21 Feb 2019: Challenging Your Vocabulary

So I just finished The Next by Stephanie Gangi. I really enjoyed it. It’s one of those books I’d highly recommend to anyone who loves language or who wants to learn to write better. I love to read the way she strings words together to conjure an image in my mind. Even though the plot was a little thin, I’m still keeping this book and giving a place on my shelf.  This is high praise from me.

As is my habit, I like to write down the words I’m not familiar with on the back page of any book I’m reading along with the page number where said word is found. This book had quite a list. Sometimes it was jut the context of the word that stumped me. (See Stamp below)

Here, learn with me:

Bleat: the wavering cry made by a sheep, goat, or calf. “the distant bleat of sheep in the field”

Euphonious: of sound, especially speech, pleasing to the ear. “this successful candidate delivers a stream of fine, euphonious phrases”

Susurrus: whispering, murmuring, or rustling. “the susurrus of the stream”

Saudade: a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament. “her songs are based on love poems and evoke a melancholy known to the Portuguese as saudade”

Galvanic: sudden and dramatic.”hurry with awkward galvanic strides”

Parse: examine or analyze minutely. “he has always been quick to parse his own problems in public”

Chemtrails: a visible trail left in the sky by an aircraft and believed by some to consist of chemical or biological agents released as part of a covert operation. “conspiracy theorists have been going wild with speculation over the nature and purpose of chemtrails”

Supine: lying face upward. “She smiled at supine Ned.”

Splanch:  A splanch is not a ranch, and it is not a split level. Rather, it is a three-level house inside of a two-level skin.

Nattering: talk casually, especially about unimportant matters; chatter. “they nattered away for hours”

Aerie: a large nest of a bird of prey, especially an eagle, typically built high in a tree or on a cliff. “in their Meatpacking District aerie, surrounded by swag, their well-furnished heaven on earth, waiting for their little angel to arrive.”

Nascent:  just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential. “the nascent space industry”

Bier: a movable frame on which a coffin or a corpse is placed before burial or cremation or on which it is carried to the grave.

Lope: run or move with a long bounding stride. “the dog was loping along by his side”  “he loped off down the corridor”

Ovoid: an ovoid body or surface.

Harridan: a strict, bossy, or belligerent old woman. “a bullying old harridan”

Aphorisms: a pithy observation that contains a general truth, such as, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”.

Stamp: walk with heavy, forceful steps. “John stamped off, muttering” OK, I’d heard of the word stamp but would have used the word stomp.  In the book the sentence is ” She watched a runner stamp through the dark, undaunted by the slick streets.”

Contrail: a trail of condensed water from an aircraft or rocket at high altitude, seen as a white streak against the sky. (In the book it’s used differently “Ned say an apparition’s contrail leading out of” the bar. I have to say this seems to be the same as chemtrails above.

Kinesthetic: relating to a person’s awareness of the position and movement of the parts of the body by means of sensory organs in the muscles and joints. “kinesthetic learning through a physical activity”

Limerence: the state of being infatuated or obsessed with another person, typically experienced involuntarily and characterized by a strong desire for reciprocation of one’s feelings but not primarily for a sexual relationship.

Whew!

-Jennifer

PS: I was reading an advanced reader copy so I’m really hoping that by the time the book went to press they fixed the typos on pages 114, 222, 272, 292 and 293. Got some laughs out of those, but only because I’ve made such mistakes myself.  Kind of nice to know Macmillan Library/St. Martin’s Press is as fallible as myself.

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