I did read a lot, but it wasn’t to improve my vocabulary: I loved stories, and still do. Yet, it is also true that as a result, my vocabulary grew and is now quite large. The problem, I have found, is that though I may know what a whole lot of words mean, and even use those words appropriately in sentences, I have no idea how they are pronounced.
Take perspicacious—a word that is used to great effect in Goliath by Scott Westerfeld. It’s one of these wonderful words with two internal alliterations, one hard and one soft, and all those beautiful vowels. It so enchanted me, I decided I had to make it part of my day-to-day vocabulary.
So, when beloved said something particularly clever I told her, “That’s so pers... perspee... perspick... perspuh...”
Fortunately, she had read the book, too. “Thanks,” she said.
Flustered, I asked, “How do you pronounce the word?”
“Hm. Pares... purse... ”