I honestly can’t remember my ever once having used a word whose meaning I didn’t know. My problem is often with pronunciation. I’ve been known to mispronounce everything from nomenclature to Manichean. It appears that my track record has always been quite good with the spoken and written word. As far as I can tell, I can attribute that to the simple fact that I don’t ever presume to take any unnecessarily brave risks with language. I always take great care first to see to it that I find out exactly what a word means and only then do I use it. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been determined to be as articulate as possible. That’s why I always try to master a word quite thoroughly before I try it on other people. Most certainly even I must have made the occasional small error or two over the precise distinction between things like knockwurst and bratwurst, or something equivalent, but that’s about all. When we were kids in our teens my cousin Gary kept reminding me that the word “laminated” meant “covered with plastic”. It turned out that he was right but I could never be quite sure he wasn’t trying perhaps to pull a fast one on me. Life in the early twenty first century is filled with new words, some not even good enough to be worth bothering with, for me to have to get to know. We now live in the land of bling, wii and wi fi. I try to avoid bothering with those kinds of things. Unfortunately though we’re stuck with them. I shall take my time attempting to figure them out.