I often wish I had a larger vocabulary.
As a writer, sounding astute often comes down to whether or not I use sizable or relatively unknown words with authority. I must come across as a logophile. The corollary is that the thesaurus and I have become good friends. While I don’t want my readers to glaze over and become discombobulated, I like to show off my adulation of words from time to time.
Enter WordSpy.com, a site referred to me by my copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to a Smart Vocabulary. I don’t claim to be a complete ignoramus, but I do claim to be nescient when it comes to a voluminous vocabulary.
WordSpy has become one of my new favorites. Their site:
“is devoted to lexpionage, the sleuthing of new words and phrases. These aren’t “stunt words” or “sniglets,” but new terms that have appeared multiple times in newspapers, magazines, books, Web sites, and other recorded sources.”
You’ll find some now-known words that started on WordSpy, such as metrosexual, turducken, and bridezilla. Recent entries include:
plutonomy n. An economy that is driven by or that disproportionately benefits wealthy people, or one where the creation of wealth is the principal goal. [Blend of pluto- (wealth) and economy.] Can you say Silicon Valley anyone?
attentional blink: n. The momentary lapse in awareness that occurs after a stimulus catches the brain’s attention. I equate this to getting my husband’s attention while he’s playing video games, only to have him stare at blankly at me while I tell him what I need.
neuromarketing n. The neurological study of a person’s mental state and reactions while being exposed to marketing messages. You know those new Kleenex commercials, where the people sit on a couch in the middle of the city, sharing their stories and crying? That’s a neuromarketer’s dream.
There are also some fun quotes posted to the site, and you can even have daily words and quotes sent you via RSS feeds. If you need a reason to take a break from work today, visit WordSpy, and at least you can exercise your brain while you’re procrastinating.
Diane Penna is the creator of The Write Path blog, and is proud to call herself a WAHM (Write at Home Mom).