I love my Word A Day calendar. You rip off a page every day & get a new word — they’re not often new to me, but my vocabulary has definitely improved since I got into this habit. What I do is recycle pages of words I already use regularly AND words that I don’t think I’ll ever use or are too silly or specialized.
The others I leave in a stack on my desk and whenever I’m waiting – for a download, an upload, or for a game to load – I read them over & write sentences using them in my head.
Here’s some recent favorites:
- blandish – to coax with flattery
- abusage – improper use of words
- tyro – novice
- henotheism – worship of one god without disbelief in others
- deliquesce – to become fluid or soft with aging, as in mushrooms
An undgrad and gender studies tyro’s abusage was an attempt to blandish me into giving him a perfect grade on his paper, but instead I corrected him by explaining it’s nauseated, not nauseous.
(10 points to anyone who can use henotheism and deliquesce in one sentence that actually makes sense!)