Seattle computer scientist hones in on the power of words

For 20 years, a Seattle computer scientist has been spreading his love of words through daily emails sent to more than half a million people... and through best selling books.His name is Anu Garg, and his "A Word A Day" emails allow him to explore words

SEATTLE - For 20 years, a Seattle computer scientist has been spreading his love of words through daily emails sent to more than half a million people... and through best selling books.

His name is Anu Garg, and his "A Word A Day" emails allow him to explore words and their definitions for a living.

"Linguaphile. It means a lover of language and words."

This is the word that perfectly describes Anu. He says words are his "bailiwick", which means "a person's area of interest or expertise."

Anu has a very deep appreciation of words. 

"Words touch all of us. You might be a truck driver or a professor or a student," Anu said. "Everybody can relate to words."

Words like "pettifogger", "stellenbosch" and "pecksniffian" are just some of the words Anu defined.

All big words for a man who was once a little boy that didn't know a lick of English.

Anu says he started learning English in 6th grade as a second language. He learned to love words from his father, a bibliotaph -- meaning "one who hoards books."

He eventually moved to the U.S. and began sharing his favorite words through emails that he sent to his colleagues in the earliest days of the internet. 

He said that was when he realized words have a universal appeal.

Within years, he had up to a million subscribers in more than 200 countries. And now, twenty years later, Anu still sounds out words, their definitions and the story behind them.

But do we really need such big words?

"The way I see it, having a large vocabulary is like an artist having a large palette of colors," Anu answered. "So you don't have to use all these colors in a single painting, but it helps to be able to find just the right shade when you need it."

 

 

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