Word of the Week Wednesday: homely

This Wednesday”s Word of the Week is: homely.

As a counterpoint to last weeks word, lovely, I’ve decided to explore an antonym.

Homely is an interesting word because can mean drastically different things depending on which side of the pond you’re on.

At base, homely means unadorned or plain.

Here in the U.S., it tends to mean lacking in beauty, just this side of ugly.

In the U.K., however, it tends to have a more pleasant connotation.  There, it tends to mean unpretentious or domestic, akin to homey in the U.S.




Word of the Week Wednesday: lovely

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: lovely.

For a change this week’s word is not a rare one.

In fact, I use this word in conversation all the time.  Lovely is more subdued than beautiful or gorgeous.  However, I find it to be much more meaningful.

More than just attractive, lovely talks of something pleasant and pleasing and often has nothing to do with looks.

You can have a lovely spring day (which is what today felt like), a lovely evening with friends or a lovely dinner.

The difference is that lovely refers to appealing not just to the eyes, but to the heart.  It’s the quality that makes you feel good.

And that’s lovely.



Word of the Week Wednesday: peroration

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: peroration.

Peroration is either a long, lofty speech, maybe even pompous.  It can also refer to the end of a speech where the speaker restates the points of the speech, often driving home the main points with vehemence.

This word appeals to me as a Toastmaster in both senses.  I strive to give powerful (hopefully not pompous) speeches and try to close my speeches by reminding the audience of the main points and reinforcing them.

The word comes from the Latin with the per prefix meaning thoroughly which fits because to speak forcefully is to speak thoroughly and the ending of a speech is when you are thoroughly done.


Special Occasion Speeches: Mastering the Toast

Having just completed my first Advanced Communication Manual, Special Occasion Speeches, it’s time to begin my Special Occasion Speeches series of posts.

This series will follow the format of my Competent Communicator posts: I will describe the criteria for each project and then discuss the speech I delivered for the project.

I will admit, I chose this manual because the required time for the speeches is generally less than the standard 5-7 minutes for most other speeches.  Nevertheless, short does not equate to less challenging.

The first project in this manual is: Mastering the Toast.

The goal is to deliver a 2-3 minute toast (the same length as a speech evaluation).

My toast was for the occasion of our club’s End-of-Year Celebration.  I congratulated our club for having earned Select Distinguished Club status in only our second year.

I took the opportunity to thank our outgoing club officers for their good work in the past year and wished our new officers luck in the upcoming year while pledging my continued support .

It was a short speech but I feel that it caught the essence of a good toast: it was both congratulatory and encouraging.

Word of the Week Wednesday: neoterism

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: neoterism.

A neoterism is an innovation in language such as a new word or expression.

It can be a synonym for neologism, but has a broader meaning,

I like the concept behind this word.  I’m all for innovation and, as you know, I love language.

That said, being new doesn’t guarantee being good.  There’s an equal chance of a new word or expression turning out stupid or insipid as brilliant.



Word of the Week Wednesday: scupper

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: scupper.

Scupper is a verb, used informally to prevent from happening or to wreck or ruin.

It’s also a noun for a drainage hole in a ship or the side of a building.

If the two meanings are related, I can’t find any evidence of it, nor can I find any similarity of meaning that would explain it.

Here’s an article explaining the verb meaning: The English Blog: Words in the News: Scupper

Not surprisingly, the verb usage is chiefly British, which probably goes a long way to explaining why I find it charming.



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