Each weekday I’m treated to a new vocabulary word that arrives via email. It is called “A Word A Day” and is provided by author, speaker, and linguaphile (word lover) Anu Garg. Starting 1994, the subscriber list is now over a million strong. Although the words shared have little chance of being added to my vocabulary or appearing in my writing, it is good to see the diversity and color of the English language, learn a word’s history (etymology), and see an example in contemporary writing.
Last week, the theme was “words about books.” Check out these five beauties:
vade mecum (VAY/VAH-dee MEE/MAY-kuhm)
noun: A book for ready reference, such as a manual or guidebook.
enchiridion (en-ky-RID-ee-uhn, -kih-)
noun: A handbook or a manual.
roman-fleuve (roe-MAAN*-fluhv) [* the middle syllable is nasal]
noun: A long novel, often in several volumes, that tells the story of an individual, family, or society across several generations.
noun: A small book or pamphlet containing stories, poems, or religious tracts.
noun: 1. A volume reprinting several works by one author or works on one theme. 2. A public vehicle designed to carry a large number of people.
adjective: Including or dealing with many things at once.
I’m familiar with the last two and even used the last one in my writing. As far as the first three, it’s nice to know these words exist, but I don’t see myself ever using them.
If you are a writer or someone who loves words, I encourage you to sign up to receive A Word A Day.
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Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.