I find it interesting to think about vocabulary and word usage. It has been a long time since I was studying such a topic and so my technical understanding of words, origins and meanings is not nearly as good as it should be. But I do pride myself on being able to use words that are not of the typical words that we use just about every day. And while there are varying sources of linguistic data on words and usage I offer that the typical person uses 2,000 words in a day and has some sense or understanding of between 20-100,000 words. And for the trivia-buff readers there are about 500,000 words in the English language.
And so you might be wondering what led to this blog post. First, I do try to vary the themes and a Learning blog was overdue. Second, I heard someone use the word “gumption” today and then they defined it. I was left thinking, I sort of knew what it meant but not exactly and for the life of me I could not remember the last time I heard it used or even why I would have any recollection of such (to me) an esoteric (note the use of a less common word) word. For the record “gumption” is defined as “the strong will and determination to do something”. I like it as it has a THPL essence to it and it is a word that would do well to get back into regular use. Seems only appropriate, then, if we are to build a THPL community that we look for people with gumption.
So here is the challenge. Starting today, actively look for an opportunity to use the word gumption. See what kind of reaction you get. Do you think others will ask you for the meaning of the word? Or will they just let it go? Since it is a “good” word see if you can make it part of your active vocabulary. Think of it as gumption “unleashed”. There are few words that reflect better what we want in others and ourselves as we pursue THPL. So, go for it, have fun and then find another word to do the same with and then do it again and again and before long you will be the king of gumption.
Loving life and feeling it because I hear people have a habit of saying “ he has gumption”