Word Of The Day News Found In Almost-Discarded Email

“Then I went off to college and I had to read more novels. It would seem that ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was foisted on me, but upon reflection, I am glad it was.”

I wasn’t expecting an email. I don’t remember registering for any kind of competition.

At first, I thought the email was junk mail and I almost discarded it. I receive a lot of junk mail, but for some reason, this one looked different.

So I opened it.

And I am glad I did because it brought some good news. It was from Catherine Richardson of Merriam-Webster Dictionary stating that I sentence I wrote was used an example in Merriam-Webster’s word of the day, March 31.

Hello Michael,

We wanted to let you know that a sentence in an article you wrote was used as an example sentence in today’s Merriam-Webster Word of the Day. You can view today’s Word of the Day on our website here: https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day/foist-2021-03-31.

The word I used in a Jan. 28 column was foisted. I wrote about “The Great Gatsby” and how it became one of my favorite books, and how it fallen into public domain. I wrote on Jan. 29 that, according to Stanford University, fairuse.standford.edu, “The term ‘public domain’ refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it.”

The university said there are four ways works fall into public domain:

¯ The copyright has expired

¯ The copyright owner failed to follow copyright renewal rules

¯ The copyright owner deliberately places the work in the public domain, known as dedication

¯ Copyright law does not protect this type of work

As of 2019, the university’s fair use website noted, copyright has expired for all works published in the United States before 1924. In other words, if the work was published in the U.S. before Jan. 1, 1924, one is free to use it in the U.S. without permission.

Here is the example as listed on the website: “Then I went off to college and I had to read more novels. It would seem that ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was foisted on me, but upon reflection, I am glad it was.” — Michael Zabrodsky, The Post-Journal (Jamestown, New York), 28 Jan. 2021 www.post-journal.com/life/arts-entertainment/2021/01/write-now-gatsby-moves-into-public-domain/

So imagine my surprise when I clicked on the link to find the example. How was I found? I don’t have a clue, but I am very grateful that I was.

As I have written before, for me, writing is a creative outlet, and allows me to express myself in a different way, and writing is very cathartic for me. I love writing.

This is why I encourage any writers to continue to write everyday. Like an athlete or a musician, One has to practice his craft to become better at one’s craft.

It is that easy.

It is that hard.


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