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I’m a self-professed word nerd. I am crazy about the etymology of words. I relentlessly crack words open like nuts to get to the meat inside. In college, I spent a semester as a research assistant looking for the etymologies of Old French words. My eyes burned, my back ached, and my hand cramped from hours of scribbling notes on dog-eared, raspberry-tea-stained index cards. It was one of the most glorious times of my life.

Here’s the thing I have learned about words: they cannot stand to be hoarded, to be gathered up like manna in bushel baskets, some greedily gobbled up, the rest left to spoil. Nor can they stand to be scattered, carelessly tossed like last night’s leftovers onto a desolate landscape. They crave community.

One etymological definition of community is this:

(n.) from communis “common, public, general, shared by all or many”

Words will always find a way to gather two or more together. Always.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. — John 1:1 (NIV)

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