Vocab Builder: Terms for the Extraordinarily Literate

I love used bookstores. You never know what treasures you’ll find, what long lost love you’ll rediscover. On a recent trip, I found The Highly Selective Dictionary For The Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich. Ehrlich was a giant in language circles. He edited two editions of the Oxford American Dictionary (1980 and 1982) and wrote several language books, including Amo, Amas, Amat, and More: How to Use Latin to Your Own Advantage and to the Astonishment of Others (14 editions), What’s in a Name?: How Proper Names Became Everyday Words (5 editions), and Schaum’s Outline of English Grammar (5 editions). (He also apparently loved long, meandering titles, but no one’s perfect.) This week, some highly selective words from Mr. Ehrlich.

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  • Jejune: dull, uninteresting
  • Nascent: emerging, just beginning
  • Quotidian: common, everyday
  • Tautology: needless repetition of a thought using different words
  • Unctuous: slippery; insincere earnestness

About Erin Brenner

With a BA and an MA in English, Erin has been an editing professional for 15 years, working on a variety of media, especially online. Her niche is business/marketing and online. In addition, she has experience teaching editing to non-editors and coaching writers. In 2008, Erin was bitten by the social media bug...hard. Follow her on Twitter, @ebrenner, and get a daily vocabulary word, a link to the article of the day, and much more. You can also find her on Facebook and LinkedIn.
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