Friday, January 16, 2009

New Words For My Vocabulary

So, JC's been reading The Ambassadors by Henry James. Let's just say that it's not light reading. James's sheer wordiness and his penchant for incredibly complex sentence structures is mostly to blame. JC is an incredibly fast reader, but upon tackling this book, she has found that her reading rate was roughly halved. She's hopeful that over time, she might be able to adapt to his writing style, and regain the lost speed. In any case, I don't think I have any inclination to read the book after she's done. Ha ha.

However, I started flipping through the book some only to find tough words after reading a few daunting passages. I figured what better way to expand my vocabulary. After some skimming, which resulted in near zero comprehension of the text, here were a few words where neither of us knew the definitions. We both guessed at their meanings using the context, but we were never quite right.

fuliginous - Sooty; dark colored. [Haha, Blogger spellchecker doesn't even know this word.]

physiognomy - Art or science of discovering temperament and character from outward appearance.

efflorescence - The process of flowering; period of blossoming.

interlocutor - Someone who takes part in a dialogue or conversation.

animadvert - To make harsh criticism; censure.

And, here's another word I learned recently from an entirely different book.

profligate - Completely given up to self-indulgence and licentiousness; wildly extravagant.

1 comment:

crestfallen7 said...

Tough words, though I'm surprised you'd never heard of interlocutor. I doubt I've heard that spoken out loud but definitely have run across it in reading. Efflorescence also sounds familiar but that may be just b/c the definition makes so much sense.