Joshua Henkin on vocabulary

26 Aug

A nice piece in The New York Times by novelist Joshua Henkin on the importance of vocabulary. He says this about learning vocabulary words in a Kaplan review course:

“One day, Stanley Kaplan himself visited our class. I recall him as a kind of impresario, a Jackie Gleason-type figure who warmed the class up with a few jokes. And then he was gone, leaving me to my vocabulary words, which I kept on flash cards and which I would hum as I memorized them. It was the words themselves I was humming. It’s the same thing I do now when I write, a drone so reflexive I don’t even realize I’m doing it until my wife, who shares an office with me, says, “You’re humming again,” and I try to quiet down.”

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