I’m still worked up over all the talk last summer about SAT vocabulary.

I don’t want to say farewell to “arcane words” such as “compendious,” “membranous,” “mendacious,” “pugnacious,” “depreciatory,” “redolent,” “treacly” and “jettison” — in favor of more common words like “synthesis,” “distill” and “transform!”

Having just finished Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave by Adam Alter, I see more reason to protest getting rid of obscure words.

It’s much harder to convey what’s in front of you if you don’t have words to describe it.  Young children illustrate this difficulty vividly as they acquire vocabulary — once they learn to call one four-legged creature with a tail a “dog,” every four-legged creature with a tail is a dog.  Until they learn otherwise, cats and ponies share the same features, so they seem as doggish as real dogs.

Not to mention, there is a lot of fun to be had to be had with words. Lest you doubt, check out The YUNiversity and try not to crack a smile.

Incidentally, I loved Drunk Tank Pink. “At its heart, this book is designed to show that your mind is the collective end point of a billion tiny butterfly effects.”


And on another note, I’ve just discovered the wonders of Goodreads.  LOVE!  I could spend days in there, fleshing out my shelves and talking books with everyone. How fun is that?!  And while I’m still not 100% sure about the Goodreads etiquette (i.e. please excuse all newbie blunders) — I’m going put it out there: Let’s be friends!  Come find me: Goodreads/debbiestier

Oh. Wait. I just had a thought: I wonder if I can make a shelf out of all of the books that went into my own book…

You can read an excerpt from my  book, The Perfect Score Project: Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT by clicking here, and if you’re inclined to purchase the book, it’s available for pre-order now.


Illustrations by Jennifer Orkin Lewis.