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Easy Words for Everyday Conversation To Make You Sound Smarter

Updated on November 22, 2014

So let's begin...

What's good about these words, contrary to a word a day calendar is that these hold some actually relevancy to everyday conversations thus allowing them to be used more often and memorized more completely. And I'll try to include some mnemonic devices where I'm able to help you match word with meaning.

Of course the best way to really master the use of more precise and variegated language is through large quantities of reading, the older the work the better, but since time is a hard commodity to come by here's a few polysyllabic gems that it won't take a copious amount of time to learn.

I feel an obligatory duty to caution against the overuse of any particular word, (you'll just begin to sound like some kind of pretentious pseudo-intellectual. So I like to regard a list like the one to follow as a set of linguistic magic tricks, good for occasionally impressing your friends, slightly elevating the impression you make in a job interview, and such. Enjoy.

Craven-Essentially an exact synonym of cowardly. So easy to fit into any number of work, political, or personal conversations. As in...

They found congresses unwillingness to vote on the bill on the house floor to be craven and irresponsible. Or...

She shows just how craven she really is every time she talks behind someone's back at the office.

Recalcitrant-This really just means very stubborn and unwilling to yield to authority. It has the same root as calcium so think hard and unyielding. So...

My recalcitrant teenager was sent to the Principal's office again today. Or...

Egyptians have every right to be recalcitrant toward their government given it's history of tyrants and despots.

Dichotomy- This is when a choice is overly simplified into two opposite and possibly mutually exclusive absolutes at the ends of a continuum. Such as...

If you want to argue that President Obama is both weak and enabling our enemies or that he is a tyrant and a dictator you're presenting a false dichotomy. Or...

I started off as a Biochemistry major but switched to Philosophy (true by the way) so I moved from one end of the Academic dichotomy to the other.

Nebulous- This refers to vagueness and ambiguity. The word itself is reminiscent of clouds and clouds obscure. So...

Whenever someone tells me they're spiritual I don't really know what they mean because it's such a nebulous word. Or...

He was so nervous during his speech that his ideas came across to the audience as nebulous at best.

Egress- It means either to physically exit or a place by which one could exit. For example...

I know there's still ten minutes left of the meeting but I need to be somewhere, pardon my egress.

He made me so nervous I found myself looking around the room for the closest means of egress.

Mercurial- This basically just mean unpredictable and extremely varied. Like mercury in a thermometer. So try...

He was always such a guy but since he lost his job his mood has become so mercurial.

The temperature this fall has been so mercurial; hot one day, cold the next.

Numinous- This describes situations that are transcendent or awe-inspiring. For instance...

I'm not so much religious but I am very interested in numinous experiences that make me feel like I'm a part of something much larger than my self. Or...

Pictures from the Hubble space telescope always fill me with a sense of the numinous.

Anachronistic- A synonym for antiquated; basically old fashion or misplaced in time. Such as...

The right wing's anachronistic ideas threaten to transport us back to the dark ages. Or...

You don't have an E-mail account? How anachronistic.

Perfunctory- Done simply out of necessity or ceremony without any true conviction or desired outcome. This word basically breaks down to ",for", "function." Try Something like...

The political candidate did all the perfunctory baby kissing and hand-shaking but still lost the election. Or perhaps...

The whole family got together for Thanksgiving and tried to engage in some perfunctory niceties.

Fiat- A random or poorly thought out command that must be obeyed. As in...

Kim Jong-il rules North Korea by fiat. Or...

our department is working late tonight thanks to an upper management fiat.

Hope you find some enjoyment employing some or any of these words in your daily routine. If this hub gets at least a modest amount a views I'll write another with some words of similar obscurity and utility.


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