Categories: Books, Education, Learn Something
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I subscribe to’s word of the day. I enjoy learning new words and I really enjoy seeing the words they feature that I already know. Doing vocabulary assignments in school always took me forever because I always got distracted by all the other real cool words in the dictionary (a fact Brett likes to make fun of me for whenever I bring it up).

One word that came up recently was philology. It’s a word I think I need to use more often in my life.

In today’s age it is normally used as the study of books, learning their history, establishing their age and authenticity, that type of thing. Two of my favorite classes at BYU were my history of civilization classes which I took through the honors department from the curator of the Special Collections at the Harold B. Lee Library. We studied the history of the world through what was written down. We saw Samarian clay tablets, the drawing Napoleon had done when he was in Egypt, velum manuscripts, illuminated bibles, and so many other amazing pieces of written history. I could definitely use “philology” when talking about that class.

The word is also related to the study of historical and comparative linguistics. I’m pretty sure Brett’s got us covered there. His study of ancient Greek and Hebrew counts. And he’s getting a jump on me in Latin right now too. Brett should start using the word “philology” more often.

I think my favorite meaning of the word though is its obsolete definition – the love of learning and literature. Ah. That’s my style. I love learning. I love finding out new things or deepening my understanding of things I already knew. And literature, the written word. Well, I wouldn’t have taken that version of the history of civilization if I didn’t like literature. And I wouldn’t be planning a wall and a half of book shelves in our house to hold all our books and still wonder if that will be enough space if I didn’t like literature.

Philology is definitely a word I need to use more in my life.

Does anyone else get distracted when reading the dictionary, or is that just me?

5 shared thoughts about Philology

  1. Mama g says:
    1 person giggled

    I think JK Rowling knows this word too. That is how she was able to write the wonderful Harry Potter books. :read:

  2. Brett says:
    1 person giggled

    I get distracted when reading because they have cool side articles. Does that count? :brett:

  3. Whitney says:
    1 person giggled

    I’ll have to sign up for their word a day, sounds like my kind of learning! I love Goodreads’ quote a day too!

  4. 1 person giggled

    Great word! I totally get sidetracked reading dictionaries or encyclopedias and I love all the random knowledge I’ve gained as a result of my never ending quest to keep learning.


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