I have always loved words…imagine my delight when the pasta treat in the featured photograph was released onto the market…

I was quite ill, on and off, when I was a little girl so I couldn’t really rush about like your average toddler. I had asthma, and the treatment for it, in the seventies, when I was growing up, was somewhat … hit and miss.

Television programmes were limited so consequently, in order to give me something to do that didn’t involve buzzing about like a fly in a jar, my mother thought it would be a good idea to teach me to read early.

I don’t remember the actual process, but I do remember looking at a comic and suddenly I could see what the characters were talking about and hear their voices! It was literally as if my mother had handed me the key to a magic kingdom that unlocked wonderful worlds of talking animals, little girls like me, adventures and – well, you get the idea.


I read voraciously – and still do, actually, devouring these wonderful worlds and untold universes created by talented authors…I gain a lot of pleasure from owning books as well, although I have a Kindle too.

But also…words are tools. Words are ingredients. I love whipping up ideas into something readable, humorous or informative and I love the trickery of words… alliteration is a favourite, if you hadn’t already guessed, onomatopoeia, ellipses, similes, metaphors … I could go on and on… a whole host of word bricks that can be used to build something wonderful.

And as you build, so you can take apart… “Etymology” is the study of words, something I enjoy, finding the links between languages that point to a simpler time when we were all part of a common culture.

For example: “pitar” is Pali for “father” – Pali being an ancient Indian language, but look! “Pater” – Latin for “father”, “pere” is French, “padre” Spanish. All these different countries linked by some wonderful word roots! Another interpretation of the World Wide Web, perhaps …

I was fortunate enough to learn Latin at school; that opened another door of understanding, as I like to take words apart for their meaning… rather like extracting a nut from its shell…


Anything ending in “ology” means the “the study of”, anything with “Bio” means “Life”… hence the Study of Life. Just a little example, but once you have the key then it is something you can always notice and have fun with…

Words are good. Words are tools but can also be used as weapons. Use them wisely and kindly, and as my old headmistress used to say:

If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all…”


57 thoughts on “Alphabetti….Spaghetti

  1. Like you, I am also a very keen reader. All on my Kobo, though! As a result, I can’t help but notice bad spelling, especially in shops, which I always feel compelled to point out, much to my husband’s embarrassment!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Love this post – it is like looking through a mirror! Childhood asthma, reading, Latin, words. 🙂 How awesome is that, to find a kindred spirit miles away? 🙂
    btw when my Mum had asthma as a kid, they just told her to stick her head out of the window – in mid-winter! Fortunately today’s drugs allow most of us asthmatics to control our disease and live a normal life. Though I still remember the skull and crossbones on the bottle of liquid arenaline and atropine that I used neat in an atomiser! That got your heart going!! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol-that’s cool 🙂 🙂
      Asthma is really scary, or at least it used to be before all the inhalers and nebulisers there are now. My asthma is a lot better now I’ve stopped smoking, though. Do you remember the little pink tablets you had to dissolve? Good grief-your atomiser! Proper powerful stuff!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I didn’t have little pink tablets, but I did have a small white one and a blue one – which were rubbish if you were already wheezing!
        Yep, that atomiser – nothing more than a small, very expensive glass contraption that held the liquid, and a rubber bulb below, that you manually squeezed with your hand to spray the poison directly into your lungs! Those were the days!! 😀
        People are often very surprised when they learn asthmatics can die from an attack – like our own Dr Christiaan Barnard, the heart transplant doctor.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow. I got the tingles reading this, especially this line: Words are good. Words are tools but can also be used as weapons.

    Oh I have to ask you to say hi to that special one of yours Ting! Maybe an extra ear rub or two 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Funny similarities- I was also taught to read aged about 2, apparently, so have no recollection of it. Also I did Latin at school. Did you do the Cambridge Course with Caecilius and his family? Apparently most schools did. I escaped the asthma, but my sister was terribly ill with it many times. Never had the spaghetti though….

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    1. Peter Rabbit in Latin and Thingy and her sparrow? I think maybe we did, although I only remember a few basics and a palindrome which has stayed with me. asthma is a lot better now I don’t smoke…and-you’ve never had the fun of making rude words in your dinner?!

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      1. Spaghetti did not feature in our house as it was not a potato or meat or vegetable. Your Latin sounds gentler than ours. We followed this family through the course for years, then loads of them died in Pompeii! My sister’s asthma is much better now she lives at the coast. I keep forgetting to say, but well done with the still non-smoking status!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I thought I answered you ages ago..sorry, stupid Internet must have kicked me off…what I was going to say was…traumatic Latin! That’s really sad…pleased your sister’s asthma is much better, sea air is traditionally supposed to be good for lung complaints, something to do with the ions created by the salt in the air. And yep-smoke free for five months now! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I once got a text message at 5-something on a Sunday morning, which was over a week after it had been sent! As the message was “I am on the train” I was mighty confused fir a moment and about to go into a major housecleaning frenzy. You NEED that phone.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The pen is mightier than the sword. You said it well on words. Love this. And I am a frequent broncho asthma sufferer. Seretide, Pulmicort and Ventolin. If really bad then in hospital and breathe in smoke…nebuliser ha ha! I know both yours and Scifi’s pain in this area.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m pleased you like…words can be an adventure too 🙂 I still have Seretide and Ventolin too, but I don’t need them half as often now. Love the charming side effect of what inhalers do to gums as well…


  6. Grate post! I think weve all found alot of kindred spirit’s hear. I to love word’s and reading and, they dont call me the Grammer, Spelling and Punctuation Queen for nuthing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like your quitting smoking is going very well. This is a very interesting subject. Words are indeed fun. I too had illnesses when growing up and had to use my imagination for company. Books were not that important in our house so I would invent various scenarios. When someone talks with me I see words….like the keywords and make sure I can spell it correctly. I know it sounds strange but words just pop into my head when someone talks to me. I have heard it said that some people are more verbal and some need to visualize the word. I guess I am visual.


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    1. I think it’s to do with the way you learn as well, some people are visual, some auditory, some kinetic..I’ve always learned by looking, reading watching someone else do it. My son is auditory, I home-schooled him for six months and obviously the only teaching aid I had was my voice…lol…poor boy! But also the sound of certain words makes you visualise them as well. With the cats, Charlie knows the most actual words, but the others will respond to tone as well. I could call Lily Smelly and she would still answer if I said it in the same tone of voice!


  8. I also have my mum to thank for teaching me to read before I went to school. Books were my friends as I grew up and that love has stayed with me. I hadn’t thought about it previously but reading this post makes me so grateful.. what a gift mum gave me – one that lasts a lifetime. One of her favourite sayings was ‘make knowledge not money your goal in life as knowledge has a value that money simply can’t buy.. ‘… Oh so true and what a great post – thanks Samantha x

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Samantha – I hadn’t thought about the ‘gratitude’ until I read your post which bought back some lovely memories for which I’m also ‘grateful’ – thank you! x

        Liked by 1 person

  9. How come you can use the word etymology and people love your post? I’ve lost most of my friends because I talk too much about words and their origins (well, ok, I do talk a lot about vowels) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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