Word-A-Day




Just a little quicky post today before heading off with my parents for a birthday lunch.

Off Topic...Is it weird that at 29 I want a Wii and Concert tickets for my birthday?

=p

My daughter and I could get some real fun out of the Wii (and not to mention the WiiFit could help me lose that last 10lbs) and my favorite band, Faith No More, is back from the grave and playing at the Coachella music festival this year.

Ok, back on point.

Today I want to talk about vocabulary! As writers we need a good vocabulary. We need an arsenal of words to combat boring and bland prose. What a better way to help expand your vocabulary than to sign up for one of those word-a-day emails. It takes 2 seconds to do and every day a new word is sent to you. It's a simple and easy, not to mention free, way to expand your vocabulary.

I've been signed up with one for a while now and I am always amazed by the words I've never heard before. Just to give you an idea of what I see. Some of this week's gems were:

asperity
MEANING:
noun: Harshness or roughness.

obscurantism
MEANING:
noun:
1. Opposition to the spread of knowledge.
2. Being deliberately vague or obscure; also a style in art and literature.

sedulous
MEANING:
adjective: Involving great care, effort, and persistence.

surcease
MEANING:
noun: Stoppage, especially a temporary one.
verb tr., intr.: To bring or come to an end.


I don't know about you, but I didn't know these words before today.

So, give it a try. Sign up for a word-a-day type of email and expand that vocabulary.



Comments

L.T. Elliot said…
I love the word "asperity." Both in sound and taste.
I love this idea. Words are so much fun and I love learning new ones. Thanks! :-)
Great idea, Katie.

I don't mean to 1-up you, but another great resource for beefing up your vocabulary is, Merriam-Webster's Vocabulary Builder. I got mine for six bucks at Borders. It is set up with a lesson and then a quiz. What's so great about it, is it not only teaches you new words, but it teaches you how to use the root of words to discover the definition on your own.

For example:
BELL comes the latin for war, so the book proceeds to give you the definitions of ANTEBELLUM, BELLICOSE, BELLIGERENT, and REBELLION. It seems simple because it is and it makes for an easy fifteen minute lesson a few days a week.
quixotic said…
Great Idea Jonathon, and at $6 it's not a huge investment.
Your post came at a perfect time because yesterday I unearthed a book, Smart Words on my night stand. I bought it about a year ago, promising myself I'd learn a new word each day, but I don't think I got past the first page.

On Friday, I wrote a post about a middle school student with a tongue piercing, and when I was looking for a quote to go with it, I came across "scarification". New one for me.
That's a great idea, and those are terrific words! Thanks for sharing, and enjoy Coachella! I always mean to get out there, but never seem to make it.
Jessica said…
You're very right about having a broad vocabulary. I'm pretty sure I need to work on mine. :-)
Hope you have fun with your family, and happy birthday!
V. S said…
I want the wiifit!
Terresa said…
Didn't realize you were in Henderson. What writer's group/critique group do you belong to?
quixotic said…
Anna - I've never been to Coachella, but the prospect of seeing a long dead and favorite band is enticing enough to get me to start hoarding money. I've got 4 months to save.

Jessica - Thanks for the B-day wishes!

V.S. - Me Too! Of course Wii's are all out of stock again. *Sigh*

Terresa - Yeppers I'm in Henderson. But, I don't belong to any local groups. Can you suggest any good ones for an urban fantasy writer?
Btw, no wanted a Wii is not odd, not at any age. I'll totally take you down in tennis!
Susan R. Mills said…
What a great idea! And Happy Birthday.
WindyA said…
There's nothing wrong with what you want for your birthday. It's the time to go for wants, instead of needs, right? Besides, the Wii is a rockin' good time!

As for vocab, yes, I definitely think having an expanded word library is good, though I do think you have to keep your audience in mind when writing. I do not like reading a book (I read mostly YA and MG) and stumbling across a word I don't know. I'm not one who will seek out a dictionary, as that will ruin the flow of reading. I just hope I can make sense of it in context later.

Happy Birthday!
JeansVIews said…
Enjoy your birthday and as ever half the joy is in the expectation!
This link is a different way to learn a few new words http://www.freerice.com/index.php