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Archive for the ‘Personal Development’ Category

More Enriching Vocabulary

In eastern Canada warmer we’re slowly moving toward seasonally warm weather.

Combine this with the first holiday weekend of this cross-over season, AKA the Victoria Day weekend (AKA what references to the monarchy are mostly good for these days). One can feel the relaxed call, to a mind-set well-served by some well-spent exposure to words.

One of the ongoing elements of self-improvement in communication is a broader vocabulary.  As a supplement to the last post, here are more words from our Toastmasters club library, which have been featured in meetings as ‘word of the day’. The correct answers appear after the list of options:

  • ACYROLOGIA: Does this refer to inappropriate or improper language, physical gestures, or diet?
  • AEGIS: Does this concern protection or support of legislation, of procedures, or of people or organizations?
  • CONTUMACIOUS: Does this adjective describe eating habits, stubborn behaviour, or lack of coordination?
  • DOUGHTY: Would someone with this characteristic be more slow, confident, or discouraged?
  • ENDEMIC: True or false – this word is used as both an adjective and a noun
  • HETERODOX: Is someone with this quality apt to think as a freethinker or as a conformist?
  • LOGORRHOEA: Does someone with this tendency talk slowly, with a stutter, or excessively?
  • LUCENT: True or false – this relates to more to internal than external appearance
  • MELLIFLUOUS: True or false – this word is used as an adverb as well as an adjective
  • OBITER DICTUM: Does this noun refer to an expression of personal opinion, or of reference to legal statute?
  • PALAVER: In which of these ways does this word not qualify, as adjective, noun, or verb?
  • PERIPATETIC: In which of these ways does this word not qualify, as adjective, noun, or verb?
  • PROPITIOUS: Is this word likely to be used in circumstances which are based on luck, are favourable, or are tenuous?
  • REDOLENT: Does this refer to something in a suggested way, an implied way, or a direct way?
  • SUBLIME: Does this condition cause people to feel compelled, satisfied, or inspired?
  • SYMBIOSIS: Does this activity relate primarily to chemistry, physics, or biology?
  • TRALATITIOUS: Yes or no – this characteristic can apply both to metaphor and to tradition
  • VERDANT: True or false – this word is used to describe depictions coloured other than green

Correct responses:

  • ACYROLOGIA: language
  • AEGIS: people or organizations
  • CONTUMACIOUS: stubborn behaviour
  • DOUGHTY: confident
  • ENDEMIC: true
  • HETERODOX: freethinker
  • LOGORRHOEA: excessively
  • LUCENT: false
  • MELLIFLUOUS: false
  • OBITER DICTUM: personal opinion
  • PALAVER: adjective
  • PERIPATETIC: verb
  • PROPITIOUS: favourable
  • REDOLENT: suggested way
  • SUBLIME: inspired
  • SYMBIOSIS: biology
  • TRALATATIOUS: yes
  • VERDANT: false

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

Being in ‘Ahh’ Voice

An article in the April issue of Psychology Today focuses on an issue familiar with those of us in Toastmasters, but to some extent with a somewhat different, even favourable, position.

One goal in Toastmasters continuously is to reduce, ideally weed out, filler words and sounds; the point of view expressed in Psychology Today is that the person or circumstances dictate some flexibility in applying such a strategy. (more…)

Couching Coaching

A column in the current edition of the Insurance Journal brings up the issue of coaching, albeit within the parameters of insurance versus investment advising. 

The author is a long-time coach, author, and keynote speaker, outgrowth of a highly successful career as an insurance advisor and executive manager.  His view is that coaching advice for insurance agents and insurance-based financial advisors needs to differ from that offered to investment advisors.  In practice, many of the former group are exposed to coaching designed for the latter. (more…)

When le Mot Juste Collides with KISS

Recently I received negative feedback from a close relative concerning my alleged tendency to use elaborate, perhaps obscure, words where simpler words would do. 

I was taken aback: I have long felt the richness of the English language is greatly underutilized.  Indeed, many writers, such as detective story master Ellery Queen, have often dropped in uncommon diction.  I have deemed this as opportunity to expand my vocabulary. (more…)

Writing Blogs vs. Writing Books

I’ve written quite a wide number of blogs.

I’ve also recently finished the last draft of my first book.  (I did craft a full length screenplay years ago.  Perhaps deservedly, it’s sitting in a file drawer; a worthy effort, but some re-work from exhibiting film-worthy credentials.)

While it is probably obvious that there are meaningful differences in the approach and execution of the short, to-the-point, blog versus the wide, hopefully well-structured arc, of the full-length story, these are not all necessarily obvious. (more…)

The Write Way

I have finally finished the last draft chronicling my career in the financial services industry.  I have committed to this being the final revision: sooner or later you have to pronounce it so.  (Unless it were to become a screenplay, which would mean no end to potential changes.)  In addition to the months needed to sort through my files and records, it only took me almost five years to complete this project. (more…)