Robert Tompkins

Smitten with words a lifetime ago while an English major at the University of Toronto, Robert’s logophilia soon became a consuming avocation as well as the nucleus of his professional endeavors—high school English teacher, writer, editor, and writing consultant. Wordscapes is the result of extensive research spanning over 35 years. The story of its genesis is noteworthy. Wordscapes’s first incarnation was as a 30-page Xeroxed duo-tang booklet assembled for a unit on words in the author’s senior creative writing class. From the outset the word unit, presented in the same mosaic format, spawned considerable interest, and surprisingly, even from some of his most reluctant students. Indeed, a curious behavior began—the booklets began disappearing. This pilfering became a trend over the years and the author realized that filching, not imitation, was the sincerest form of flattery. That the purloined books found their way to the students’ parents is attested by the number of word-related conversations initiated by them during phone calls and on parent-teacher nights. Realizing that the material was appealing to two distinct generations, the author began to envisage the present volume.