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Why I Post “Words Of The Day”

Some people have asked me why I post “words of the day” entries on this site. Especially words that seem to give your spellchecker fits as it marks them with annoying red underlines.

Examples:
Words of the day: sclaff & lassitude
Words of the Day: kishke & hawse

Well, these are words that I come across in my own writing endeavors. Usually they crop up when I realize I have used the same word too many times and I go to the old thesaurus looking for an alternative. Sometimes they are just random words I pull out of the dictionary. Almost all of the are in the very bottom of what is being searched for on websters.com so I know they are infrequently used words, and I just want to put them out there as alternatives.

I have found that even though people read a lot, their vocabulary is still often very limited. Even words that I find common place and that I use regularly draw head shakes from most others. I’ve had to really pare back the language that I write in to make it more readable for the average reader who is used to books written between a third and sixth grade level.

But I still find these words interesting and believe that by sharing them people will expand their own horizons. And some of them are just humorous and make me giggle too.

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