When I was young, my dad would come to the breakfast table (after working the second shift at the local copper tubing plant), and with him bring a copy of the latest Reader's Digest. The part he enjoyed the most was It Pays to Enrich Your Word Power! This section of The Digest encouraged the learning of new words. Dad would read a word to us (my brother, my mother and myself) and then read all the possible definitions. I would invariably not know the meaning of the word but would guess at the definition and mostly got it wrong.

Dad was not educated beyond high school, but he was always trying to better himself intellectually. His mother had been a school teacher and must have instilled the value of an education and of self improvement though reading and learning the meaning of words in him. Why he never went to college after returning from World War II is still a mystery to me. He pushed himself at work to improve all his verbal and written skills. I think that he saw the college educated employees had the best jobs and he wanted to move up to a better position at the plant. And to his credit, he did.

This section of the Reader's Digest was a tool he used to better himself. I didn't understand it's significance until years later when I was in high school and thinking about going to college. Many a time I wished I had learned more from my dad and his use of It Pays to Enrich Your Word Power!

Today's Reader’s Digest has an online site. You can use the It Pays to Enrich Your Word Power by following these simple directions.

Reader's Digest Online http://www.rd.com "Free registration and sign up"

Click on | Games and More | in the top navigation bar

Select | Online Games | in the drop down menu

Click on the The Word Power Game.

sign up - (Free) or login - (member already)

Here’s an example of the game:

chaparral (noun)

A. shrubby habitat
B. windstorm
C. desert environment
D. marsh


And the answer is:

A. Habitat composed of shrubby plants adapted to dry summers and moist winters. As cities along California's coast grow, chaparral is disappearing and some birds are struggling to survive.


Now it’s your turn. Go and Enrich Your Word Power.