Vocabulary Builder – Week 1, 2022

Hello and welcome to this section of our blog.

I am a great lover of the English language and, especially, the lexical and figurative usages of words and phrases. Every Wednesday, therefore, I’ll be taking us through a short list of words, idioms and phrases I come across in people’s writings to help us enrich our vocabulary. Besides that, we’ll be learning some of the most common mistakes made by writers in their works and how to avoid them.

If you have any writing, either poetry or short story, that you feel has some amazing words and phrases to share with the world, then kindly drop links to those works here every week. Be sure I’ll go through them and, if I find such vocabulary, discuss them here in my Wednesday posts.

Here is my recent selection.

Outstanding word usage

Brackish /ˈbrakΙͺΚƒ/ (adjective)

Definition:

Repulsive; tending to rouse aversion or disgust.

Usage example:

Mike U. of Silent Pariah uses this word in his poem Odysseus to refer to the repulsive hearts of certain parents who try to show their kids love through severe discipline.

of the black brackish hearts of fathers
who show their children love by means of the belt…

Odysseus: stanza 2, line 26-28

The word “brackish” instantly triggers the reader’s imagination of the nature of the fathers’ “black” (evil) hearts that have the ability to cause repulsion instead of attraction.

Outstanding phrasal verb usage

Wash over (verb)

Definition:

To affect the emotions (of a persons) suddenly and overwhelmingly.

Usage example:

Janis uses this phrase in the second paragraph of her short story dubbed A freshly baked short story to describe how memories overwhelmed Lettie’s emotions at the sight of a cookbook she had been sent by her deceased friend, Violet, just before she (Violet) died.

Lettie carefully slipped her fingers under the tape and slowly unwrapped the package. When she saw what was inside, a flood of memories washed over her. The Christmas Cookbook had been an often-used and much-loved reference when Lettie and Violet were young mothers…

Paragraph 2, lines 1, 2 and 3 of “A freshly baked short story”.

Using the word in that context might sound slightly hyperbolic to some, but it is a perfect usage because it provokes the reader’s mental perception of strong emotions.

Today’s idiomatic usage

Put lipstick on a pig

Definition:

To superficially alter something in the hope of making it more appealing than it already is.

Usage example:

  • Constantly changing your website’s theme in the hope of making it better may be an act of putting lipstick on a pig as it may crash down your uniqueness.

Using idioms abstemiously in your works can, no doubt, make them feel more lively and psychologically engaging to your audience. You should consider giving them a shot once awhile.

Common mistakes to avoid in writing

Using the words ‘reason‘, ‘why‘ and ‘because‘ in one sentence.

In formal writing and speech, avoid using all or two of these words in one sentence because they mean the same thing.

Examples:

UNCONVENTIONAL: The reason why I came to your shop is because I wanted to talk to your son.

UNCONVENTIONAL: The reason I came to your shop is because I wanted to talk to your son.

UNCONVENTIONAL: I came came to your shop because I wanted to talk to your son. (Cut the verbiage)

CONVENTIONAL: I came to your shop to talk to your son.

Thanks for reading till the end. Kindly share your thoughts in the comments section below.

36 Comments

  1. Mike U. says:

    Hi, Lamittan. Thanks for including the reference to my poem “Odysseus” in your weekly Vocabulary Builder article. Your work here will make a difference in how we approach proper grammar with regards to speaking and writing. Well done, good sir! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re most welcome, Mike. I found the word usage brilliant. Keep writing, keep spreading the word. You’re, no doubt, a great writer. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Mike U. says:

        Thanks, Lamittan. This means a great deal to me, coming from someone as talented as you. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, ain’t that uplifting of you to say! I feel honoured. Many thanks and feel most welcome, dear Mike. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is wonderful bro!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m grateful you liked it bro! Many thanks to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And you too! 😊🀝

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ingrid says:

    This is great, Lamittan! Keep sharing your love and knowledge of English 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Ingrid. It’s indeed encouraging to hear you say so

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ingrid says:

    Do you know the phrase β€˜gilding the lily’? Same meaning as β€˜putting lipstick on a pig.’ Another nice one 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, that’s even a more beautiful way to put it, Ingrid. πŸ˜€ I… just… love it. I’m noting it down and will be using it in one of my writings. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Wonderful indeed!! 😊

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ingrid says:

        My pleasure! I have many more where that came from, but I was inspired by your post to share it 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow, it’s amazing that you actually keep a collection of them. They make writings captivating. I’m also glad that my piece inspired you to share. πŸ’–πŸŒ·

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jasperrr says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I’d sure add that to my armoury πŸ€—

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks to you, Jasper. It’s certainly motivating that you like this and consider it helpful. πŸ€—

      Like

  6. Great post, Lamittan. Thanks for sharing.πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Grace. I’m pleased you like it. πŸ’–πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure.πŸ’•

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Daphny Aqua says:

    Thank you so much Lam for this, its so much informative and I’ll be looking forward to it every week. πŸ™‚πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, I’m very pleased that you enjoyed this and will be keeping in touch, Daph. Thanks and be my guest, dear. πŸ™‚β€πŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Daphny Aqua says:

        Looking forward to it. 😊❀️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Great. πŸ’–πŸ’–β€

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Eva Hnizdo says:

    I like your blog, but there is a typo in the introduction . It says vocubulary instead of vocabulary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thanks for noting. Imma correct that straight away, dear. I’m glad you liked my writing. πŸ€—πŸ’–

      Like

  9. Wic says:

    Like you I love words and spend time playing with them. This was great and I shall watch out for the next instalment. Keep it up my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pleased you liked it, Wic my friend. Thanks for your encouragement.

      Like

  10. Gitau James says:

    As good as you are, knowledge and full of talents, my brother. Keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, bro. πŸ€—

      Like

  11. Great one Lamittan and love you and Ingrid teaching us some new ones to dabble in! Thanks or that! πŸ™πŸ‘πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh amazing!! I’m glad you love this. Many thanks to you, dear. πŸ€—πŸ’–

      Liked by 1 person

      1. happy to hear and look forward to more! πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you and welcome. πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

        Liked by 1 person

      3. πŸ’–πŸ’–

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for the mention of my short story! I’m so happy that you left a comment on my blog so I was able to discover yours. I’m a word lover also.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Janis, ain’t that heart-warming of you to note! That you so much, dear, and for your following too. I’m glad to connect with such a knowledgeable and talent mind like yours. πŸ‘πŸŒ·

      Like

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