Over the past few months we’ve all been forced to adopt a new vocabulary - ‘lockdown’, ‘superspreaders’, ‘shielding’. These seemingly straightforward words and phrases have become loaded with meaning as we’ve sought to come to terms with our ‘new normal’.
Language, though, can give us something to hold on to in strange times, according to the nation’s favourite lexicographer, Susie Dent.
"So although everything feels unique and acutely different from our old normal, the words describing our situation have been around for some time and I find that vaguely reassuring. I’ve always gained such solace from the dictionary.”
Known for presiding over Dictionary Corner on television’s longest running quiz show, Channel 4’s ‘Countdown’, and its comedy spin-off ‘8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown’, Susie has used her lockdown period to delve into some of the unusual and often forgotten words which have delighted her over the years. Her new book 'Word Perfect' is published this autumn.
While Susie was hoping to visit Woodbridge to launch this book (her 16th!), the current situation has meant that this is no longer possible.
So I'm thrilled that we will be able to talk to Susie online, via Zoom, instead. I hope you'll join me. Scroll down for all the details.
As the nights draw in, I know that I'll be turning to online talks and workshops as an alternative to 'real life' social activities. While nothing can match being in the audience, sharing in the experience, I'm aware that many talks would not be available to me if I had to travel hundreds of miles to attend them in person.