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.

Why does ‘katabatic’ 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: katabatic… I had heard of the book The Golden Spruce, by John Vaillant, more than 10 years ago but for reasons I don’t …

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What is ‘gouache’?

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: gouache… My late mother, Ethel, was an artist. Her medium was pastel chalks so I never heard her mention the word gouache …

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What’s a ‘chifferobe’?

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: chifferobe… I read a number of positive reviews of the novel An American Marriage by Tayari Jones before it scampered to fame …

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What does ‘marmorated’ 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: marmorated… I have little interest in insects but a March 12/18 New Yorker article on stinkbugs (one is pictured above) captured my attention …

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