Vaughan’s Vocabulary

I recently came upon “Why Improving Your Vocabulary Can Enhance Your Life.” The article pointed out that building a vocabulary can help you feel better about yourself because you will have a larger command of the language.

Vocabulary is crucial because it’s directly related to language. Moreover, a correlation has been shown between increasing vocabulary and a higher IQ.

The article stressed that possibly the best benefit is being able to communicate ideas in a much more effective manner.

I encourage you to add these five words to your vocabulary bank.

  1. candidness (can-did-NESS)
  2. the quality of being sweet
  3. gloomy, taciturn
  4. a dishabille appearance
  5. the quality of being straightforward and outspoken


  1. ennui (ohn-WEE)
  2. enthusiastic, excited
  3. a feeling of boredom
  4. lovely, delicate
  5. comfort


  1. affect [ah-FECT]
  2. to influence something or to have an impact on
  3. the result of an action
  4. to spread (to other people)
  5. None of the above


  1. coyness [KOI-ness]
  2. when one is marked by a cute, coquettish or artful playfulness
  3. showing a reluctance to reveal one’s plans or opinions, especially when insincere or affected
  4. showing a reluctance to commit
  5. All of the above


  1. rapport [rah-POUR]
  2. a close relationship of mutual understanding
  3. unpleasant news
  4. storminess
  5. practicality

No. 1 is D. I wish I had the quality of candidness; in meetings I tend not to comment.

Merriam-Webster defines ennui as “a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction.” The professor told the class, “There’s a wave of ennui in this classroom that you can almost cut with a knife.” No. 2 is B.

Sometimes there’s confusion about the difference between affect and effect. The Oxford Dictionary website encourages us to think of affect as a verb that means to influence or make a difference to.

Effect is chiefly used as a noun that means a result or influence, but it can also be used a verb meaning to bring something about as a result, in more formal contexts (Oxford Dictionary). Lengthy power outages on the night before final exams affect grades. A grade of A is the effect of studying the course’s material the night before.

No. 3 is A.

No. 4 is D.

No. 5 is A. For learning to take place, there must be a good rapport between the student and professor.

Editor’s Note: Don R. Vaughan, Ph.D., of Eupora is a speech and theatre professor at East Mississippi Community College. He is also pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in northeastern Choctaw County. Contact him at