Thursday, February 4, 2016
Not being a geneticist or even a scientist, reading advanced medical texts and academic papers left me feeling like I was missing more than I was understanding. So I made a concerted effort to look up every word I did not know, as I came upon it. I used my cell phone and a pocket medical dictionary to do so. My knowledge of genetics grew as I began to understand the words in their context and it convinced me that my readers will need to at least have access to these words as well.
My second inter-library loan came through yesterday, a medical book exceeding 600 pages, and as I browsed the pertinent parts, the terms were familiar and my understanding of my topic grew. I have always loved words. I love their specificity, their ability to elicit feelings, their power, the funny way so many resemble their meanings. I have a new respect for them now. I can see how just learning the vocabulary of a new field of study opens it to understanding.
I need not be a scientist to write about genetics and my granddaughter need not be a high school student to call her grandfather cantankerous or know that bovine should elicit a moo. Words are presents just waiting to be unwrapped. I can't wait to learn more.