New words are beautiful, but they fly like shooting stars through our minds and are soon lost in the night. We need connections. The stars we know are the ones in constellations, the stars that are part of a story.
A vocabulary check starts with the words you choose, standing on the ground of what you do know and looking farther out to what you can know, with a special emphasis on what you want to know. Thien Phu said, “people want to have but can’t” which is a great definition for a new word- jealous. It’s a word she wants to know and it is built on a definition and context that she has already given.
Jealous is one way to take “people want to have but can’t” and rewrite seven words as one. Sentences can be compressed down in the same way:
His name is Peter. He is from America. He teaches English. (11 words)
Peter is an American English teacher. (6 words)
Words are the fists we make when we flex our mental muscles.