Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with the association of words and the connection or cooperative link between one word and another for a joint purpose. Then, as my vocabulary evolved, I began associating words with memories or experiences.
Take, for example, the word retainer.
In its simplest form, a retainer is a thing that holds something in place. Like the custom devices designed to hold one’s teeth in place after orthodontic treatment, such as braces. Or a (training) bra which is a lightweight undergarment designed to provide support to the breasts. In a more legal sense, a retainer serves as a written agreement between a lawyer and their client to secure their services. This, like other associated words, such as engagement ring or professional sports draft letter, is a deposit on future transactions.
Other words that have caught my attention recently highlighted likely by an associated event in the media or similar are iceberg, chartreuse, and ende. I’ve also continued to be interested in words that cause me to search out their meaning or definition on the internet or challenge myself to use newly introduced words from the Merriam-Webster dictionary. (Of interest, in 2022, the dictionary, which chronicles how the language grows and changes, added 370 new words.)
But how does iceberg, chartreuse, and ende fit into my vocabulary, memories, or experiences and align with the philosophy of word association?
Whether it’s iceberg lettuce that I use instead of spinach or romaine to make my favoured roasted beet, grilled chicken, goat cheese, and candied walnut in a honey balsamic vinaigrette salad, the Iceberg Theory, a writing style created by Hemingway, about omitting details you know to be true, to produce a more captivating read for your audience, or the chilled feeling you want or desire, in hot or heated situations to cool you down, similar to that produced by an iceberg – the word holds meaning. It can create scenarios that can be played out in one’s mind depending on the situation.
Although Pantone introduced the Colour of the Year 2023 to be ‘Viva Magenta’, a colour vibrating with vim and vigour, I will forever hold court with the colour ‘Chartreuse’ for 2022. Chartreuse represents enthusiasm, liveliness, and growth and somehow seems a perfect reflection of the past year.
Finally, in reflecting on some of the word associations I’ve had recently, it seems appropriate that with the end of the year soon upon us, I incorporate the German word ‘ende’, meaning the end or finishing of a thing to the start or continuation of something else. Sometimes we get so caught up in reflecting on days gone by that we forget to look toward the future. Take time to do both. Enjoy the memories but have fun anticipating what could be.
Jacqueline Biollo is extremely good at one thing. And that’s helping others realize their potential. Her approach is that people have the potential – they just need to realize the possibilities – and go after them. Optimism is her superpower, and through her positive influence and motivation as a strategic
consultant, university educator, and social advocate, she empowers others to use their superpowers to realize their goals and objectives.
Photo by Melicious Photos