Our club meets

Every Wednesday evening except holidays and summer.

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Kings Way Care Centre, 8 Squire Drive in Quispamsis, NB (it's the seniors home on the Gondola Point Arterial) - in the Boardroom.

We'd love to meet you.

There are no meetings on storm days.

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From "Village Acadien" to X-Files to the Word-of-the-Day

by Dan Martell

Having grown up in a French Acadian village, most people might say I’m lucky to be able to understand two languages. However, English was my first language, and the French, well... it was very “guttered” with some slang, English and “Frenglish.” By that, I mean words that are neither French nor English, but rather a combination of the two, usually an English verb conjugated in French, e.g. drivé la car.

Since all my friends were French, my English never really had the opportunity to flourish. Because I was very self-conscious of my English accent (and very shy), I usually avoided speaking French. So although I consider myself bilingual, I often struggle to express my thoughts with the right words and have not mastered either language. It is either that - or the language, “artsy-fartsy” part of my brain is partially dormant or still developing. Who knows! All I know is that one of the reasons I joined Toastmasters was to gain confidence in public speaking while also enhancing and expanding my vocabulary.

So how does someone go about enhancing and expanding one’s vocabulary? You can begin with a notebook. Every time you hear a word (or phrase) that you’re not quite sure of, or even a known word that is used very well in a phrase, write it in your notebook along with its definition and perhaps an example or two of it in a sentence. Then practice it on a regular basis at home until it becomes part of your normal vocabulary - or at least a word you might use someday.

Buy a thesaurus or two, and have it and a dictionary strategically placed in your home for easy access and quick referral (next to your favorite TV chair, or by the “throne”). Place your notebook on your night-table for that opportunity when you come across a word while reading or watching TV in bed.

Watch the X-Files. Yes! The X-Files. You will hear Mulder and Scully, particularly Mulder, use words such as: altruistic, disrepute, abounded, arcane, pestilence, and many more all within a five minute conversation. Except for pestilence, these words weren’t new to me, but they weren’t likely to be uttered from my lips anytime soon. I have often wondered whether anyone really speaks like Fox Mulder in real life, but then again, David Duchovny does have a Masters degree in English.

So the next time you’re scheduled to be the Grammarian, bring a “word-of-the-day” to the meeting. Instead of that esoteric word that most people have never heard of nor will ever use, choose a word (or phrase) that is less commonly used but would be a great addition to someone’s vocabulary.

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