The word of the day (or so)

The word of the day (or so)

For those of you who receive my SAT Vocab word of the day, you have probably noticed that it’s not exactly a word of the day. It’s more like the word-of-the-day some weeks, and the word-of-the-day-or-thereabouts during other weeks. I’ve thought about changing the name, or perhaps setting up the vocab list so that people receive a series of words, from start to finish. That way, I could queue up several hundred words and let it run happily and silently in the background.

Messy desk
Photo by yatoobin

Some have asked why I miss days. Well, in a word, it’s time-consuming to prepare words. The hardest (and most tedious) part is doing the pronunciations. I’ve tried a few things to automate the process, but getting all the IPA symbols stored in the database and then getting them to render properly (at least on my end) has required me to use a bit of PHP and MySQL! In a word, if I see boxes or question marks, in my browser, that’s bad. And I need to figure out what’s going on. But it’s all awesome in a sense, because I get to learn some programming.

So, usually when I miss days, it’s because I’m figuring out a programming challenge (a challenge to me, mind you; I’m sure to others it’s quite trivial). I’m able to devote a few hours a day to the Urch/TestMagic forums, but the rest of the day goes to the local TestMagics, my local students, editing and preparing our materials, etc. It’s a busy life, just like everybody else’s.

Any thoughts? How would you feel about receiving the words in a series, starting with word #1 and working your way to word #365 (or so)?


  1. It is great. If the pronunciation is hard to prepare, why don’t you remove it? I am attracted by the way you organize the meanings of the words, not its pronunication. I think everyone can find the pronunciation in lots of dictionary. But the meanings and the way you organize it are very exceptional

Leave a Reply