How I remember uncommon words

Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “The Cask of Amontillado.”

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What’s peculiar about reading is that you take out of a written work something different each time you read it. My teenage self was horrified but my current self who has been exposed to news of worse looks at it resignedly, not anymore as an isolated case of violence but as something bad that happens in a long list of bad things. Also, my current self uses it as a way to constantly write/speak and remember vocabulary words, such as the one above.

Sometime next year, my niece will undergo a leg reconstruction surgery. My sister told me the name of the apparatus that will be attached to her bones. It sounded something like a name.

“It must have been named after the doctor who invented it or the patient who got the prototype, Elisa Rov,” I thought.

Google was most helpful that when I entered “Elisa Rov” as a search phrase, I got several suggestions, one of which was the correct one, “Ilizarov apparatus.” To me, such mistakes are helpful in remembering words or phrases. When I search my memory bank for the apparatus that will help correct my niece’s legs — although I never thought something was wrong with them — I think of the girl who got the prototype, at least in my version of events. So, thank you, Elisa Rov. And thank you, too, Google. And Edgar Allan Poe.

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