me talk pretty one day

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

i need new words.

$5 words.

words that when they come out of my mouth sound like butter.

i want a vocabulary that competes with a harvard scholar, a fortune 500 CEO, or that of a harlequin romance novelist.

i want to be eloquent.

hell, i want to know how to spell eloquent without needing spell check.

i feel like i use the same adjectives, verbs, and nouns over and over and over again.

perhaps i need a thesaurus embedded in my tongue - is there an app for that?

to back this whole quest for word upgrades up, it started while attempting to write a post for my company's blog chat::ter - "be smart" i repeated in my head, "don't use the word 'awesome' for the hundredth time", "think like the marketing genius that you are, alexa", "don't forget to capitalize, silly", were my mantras.

to the thesaurus i went, looking for new words to pepper into my post, but could i use these aforementioned words without losing my voice?

we'll see.

i think i brought the "professional alexa" out, which i've come to realize isn't a whole lot different than the "social alexa"... perhaps that's part of my charm.

regardless, i'm going to try to make an effort to quench my insatiable thirst for an eloquent vocabulary - (see what i did there?)

any recommendations?


  1. I have to write the posts for my company's blog as well and I go through the same thing. My suggestion-read more. The more blogs, books and magazines I read, the more writing styles I see. It might sound crazy, but it helps me!

  2. It's kind of a catch-22. On one hand you don't want to lose sense of who you are by using 'big words'. On the other hand there is nothing wrong with continually educating yourself.

    In any event, please don't make your blog so difficult to read I'll need a dictionary and/or thesaurus.

  3. Reading. I learn a new word from almost every book I read.

  4. i'm sure there's an app for that.

  5. Let me send you Matt. He's a walking a thesaurus and dictionary. I wish I were kidding.

    I'd go with what Lexa said: reading. Somehow, some words tend to stick in your head and then you start using them.

    Also, there, um is an app for this. I only know because I downloaded the dictionary app (which has synonyms and antonyms for each word) on my phone. :D

  6. Ditto to the reading -- find someone whose vocabulary you want to emulate and read their work. If you absorb new words and phrases over time, you won't lose your own voice, you'll enhance it.

  7. This may or may not help you in your quest, but my 'smart-people' words come out when I'm drinking. In college, it was coined Alana's Drunktionary.

  8. I spend most of my time editing words out of my writing. I had a college paper marked down as "garrulous".

    Synonyms are good but unnecessary adjectives are not. For instance you can't quench an insatiatble thirst and a vocabulary isn't be eloquent, rather a speaker is. Adjectives will get you in trouble.

  9. You've just got to stick to who you are, find your tone. If you write like you talk and how you think, instead of worrying so much about the mechanics, people will read it and relate to it.

    There's no one way to write. You're allowed to sound however you want to sound. Read, read, read and you'll see others exploring the same issue, I'm sure.

    Ps. Can I just say that the title is what hooked me to read this? Love it.

  10. I TOTALLY agree with kaleighsomers. "You're allowed to sounds however you want to sound," is the exact way I feel.

    More importantly, who are you trying to impress!?! So you wanna be fancy, huh?

    Let's set up a "Fancy Friday" date at Johnny's on Fulton followed by a stop at VTR. We will only discuss topics such as 18th century literature, the rise of democracy and the theory of relativity.

  11. Before seeking to change the vocabulary, you need to explore WHY you want to. Who, if anyone, are you looking to impress?

    Trust me--Having a vast and expansive vocabulary is not a ticket to instant anything, unless you count "instant jackass" categorization by people who are either jealous because or feel insulted that you use words they don't know. In fact, it would be far more useful to have a low rent lexicon that needed to get dolled up every now and then than a word list that makes Ira Glass jealous that needs to get dumbed down on a continual and ongoing basis.

    If you're still interested in turning up the vocab to eleven, tune into WCPN. Steve Inskeep and Renee Montaigne are far better word slingers than Rover or Lannigan, though you will not hear many fart jokes on NPR. Next, tune the podcast downloader into Grammar Girl and anything she points you towards. Word nerds worldwide dig her. Finally, start subscribing to various and sundry "word of the day" emails and feeds. You'll get heaps and heaps of new words to incorporate into your everyday vocabulary.

  12. Half Priced Books. I remember seeing a book there called "L is for Lollygag" that was all about unique and seldom used words. if you wander into the writing/literary criticism section (I think that's what they call it) they usually have cool books with writing tips and stuff that you might find interesting if you're trying to expand your vocabulary and writing style.

  13. Big words are overrated, HOWVER, I have been using the term "disenfranchised" a lot the last 2 weeks. Friend count? 0.

  14. if not there needs to be an app for this, i feel like i say 'nice' and 'so awesome' and 'lovely' ALL THE TIME.

    smart alexa share your knowledge with smart katelin please.

  15. I love this post because sometimes I find myself writing on my blog or emailing some one at work and then I read my writing out loud and think... really I'm college educated?!? Regardless I love your witty way with words:)! Good luck!

  16. I agree with lemmonex--read!

    But don't change too much, because I sort of adore how you write.

  17. I feel the same way... that I write and speak using the same words over and over again. If you figure out a solution, keep me posted!

  18. I am always looking at a thesaurus! And I also subscribe to's word of the day email. I don't read it all the time but every once in a while I come across a new word.


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