19 July 2007

How to recognize big words

As I understand many of my readers may be little removed from their years of bilingual education, I appreciate that it may be difficult to recognize some of the words that make appearances on this blog page. It is not every day that someone decides to used the word lugubrious ($4.78), facetious ($4.28), or vituperative ($4.92). Admittedly, these near $5 words can leave you scratching your head. In hopes of sharing some the secrets of my lexicon ($2.82 word), I now present to you:

Tips in recognizing "big" words

1. Big words usually contain multiple syllables (i.e. multiple means more than 2 - multiple is a $1.58 word):

Take for instance the word - micturate ($3.69). It means to pee. Pee ($0.10) has 1 syllable, micturate has 3.

2. Big words tend to travel in packs, and can often be found in the same sentence together;

The old adage ($2.67 word) goes "birds of a feather flock together."

3. Big words tend to have consonant or vowel clusters;

ubiquitous ($3.05), sumptuous ($2.09)

4. Big words are difficult to pronounce;

"Can you please use that in a sentence"
"He has a penchant ($3.54) for quixotic ($5.00) decisions."

5. Big words often have simpler (i.e. dumber) inbred cousin words;

These rural cousins are often referred to as synonyms.

vitriolic ($2.99), acerbic ($3.34) = nasty
prevarication ($3.87), calumniation ($4.88) = lie

6. Big words are for people with big heads :)

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