Sunday, July 04, 2010

With some regularity, we, meaning my company and I, have been discussing diction. Good words are not hard to come by, although, using them appropriately can be a challenge. Bequeath for example is not merely to pass along possessions, rather it only applies in posthumous circumstances. Entitled carries many different meanings; however, there is some debate that a thing is actually entitled -- whereas it is in fact titled. A former colleague was recently sharing how my generation has a vocabulary somewhere in the range of 12-18K words on average, whereas those before us are north of 20K and potentially as high as 30K. Bearing that in mind, I asked how one could go about testing one's diction, and she suggested simply reading. The New Yorker is always good for a challenge as can the Economist.

Today being Independence Day, there are a lot of articles circulating about the Declaration of Independence. It's been a while since I have read it, and perusing it (an often misused word in and of itself), I was pleased to see such words as usurpations, inestimable, and consanguinity. Where would one go to test their diction for breadth?

No comments: