Of all the things I read on a daily basis, one particular theme recurs -- many students wish to increase their vocabulary. After much deliberation on my part, I've decided to use my blog for teaching moments. In order for me to do this, though, I have to reverse something I've always embraced during class times. Yes, I still want you to use Plain English when you write. Yes, I want your writing to be clear, concise, and coherent. Yes, I want you to have perfect grammar. Those things will never change. What will be different is this. If you find a way to incorporate new words you learn, whether from this blog or somewhere in your travels, I say just do it (actually Nike says that, but I'm borrowing here and giving the illustrious corporation its props)! Impress your friends, family, professors, and foes! Twitter it, Facebook status it, YouTube a video about it.
Let's utilize the traffic light analogy. If you think a word is not an appropriate choice, i.e. one that just does not fit the theme or appears odd in the sentence, slam on the brakes for the red light. Proceed with caution through the yellow light (or perhaps speed up to get through it) if the word has the power to perhaps excite your reader. And, of course, if the word is spot-on perfect, give it some gas and go.