Grammar Nerd Alert: My Favorite English Words

As some of you already know, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit of a grammar Nazi . . . er, nerd, that is.  If you’re ever driven down Leesville Rd with me in Raleigh, you’ll know that I can’t help but point out how irritating it is to me to see the sign for “Russling Leaf Lane.”  Every time I see it I want to scream “How could you not know that it’s supposed to be RUSTLING?!”  Ahhh!!  There’s also a new sign outside of the gas station near our house that says “closed for rennovations.”  Seriously, a double n at the beginning of the word?  I understand the occasional typo in an email or blog post, but it boggles my mind that something could make it to an actual road sign or official poster for a business without someone having noticed these errors.  Hello, spell-check exists for a reason, folks!


May I add another? You truly want to cry when you realize you’ve actually posted something with a typo or grammatical error in it.

All that being said, I’ll also be the first to admit that I say ain’t a little more than I really ought, but at least that’s kind of a real word . . . Anyway, today I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite English words.  Just to be clear, no, I am not one of those annoying people who intentionally tries to use “big” words to dazzle my listeners by making myself sound intelligent, but certain words have just become so commonplace to me that I sometimes forget not everyone reads as much as I do & doesn’t always know these words.  If you read a lot like I do, you too probably relish the joy of learning new words on a continual basis.  For my fellow grammar nerds, you might want to keep checking this post over the next week or two because I’m sure I’ll forget a few words & feel compelled to come back & add them.

grammar insult


  • Pernicious:  having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way
  • Proclivity: a tendency to choose or do something regularly; an inclination or predisposition toward a particular thing
  • Predilection (very similar to the previous word): a preference or special liking for something; a bias in favor of something
  • Atavistic: relating to or characterized by reversion to something ancient or ancestral
  • Germane: relevant to a subject under consideration
  • Allocate: distribute (resources or duties) for a particular purpose
  • Ostensible: stated or appearing to be true, but not necessarily so
  • Ostentatious: characterized by vulgar or pretentious display; designed to impress or attract notice
  • Conspicuous: standing out so as to be clearly visible
  • Ebullient: cheerful & full of energygrammar nerd signs
  • Egregious: outstandingly bad; shocking
  • Astute: having or showing an ability to accurately assess situations or people & turn this to one’s advantage
  • Sagacious (very similar to the previous word): having or showing keen mental discernment & good judgment; shrewd
  • Adroit: clever or skillful in using the hands or mind
  • Sporadic: occurring at irregular intervals or only in a few places; scattered or isolated
  • Acquiesce: accept something reluctantly but without protest
  • Intransigent: unwilling or refusing to change one’s views or to agree about something
  • Requisite: made necessary by particular circumstances or regulations
  • Sycophant: a person who acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage
  • Obstinate: stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do socommas
  • Deleterious: causing harm or damage
  • Derelict: in a very poor condition as a result of disuse & neglect
  • Disheveled: (of a person’s hair, clothes, or appearance) untidy; disordered
  • Dastardly: wicked & cruel
  • Impeccable: (of behavior, performance, or appearance) in accordance with the highest standards of propriety; faultless
  • Immaculate: especially of a person or their clothes) perfectly clean, neat, or tidy; free from flaws or mistakes; perfect
  • Pertinent: relevant or applicable to a particular matter; apposite
  • Singular: exceptionally good or great; remarkable
  • Indefatigable: (of a person or their efforts) persisting tirelessly
  • Opulent: ostentatiously rich & luxurious or lavishgrammar hideous
  • Grandiose: impressive or magnificent in appearance or style, especially pretentiously so
  • Pretentious: attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc, than is actually possessed
  • Genteel: polite, refined, or respectable, often in an affected or ostentatious way
  • Crux: the decisive or most important point at issue
  • Gingerly: in a careful or cautious manner
  • Incessant: (of something regarded as unpleasant) continuing without pause or interruption
  • Solicitous: characterized by or showing interest or concern
  • Calamitous: catastrophic; disastrous
  • Cacophony: a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds
  • Vicarious: experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person
  • Vivacious: attractively lively & animated

Just to be clear, I’m not one of those judgmental fools who holds everyone to as high of a standard as I hold myself.  For example, the pastor at my aunt’s funeral yesterday definitely didn’t have the best grammar.  He also had a pretty thick Southern/country accent.  Yet I found myself absolutely loving the way he talked.  The crux of the matter is I just can’t stand it when people use incorrect grammar in actual writing or publications.  That’s what is truly intolerable to me.  And yes, writing does include texting.  If you don’t want me to think (slightly) less of you, don’t text me using “u” or other such grammatical atrocities.  Also be sure to use actual punctuation, please.  Run on sentences with no commas or periods are truly painful.

Fellow grammar nerds, please feel free to comment with your own favorite words!grammar nerd mug

Alas, I am not so secretly scared that I’m going to discover a typo/grammatical error in this post!  Haha!!

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