Dictionary.com’s Suggestions For Wordie New Year’s Resolutions Published January 1, 2018 It's a Dictionary.com New Year Need help deciding on a New Year’s resolution for this year? Well, we have you covered. We’ve been working hard on our resolution list and are happy to share some of our ideas for betterment with you, our avid readers. This year could be your best year yet … we know it will be ours because we plan on sticking with every one of these resolutions. (We are strong! We will not join the gym for one year and only go one time!) Use one new word every day Sure, you have those words you tend to use on a regular basis, but, just like your wardrobe, your vocabulary can benefit from an update. This year, resolve to change up the words you use by trying a new one each day. For example, instead of using the words compassion or goodness (two common words most people already know), kick it up a notch with benevolence. It means the same thing but sounds so much more sophisticated. An easy way to keep this up all year … sign up for our Word of the Day (and more!) here. Ace the Word of the Day Quiz each week Now that you are focused on learning (and using!) a new word every day, you’ll want to use those skills each week. What better way to do that than by taking a quiz? And, to really keep this resolution, share your 100% score with your entire social-media network. They’ll soon realize just how intelligent you are. Voted most likely to succeed after high school? You’re killing it! Use homophones properly Words that all sound the same but don’t mean the same thing. Oh, homophones. Well, this year it’s time to figure out how to use these words correctly! Their, there, or they’re? We’re here to help you figure it out. You’ll be using them correctly (in conversation and in direct messaging) in no time. Compliment or complement? Dictionary.com is here to complement your education so that you receive numerous compliments online about your perfect and refined grammar. (And, you can even start correcting your frenemies’ poor usage of homophones once you master the skill. Win!) Don't use LOL for one year Oh, this is a tough one. We understand the love of writing out these three little letters when someone says something funny. But, before you type out “LOL” (or say it aloud), try your best to refrain. The word is overused, and, this year, you’re all about uncovering new words and phrases, right? Of course you are. Change up the way you communicate by reacting to a “haha” moment in a different way. What actually made the situation so funny: “Wow, that joke was so bad it’s hilarious.” Bringing back real human interaction and connection one complete, detailed sentence at a time. Brush up on the newest additions to the dictionary Did you know there were about 300 new words added to the dictionary recently? Everything from internet abbreviations (JOMO) to the latest cultural phenomena (think: impostor syndrome). And, if you don’t know them (or don’t know they are official words in the dictionary), it’s time to get scrolling. When you whip these out in conversation, people may question your usage of this “fake” word. But, you’ll have the resources (and online dictionary proof) to show them otherwise. You’re so clever. Learn where your favorite words originated We all have those favorite words and phrases we use all the time. Do the words, OMG, unfriend, and booze ring a bell? And, while we use them almost every day, there’s a good chance we don’t know too much about them, like where they came from. Most of these common words have been around for years. Seriously. Take OMG for example. That commonly used term first appeared in the dictionary back in 1917. British Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher used this term (and used it how we do today: “Oh my god”) while writing a letter to Winston Churchill. Want to know where other words like dude and hubby come from? Time for more research! Refrain from using the phrase "no brainer" at work There are a lot of bad work phrases you should leave out of the office. One major no-no is the expression: no brainer. The reason why it’s so bad is that it makes you sound like a child who doesn’t know how to communicate with adults. This year, refine your office slang by saying “the case was an easy task” or “I’m confident in my decision.” You sound more professional and people will take you more seriously. Plus, your ability to easily complete the task will make you look like a top employee. Nice work! (Want to go above and beyond? Here’s more Overworked Buzzwords in Business to avoid.) Test out a new pick-up line (that's actually funny) Ok, we know what you’re thinking: “A new pick-up line? Are you crazy?” Come on, it’s a new year, so put yourself out there! And, if you use a pick-up line that is so clever and unique, you might just knock it out of the park. There’s no better way to do that than by keeping your pick-up line book-related (you know … to stay classy). So, the next time you see that cutie in the library, walk up to her and say: “Are you an overdue book? Because you have fine written all over you.” If that doesn’t get her to crack a smile, try for someone who’s browsing the comedy section. Use a semicolon correctly The dreaded semicolon. This year, refuse to be left in the dark about how to use this punctuation properly. So, how can you learn to use it? Easy. A semicolon is used to demonstrate a pause or break in a sentence. It also has the power to help connect two sentences that are related in some way. For example: “I’m so tired today; I can’t budge from the couch.” Need more help with punctuation? Here is a quick guide on mastering the semicolon that will do the trick.(Confused about punctuation in general? Here’s a way to unlock the full potential of punctuation marks.) Go back to school Been itching to hit the books again? Maybe you want to change careers or learn the latest in your field? If you’re eager to get your master’s degree but not sure if you want it in the arts or in business, this quiz is one worth taking. And, if you’re looking for something completely different, there’s plenty of unique degrees out there that might fit your fancy. Interested in self-reflection? Get a degree in autology. More interested in clever escape tactics? Well, escapology (“the study of escaping from restraints”) has you covered. There’s always time to acquire new skills (or just learn the words to describe them). Stop using crutch words Do you want to be taken more seriously in 2018? Well, quit ruining your sentences with informal words such as um or er. These words don’t make you sound professional and only cheapen what you have to say. And, who wants that? And, these words aren’t the only ones killing your communication skills. Literally, actually, and honestly are other bad words that can ruin your sentence. Learn a new language Sure, learning Spanish or French is a good idea for the new year, but why not explore some of the other languages we have right here in the US. New Englanders have their own lingo: masshole, or bang a uey. Or, how about some Southern slang? The next time you hear someone say “the creek don’t rise,” or “I’m fixin’ to” you’ll know how to react. Get inspired A new year means a new you, right? If you need some inspiration, there’s nothing better than some feel-good quotes to help you feel more positive right now. Looking for a way to jumpstart your goals? Victor Hugo got it right when he said, “There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” And then, there’s Roy T. Bennett who said: “The surest way to make your dreams come true is to live them.” We are feeling motivated already. Need a few more? Make your way over here. Learn how to properly seal the deal Whether you want a new car next year or a new job, you need to know how to seal the deal. There are many different contracts we all come across every day, ranging from an employer offering you a confidentiality agreement to that new refrigerator coming with a warranty. And, what did it mean when your best friend offered you a “golden handshake” for those $5 he owed you? (It’s not creepy, don’t worry.) Rediscover your handwriting Sure, we write texts and emails, but whatever happened to picking up a pen and scribbling on paper the old-fashioned way? This new year, vow to take a break from typing everything and get back to writing by hand. Why? Your handwriting is as unique as you are. While other people can take the same font you use on your résumé, they can’t copy your individual handwriting (unless they are a professional criminal, of course). Need a few tips to get started? Pick one (or all) of these ways to celebrate the dying art of handwriting.