How Big Is Your Diction?

This Week In Writing, we break out the thesaurus to compare diction size and explore the power of unique words.

How Big Is Your Diction?
Photo by Raimond Klavins / Unsplash

I had a friend in high school who loved telling people about the size of his diction. It was his favorite joke and probably tells you all about who I was in high school. Diction, in case you are wondering why any of this is funny, is the choice of words — or an old way of saying vocabulary.

If you use Grammarly, you likely get the weekly status report emails. Each week I’m floored by the number of unique words I use — last week, it was 7,216! I guess you can say I’m a fan of words.

My favorite word (thanks to my 10th grade English teacher) is tintinnabulation, the ringing or sounding of bells. While bells are nice, the word itself is magical. All those onomatopoeic syllables that mimic bells ringing. It’s a great word.

Today is National Thesaurus Day, so there’s no better time to celebrate the power of unique words. What is your favorite word, and where did you first learn it?

A version of this article also appeared on Medium.