Word of the week

Have you ever completed the Word Power feature in Reader’s Digest? I’m not much interested in such games – I don’t even do crosswords! – but I am committed to increasing my own vocabulary. Why? Because if I know more words, I’ll be able to read more fluently. But even more important, I’ll be able to write better. Knowing lots of words allows me – and you — to be more precise in writing. In my word-of-the-week feature I share a word with you that I’ve discovered in my own reading.

What is ‘blackbirding’?

What is ‘blackbirding’?
Reading time: Less than 1 minute Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: blackbirding… Set in Australia, in the middle of the 19th century, Davi Read more...

What’s a ‘phalanx’?

What’s a ‘phalanx’?
Reading time: Less than 1 minute Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: phalanx… I enjoy literary mystery stories. One of my longtime favourite Read more...

What’s a ‘doppelgänger’?

What’s a ‘doppelgänger’?
Reading time: Less than 1 minute Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: doppelgänger… I wasn’t terribly impressed by the novel The Twilig Read more...

What does ‘cack-handed’ mean?

What does ‘cack-handed’ mean?
Reading time: Less than 1 minute Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: cack-handed… I get a great deal of pleasure — and useful information — Read more...

What’s an ‘etymological fallicist’?

What’s an ‘etymological fallicist’?
Reading time: Less than 1 minute Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word phrase: etymological fallicist… As a result of my own recent foray into Read more...

What is ‘anomie’?

What is ‘anomie’?
Reading time: Less than 1 minute Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: anomie… Steven Heighton is a Canadian novelist, short story writer and Read more...

What is a ‘miasma’?

What is a ‘miasma’?
Reading time: Just over 1 minute Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: miasma… Inspired by a mostly positive review on NPR, I recently read th Read more...

What does ‘hectic’ mean?

What does ‘hectic’ mean?
Reading time: Les than 1 minute Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: hectic… I recently enjoyed a very fine piece of historical fiction, The Read more...

What does ‘pantheistic’ mean?

What does ‘pantheistic’ mean?
Reading time: Less than 1 minute Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: pantheistic… As a writer and editor, I’m fascinated by issues of Read more...

What is a ‘cusp’?

What is a ‘cusp’?
Reading time: Less than 1 minute Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: cusp…. I was reading an interview with fiction writer Emma Richler (pic Read more...