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This brief note is in response to requests asking me to define the term
'wordsmith' and to explain why I prefer it instead of 'writer' or 'author'.
The definition. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) ... arguably, the
'gold standard' for English language dictionaries ... defines a wordsmith as
'A skilled user or maker of words' (McKean, OED Online, September 2013, e271792).
The explanation. After decades of quite literally 'writing for my supper', I realized
that practicing writers are both artists and artisans, who --- as with traditional artists
[e.g. painters, sculptors, musicians, singers, lyricists, actors, dancers] and artisans [e.g.
carpenters, masons, painters, blacksmiths, electricians, plumbers] --- invest hundreds
of hours in formal schooling and engage in demanding on-the-job training, to advance
from a 'novice' to 'apprentice', 'journeyman' and eventually a 'master' of their trade.
This training also includes learning how to critically read, analyze and interpret the
written, spoken and multi-media communications crafted by other wordsmiths.
 Adler, M. J. (n.d.). "Teaching, Learning, and Their Counterfeits." In The Great Ideas Online. Center for the Study of the Great Ideas. M. Weismann, Editor.
 Adler, M. J. "Teaching and Learning." In Parnassus: Essays in Honor of Jacques Barzun. Dora B. Weiner and William R. Keylor, Editors. New York, Harper & Row (pp. 57-65) (1976).
'If You Build It' [write] 'They Will Come'
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