I use words all the time that I can’t explain or define, I just know what they mean, you know? Or, at least, I think that I know what they mean. I have heard them used, and I use them. I probably learned their actual dictionary definition at some point, but I don’t remember. Dictionary definitions are just not that memorable to me. I can’t visualize them, I can’t picture the word’s meanings at all.
I mean, I can see the word written, and I usually imagine it spelled out in a funky coloured font in my brain, but there are no pictures to accompany it because I never learned any. The only way that I know how to express the words’ meanings is using other words that are similar, their synonyms and also their antonyms to describe what they are not.
This project has really got me thinking, like, A LOT, about different ways to draw ideas and concepts and things that are actually quite abstract. Some things we want to define eventually using pictures and words together are going to be quite tricky, but I am certain there will be a way. Especially if we get more and more visual thinkers involved, and you know, everybody who uses words, like, EVER, because more brainpower will drive this initiative. Diversity will help us think of innovative ways to see things, draw things, and learn things!
So anyway, let me share a little story… The other day Shiphrah and I were having were having one of our usual weekly meetings, discussing how we could improve our ‘About’ page and ways in which we can make our description and pitch for CWM more clear. We pulled out all the questions. What exactly are we doing here? Why do we want to do this? What is the goal of the project? Why is it so integral we do this initiative right now? What are we going to bring to word definitions that hasn’t been done before?
We started stumbling around words, getting tongue-tied, making everything even more confusing, but we agreed, our goal, what we plan to bring to the table, or rather the sidewalk, or the page, is a more thorough approach. We want to examine words from all angles, in all colours, to create collaborative definitions with other people using all different formats. Our definitions for words will have pictures, words, brief descriptions, long descriptions, usage, examples; they will be multi-dimensional, and multi-faceted.
“But how do we draw that?” Shiphrah asked.
Well, hmm, “you know, multi-fauceted! We would just draw a bunch of faucets with the words and ideas and pictures flowing out of them.”
“Heidi, it is multi-faceted not multi-fauceted!”
I couldn’t believe my mistake! How ridiculous and silly of me, I thought, my faced flushed. Then the two of us laughed and laughed. Shiphrah was not laughing at me though, we were laughing because this is why we want to do our projects: so that words become clearer, so that defining words, and picturing words especially more abstract words can be done! I don’t think I ever tried to picture the word multi-faceted before, and I don’t think I ever thought of the word containing ‘faucet’ or consisting of multiple faucets, but when I tried to switch my mind set and visualize a word that I’d never pictured before this is what happened.
But the best part was, my embarrassment only lasted a couple seconds, then I thought it was hilarious, and even exciting! The spaces that we want to create will encourage mistakes, foster learning, to picture words!!!
How would you draw multi-faceted or multi-dimensional?! I’m curious!