The two syllables are rich with multiple relevant meanings, which is why we chose them for our company name. But we use it in book-loving conversations, too. We refer to the two of us as LitWits and our students as LitWitters; we note that we’ve LitWitted forty-plus books; we spot weird things at thrift stores and call them LitWittable. A teacher’s great idea strikes us as LitWittish. If one of us says something funny, she’s being LitWitty. A book can be taught LitWittily. And so forth — you get the idea.
But when we’re speaking out of context — at the grocery store, for instance, examining a loaf of bread and commenting aloud on its LitWittability — someone might ask us what we mean. Well, LitWits mean more than just a body of books and a sense of humor. Webster sums up our meaning and mission perfectly in his 1913 dictionary:
1. Learning; acquaintance with letters or books.
2. The collective body of literary productions, embracing the entire results of knowledge and fancy preserved in writing
3. The class of writings distinguished for beauty of style or expression, as poetry, essays, or history, in distinction from scientific treatises and works which contain positive knowledge; belles-lettres.
4. The occupation, profession, or business of doing literary work.
1 . Mind; intellect; understanding; sense.
2. A mental faculty, or power of the mind.
3. Felicitous association of objects not usually connected, so as to produce a pleasant surprise.
4. A person of eminent sense or knowledge; a man of genius, fancy, or humor; one distinguished for bright or amusing sayings, for repartee, and the like.
5. The five wits, the five senses; also, sometimes, the five qualities or faculties, common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, and memory.
You can see why these two syllables appeal to us, and encapsulate what we do. We hope you’ll enjoy teaching great books, LitWits-style!
LitWits® is a registered trademark of LitWits Workshops, LLC.