About Me

The Online Eileen Dictionary
My name is Eileen Davis and I am a word nerd. I've had a fascination with language since I won my fourth grade spelling bee. During the school district spelling bee, I swung my feet while sitting, but I was too short for my feet to touch the ground. I won second place. In sixth grade, I won the district spelling bee and went on to the state spelling bee. I lasted about halfway into the state spelling bee. Afterward, I tore up the spelling list book into small squares and dumped in the garbage can while exiting the building.

I started writing poems when I was 10 years old. I remember the lines: "Love forever, both together; never apart..." Very poetic.

At 11, I wrote an illustrious novel about a four-year-old stranded on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake. For some reason, her parents never came looking for her. In seventh grade, I wrote about a runaway Aubrey. She had quatrefoils in her irises. Yea, that's a cool word. Aubrey also made about $286 a week bagging groceries, but her boss didn't ask for her address. By high school, I had written slightly more in-depth novels, Elizabeth the Embarrassed and Woman of the World.

In middle school and high school, I learned two other languages. I spent one year learning German, but didn't go to the only offered second year class in middle school. It was full of boys who teased me. My high school only offered two years of French, four years of Spanish, or Navajo. All of my siblings took Spanish, so I followed in their footsteps. I enjoyed Spanish because I could see how Latin and English words were related--my etymological side came through.

I applied to be the English Sterling Scholar candidate at my high school, but my friend became the candidate. Instead, the school committee picked me as the Foreign Language candidate since I was probably the only one who had applied for Foreign Language (as a second choice). I busted my butt my senior year until the next March for the regional scholarship competition. When I was announced as the runner-up (by default since there were only three of us competing in Foreign Language), I cried out of frustration and disappointment. I was not a sore loser!

I had a choice about where to go for college, and I went where I got the full scholarship: the junior college in my hometown. I was lucky to have professors there who were word nerds too.

I transferred to BYU and majored in English literature. I enjoyed my class about language more than the literature classes. If you don't know, I tired of reading Shakespeare rather quickly. The next year, BYU introduced a new major: English language. It was the linguistics of English. I was one of the first to declare this major! I studied language--not literature. I still love literature, but the language behind it is more powerful.

I enjoyed helping others learn language too. I tutored English off and on at the College of Eastern Utah-San Juan Campus (now Utah State University Eastern Blanding campus). I always dreamed of going to China and I volunteer taught English there. Learned a little Mandarin.

Source: English 101 Fall 2014 blog
After marrying, I only took one semester of classes from BYU. I did two classes long distance while I was pregnant and after my first child. I only had one class left to graduate, but I lived hours in Rexburg, ID, where my husband attended BYU-Idaho. I received permission for a BYU-Idaho class to count as a major elective, Rhetorical Skills. In that class, I learned more about writing to a target audience and using the rhetorical triangle. For a class project, three classmates and I created an issue of Far, Far Away, a honeymoon travel magazine.

For several years, I mostly wrote journal entries and hardly anything else. My focus was survival while bearing and raising three boys. I finally started seriously writing again and exploring language in 2014. I wrote on my personal blog (and still do) Musings of a Crazy Redhead. I started freelance writing through Upwork. I write about my weight struggles on my blog Low Cost Weight Loss Challenge. I also tweet about language @oeileend_oed.

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