These are difficult days for our planet. All across the world, in hundreds of different languages, people are expressing their fears about the coronavirus, collaborating to limit its impact, and mourning those who have been felled by it. Our hearts go out to each and every one of them. We wish we had the ability to express that concern and sorrow in every language in the world.
We have heard from so many of you word lovers from across the world – from England and France, from California and North Carolina – and we wanted to reach out and let you know that even though we’ve decided to postpone our public grand opening because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no reason that, even from behind closed doors, we cannot further our mission to inspire and renew a love of words, language, and reading. When in our lifetime have words been more important – the check-in calls to your loved ones, the chat across communities separated by lockdown, parsing the news, understanding this new vocabulary?
At some point, we hope soon, the globe’s orbit will stop wobbling, borders will reopen, and humanity’s need to be together and to share experiences will return. Anticipating that time, and to spread some of the wonderful learning we’ve gleaned about language as we prepared to open the museum, we will begin to share some stories and thoughts from the Planet Word galleries and content archives.
We want to introduce you to some of our language ambassadors. Hear why we selected some of the memorable books and poems in our magical Library. Learn how we chose the thousand words making up our towering word wall.
We hope this virtual sneak peek will feed your curiosity and show you just what we mean when we say language is our human superpower or declare that “words matter.” And maybe we can also bring a much-needed smile or two!
In any language, we pray that you stay healthy and safe as we confront this challenge together.
—Ann Friedman, founder, Planet Word