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"to incline, to move in a certain direction," early 14c., from Old French tendre "stretch out, hold forth, hand over, offer" (11c.), from Latin tendere "to stretch, extend, make tense; aim, direct; direct oneself, hold a course," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch."


Mortimer the Messy Giant

Once there was a giant named Mortimer.  As giants go, Mortimer was not particularly scary.  He smiled at everyone and was careful about where he stepped with his enormous feet.  But, like many of us, Mortimer did tend to put off doing things that he didn't much enjoy.  And one thing he didn't enjoy was picking up after himself.

Because Mortimer was fifteen feet, nine inches tall, everything he owned was very large: his socks and shoes, his toothbrush and comb, his cups and plates, his tools and toys. And while Mortimer intended to keep his cottage tidy, he tended to leave his belongings strewn around (and big belongings add up to a big mess!).  Sometimes Mortimer would pretend not to see the socks on the floor and the dishes left on the table, but he could hardly contend that his home was a model of neatness.  What would Mortimer's tendency toward messiness portend if it extended into the far future?  Eventually, his cottage would become distended, as all the clutter piled up until his home almost burst like a bubble.

Fortunately for Mortimer, he was invited to attend a birthday party for one of his giant friends, Mondo.  Although Mondo was almost as large as Mortimer and had socks and shoes and all manner of things that were just as big as Mortimer's things, Mondo had a tendency toward tidiness and he kept all of his belongings in neatly organized cupboards, drawers, and closets.  When Mortimer saw how spacious and inviting Mondo's house was--nothing to trip over when you walked around the rooms!--he formed a new intention: "From now on," he said to himself, "I will ask Mondo to superintend my housekeeping efforts so that we can contend for the title of Tidiest Giant Ever!"

Phil- The girl who loved everything

Once there was a girl named Phillida, but everyone called her Phil.  Phil was an enthusiastic person, open to new things and new people.  In fact, she loved a lot of things, including the fact that her name, Phil, means "love" in ancient Greek. Phil loved to learn new words.  She thought "Every time I learn a new word, it's like opening a door. The world gets bigger!"  And then Phil found out that there was a name for people who love and study words: philologist.  Because "logos" means "word" in Greek, a philologist is one who loves words.  There is a whole field of study called philology and Phil thought that someday she might become a professional philologist.


Because of her love of words, Phil read a lot.  She loved books and learned that in Greek, "biblio" means book and that people who love books are called bibliophiles. And she also found that, in some books and stories, you can find a lot of wisdom.  The word for "wisdom" in Greek is "soph," so those who love and study wisdom are philosophers.  "Maybe I am a bibliophile AND philologist AND a philosopher," Phil thought.


The more Phil read, the more she learned about other people in places far and near, people whose lives were like hers and people whose lives were very different.  And the more she learned, the more Phil wished to do things to help other people, like send books to kids in places where books were hard to get.  Phil learned that in Greek, "anthro" means humankind and that a philanthropist is someone who loves humankind and wants to help people.  "I guess I'm already a philanthropist," she said.


There were a lot of things that Phil loved that didn't seem to have words for them that contained her name.  She loved bananas but couldn't find "bananaphile" in the dictionary.  But Phil really loved inventing new words. She knew that "invention" came from the Latin word "inventio," and decided that she would become an all-purpose "inventophile" and make up everything that should already exist but didn't.

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