Word Nerds, and Oprah

by Abby on November 4, 2011

ScrabbleWe’re kind of word nerds in my family. We love a good game of Scrabble, a good pun, a good play on words. My 5yo’s current favorite joke is: “What’s that under there?”

“Under where?”

“Haha! You said UNDERWEAR!”

I once overheard my mom (a retired English teacher) explaining the word “tardy” to my toddler. “Mom! He’s 3! What are you, coaching him for the SATs?” Come to find out, the word is one of the boys’ favorite David Shannon books. Oh.

And besides, I do the same thing. The other day Miles was trying to convince me that he needed to drag all his bedding downstairs to the family room to build a fort. “Why don’t you just repurpose Riley’s race car?” I suggested, pointing to the pile of couch cushions my youngest claimed was Lightning McQueen.

“OK, Mom. I’ll repurpose Riley’s race car,” Miles replied, trying out his new word. SATs, here we come!

Speaking of repurposing things – yes, this is a (somewhat clumsy) segue, another good word – I’m happy to see that even though Oprah hasn’t taken any of my programming suggestions for her OWN network (like this one or these ones), she has been steadily improving her offerings on the channel.

For instance, “Lifeclass.” She has essentially picked out themes and uses clips from her 25 years’ worth of shows to illustrate them. She’s repackaging, or repurposing, her own content. She’s a smart lady, that Oprah. BTW, this is something I suggest that writers do, too. You probably have loads of ideas, journal entries, stories that didn’t sell, whatever, that are just languishing on your hard drive. Why not dust them off and repackage them into something new? Why reinvent the wheel when you’ve already got good content you’re not putting to use?

Anyway, if you haven’t seen “Lifeclass,” a good one to start with is “Who You Were Meant to Be” where she uses the examples of Lady Gaga, Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos, and some regular people to illustrate the concept of finding your calling. Who’s NOT interested in that topic? What’s especially cool is that Oprah uses unexpected examples, too, like the guy who quit his job as an attorney to dedicate his life to … mustard. That’s right, mustard. The condiment. So if you ever feel like your passion is too trivial or weird to pursue, just remember: MUSTARD. It got this guy on “Oprah,” after all!

READ O’ THE DAY: In one of those funny coincidences, I happened to read this post about Mama Llama’s mean face after hearing Oprah talk about the “aha moment” she had when Toni Morrison asked on her show, “Does your face light up when your kids enter the room?” What is YOUR face reflecting to your kids?

GOOD NEWS O’ THE WEEK: Remember military mom Kim Zook? Her husband is finally back home! Check out pics of his homecoming here. Welcome home, Kim’s hubby!

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Lou Mello November 4, 2011 at 8:48 am

Love words and puns as well, kids are best served by talking properly to them and challenging them to stretch their knowledge. I’ll be repurposing myself in less than two years when I retire and spend most of my time on Rotary and trying to do a little good each day.

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