Full Thread: Vocabulary book
View Single Post
Old March 24th, 2012 #44
Alex Linder
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,382
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder

Originally Posted by General_Lee View Post
Here's another one I ran across recently and had to look up: "paean"; pronounced as PEE-uhn; meaning a song of praise or joy. Not necessarily in the religious sense.
That's a good one, and it's on the list. Also, panegyric.

That is a habit my parents taught me as a kid: When I came across a word I did not know, they would not, usually, tell me what it meant; insisting instead that I look it up. In those days it meant trudging across the house and dragging out this big ol' thick dictionary they had bought for me and flipping through pages to find it. It's a lot easier now with online dictionaries and it's a habit that I'm trying to instill in my own kids.
Yeah. I'm not too happy with dictionaries. They should hold the line on changes until they are truly established, but, I suppose to increase profits, they give in very easily not just to new words that might disappear but by legitimizing misuses of existing words. Because jenny or jacky might have his self-esteem hurt if someone told him he was using a word incorrectly.

BTW, it was Ben Franklin, if I recall correctly, who's best known for advising people to look up every word they come across they don't know as a means of building their vocabulary. It certainly does work. I did this with the German version of Stephen King's novel Christine when I was trying to pack on some Deutsch. I had a huge amount of underlinings in the first dozens of pages, then fewer.

And speaking of learning habits, not intending to derail the thread, my dad would be known on frequent occasion to ask me what I had learned today, usually but not always in reference to school. And he wouldn't let the subject go until I could articulate something that I had learned today (or at least very recently) that I didn't know before; even if it was seemingly insignificant. Sometimes, it was just the meaning of a word. And whatever it was that I came up with we'd end up having a father / son conversation about and that would always lead to me learning other things from him.
Sounds like you had or have a good father. I always felt like the only useful stuff I learned from formal schooling was how the type of people running the schools and teaching in them think.

And "chary"; pronounced as CHAIR-ee; meaning -- No, you'll have to look it up.
I know it, but usually use other words for its meaning. Most commonly encountered in some version of Be chary of giving advice.