In honor of the upcoming Boston Marathon . . .
Fartlek n. Okay here's one for my juvenile readers. Nothing amuses a thirteen-year-old so much as the word "fart." But "fartlek" has nothing to do with the evacuation of bodily gases . . . Fartlek, for those who are still paying attention, is a method of training long distance runners, whereby the trainee runs across country, alternating speed work with slow jogging. From the Swedish, meaning, literally, "speed play." Why not call out from the back of the class, during a quieter moment: "Miss Adamson, do you know what Smith does every Thursday afternoon after school? He does fartlek! For two hours!"
Each Tuesday, we’ll offer up a Superior Word for the edification of our Superior Readers, via the volumes of the inimitable Peter Bowler. You can purchase all or any of the four Superior Person’s Books of Words from the Godine website. Fartlek appears in the Second.