Record Breaking

Pardon me while I toot my own horn. Oh wait. That sounds kind of kinky. Let me start again.

Pardon me while I take a few minutes to brag a little.
92B413DD-0AB3-4DB7-8866-C0BBEBFC609EYou see, my blog broke all kinds of personal records in August. It accrued 14,306 views from 2,820 visitors, 4,699 likes, and 2,281 comments. Woo hoo!

That compares with 11,397 views in July and 9,997 in June. Prior to June, my max views in any month was only 4,741 in March 2018.

From May 2017, when I started this blog, through May 2018, my blog received a total of 39,805 views. But in just the past three months, it got 35,700 views. So almost as many views in the past three months as my blog got in its first twelve months!

To what do I attribute this exponential growth?  No question that it was my decision to start my own daily one-word prompt, “FOWC with Fandango,” after the folks at WordPress announced the demise of the daily, one-word prompt.
Before and After FOWCOf my top 10 posts in August, eight were FOWC with Fandango prompts. My post, “Better Than Sex,” was the second most popular post of the month, while “SoCS Badge Contest” came in eighth.

A number of my fellow bloggers jumped in to fill the gap left by WordPress and I would venture to say that each and every one has seen a significant spike in views as a result. It turns out that many bloggers, myself included, are combining multiple one-word prompts into their posts, which can be challenging given the diversity of the daily word prompts.

Anyway, I know I’ve said this before, but I want to thank everyone who has participated in Fandango’s One-Word Challenge each day. I love reading the incredibly wide variety of creative and imaginative responses.

So, the next question is how long will I be able to keep this daily one-word prompt going? Well, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the English language contains 171,476 words in current use. But it also notes that a vocabulary of just 3,000 words provides coverage for around 95% of common texts. So even if I limit my daily posts to the 3,000 most common words, I can potentially keep this going for another eight years…if I live that long!

But the key is for me and for all of you to have fun, so as long as that’s the case, I’m good.

#FOWC — Spelling Bee

152F70D2-8A90-4AF6-BCEC-A75F68AC1DE2I don’t recall exactly how old I was at the time, but I remember when someone told me that the longest word in the English language was “antidisestablishmentarianism.” I was intrigued by that word and decided that my mission in life would be to memorize its spelling and proceed to dazzle people with my ability to, off-the-cuff, spell that word for anyone who would listen.

I wrote down all 28 letters of the word and set about committing it to memory. It didn’t take that long and once memorized, I proceeded to walk around demonstrating that I could spell the longest word in the English language. Woo hoo!

But then my father asked me if I knew what the word meant. I had no idea. “Don’t you think it would be wise for you to not only know how to spell the word, but to know what it means?” he asked.

Yeah, okay, that makes sense. Of course, back then Google didn’t exist, so I went to my school library, walked up to this huge, honkin’ unabridged dictionary that was mounted on top of an ornate wooden pedestal, and opened it up to the page that contained the word “antidisestablishmentarianism.”

I learned that it referred to a political position during the Reformation in the 16th century. King Henry VIII wanted to divorce his wife, so he split from Roman Catholicism. Those against him were “anti” the “disestablishment” of the church and thus, didn’t approve of the budding Anglican Church, later known as the Church of England. Not very relevant to a young, American boy, but that was no reason not to be proud of my ability to spell the longest word in the English language.

Except it’s not the longest word in the English language. The real longest word is “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis,” which refers to a lung disease contracted from the inhalation of very fine silica particles, such as those from a volcano.

But antidisestablishmentarianism remains the longest non-technical, non-coined word in English.

And yes, I know. One of you wise-asses is bound to comment, “Fandango, the actual longest word in the English language is ‘smiles.’ There’s a mile between the esses.”

Written for today’s Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, “wise,” and for today’s Word of the Day Challenge, the prefix “anti.”

The Chair Will Entertain a Motion

D167652F-2B30-46D6-9983-9D93DEF0DAB3“English is a strange language,” Jii said.

“It can be,” said Kenny, the ESL instructor at the community college. “But why do you say that, Jii?”

Jii, a recent immigrant from South Korea, was a little embarrassed. “My wife and I went to a city council meeting two nights ago,” he explained. “You said it would be a good way for us to learn the language. But I found it very confusing.”

“How so?” asked Kenny.

“When the meeting was about to end, the man at the head of the table picked up a hammer and said, ‘The chair will entertain a motion to adjourn.’ But a chair is made from wood. How is a chair able to entertain? And how is a chair in motion? I didn’t understand this.”

Kenny looked sympathetically at Jii. “Yes,” he said, “English is a strange language.”

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “entertain.”