Tag Archives: Daria Maya

Daria Maya Guards Water Safety

Whenever Daria Maya or her family threw a pool party, they hired a lifeguard. It was a simple matter of safety.

But as she grew up in Westport, she realized not every family was as cautious.

And when the Staples sophomore took a lifeguarding class at the high school this year — part of the physical education curriculum — her teacher told her there are not enough guards to fill demand. At the same time, homeowners who want to hire them don’t know who to ask.

Now they do.

Daria created a website — WeLifeguard.com — that anyone can use to find a lifeguard for a private event. She’s adding swim instructors soon.

Daria Maya

Daria’s list includes teammates from her Staples water polo team, and friends. To broaden the pool further, she used the iStaples app to find every student taking lifeguarding in phys. ed. Many were delighted to be added in.

The site went live in April. The popular Westport Moms platform gave it a big boost. Daria also handed out flyers. She’s already booked several parties, starting Memorial Day.

Daria is all about water safety. She’s working with Stewie the Duck — Stew Leonard’s water safety foundation — to spread the word about the importance of swim instruction and lifeguards.

Guards on her site charge $20 an hour. That’s a small price to pay for safety.

And for the ease of finding a certified lifeguard for your party.

(For Daria’s website, click here. Her email is welifeguard@gmail.com)

Word

Daria Maya is a sophomore at Staples High School. But the teenager sure has a way with words.

The other day, she was chatting with her parents. Casually, Daria said that American politicians and the media engage in missuasion.

Daria’s parents, Joseph and Susan — both lawyers — looked at each other. They’d never heard that word. They asked her what it meant.

“There’s misinformation that politicians and the media are trying to persuade me to believe,” she replied. Then she gave Mom and Dad that oh-my-god-everyone-knows-what-I’m-talking-about look.

The Maya family (from left): Daniel, Joseph, Daria and Susan.

So Joseph did the natural thing: He emailed Merriam-Webster.

The dictionary folks were all over it. Associate editor Neil Serven wrote back that they found no previous use of “missuasion” anywhere in their citation database.

It wasn’t in the LEXIS-NEXIS periodicals database either.

There was one hit on a Reddit Bernie Sanders forum — “Cult-like powers of missuasion” — from June 2017. It described another politician.

Digging deeper, Serven discovered that the OED includes the verb “mis-suade” (labeling it “obsolete, rare”). Google Books found examples too, including 2 from an early 20th century Scottish writer.

“At a glance it strikes me as a useful and relevant word that could catch on,” Serven concluded.

“But since we only enter words in the dictionary once they’ve demonstrated established use (particularly in edited media), that work of getting other people to use it is up to you and your daughter.”

So what do you think, “06880” readers? Can we persuade enough people to use the word so that it earns a spot in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary?

Or would that simply be missuading them?