Archive for Thursday, May 17, 2001

Expanding my horizons one word at a time

May 17, 2001

Lackaday, it was with great compunction that I learned my bailiwick of the English language was quite quixotic.

You guessed it, I am now and official member of a "word of the day" club.

For those of you who are not a member of this very exclusive club, what I said was, 'Regretfully, it was with great remorse that I learned that my knowledge of the English language was underdeveloped.'

Like most revelations in life, I discovered my shortcoming by accident.

I was at home reading when I stumbled upon a word that was foreign to me. I asked around. Everyone but I seemed to know that the word masticate means to grind to a pulp.

Sure, I had heard the word before, but I had to face the grim reality that I could not have used it in a sentence if my life depended on it.

So, I did what any responsible person does when he or she realizes they have a problem: I sought help.

I considered buying one of those word of the day calanders. I quickly decided against that option when I realized a calander sitting on my desk could be read by others. Then, how would I impress my friends and co-workers with my new, fancy words?

I chose instead a more private method.

The club I chose comes to me via the Internet. I simply log on every morning and waiting there for me is a new preferably multi-syllable word.

I believe the implications of this will be pandemic (widespread).

After only three weeks in the club, I was able to piece together this impressive piece of prose. Imagine what I'll be able to say and write in a couple of months. I am filled with excitation (mental excitement) just thinking about it.

As a journalist, my mentors have always taught me I should write to inform, not to impress. I see now that they were only trying to hold me back.

My new concord (understanding) of the English language will no doubt open many doors for me. People will stand in awe of my locution (style of speaking). Opportunities will abound and my pecuniary (financial) situation will improve. In short, I will live a more salubrious (healthy and prosperous) life.

OK, I think we all know that is not true. But it does feel good to expand your horizons a bit, even if you don't plan on using your newfound vocabulary every day.

They (and by they I mean my fellow club members) suggest you use your new word throughout the day, casually slipping it into conversations.

I have to admit, I have been negligent in that regard. As much as I enjoy learning the words, I certainly don't want to appear lexiphanic (Sorry, you're going to have to look that one up yourself).

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