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Vocabulary
 
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Words are important.  They are our most common way of communicating with other people.  Knowing the right word often makes communicating an idea clearer, both in the conveying (transmitting) and the comprehension (receiving & deciphering) of an idea.  There is a theory that the more ways we have of symbolically conceptualizing the world, the better we understand it.  For example, eskimos have a multitude of words to describe different types of snow.  In the English language we have one word, snow.  To describe different types of snow in English, we have to add a modifier to it such as the adjectives wet, dry or fluffy.  An English speaking person may see (i.e. conceive, visualize, understand, comprehend) snow as one type of thing.   While an Eskimo may see many different things when looking at snow.

Your vocabulary is one of the first ways that someone you have just met will judge you.  If all that you can do is refer to some object as a "thingy," then there is a strong possibility that others, well . . . may think you are not that bright.  On the other hand, if you try to dazzle people by your command of language by using "big" words in which you are not quite sure of the meaning, you very well may make a fool of yourself.

With out a doubt, the best way to increase and refine your vocabulary is to read.  Read lots, read often, and read from varied sources.  It's good for your vocabulary.  It's good for your mind.

Below is a list of words that I think are good to know.  They are words that I consider to be useful, interesting, or entertainingly odd.  You may never use them, you may never hear or read them, but if you look over the list, you will at least have come across them.  There is no rhyme nor reason to the order, but I have clumped together words that have something in common.


Tectonic
Zeitgeist - the spirit of the time; the taste and outlook characteristic of a period or generation.
Incongruous
 
Innocuous
Noxious
 
Archetype
Amorphous
Biannual
Biennial

Ontological
Epistemology
Cosmology
Phylogeny

 
Scatology
Feces
 
Behoove
Prolific
 
Copious
Plethora
Multitude
Multitude
Ubiquitous
 
Esoteric
Contingent

Continously
Continually
Constant

Contruct
 Fruition

Demagog - an orator who appeals to the passions and prejudices of his audience.
Obfuscate - to make so confused or opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand.
Hegemony - the predominant influence, as of a state, region, or group, over another or others.

Erudite
Loquacious

. . . more to be added . . .

 

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Last updated: 9/2/2008