The Book that Created Word Detectives

alex atkins bookshelf booksWay back in 1964, Charles Ferguson, a senior editor of Reader’s Digest, wrote The Abecedarian Book filled with “big words” to encourage children to become word detectives. The title of the book includes the big word, abecedarian, that means “arranged alphabetically.” “Big words make nice noises,” wrote Ferguson in the introduction, “If you learn a big word you learn a dozen other words along with it because most big words are related to other words… Big words are built with block called syllables… A nice thing about syllables is that they often help you figure out what a big word means. Words live in families and they often have family resemblences.” Here are the words that Ferguson selected for the Abecedarian Book. How many do you know?

antediluvian
bioluminescent
cacophony
diagnostician
encyclopedia
flamboyancy
gerrymander
heliotropism
innovation
journeyman
knowledgeable
lunarian
malapropism
mnemonics
nostalgia
onomatopoeia
pusillanimous
quintessence
ruminate
sesquipedalian
transcendentalism
umbrageous
valedictorian
wanderlust
xenophobia
yachtsmanship
zoological

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