The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcards’ messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!
We have a forum topic for people to contribute writing prompt suggestions for us, and Heather (aka HeatherSuncoast) picked a fun one. If you look at the dictionary Merriam-Webster’s website, you can find out the words that entered the English language in the year you were born.
Perusing the year I was born, there are a lot of worthy candidates. I’m quite taken by the word “bombogenesis” (the rapid intensification of a storm caused by a sudden drop in atmospheric pressure), and as a biologist, I’m fascinated to see that we started talking about "DNA phenotyping“ (the process of predicting various things about an organism, such as how it will look, based on a DNA sample alone). It’s also the first year the word ”cybernaut" was used, which seems pretty old-fashioned now.
But the one that surprised me was the word “extremophile”. An extremophile is an organism that lives under extreme environmental conditions, like in a volcanic hotspring or under the ice caps, where most organisms wouldn’t survive. They’re pretty astounding when you think about the kind of conditions they live under, and they’re also responsible for some really beautiful sights, like the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone (pictured), because they create such vivid colours. I was surprised that we didn’t have a word for this kind of organism until 1989!
What about you? Did you find a word that you love, introduced in the year you were born? Or something that seemed appropriate? We’d love to hear your stories, in the comments here and on your postcards this month!