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I Hope You’re Building Your Vocabulary Regularly, Not Sporadically

January 18, 2010

Be seeing you.—Paul Rudd as Josh

Yeah. I hope not sporadically.—Brittney Murphy as Tai, who’s learning new vocabulary at Cher’s (Alicia Silverstone) urging as part of a program of self improvement in Clueless (1995)

It’s been a while since I nagged you about adding words to your vocabulary. I was reminded of this because I have been watching teen movies, hoping to hear some quotations to use with my course in adolescent development and with an upcoming exhibit, Flaming Youth. Plus, I must admit that I love teen movies which reminds me that I haven’t seen Pretty in Pink for a while. I was very disappointed to see Molly Ringwald as a mom on TV. I know that everyone needs to make a living, but somehow, I always imagined her as forever young, sassy, and stylish. This is the danger of growing older in the public eye.

If you haven’t given any thought to improving your vocabulary lately, the words that follow are some of my favorites. You’re welcome to borrow them:

obsequious
ubiquitous
concommitant
invincible
acrimonious
archetype
zeitgeist
volatile
endemic
charismatic
apropos
circuitous
pilfer
punctillious
pusilanimous
pretentious
ludicrous
lugubrious
larcenous
ambivalent
artifice
deleterious
detrimental
decrepit
consummate
comely
cantankerous
fecund
gargantuan
querulous
quixotic
pompous
cognizant
febrile
persnickety
lucid
corporeal
serendipitous
pulchitrude
pomposity
prudent
portly
parsimonious
piquant
ludicrous
luscious
vibrant
verdant
jejune
volatile
cogent
lethargic
extraneous
belligerent
misogenist
pragmatist
iconoclast
paucity
philanthropist
cathartic
penultimate


What five new words will you add to your vocabulary this week?

First girl: “I know you can be overwhelmed and I know you can be underwhelmed. But can you ever just be whelmed?” Second girl: “ I think you can in Europe.”
• from
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die. • Evelyn Waugh

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