The book "Word Power Made Easy" by Norman Lewis
arrived on Dec 14, 2017 and it took me more than
two weeks to finish.
I liked it right away. For one thing, I scored
high in its pretest and my vocabulary level was
ranked the highest "superior." Vanity aside, it
was a rare kind of word book that once starting to
read I did not want to put down.
It blends in the Greek and Latin roots engagingly
when explaining the composite English words. For
example, it tells the classification story of
firebugs. The three words pyromaniac, incendiary,
and arsonist designate the culprit based on the
motivation for starting the fire, i.e., for the
thrill, revenge, or money.
This made me think that since the law has only
arson for the third type, the other two might have
to go into other criminal groups, e.g., damage
of property, manslaughter, murder, etc.
The riveting style makes new words such as
callipygian, chiromancy, and misandrist instantly
memorable and I will never look at simple words
such as atom, George, love, and disaster the same
way again. How wonderful!?
The following epitomizes the author's opinion on
the importance of vocabulary:
Your vocabulary indicates your alertness and
the range of your mind. The words you know
show the extent of your understanding of
what's going on in the world. The size of your
vocabulary varies directly with the degree to
which you are growing intellectually.
and expresses something I have always believed in
but couldn't articulate.
I like the author's analogy in acquiring words:
When a pregnant woman takes calcium pills, she
must make sure also that her diet is rich of
vitamin D. Since this vitamin makes the
absorption of calcium possible.
Collecting words from books like this one is
necessary but not enough. We also have to take the
"vitamin" through wide reading.
Toward the end, however, I realized as good as it
is to learn the big key words, i.e., those created
from Greek or Latin roots, it is critical for me
to master the shorter words employed in explaining
the big ones. I will elaborate on that point in
In summary, this has been a fantastic read. I have
enjoyed both the words and the writing. It has
been thought-provoking, too. Thank You!