While it may seem so, given last week’s choice of panopticon, I’m not overly attracted to words that begin with the letter P. I do, however, have a different confession to make about this Friday’s Word of the Week: it’s not a new word. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks, and though I did finish reading The Human Comedy(William Saroyan), which is a wonderful book, it didn’t yield any interesting new words. As a result, I’m falling back on a favorite word of mine: palimpsest. I actually learned the word in 10th grade English class, which was, as the saying goes, many many moons ago. At the time, I thought it was just a funny word and so it stuck. It is sort of awkward, with its sudden switch from /p/ to /s/ that makes it feel like a hiccup, and it’s not a particularly handy word that you’d need every day. But I like it, and after 25 years, I finally started to wonder why. (No, as a matter of fact, I’m not particularly quick on the uptake, thankyouverymuch.) Continue reading