Have you ever stopped to reflect on how you’ve learned words? Certainly, a lot of our knowledge is from our parents and from school, but what about those words that we learned on our own, by reading in context and things like this?
Do we *really* know what they mean? Precisely?
Maybe not. I know there are quite a few words that I only know the meaning of in a general sense. There are probably a lot of words that I’ve only read and never heard, so I’m not certain of the correct way to pronounce them.
Like “banal”. I always thought the emphasis was on the first syllable, which had a long A sound. But, I have heard many people on the radio pronounce it with a short A, and emphasis on the second syllable. And what exactly does it mean?
Merriam-Webster says it means, “lacking originality, freshness,” where I always thought it meant something like, “boring” or “meaningless”.
Maybe I should work harder to look up these words I don’t really know. Instead of tending to skip past them and remaining ignorant. 🙂
Here’s another one: Ineffable = “incapable of being expressed in words; unspeakable; not to be uttered”
Perhaps some day, I’ll master the English language…. Some day a long time from now…. 🙂