Sunday, October 16, 2011

And the Word of the Day Is...

Recently, as some may have noticed, I have picked up the hobby of reading. I feel like it is something that will broaden my perspectives, improve my vocabulary and social skills, and thus, increase my "social currency" (ask Dustin). And I have downloaded a Kindle App that lets me get many of the books I want for free! Anyway, I am on to my third book since beginning my quest for intellectual enlightenment, The Art of War, by Sun Tzu. Just to show how awesome this new one is, I will explain one of the opening passages.

Sun Tzu, also known as Sun Wu, had just finished writing "The 13 Chapters", now called The Art of War, and the Emperor, Ho Lu, had read it and challenged Tzu on its contents. He asked if Tzu could prove its validity. Tzu replied in the affirmative. Ho Lo asked if it could be proven with women. Tzu again confirmed it to be so, and subsequently asked for 180 women and 2 of the emperor's finest concubines as the leaders. On first attempting to train them in the the courtyard for the emperor to observe, his first command, "Turn Right!" was met with laughter, to which he replied, "If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame." He drilled them again, and then this time said, "Left turn!" Still met with giggles. Tzu then said, "If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame. But if his orders ARE clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their officers." He immediately ordered the two concubine leaders beheaded, selected two new leaders, gave the orders, and was obeyed. He was made general of the army.

I digress. Anyway, to make sure I AM improving my vocabulary skills, I have been trying out new words that I read in these books. Maybe some of you would like to try them out as well:

Laconic-using few words; expressing much in few words; concise: (Think Mr. Darcy)
Terse- neatly or effectively concise; brief and pithy, as language (similar to laconic)
Prudent- wise or judicious in practical affairs; sagacious; discreet or circumspect; sober (NOT Mrs. Bennet)
Obsequious-characterized by or showing servile complaisance or deference; fawning: (Think Mr. Collins)

Have fun with these new words. By the way, I've wanted to use all four of these words, but really have only had he chance to use Laconic and Prudent. That's all or today!

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