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I was always very proud of my vocabulary, and I learned much of it from reading books. If I found a word I didn't know, I either learned from the context, or looked it up in the dictionary. Not difficult, especially when the spelling is GIVEN to you. I always considered it valuable to learn.
I don't even remember what word I was looking to spell when I found the word 'percipaciousness'. It's so rare, I don't have it in my current dictionaries. I had to google it.
It was for the character of Dr. Stuart Thompson. I think I may have been looking for the word 'persnickety', or something relatively similar. The recent search for this word is close to what I read that day: Having or showing an ability to notice and understand things that are difficult or not obvious notice and understand things that are difficult or not obvious.
The original meaning, in a different dictionary said something more like: The uncanny ability to predict the outcome based on extensive knowledge and/or a 'hunch'. This is closer to the one I had, but I digress.
My point is: I learned much of my vocabulary as a reader, even more as a writer, and I know I'm not the only one. I personally believe a writer has a responsibility to write BETTER words, and therefore build the vocabularies of any one who reads us.
Give the reader some credit. Just the fact that they enjoy reading is a good enough reason to indulge their delight for new things they might just find useful. If you are a reader or a writer, chances are you'd love a new word.
I had a school friend who liked to argue.(Hi Garth) He was MUCH smarter than me, as in Valedictorian smarter. He and I used to get into word wars. He called me out over the word 'notorious'. (I was a Duranie at the time, and that was the name of their current album. I referred to MYSELF as 'notorious' and he corrected me. "In order to be 'notorious' you must be KNOWN for doing something evil." He actually gave me a backhanded compliment with that. I guess he figured even beating people with my drumsticks didn't make me terrible, but it resulted in a war of words until a teacher made us use our vast vocabularies to compliment each other.
I told him he was axiomatic...It means 'Proven existed.' or 'self-evident'. I don't remember what his actual response was, only that he was shouting again!
I saw him just a couple weekends ago. Our conversation must have sounded infinitely incomprehensible.
I really like big words, and I'd like to think I use them well. Too bad I'm not smart enough to get this blue highlighter crap off my blog.