Little book of words bran new.
Little words to know.
Teach me something fresh like dew.
Help me learn and grow.
Everyone tries to expand their knowledge. Some people like to learn something new every day. If you’re a writer, you tend to do a lot of research of various topics to help you make your book more authentic. Or, maybe you just research a topic because you enjoy it? Well, one of the ways that I try to learn something new every day is actually rather simple: I try to learn new words.
I have the Dictionary.com app on my phone and it has a cute little widget of the “Word of the Day.” Usually, the word of the day pertains to whatever is going on in life: something pertaining to spring, summer, a holiday, etc. Other times, it’s just a random word that most people aren’t going to know. Some of it is slang, others are words tucked way back in the dictionary, or it may include something in Latin, or some other language that isn’t English. Since the word changes everyday, it’s difficult to remember all of them, so I use one of my many journals to record the ones I like.
Now, the words that I like are words that I feel I could in a story (or perhaps it pertains to the Moon, books, or the environment). I especially look for words I can use in my current work in progress. A lot of the ones I record, most people aren’t going to know like sweven, or pleonasm, or foible. Not to mention, there are quite a few that the red, swiggly, spellcheck line appear under whenever I type them. Yet, I still want to use these words in a story. I figure if I can use them in a way that people can understand them through context, then they can learn a new word too.
Now, my current work in progress is a sci-fi story and it involves a character who’s quite the bel-esprit. I’m mean, he’s certainly smarter than me, he’s a top-notch technician, a bit umbrageous, and arrogant. You know the kind: those people who know they’re smart so they gasconade their knowledge over you. Well, he’s my excuse for using these words that some people don’t know. He’ll use them naturally (which means, I have to learn to use them), and other characters will just stand around and stare at him. Now, I’ve always been a fan of the “In English, please!” Line from one nescience character to a Brainiac. So, my story is going to have plenty of squibs between my thrawn bel-esprit and other characters.
Alright, you caught me. I’m trying to get used to using some of the words from my journal in this blog post. I’ve posted the definitions of some down below and if you already know them, you’re five steps ahead of me! If I’ve used a word wrong, feel free to call me out in the comments. I’m learning that just because you know the definition of a new word, that doesn’t exactly mean you know how to use it in a sentence.
So, this is what I’m doing to learn something new everyday. What are some things you do?
Sweven: a vision, dream.
Pleonasm: the use of more words than necessary to express an idea; redundancy.
Foible: minor weakness or failing of character; flaw.
Bel-esprit: person of great wit or intellect.
Umbrageous: apt to take offense.
Gasconade: extravagant boasting; boastful talk.
Nescience: lack of knowledge; ignorance.
Squib: a short and witty or sarcastic saying or writing.
Thrawn: contray, peevish, stubborn.