I working on a serious edit of my first chapter today. It's been through several light revisions already, but I'm reading Noah Lukeman's The First Five Pages (a great book so far) and he's got some helpful exercises that I'm using to tighten up my writing. Adjectives and adverbs are the topic. So I'm vigorously hacking them out of my chapter (and putting them into my witty, charming, captivating blog here).
One of Lukeman's suggestions for making better use of words is to learn several new words a day. Right. I have so much extra time for doing that. Seriously though? I have no excuse. I've got "word of the day" on my Google home page, which puts up a new word, with definition, every day. And each word stays for three days. I'm thinking by the end of three days I should know the word before it disappears. I had been reading through a dictionary to try and find new words. Blah! It's pretty dull. You have to scan through tons of scientific terms and words you'll never use to find one new (and interesting) word. After a couple of days of trying that I gave up. "Word of the day" is a better option.
Here's a word for you today: quotidian. It's been my favorite new word for the past year or so. I first saw it in one of Lauren Winner's books. It basically means daily. And that's about the sum of most of what I do. Life as a mom is a quotidian existence. Same thing, over and over. Laundry, cleaning, cooking. Thankfully as my kids get older I'm starting to break free of that feeling, but when I first saw that word it held all the meaning of my diapering, face-wiping, feeding, and child-bathing lifestyle.
Try using the word quotidian in a sentence today (how hard can it be? Think of something routine in your life and attach the word quotidian to it). You'll make people pause in conversation as they wonder what that word you just used means. It sounds so brainy and lyrical too.