Word of the Day July 29, 2008

As a speaker, it is advisable to increase your vocabulary. Is it so you can sound more educated and intelligent than your audience?

Absolutely not!

However, when you are trying to convey an idea, persuade to your side, or touch someone’s heart… it helps to choose the right words and not use too many. The best way to do that is to have an abundance of words to choose from.

Now, let me say this… There are a large number of websites that will give you a word of the day. You will not have to submit yourself to that here, every day. I am not interested in bombarding you with a new word every day.

If you have ever subscribed to a word-a-day site, you may have felt the same way I did. I was excited the first week, tolerant the next three, and annoyed for the rest… until I canceled my subscription.

So instead, you will see from time to time, a word that may be of interest to you. At the least, it will be of interest to me and I will tell you why.

So what is today’s word?

\im-pih-KYOO-nee-uss\ adjective
: having very little or no money usually habitually 
: penniless

Want to know what struck me as interesting about this word? It means not having money, but not in a desperate manner such as the word “destitute”. You may also like this, I did. If you click on the link above, you will be taken to Merrian-Webster, where I found the word. They follow up with trivia.

Someone asked, “If you take off the ‘im-’, does it mean the opposite? Does pecunious mean wealthy?”

Merriam-Webster says “not precisely”, but it can be used to describe someone who has a lot of money. More specifically, it means “miserly or ungenerous”.

Do you find words interesting? I do. I believe I do because my parents were born in a Spanish-speaking country. I have always been aware of words and their usage in comparison to their literal translations.

For example, Spanish speakers can say “I love you” in two ways. “Te quiero” or “Te amo”. Some countries use one, some use the other, and some use both with different usage. Literally, quiero mean “want” and amo means “love”. You can see how interchanging those words can have two distinct meanings.

Do you carefully choose your words for precision?

Copyright 2008 Michael Cortes

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