A is for Adventure

A is for Adventure — Write RightOn road trips, when my brothers and I weren’t squabbling or being reprimanded for imaginary wars with passing drivers, we played games. “I Spy” lost its luster quickly. We spent more time with the “alphabet game,” perhaps because it took forever to get through all twenty-six letters.

The game went like this: “I’m going on a trip, and I’m going to take…” We usually worked within a category, say, animals, and went through the alphabet. Every new turn, a person started again, reciting not only a new animal but also every one that came previously. Like I said, the game took forever.

I intend to institute a similar game at Write Right, traipsing through all twenty-six letters of the alphabet. The letter “b” received consideration a few weeks ago; the other letters will get their due in the weeks and months that follow. To begin: “I’m going on a trip, and I’m going to take…”


Noun. A maned, striped mammal (Protelus Cristatus) of southern and eastern Africa that resembles the related hyenas and feeds chiefly on carrion and insects.

(If anyone reading this blog post plays the alphabet game, you’re welcome. You now claim a new animal for your next road trip. Forget the aardvark; everybody takes one those. Bring an aardwolf on the trip with you. It’ll be…memorable.)


Noun. Wormwood, especially a common European wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium); a green liqueur flavored with wormwood or a substitute, anise, and other aromatics.

(Absinthe may be a strong, highly alcoholic drink, but it gives its potency away via color: a vibrant green. It may, perhaps, be a favored drink of the Wicked Witch of the West.)


Noun. Harsh or biting sharpness, especially of words, manner, or disposition.

(Acrimony tends to appear in adjective form, “acrimonious.” Shakespeare’s shrew exhibits “acrimony” regularly; suitors from far and wide hear of her acrimonious nature and tremble in dread.)


Noun. The nest of a bird on a cliff or a mountaintop; obsolete: a brood of birds of prey; an elevated dwelling, structure, or position.

(An aerie requires little explanation, but all its vowels delight. Fortunately, “aerie” relates to its homophone “airy,” but you should still exercise caution. One is not a synonym for the other no matter how high the dwelling. One’s a noun; the other acts as an adjective. Example: The phoenix’ aerie provided an “airy” dwelling for man and beast alike.)


Adjective. Greedy of gain; excessively acquisitive, especially in seeking to hoard riches; synonym: covetous.

(Could “avaricious” describe Amazon? Maybe. It did just acquire Whole Foods for a little over $13.5 million.)

Any “a” words you find excuses to use? Leave them in the comments below.

Image: Kitty Terwolbeck (Creative Commons)


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