Thursday, August 09, 2007

Peeking behind the broad leaves, looking under the pile....

A few months ago I signed up for a-word-a-day newsletter (wordsmith.org) to try and increase my vocabulary. (I'm often amazed at how much I don't know. And I can't imagine what kind of conversation I would need to have in order to use most of them... and lord knows who I would be conversing with to be able to slip them out of my mouth as though they belonged there.) It always includes how the word is to be pronounced and a sample sentence. Today's word is/was hardscrabble. (Did someone say scrabble?)

From the newsletter:

hardscrabble (HARD-skrab-uhl) adjective

1. Yielding little for much effort.

2. Relating to a place that provides for bare subsistence.

...

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"How did young Mildred, a homely, chubby, fatherless kid, reared on
a hardscrabble Iowa farm during the Great Depression manage to work
up the genius to relish every minute of her life?"
Elizabeth Gilbert; The Home Place; The New York Times; Jul 1, 2007.


Well, the example of how to use the word intrigued me so I googled it and came up with the entire book review. You can find it here. I suspect this might be more interesting for older baby-boomers and back, (I'm pre-baby boomer by a couple of years... officially speaking) because we can remember hearing about the times. You know, during our actual life-time.

3 comments:

Sandy said...

That was SO interesting to read AND I went over to read the article and was particularly struck by this

She gets almost woozy remembering the sight and scent of the “giant pink bouquet” that arrived every spring when the farm’s one crab apple tree climaxed into bloom. And Kalish swears that the privilege of inhaling “the sweet fragrance emanating from the clean body of a colt, calf, lamb, puppy or kitten that had been sleeping on the grass and warmed by the sun” is one of life’s great “pagan pleasures.”



It made me want to fall on the grass and just enjoy the aroma...I love the fragrances of nature...well most of the time...

M and E said...

I was going to come and act like a smart ass and use the word of day.....but, not only do I not know how I could use it........by the time I got here...I forgot the what the word was........

So much for being a smart ass....more like a dumb gluck!!!

Edee

The Crusty Crone said...

hahaha Been there, done that (forgotten word)