Bienvenidos and welcome to the blog of Manda Newlin, professional writer/copyeditor, amateur pop-culture quipper and perennial observer. I’m nuts about words, grammar, bookstores, foreign accents, DVR and iTunes. I enjoy one-on-one conversations, eavesdropping in coffee shops, learning other peoples’ life stories and discovering universal truths. Here’s what I know ….

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Dusting off my word collection

I learned a new word this week: breweriana. Say it with me now … brew-er-i-a-na. Doesn’t exactly dance off the tongue, does it?

The word is not listed at Dictionary.com, but it is on eBay, where I first discovered it. My husband found an old – I mean antique – collection of beer cans and liquor decanters in the garage and decided to list them for sale. Now our ragtag items are keeping company with some 24,313 other listings for beer-related signs, tins, drinkware and steins. 24,313 pieces of breweriana – all poised to take up space on shelves, in drawers and under beds!

I would just as soon purge my whole house of collectibles – knickknacks, sundries, tchotchkes and all. Here’s the logic: I collect collectibles. Collectibles collect dust. I hate dust. Therefore, A + B + C = I hate collectibles.

So instead I’m going to start a collection of words … perhaps with a corkboard, some pushpins and index cards with my fave words scrawled on them. I’ll choose words with a rhythmic sound and/or an intriguing meaning – words like mystery, cattywampus, bailiwick, drum, verge, covenant and, for that matter, intrigue.

Dorky? Of course! But I’ve got company, because at least one Web site is devoted to favorite words:
http://www.myfavoriteword.com/. According to the site, James Joyce had a soft spot for “cuspidor,” a fancy name for spittoon. For Dorothy Parker, it was “check enclosed” (to which all freelance writers can relate).

But, alas, you can’t sell antique word collections on eBay, so I’ll adjourn now to check the status of my breweriana.