Mastering the Art of French Cooking continued to sell. With our first royaly check, we bought a book on how not to let plants die (for me), a dry-mount press (for Paul), and the latest edition of Webster's dictionary (for both of us), which led us to scream at each other about the proper use of language. He was a language-by-use type, while I was an against-the-prostitution-of-language type. We also bought our first television set, a smallish square plastic-and-metal box that was so ugly we hid it in an unused fireplace.
Chapter 6, Part 3: I've Been Reading, My Life in France.
Well, I can relate to this... perhaps even too much. In the first unfolding corner of the day, there was a discussion between members of the 'Middle Table' on language (merging on accent). To my friends, it is no secret that I use long words. Now, for once and for all, I don't try. For Pete's sake (poor Pete - I bring him into things too often), I have read more books than is normal for someone my age to have read, and the majority of them with beautiful language.
What I did for nearly a year was that every SINGLE TIME that I came across a word I didn't understand when I was reading, I wrote it down, looked it up, and then entered it into an index book, (which I still keep today). Anyway, the result of this was that I have a good vocabulary, and speak... I suppose you could say, with a tad over-the-top proper...ness. Add to this a great articulation (if I do say so myself) developed by hours and hours of reading novels aloud to Dad, and I suppose I can say that my language is good, and I enjoy using it. There's nothing wrong with that. In any langauge.