Wondrous Words #158

Thanks for stopping by to check on my new-to-me words. I love words. This weekly game of finding new words as I read adds to the joy of reading.

A couple of months ago I told you about a new book I received for Christmas. It’s Grammar Girl’s 101 Words to Sound Smart. I’ve been enjoying this book because, quite frankly, there are quite a few I don’t know. It’s kinda hard to sound smart if I don’t even know the words. So, here are a couple of words I’ve been working on:

1.  egregious: ” . . . the most egregious of all the errors is that it says I am a massive David Bowie fan. Which is true, but it is a gross omission to leave out my obsession with Prince.”  – from Patrick Stump, lead singer of the band Fall Out Boy, about his Wikipedia piece.)

Egregious means outstandingly bad. In checking my thesaurus I found shocking, appalling, horrendous, atrocious, and so forth. In conversation with my husband this morning I said, “I found the characters of this book egregiously unrealistic.” I thought I sound pretty smart, but he just stared at me.

2.  erudite:  “For more than two decades, public-radio listeners have grown accustomed to the erudite questioning style of Fresh Air host Terry Gross.”

Erudite means having or showing great knowledge or learning.  Other words are scholarly, learned, knowledgeable, well-read, and so on. In my attempt to use the word, I said, “The erudite librarian lead the discussion group in an in-depth look at the materials.”

Using new words takes effort and, for me, a little note to remind me to try to use the words. Okay, that’s it for my new words. I made it through the letter E. I’ll share more in a month or two.

Wondrous Words Wednesday is sponsored by Kathy at Bermuda Onion.

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10 Responses to Wondrous Words #158

  1. Great words today! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Annie says:

    I knew erudite (the same in French), but not at all Egregious. Thanks, for the explanations.

  3. I learned erudite in college — I think the same day I learned the word sophomoric.

    Egregious is said in the news, here. Which is embarrassing, I suppose. I’ll blame it on the fact that our local news has to cover Illinois politics.

  4. Yay, I finally know some words. I knew both of these. But, I always have to remind myself what erudite means.

  5. I love the way you used those words! You’ve inspired me to try to use egregious today.

  6. It would probably be an egregious error for me to use some words I know in everyday conversation ;>)…(For example, I knew what both of those words meant, but honestly can’t imagine using them in conversation — guess I just don’t know the right people. My husband minored in English, but if I used egregious in a sentence, he’d definitely just stare at me. I wonder at what grade level our daily vocabulary is?

  7. Margot says:

    Sallie: Back in the 90s I wrote a newsletter for employees at the firm where I worked. I took a short course on newsletters at a meeting of the professional group. They suggested we attempt to write at a 5th grade level. The newspaper USA Today had just been launched and we were told they aimed at a 5th grade level. Occasionally, I’ll check my posts on Microsoft Word (the grammar section) and I’m usually at the 6th or 7th grade level. So, here I am with a Master’s Degree and I can’t get my speaking or writing past middle school. I find that funny.

  8. Staci says:

    Today is a good as I knew both of these!

  9. candice says:

    love both these words! i encourage you to use them in everyday conversation. if they stare, instead of asking for clarification, then let them stare, or suggest they look it up!

    **is microsoft the only way to check the grade level of one’s writing? i would love to know.

  10. Louise says:

    I knew both these words this week too. They are both fabulous words. Egregious is often used in front of error here, something with the alliteration there makes it all the more appealing I think.

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