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I’ve called my ‘blog’ loveslanguage. It’s not very original I know. I thought about it for an age but then realised I was spending precious time where I could be doing something more worthwhile. It’s not what it’s called that matters it’s what it is. Juliet says “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” 1*

What does ‘Loves language’ say to you? How do you interpret my title? Possibly it evokes the innumerable languages of the world, something less savoury or even Gary Chapman’s admirable book ‘The Five Love Languages?’ I’d love to hear your take, your understanding, on loves language.

I’ve loved words since I was a kid I must have been eleven or twelve when I first realised this. It was the word antediluvian 2* that did it. I don’t remember the book our class was reading together but I remember the teasing I got from my class-mates when I halted the flow of Mrs Jackson’s narration to ask what antediluvian meant, apart from the meaning the word just coats the tongue like chocolate, ‘Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food?’ Job 12:11 3*. You see I’m not alone in this. Mrs Jackson was a great teacher, she loved it when we asked questions, I will always be grateful to her. Thank God for good teachers.

Youngest of a large gregarious family all of them avid readers it was natural that I spent a great part of my childhood with my nose stuck inside a book. I probably read things before my time picking up and devouring anything my older siblings and sometimes my parents were reading, some of which could not fail to colour my view in a number of respects. We were not a family that read many magazines, “The Horse and Hound” (featured in that wonderful film Notting Hill) for my Dad and the “American Woman’s Home Journal” for my Mum but these plus three newspapers a day and four on Sunday meant I had a wide catalogue of perspective and opinion to choose from. Not that I didn’t struggle with some, I didn’t come to appreciate Dickens until I was in my thirties probably because I was always told I ‘should’ read him or because I was so fed up of seeing Great Expectations on film or television; even a good dramatization can put you off a better book.

When my siblings started to leave the nest and our family moved from the country to the city I became even more immersed in the written word and with a good public library a mere half a mile away; I was on first name terms with the librarians, and a great English and history teacher the die was cast. A dictionary and thesaurus were my inseparable companions.

1* Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare 1600.
2* Before the ‘Flood’
3* Job 12:11 NIV