Though these days the term wordmonger refers to "a writer or speaker who uses language pretentiously or carelessly," please join me in proposing a new meaning. A fishmonger appreciates and promotes fish, therefore, a wordmonger does the same for words.

Thursday, March 1, 2012



As noted in a post two weeks ago, I’ve been dipping my toes into the world of audiobook recording. My recent activities sparked an interest in the word record.

Both the noun & the verb showed up in English in the early 1300s, the noun meaning testimony committed to writing & the verb meaning to get by heart. We can see that heart in the second bit of the modern word record, as –cord. It comes to English through French, from the Latin –cordis, meaning heart (related to cardiac). We’ve hung onto that original meaning in terms like learn by heart. I like the fact that the folks who recorded records (whether vinyl, cassette, CD or MP3) all offer us a little bit of heart.

It wasn’t until 1892 that the verb record meant to put sound or pictures on disks, though the noun record meaning disk on which sounds & images have been recorded appeared as early as 1878.

I kept this post concise, as I’m hoping you’ll have time to listen to a brief audio clip I recorded of Sherry Shahan’s Random House novel, Ice Island.

My thanks go out to this week’s sources,,, & the OED.


  1. Wow! Fantastic reading of a thrilling novel excerpt. Great work by both Chester and Sherry!

    Someday, I would love to try reading for an audiobook. It's on my bucket list.

  2. What a great reading. I started to feel cold, just listening to it. Fascinating facts about "learning by heart."

  3. Either I am less computer savvy than I even imagined or, again, this silly iPad is keeping me from another gem. I couldn't find the reading! I love that record is related to the heart. Sounds so right. And...a total non-sequitur here... lemon curd with Greek yogurt...yum!

  4. Hey Dawn & Anne,
    Thanks. I'm having a good time with this audio stuff. Anne, Sherry will be really pleased to hear your comment.

    And Christine,
    Thanks for the reminder. I'm hoping anyone else having trouble playing the audio will let me know, too. There's a lot of tech-learning going on to make all this happen, & it looks as though there's more to be done.

  5. Wow, I really enjoyed the reading of Sherry's book, Charlie. You did a great job!

    Now, I'm going to figure out how to get this feature to work on my blog, so I may do readings!

  6. Ahoy Jean Ann,
    Welcome to the narration club. I'm still figuring it all out, but I'd be happy to try & help if you've got questions.