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L is for Lolly GaG

L is for Lolly Gag
illustrations by Melinda Beck

Today was coffeehouse for the 6th grade writers at my son's school.  They are reading their first compositions of the year. The type of work required for the day was personal narrative.  As I listened to these writers reading their creations, I was impressed by their ability "to show not tell" the story.  The language was delightful  They are learning to take risks with new words and it is definitely improving the work.

It brought to mind this lovely little dictionary.  It claims to be a book of "quirky words for a clever tongue," and it delivers.  It defines words like agog,eager or really excited, and hanker,to yearn or have a real longing for something,  while giving interesting facts about words along the way.

Did you know, for instance, that a pangram is a sentence that uses every letter of the alphabet? And, that the most famous pangram is, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." Or that there are authors who purposely refrain from using certain letters or words.  This is referred to as a lipogram.  Can you think of a oxymoron to share with us? If not, you should give this book a try.  Send the best one along.

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