January 24, 2009

Using Words Well

Tonight I was listening to Robert Reich on KQED and was delighted to hear him use the phrase "...nascent, inchoate administration..." to describe the Obama administration. What a wonderful and complex vocabulary he has to use such words in his spontaneous discussions. These are words that are so rarely found in written form - to hear them in the spoken form is a real surprise and pleasure.

I love words and these are both enchantingly evocative. I remember when I first encountered the word "Inchoate" because it was used in such a interesting passage that I was compelled to go look up the meaning. I also know that although I find these words so pleasurable, they are not ones I would think of using while speaking. As our spoken vocabulary is smaller than our written vocabulary and our written vocabulary is smaller than our reading vocabulary, I wondered what is the extent of Robert Reich's vocabulary? I bet he knows a lot of really good words.

Posted by Mary at January 24, 2009 12:17 AM | The Arts | Technorati links |

Likely our reading vocabulary is the largest. You can tell a reader by the occasional mispronunciation of an unusual word or two.

Posted by: Scorpio at January 24, 2009 08:51 AM