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Vocabulary

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Hillary



Joined: 13 Apr 2004
Posts: 1767
Vocabulary  Reply with quote  

In the course of any given day, I run across no less than two words that I'm either

A) not familiar with

or

B) not comfortable using because I'm only 50% sure of its meaning.

I've decided that I need to improve my vocabulary. When I was in school, learning new words was a great thing . . . like sophistry. NEAT! I need to know that! I need to remember that! Sophistry! What a great word! Now, ten years later, those beautiful little 50 cent gems have evaporated and I'm left wondering why I haven't forced myself to LEARN anything new. The great words are gone, uninstalled from the memory banks.

I'm reduced to the bare bones of vocabulary.

So, as of today, I've started a word bible. Every time I read (or hear - though that's much rarer) a word I'm not 100 percent comfortable using and/or defining, I'm going to write it in my little notebook thing. And then I'm going to figure out what the hell it means as soon as I can get to Merriam Webster Online.

I have to admit I have zero intention of writing with such an 'elite vocabulary' that nobody else in the world knows what the hell I'm talking about, but every once in a while you stumble across something that's just fun and sounds really, really great. And I want to stumble across them again.

So there.

(I have no idea why I shared this, but I did).

Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 11:18 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
palmer



Joined: 30 Mar 2004
Posts: 1324
Re: Vocabulary  Reply with quote  

Hillary wrote:
...I've decided that I need to improve my vocabulary. When I was in school...So, as of today, I've started a word bible....So there.

(I have no idea why I shared this, but I did).


Because you want old English teachers everywhere to feel that their efforts are not wasted? Pretty decent of you if that's the case. :-)

Vocabulary quiz:

1. redolent
2. palpable
3. fardel...

...fardel?! Yes, fardel! Anyone who uses words like "froward" -- where did it go? -- has no call to complain about "fardels". :-)

BTW, I liked "scented" in your prologue, if you don't mind me cross-threading a bit here. No problem using it as a verb, if you ask me. I thought it added a nice tone. Besides, people have been verbing nouns for centuries. Shakespeare beat it to death. Why not?

You probably know all that...

Trivia -- news was originally plural, i.e. "These news are good", and I would bet anything that it is a 'nouned adjective' (ouch, the grammar, ouch! ouch! ouch!). Playing fast and loose with parts of speech is part of the evolution of the language, isn't it?

"Scented" is good.

But I do go on...

Verb in peace.



Cheers,

John Palmer

Post Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:56 pm   View user's profile Send private message
mister



Joined: 05 Jul 2004
Posts: 301
Location: brooklyn
 Reply with quote  

pesky evolution. I got in a disagreement with a linguist who reverse constructed 'orientate' from orientation.


Orient! It's already a word!

"Orientate".

I stand by my opinion on scented.

Sometimes it's best to stop and scent the roses.

You scent like a brewery!

But then, this is America. I have the constitutional freedom to be wrong.
_________________
"Methaphors are not to be trifled with."

Post Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:44 pm   View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
palmer



Joined: 30 Mar 2004
Posts: 1324
context...  Reply with quote  

mister wrote:

I stand by my opinion on scented.

Sometimes it's best to stop and scent the roses.

You scent like a brewery!



Context...

I agree, the examples you give sound awful, but I also think it works in Prologue. For me, given the supernatural context, it adds a hint of verisimilitude to have the characters would use language a little differently than we do. Think dialects. "People his vexed, mon," I heard one of my students say. "What you been paining about?" from another. All acceptable where they come from.

And how about Hamlet, after being asked about where he hid the body of Polonius saying something like (and I'm going to mangle this except for the crucial part), "In a week or two you'll nose him out behind the stairs."

"Nose"?

Fits, from Hamlet's character, doesn't it?

-- Note to Hillary: this doesn't call for another group hug, does it? (whine) --


John Palmer

P.S. - Threadjacking, I know, but it just...happened. :-)

Post Sat Aug 28, 2004 9:01 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Katy O



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 5127
Location: DFW Metroplex - TX
 Reply with quote  

I'm with you on the vocabulary thing. I'm always worried that a word I think I know doesn't mean what I think it does and that I'll embarrass myself. However, due to the area I live in and the business I'm in, that isn't a frequent worry. I have several books with archaic words and misused words. I used to send out a daily e-mail to the few people I knew that were interested a 'word of the day'. CM posted a website one time that mails out the same thing.

Dammit, now I have to go look up verisimilitude.

Post Tue Aug 31, 2004 10:52 am   View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
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