Vocabulary Art


When you paint a picture, you want people to look at it. When you speak, you want people to listen. Assuming they understand you, why do they listen? Think of your speaking skill as a blank canvas. You want to fill that canvas with creative and interesting speech.

"It is bookended by two mammoth works featuring a camouflage pattern - an apt motif for an artist who cultivated a facade of blank neutrality, parrying probing questions about his art and inspiration with gnomic sound bites."

- Brenda Cronin, WSJ, "Warhol Takes New York, Again," 26 Oct. 2018

WHAT?  HUH?  What did she say?

Exactly.....that is what many English speakers would say! Honestly, the above quote is a beautifully written sentence which denotes creativity in writing. If this sentence were a painting, it would be very colorful, intense and harmonious.

Interestingly enough, the quote is about an exhibit of paintings by Andy Warhol.

I am the first to complain about the challenges and sometimes grammatical lunacy of the English language but if you are writing, there cannot be another language which offers the incredible diversity within its vocabulary (lexicon). 

Your vocabulary is your paintbrush, your intonation is the color palette, and the story is your medium for creating something fascinating.

When speaking English we follow my K.I.S.S. rule - Keep It Short & Simple but when you are an advanced speaker of English, it is time to add in pithy statements, flowery adjectives and captivating phrases to entertain and enthral your audience / listener.

Whether you are entertaining your friends with a story about your recent vacation or you are making a sales pitch to an important client, what you say and how you say it, will leave a lasting impression. 

Study and learn new vocabulary to help tell a better story. Be better at your job. Communicate your ideas and opinions in an effective and creative way. 

Let's do some quick vocabulary checks:  

Bookended (verb) Think of the noun 'bookend(s)'

So to bookend something is to position something at the end or on either side of something else. "He bookended his presentation with some powerful video examples of his company's cutting edge technology."

Mammoth (adjective) Huge, really really big!

Apt (adj) 1. Suitable or appropriate; 2. Inclined, to have a tendency to do something

Motif (noun) a decorative design and usually repeating to form a pattern, a recurring idea in a work of art.

Façade (n) 1. The outside front of a building. 2. A deceptive appearance, a pretence, a sham, an illusion of.

Parrying (v) to answer ( a question) evasively, to sidestep, avoid, circumvent

Gnomic (adj) an observation or sentiment that is concise and expressed in a clever saying. Similar to a proverb. Ex: "If it isn't broken, don't fix it."

Sound bite (n) a short, catchy (interesting) snippet of a speech or recording. Summarizing an opinion or to make a point in a broadcast.

Pithy (adj) a comment said in a very expressive and concise or compact way, condensed, to the point.

Flowery (adj) of speaking or writing: full of elaborate and literary words and phrases, flamboyant or fancy words.

Captivating (adj) able to capture and hold your interest, charming. "a captivating smile"

If you would like some Vocabulary Art lessons, please contact me at junesales@gmail.com or read more about my English lessons on this website. OleAcademy-OnlineEnglish.com

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