What A Wonderful Word Wednesday: Environ

It is Wednesday, once again! Oh, how those lovely days slip by so quickly… Last week we were enjoying delightful warmth, and today I step out of the door and am immediately environed by bitter, shiver-inducing cold. Brrrr. At least our cars aren’t environed by snow, as we’re seeing in some parts of the country! And, as you can see, these early winter chills aren’t enough to hold back this week’s wonderful word: Environ.

Environ is a transitive verb meaning to encircle or to surround. We all know the word environment, the conditions that surround someone or something, so environ’s definition isn’t a stretch of the imagination. Another very similar word, environs, is a plural noun meaning the area that is around a place (such as a city); the vicinity. All three words refer to surrounding or encircling so they’re all easy to remember, but here’s a fun little visual vocabulary pictogram just to solidify the definition! 

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Putting That Wonderful Word to Work!

“This is it! It’s the answer. It’s perfect! Now, hear me out before you say no!” Jane laughed.

“Well, that certainly instills confidence in whatever scheme you’re about to suggest. We both know this just isn’t feasible. It can’t be done. What are you reading, anyway? Let me see.” John reached for the pages in his sister’s hand.

Jane jumped out of John’s reach and clutched the folded newspaper to her chest. “Oh, no you don’t! Sit down and let me finish. Okay! Where was I? Ah, here it is. This bizarre little ad just happened to catch my eye. I think it’s a sign.” She whispered the last sentence with feigned sincerity.

“You know I don’t believe in signs, unless they say ‘Road Construction Ahead. Expect Delays.'”

“Ha, ha, very funny. It wouldn’t cost anything. You’d have room and board, plenty of free time, and absolutely no distractions. Seriously. None. No internet. You can’t even take your cell phone. Let me read it to you. Ahem.” She cleared her throat and read aloud:

“Peaceful Pages Monastery: This idyllic monastery, environed by orchards, gardens, lovely streams, and wildlife galore, is a nature-lover’s paradise, the perfect place to think, pray, and seek the Lord’s direction in life. A particular favorite among people seeking to slow down and reorient, this monastery is a step back in time. Guest are welcome to use the communal telephone and computer in the main house, but are asked to avoid using cell phones and other electrical devises during their stay. Cabins have running water and very limited electricity, dependent upon a generator. Rise with the sun as your alarm clock. Dine from a communal stew pot filled with a delicious medley of ingredients all grown, gathered, and gleaned from our own acres. Join the monks in worship in the chapel, morning and evening. The monastery runs as a work-exchange program: Guests cook, clean, attend daily masses, and/or take care of the grounds in exchange for room and board. Arrangements can be made to join us for any amount of time. Inquire about a weekend, a week, a month, or even a year. Spaces are filled as them become available.”

“I know what you’re thinking! I saw that look of sheer horror on your face when I said the word ‘monastery,'” Jane teased. “Yep! There it is again! But think about it before you make a snap call, okay?” She tossed the newspaper into her little brother’s lap. “It might be good for you… Sure would save some money this summer, give you extra time, and give your life a little added structure. Anyway, your call. I’m outta here. Gotta get to class.”

John rolled his eyes and threw the newspaper down. He paused, then picked it up again. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to call, he thought.

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