Now and then I tell people that I am in the word business. Doing so elicits a number of interesting responses. Due to current scrutiny of the media, very often I am asked if I am a journalist, to which I answer a distinct and emphatic “no.”
On other occasions, people ask if I write dictionaries. While I am glad to know that the public is still aware of dictionaries and their function, again I am required to answer in the negative.
When I have the luxury of explaining the word business, I can describe what I do. Sometimes I write a eulogy for a family member too emotional to do so. In some cases, I have the privilege of writing a letter of recommendation for someone in need of employment. Often, I have a request to write a speech of thanks for honors received. And rarely, it’s a poem for my son.
No matter what the medium or content, I consider it my pleasure to give a voice to those who might otherwise be silent. This responsibility is an earnest one and I am always grateful for the trust of my clients.
While I don’t know how many words I know, I am always excited to offer a collection of them to people who ask me to do so. The best part of what I do is anonymity – just like the architects of monuments or buildings, there is no signature line for the word business. Shalom.