Monday, November 7, 2011

The Kerfuffle Over Snollygosters

Newbery Honor author Ingrid Law
OKI Children's Literature Conference, November 5, 2011

During the OKI Children's Literature Conference this past weekend, Newbery Honor Winner Ingrid Law (author of Savvy and Scumble) shared her love of word play. She prefaced it by talking about the time she brought a robin's egg shell to school and exclaimed, "Look what I brang!"

Despite being criticized by her teacher for incorrect grammar, or perhaps because of it, Law grew up to love words and word play. When she comes across an interesting word, she jots it down on paper, collecting the sounds and meanings like other people collect stamps.

Here are a few of her favorites:

snollygoster - a clever, unscrupulous person; a crooked politician

sardoodledum - Dramatic works with exaggerated, contrived, trivial, or deplorable plots; soap opera; melodrama

scumbleto soften (the color or tone of a painted area) by overlaying parts with opaque or semiopaque color applied thinly and lightly with an almost dry brush.

And a few of mine:

kerfuffle - a disturbance, a fuss, or a commotion.

bissextile - A leap year; A year having an extra day. (Okay, I like this word because my husband is a leapling, or Leap Year baby.)

gargoyle  (though to be honest, I'm not sure whether it's the world I like, or just gargoyles I like).

January  I just really like the sound of January.

1 comment:

  1. I love kerfuffle! Use it all the time, honestly.

    I've heard great things about Ingrid Law's books, and I think I would very much enjoy her talk and her philosophy. Thanks for sharing! :)