Try-This Tuesday: Work Out Your Vocab Muscles

To get in to graduate school for speech-language pathology, I had to take the Graduate Record Examination.  As soon as I found out I passed, I made plans to rid myself of the bulky workbooks and the memories they held of torturous evening classes and daily practice.  But I knew I would not throw out the vocabulary flashcards.  Those were a gift.  I couldn’t believe my luck when I found out that an entire section of the exam was based on vocabulary words: their definitions, usage and related words.  We get to play word games?!  Almost made up for the math.  Almost.

Anyway, this morning I pulled out the stack of about 200 cards from between my literary journals and my copy of the 2009 Writer’s Market and shuffled them up.  For fun, I pulled out 3 cards.  Today I’m challenging you to use at least one of these words in writing or conversation…particularly if you don’t use it normally.  If these words happen to be a part of your lexicon already, choose one that you don’t use or don’t know the meaning of.  Get to know the meaning and then be bold!  Throw the word into a conversation with a colleague, your neighbour, your spouse.  Toss it into your work-in- progress if you’re a writer.  How did it work for you?

Here are the words:

1.  taciturn:  silent, not talkative

2.  prevaricate:  to lie or deviate from the truth

3.  propitiate:  to conciliate, to appease

If you like this sort of thing, I encourage you to make it a daily practice.  You can click here to learn a new word every day!

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4 thoughts on “Try-This Tuesday: Work Out Your Vocab Muscles

  1. This post has nothing to do with the topic, but I just felt like sharing some of this morning’s beauty with you.

    It’s Wednesday morning and the start of another beautiful Spring day. After dropping my daughter at school I was heading for a quiet morning coffee at a secluded little shop within sight of the water, when added traffic from some construction project changed my peaceful plans. Somewhat frustrated, I turned around and went home to fix my own wake up cup, pulled into the driveway and as I got out of the car was met by one of the blessings that my big, quiet back yard offers; a family of deer who frequent this part of the suburbs. I watched their routine for about a half hour then came in and wrote a little poem for them.

    They grace my yard again today
    As they wander on their way

    The apple trees, their favorite stop
    As if it were their private crop

    A doe with babies, one and two
    A peaceful sight for me and you

    Secluded lawn, they choose to rest
    It seems our yard’s among the best

    Breakfast, nap, and now they rise
    With flicking ears and blinking eyes

    They amble off, beyond the hedge
    Into the forest’s trailing edge

    I know that soon, they will return
    Through my bushes, flowers and ferns

    To bring my morning added cheer
    While they rest, away from fear

    My back yard is about a half acre, only occasionally mowed, and surrounded by cedar hedges which haven’t seen a full trim in at least 3 years. Fruit trees are dispersed among the swings, play sets and a few garden projects which await completion.

    Somehow I believe that the animals appreciate my lack of ongoing maintenance as it affords them a slightly more natural setting in this over populated region of their former wilderness.

    There’s a certain pleasure which comes from watching the animals that share our place of residence. They walk in casually and look around, then eat or groom or simply rest a while.

    From the assortment of tiny mice and moles to the families of deer, sometimes five of them at a time, to the lone male coyote hoping to spot one of the dozens of rabbits or squirrels who also live here, it is a little nature conservancy right outside my window. Humming birds to eagles and nearly every winged creature in between, join in the blessing that is our community.

    Enjoy your day.

    1. Hi Richard – we should really talk about setting up your blog 🙂 I think you’ll enjoy sharing your words that way. Thanks for taking the time to comment here and for reading my posts. Have a great day!

  2. After adding my story and poem about the deer, I re-read the topic and tossed this together. Not sure how much sense it makes to everyone, but it sort of fell together for me.

    Propitiate
    A word I hate
    It seems the seal
    Of my fate

    If I give in
    I can not win
    Resign my soul
    Ignore the sin

    It’s not about
    Who can shout
    Be the loudest
    Leave no doubt

    Don’t hesitate
    To mark this date
    As I concede
    Propitiate

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