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100 Whimsical Words

100 Whimsical Words
by Mark Nichol The English language can be maddening to native speakers and learners alike, but is also delightfully rich, especially for those who seek to convey a lighthearted tone in their writing. Here are 100 words it’s difficult to employ without smiling. Though their meanings may be obscure, they each present a challenge — I mean an opportunity — for you to paint a vivid word picture. Imbue your musings with mirth by incorporating these terms:

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» New York Times 50 Most Challenging Words (defined and used) - Currently Obsessed The New York Times recently published a list of 50 fancy words that most frequently stump their readership. They are able to measure this data thanks to a nifty in-page lookup mechanism, which you can try here. Try double-clicking the word “epicenter”. Since the NYT didn’t include definitions of these words, I decided to post a job to MediaPiston to produce an article defining and using each word in the list. Voila! 45 ways to avoid using the word 'very' Three Telling Quotes About ‘Very’ Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain‘Very’ is the most useless word in the English language and can always come out. More than useless, it is treacherous because it invariably weakens what it is intended to strengthen. ~Florence KingSo avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy.

10 Everyday Words With Unexpected Origins Books Etymology, or the study of the origin of words, is dry, dusty stuff that will give you allergies if you play with it too long. It also happens to be one of our favorite topics—because sometimes a word travels through such a twisted path to get to its modern meaning that all you can do is scratch your head and wonder how civilization manages to keep itself going. Word Up: The Must Dos of Vocabulary Instruction A while ago, I wrote a post called Doing It Differently: Tips for Teaching Vocabulary which spells out (get it?) the process and rationale for selecting certain vocabulary words and also describes six steps for teaching new words. Here, I'm going to add to that earlier musing on this topic by offering up some must dos that took me a few years down the teaching road to figure out.

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