascinating are words from different languages for which there is no related word in English. Sometimes they have been absorbed into the English language, and used to explain that concept.
My favourite would have to be “craic”- Irish for conviviality, banter, good company, often accompanied by a few drinks. It’s hard to describe in English, but the minute I’m asked “how was the craic?”, I know instantly what it means!
Words are the basic building blocks of expression, but they are also building blocks of your culture. The way they are constructed and have developed in use can tell us so much about the way a particular culture thinks, and what’s important to them. So what does knowing what craic mean say about me? That I like a few drinks, good company and storytelling and lots of laughter? I’d said that’s about right :).