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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

Vocabulary Building


I think my lexicon is fairly extensive, but I’m always on the lookout for new words to fill out the internal synonym & antonym collection, cuz, you know, like I don’t have enough hours filled in the day already.

Of course, the best way to find new words, and learn their meanings, is to read (books, magazines—even web stuff might toss out a rough diamond every once in a while). I’ve sort of always done this, but lately I’ve not found all that many new-new words that I couldn’t already define. English has 800,000+ words, and you can bet I don’t know them all.

With this idea/plan/scheme in mind, I began anew while reading “Mating” because, well, I kept finding unique words, newly used words, or just plain made up words (or so I thought). My method is thus: I underline the said unknown word, put a small check in the margin next to the line in which the word appears, and then return to the book to copy the word into a notebook: a vocab notebook.

Last night I made a list of all the words found in the novel. The tally: 112

Question: is it counterproductive to keep a Vocabulary Notebook while sipping a nightly whiskey?

All of you who are thinking “What a DORK!” you can just keep on thinking that, as I don’t resort to mordacious philipics.

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