Creative commentary plus crafty composition

Enriching Vocabulary

One of the ongoing goals in Toastmasters is to try to broaden one’s vocabulary.

To that end, each meeting features a ‘word of the day’.  Since in recent years our club has adopted a theme of the day as well, the Grammarian is encouraged to come up with a word relating to the theme, and is ideally a little uncommon.  The club has been around for about 25 years, so we have accumulated a mini-library of words; the Grammarian can select from these if not supplying an addition to the file.

Some people debate the value of adding, into speech or writing, words which are unfamiliar to many.  Some see this as opportunity to enrich one’s language options.  It should be remembered that not only are diverse words part of language but so too are often similarly challenging idiom and jargon.

Further to the list of words from our club library discussed in a January posting, here are more to test one’s mettle.  See if you know the appropriate response:

  • ASSUAGE Does this verb refer more to satisfaction, measurement, or persuasion?
  • BUCOLIC  Is this considered an adjective or an adverb?
  • CAPACITATE Does this verb refer more to human frailties or to human capabilities?
  • EBULLIENT Would someone displaying this behaviour be uncomfortable, cheerful, or questioning?
  • EMOLLIENT Is this a quality of contemplating, being firm, or being soothing?
  • ERSTWHILE Is this word used as an adverb, an adjective, or a noun?
  • FECUND Would this type of ground be helpful for growth, poor for growth, or unrelated to growth?
  • FORFEND Used as a verb, does this imply trying to attract or trying to avoid?
  • HEGEMONY Is this a quality of being a follower, of leadership, or of being a compromiser?
  • JEJUNE Would something described this way be considered complicated or simple?
  • MENDACIOUS Is this a quality of being truthful, being untruthful, or being aggressive?
  • PERORATION Does this describe an action which is verbal or physical?
  • PROPINQUITY Are you more likely to exhibit this behaviour with friends, with correspondents, or with enemies?
  • QUIXOTIC Is this used as an adverb, an adjective, or a noun?
  • SOLECISM Does this refer to doing something correct, doing something incorrect, or making a correction?
  • UMBRAGE Is one apt to be appeased, confused, or disturbed in this context?

The correct responses follow:

  • ASSUAGE satisfaction
  • BUCOLIC  adjective
  • CAPACITATE capabilities
  • EBULLIENT cheerful
  • EMOLLIENT soothing
  • ERSTWHILE adjective
  • FECUND helpful
  • FORFEND avoid
  • HEGEMONY leadership
  • JEJUNE simple
  • MENDACIOUS untruthful
  • PERORATION verbal
  • PROPINQUITY friends
  • QUIXOTIC adjective
  • SOLECISM incorrect
  • UMBRAGE disturbed

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