Once again, members of the Madison County Rotary Club made their yearly rounds to the county’s elementary schools, where they gave out free dictionaries to every third grader.
As they gathered in a Comer Elementary School classroom Nov. 17, Rotarian Jeff Dillard told the youngsters that the longest known word is in the book and asked if anyone knew what it was.
‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,’ one little girl quickly reeled out.
It’s a long word, but wrong.
Dillard smiled. ‘This is a word I’ve never heard of before,’ he said. ‘It’s actually a protein. You’ll have to ask your science teacher about it.’
Dillard, club president Gerald Coutant and members Bill Lewis and Will Maudlin were accompanied by school Principal Christine Register as they handed out dictionaries to each of the students. They were visiting the county’s other elementary schools for the same purpose.
The Rotarians provide the books in conjunction with the Charleston, S.C.-based nonprofit The Dictionary Project, which since 1995 has distributed more than 14 million dictionaries to school kids across the U.S.
Mauldin, known by many of the students at Comer Elementary as ‘Grandpa Will,’ told the students this was a book they can use throughout their school years.
He noted that the dictionary has a vast amount of other information besides definitions and correct spellings of words. It contains weight measures, maps, listing of the U.S. presidents and information on each of the states.
‘Can anybody tell me anything about the state of Georgia?’ Mauldin asked.
In quick fashion, one boy replied, ‘Our bird is the Brown Thrasher.’