Thursday, July 31, 2014

Vocabulary Expansion Words: New Edition of “Words of the Month”

The latest edition of Words of the Month,” my free vocabulary enrichment feature, has been online since this past Monday. The six featured words, all of which lie within the conversational vocabulary of America’s most articulate (as is the case with all of the words featured in my book, The Articulate Professional-3rd Edition”):

1. hydra-headed
2. perspicacity
3. quietude
4. derring-do
5. handmaiden
6. electric

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Highly Acclaimed Kenneth Branagh on “Why Shakespeare?” – “His Words Trigger Explosions in the Human Imagination…”

Earlier this summer, in coordination with the opening of his “Macbeth” in New York, Kenneth Branagh appeared on “Charlie Rose.” During the interview, the host put his customary question “Why Shakespeare?” to Branagh – a question which Charlie Rose has asked of every previous Shakespeare-related guest. Result, a most thoughtful and graphic response:

“He consistently entertains, by which I mean he stimulates, and provokes, and makes us laugh and cry, and goes beyond words. There is an atmosphere in the play that is evoked and conjured in the presence of the words which are, after all, only words on a page--that’s all they are--but they trigger these explosions in the human imagination and in the human spirit…”

I can’t recall any previous guest on “Charlie Rose” giving such an analytical and vivid explanation of what makes Shakespeare’s plays so unique and rewarding.

© Copyright 2014  V. J. Singal

Visual, Evocative Expression to Emphasize Something: Gov. Jerry Brown Analogizes Today’s California to the 1848 Gold Rush

I’m thrilled to share with you an extraordinarily brilliant analogy used by Gov. Jerry Brown to praise his beloved California during a BBC interview earlier this month (July 1). His metaphorical language, no doubt in reference to brainy Silicon Valley, was so striking, and so original, that my jaw dropped in wonderment; for several seconds after the interview was over, I sat motionless, staring at the TV screen in stupefaction. Here’s what he said and the context.

BBC interviewer: “He (Gov. Brown) supports gay marriage but has vetoed gun control. He is an environmentalist but supports fracking.  What kind of a Democrat are you?”

Brown: “I’m a thinking Democrat, and an independent. California itself is full of opportunities and, one might say, even contradictions. So, to govern that and to lead that takes a certain empathy for different points of view.

“This is the place of the original gold rush back in 1848, and it’s essentially never stopped!  Only now, instead of taking gold out of the ground, we are taking great ideas out of the minds of some of the most brilliant people in the world. That is California!”  

© Copyright 2014  V. J. Singal