Reading Romance for a Vocabulous You! and a Giveaway
Thank you so much to Casey for having me back on her blog and for the opportunity to talk about something that you rarely (if ever) hear about in romance discussions: vocabulary.
I’m a college English professor and nonfiction author in my “real” life. Soon, I hope to finally finish one of my many fiction projects and finally branch out to be a romantic suspense/paranormal romance author. In the meantime, I read a lot – if you couldn’t tell from the title of this post.
However, to the chagrin of my many colleagues (should they ever inquire about my reading habits), I am an avid consumer of paranormal and romantic fiction. I go through novels and novellas like I go through laundry. Though such books are not considered literary by academic standards, I think they are excellent resources for building vocabulary.
For example, I am listening to Karen Marie Moning’s The Immortal Highlander right now in my car. In the 30 minute drive from school to my house this afternoon, I heard the following vocabulary words: vainglorious, diminutive, aquiline, brazen, omnipotent and opulent.
The context in which these words were used makes it easy for the reader/listener to figure out their meanings. And because you now have an association between the word and a subject, scene, person or circumstance that is of interest to you, the likelihood of actually acquiring and retaining that knowledge is all the greater.
I go through this experience with every book that I read and listen to, and I have to say that my vocabulary has significantly improved over past six years of my reading addiction – in ways I neither expected nor even realized in some cases. In fact, I’ve found this technique so effective not only for myself but for my students as well, that I’ve written an interactive e-book to help people find the connections they need to grow their personal lexicons in ways that make sense to them.
Vocabulous You!: An Interactive Guide to Building Vocabulary for Standardized Tests, College, On the Job and Everyday Life is designed to empower high school and college students, professionals, parents – basically anyone who is looking to boost their verbal abilities for any reason – to figure out how they learn best and turn to sources that they like and understand to achieve their goals.
Try it out for yourself. The next time you pick up a romance novel and lose yourself in the world the author is so wonderfully creating with her words, take notice of those words you may not recognize or easily define in your head. Pause a moment to look at how the author uses it, the circumstances of the scene and sentence, the characters involved. Then, when you have time, go look up the word and see what it means. And after all is said and done, just see if you don’t use that word in conversation or immediately think of its meaning when you hear it in the future.
To get you in the right mindset, I’m giving away 2 copies of Vocabulous You! to 2 commenters who share what their favorite romance books are because of the language the author uses to weave her tales. Winners will be chosen on Leap Day, 2/29.