Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My twenty-five cent words

Someone sent me a subscription to Reader's Digest a few years ago. The first page I turned to was Word Power; I always scored high but never aced the quiz. Recently, I picked up a book at a yard sale for a quarter. Best twenty-five cents I've spent. Verbal Advantage, by Charles Harrington Elster teaches 3,500 words.

When I was a little girl, I used to love to figure out words. When I realized the word 'suitcase' meant a case in which to pack suits, I could feel my neural pathways hooking up; it was like a brain spark. To this day when I make that "connection" I feel a spark of excitement at learning. In college when I learned about the amelioration and pejoration of words, it was like a booster shot in the brain. I love words, although my written vocabulary is stronger than my oral expression.

I've heard that a lot of writers feel that way. Do you?

Here are a couple of words. Do you know the definitions?
This time of year I would be more peripatetic if it weren't for the crepitation of my shoulders and knees.

I like to stroll through the residential neighborhood near my school during my lunch hour and look at fall decorations. I am invigorated at this time of year.

Peripatetic (PER-i-puh-TET-ik): walking about, going places on foot.
Crepitate (KREP-i-TAYT): to make a crackling, snapping, or popping noise.


Tammy said...

I'm with you--I've always loved the sound and feel of words. And I can definitely express myself more easily in writing. Good vocab words, by the way. My joints are very crepitatious this time of year. (That may not be a real word, but I think it should be.)

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Well, peripatetic I didn't know. Crepitate I did, as I do medical transcription for orthopedists (among others) and crepitus is a problem for many people.

I do love words! My written presentation is better than my oral, which is rife with colloquialisms, I'm afraid!

I love walking in the fall, too. I've been in the South for 20 years, but I grew up in New England, and some of my favorite memories include walking during the autumn months.

Susan said...

I love words, too, Linda, but I'm glad you put in the two definitions. Didn't know the meaning of either. susan

Chatty Crone said...

I love words - but I too am glad you put the meanings of them in your blog. lol

I love Italian and French words too!


Karen Lange said...

Love words, and these two are interesting! I like taking them apart and trying to figure them out.

Linda O'Connell said...

Hi Sandie,
I remember a few words in French from high school. I just couldn't roll my tongue and make the guttural sounds. ha ha Thanks for your comment.

Linda O'Connell said...

I try to figure out the origin of words too. In fact when I saw peripatetic, I thought it had something to do with the tummy. In grade school, way back in another century, I used to be really good at finding the root words. Thanks for your comment.

Terri Tiffany said...

I must be a strange writer because I always hated learning new words and now that I write, I wish I didn't because I can see how that skill helps our writing.

Linda O'Connell said...

You probably liked math too in school. ha ha I think of us right brainers as math challenged and word happy. Letters I can deal with, numbers, ugh! Thanks for the visit.

Lynn said...

I just wish I could remember the new word after I discover it!