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Lessons from Frindle: Why to Invent Words

1 min

Frindle is about an intrepid young troublemaker Nick Allen who tries to distract his teacher Mrs. Granger. While avoiding homework assignments, he ends up creating a new word for “pen” as a “frindle”. This was after he learned about where dictionary words came from and he created the plan to invent the word.

My 5th grade English teacher, Mrs. Thomas assigned the class to read this book. My following assignment was to invent my own word. I do not remember what my word was but I remember this being one of my favorite assignments. My fascination with linguistics and its origins began.

It’s a long shot but I sent Mrs. Thomas an email asking if she still has any records. I would love to know. Fingers crossed. Nevertheless, I have much gratitude for her.

Mrs. Thomas introduced writing the five-paragraph essay. Learning our lovely mother tongue and all its nuances was invigorating. We learned in small teams, one-on-one and as a whole class of 14. She helped me to come out of my shell that year. Frindle helped and excited me about the thought of becoming an inventor.

Nick Allen’s English Teacher was wrong. Mrs. Granger said, “But of course, all of this is just a silly fad, when you add an “e” to fad, you get fade. And I predict this fad will fade.” This fad has not faded because I still love language.



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