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 does ‘whiffling’ mean?

What does ‘whiffling’ 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: whiffling…. I’m a big fan of onomatopoeia. As you likely know, th Read more...

What does the word ‘recursion’ mean?

What does the word ‘recursion’ 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: recursion… What happens when medical diagnoses become automated? That w Read more...

What does ‘inchoate’ mean?

What does ‘inchoate’ 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: inchoate…. I’ve long held a particular fondness for the adjective Read more...

What does ‘interstices’ mean?

What does ‘interstices’ 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: interstices… Some authors use unusual words multiple times in a single Read more...

What is ‘clerisy’?

What is ‘clerisy’?
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: clerisy… I regularly read the New York Times but, as a Canadian, don Read more...

What is ‘samizdat’?

What is ‘samizdat’?
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: samizdat…. I haven’t yet watched The Handmaid’s Tale on tel Read more...

What does ‘doughty’ mean?

What does ‘doughty’ 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: doughty… I don’t watch much TV but I was sick with food poisoning Read more...

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...