david foster wallace

5 Words I Learned By Reading David Foster Wallace

The book that I currently find myself bringing everywhere I go with me is David Foster Wallace’s The Broom of the SystemDavid Foster Wallace is the man who penned the modern-day epic Infinite Jest, and also the man who left this world far too soon in 2008. He was a genius in so many different regards, for example, he used his extensive mathematics skills to become an outstanding tennis player (calculating wind speed, angling of his swings, etc) that we can assume his legacy will continue to live on for many years.


The Broom of the System has a plot and a storyline, but it’s David Foster Wallace’s ability to turn the idea of what literature is and can be on its head that truly allows his work to stay relevant. His novels showcase a sort of experimental game with language, and his gift for words is truly something to be marveled at. Whenever I’m reading a story and I don’t recognize a word, I’ve always been in the habit of putting the book down so that I can do some research on the vocabulary. With David Foster Wallace, I find myself doing this at every turn, and I wanted to share a few of the words I only just recently discovered.


1. Antimony (noun)

The chemical element of atomic number 51, a brittle silvery-white metalloid.



Image Via Photographic Periodic Table


2. Querulous (adjective)

Complaining in a petulant or whining manner.



Image Via ThingLink


3. Prehensile (adjective)

(chiefly of an animal’s limb or tail) Capable of grasping.



Image Via Recess Anytime 


4. Nascent (adjective)

(especially of a process or organization) Just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential.



Image Via Flickr 


5. Palanquin (noun)

(in India and the East) A covered litter for one passenger, consisting of a large box carried on two horizontal poles by four or six bearers.



Image Via YourDictionary


I truly look forward to continuing and finishing this novel so that my arsenal of vocabulary can be made that much more well-equipped! 




Feature Image Via Public Radio International