Happy Valentine’s Day to the Oxford English Dictionary!

February 14, 2012

In honor of Valentine’s Day I just received an email with selected poems for every relationship under the sun. As much as I enjoyed many of the poems, I was pleased to see that my Valentine Greeting, to the Oxford English Dictionary is one of a kind! The OED recently released its 2011 edition and 900 words gained membership in the most exclusive 300,000-word club in the world.

How does a new word gain entry into the esteemed Oxford English Dictionary?
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) printed its 20-volume edition (which I covet) in 1989 and launched its Internet version in 2000. Entry is gained only after a word or expression crosses over into everyday use, says the principal editor for new words.

Here are a few of the newest additions.
~ OMG!
~ Muffin top
– Wag

The 2011 edition finds the first graphical entry—The ‘heart’ symbol, which means love. — in the 127- year old history of the OED. Readers looking up for the word ‘heart’ will find the symbol listed as a verb meaning ‘to love’.

I love words so my next Valentine appropriately goes to Andrew Clements, author of Frindle. The story is about Nick, a fifth-grade boy who is trying to aggravate Mrs. Granger, a tough language-arts teacher, who invents a new word for pen: “frindle.” Mrs. Granger has a passion for vocabulary, but Nick’s (and soon the rest of the school’s) insistence on referring to pens as “frindles” annoys her greatly. The war of words escalates but the power of language triumphs. Frindle takes the subjects of vocabulary and the power of language to a new level— a “home run” book for sure!

Good readers practive “Radical Hospitality”

February 7, 2012

I just had the pleasure of working in Cleveland Ohio and I met the extraordinary idea of radical hospitality, a term used to describe the welcome policy of Trinity Cathedral, The Episcopal Church in downtown Cleveland. I attended an evening program and had the pleasure of studying with some members of the church community along […]


Black History Month has become a fixture in the school calendar year and consequently it dulls expectations. Red Tails, the movie that tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen might just be the antidote to that dullness.

February 6, 2012

Black History Month originated in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson as Negro History Week. The month of February was selected in deference to Frederick Douglass (1818) and Abraham Lincoln who were both born in the month. Red Tails: An Epic Story of the Tuskegee Airmen, a movie by George Lucas, is a fictional tale inspired […]


Once upon at time books with black children at their center were seldom published.

January 31, 2012

In the spirit of Black History Month which happens in February, lets celebrate an achievement which we could easily take for granted today. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Erza Jack Keat’s Caldecott winner The Snowy Day, the first full-color picture book to feature an African-American protagonist. The story captures Peter’s wonderment of a […]


Accolades to the authors of the 2012 Newbery and Caldecott award winners.

January 29, 2012

Chris Raschka’s A Ball for Daisy, a wordless picture book, wins the 2012 Caldecott Award, In Raschka’s own words: “I was thinking how about how loss comes into young lives, and how we try to deal with that somehow.” This book is Mr. Raschka’s first wordless picture book, something he wanted to try “so that […]


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