My Vocabulary Lesson for the Day


How long ago was it? Two or three weeks? Well, whenever it was, my mind randomly remembered something called a Commonplace Book, and I thought it might be nice to try and keep one up: to record various bits of information and assorted quotations that I wanted to save and ponder in a handwritten, old-fashioned way.

It hasn’t been particularly regular so far, but I’ve written down some meaty quotes from Newland’s We and Our Children, from Fr. James Mawdsley, FSSP, and Fr. Augustine Wetta’s Humility Rules (as snagged from Lena’s post on fasting). My handwriting is a little rambling, which matches perfectly with the workings of my brain.

Today, however, I wrote down three words and their accompanying definitions . . . one word that I had positively never heard of before (a real shock for this presumed wordsmith), and all three words possessing meanings that I didn’t really know at all. I’d heard of the other two words, but only had the vaguest notion of what they might mean.

Two words were from this morning’s (stupendous) section from Chapter One of Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child; and one word was from Fr. Ripperger’s homily (remember, Penanceware!) on the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which I listened to this morning.

So, I thought that I would brighten your potentially humdrum Thursday afternoon by sharing with you my newfound knowledge, and my three new pet words. 😉


This one completely bent my mind. How do I even say this? How many C’s and N’s are in this darned word?!

Concatenation. A noun derived from the adjective Concatenate, which is pronounced “cun-CAT-eh-net.” So, “cun-CAT-eh-nation.” You’re welcome.

Concatenate :: linked together

Concatenation :: a series of interconnected events, concepts; the act of linking together; the state of being joined


All right, so I’d heard of this one somewhat before; refracted angles, refracted light, that sort of thing. And I knew how to pronounce it, which lifted my sodden spirits a little after being so overwhelmed by concatenation.

Refractory. An adjective as well.

Refractory :: showing or characterized by obstinate resistance to authority or control


Similarly, I’d heard this one used before, probably most frequently in prayers . . . and, fittingly, this was the word Fr. Ripperger used in describing the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady. (Please do listen to that homily! And make the penance! 😉 )

I knew it meant something good or beautiful, roughly . . .

Refulgence. A noun.

Refulgence :: a radiant or resplendent quality or state: brilliance.

It may sound a trifle silly, but somehow, I feel so excited to have expanded my vocabulary, to have discovered mysterious words and copied down their definitions like I used to do in school with Wordly Wise.

Although the old adage holds true that “you never stop learning,” and I hope I’m learning and expanding my mind every day . . . there are times when I wistfully wish I could go back and redo some of my grade- and high school subjects with more appreciation and enthusiasm–but it has dawned on me that, God-willing, homeschooling my future children will be a major Round 2 of my education! And in the meantime, I’ll keep reading my concatenation of educational and inspirational books 😉

A blessed feast of St. John of Matha to you all!