I’VE BEEN PUNKED BY MERRIAM AND WEBSTER

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 I love words. Merriam and Webster were some of my earliest friends. Once I could create a sentence on paper, my mother gave me my own dictionary and thesaurus. I began writing stories and journaling. I looked up word after word to describe experiences and people. I discovered new words and loved using them in a way that truly captured a moment.

I’m sure you can imagine my dismay when I discovered my word expert friends were wrong about a word like failure! Their definition is:

  • A lack of success
  • A falling short
  • One who has failed

This hardly seems correct, does it? I spent much of my life using the word “failure” as they defined it. A hard line of performance or non-performance – and even worse – used to describe people. Through even a little bit of life experience, I believe many people would agree, a new definition is in order.

I’m attending Strikethrough to redefine failure for myself. Language is powerful. So, it will take a conscious effort to realign my instincts with a positive connotation. I look forward to designing failure into the culture in my library and my home. I look forward to redefining failure in a way that doesn’t describe defeat – but as an intentional and necessary piece of success.

Strikethrough: Utah Library Association Failure Workshop

By: Jami Carter, Director of the Tooele City Library and President-Elect of the Utah Library Association

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