From February’s Writing Prompts, February 3, 2016

Sometimes you see words that have a clear definition and meaning in our English dictionary, but your mind can create a definition that means something completely different.

For instance, if you take this word, diatribe, and capitalize the “t”, it actually becomes the name of a Foundation who’s mission is to improve the lives of those with Diabetes. The DiaTribe Foundation. Being a Type 1 Diabetic, this was the meaning that first came to mind. Any word that starts with “dia-” has already piqued my interest, thinking that it may be related to Diabetes.

I surely was mistaken! Looking in the English dictionary, the word has a very different definition, and certainly not one related to Diabetes. Who would want to be the subject of a diatribe? The topic of another person’s scrutiny, cruel words and revenge? It seems a harsh word, compared to the one I had created in my mind. Now I wonder whether the DiaTribe Foundation knew the meaning of the word diatribe before they created the Foundation’s name. Seems strange to want to be associated with the real meaning of the word.

I’m always interested in the origins of words in any language, especially words like diatribe, which for me, is just one of those odd-looking and sounding words when you use it in a sentence.  These kind of words always get researched, as I like to know where the silly word comes from.

The dictionary is considered an astounding piece of work.  The source of defining every word we speak or read.  It’s all there in that great big book.  As my mother always used to say, “Look it up!”.


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