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Word Play ~ Vivify

In my journalism teachings, I've been instructed that fancy, pretentious words aren't the best to use in news article when a simpler word will suffice due to the fact that news should be accessible for all readers at various reading levels. Making your news stories similar to a stanza out of a Wallace Stevens poem will alienate or confuse readers. While I sit on the fence of this idea, as I think we shouldn't be afraid to use uncommon words (it is only by using uncommon words that they will get more common and well known), I saw a challenge to this philosophy while reading an article from The Atlantic where I saw the word "vivifies" used in explaining. This was the first time I had seen the word and so I did further investigation.


Vivify (verb): To enliven or animate; to endow with renewed life; to impart vividness and vitality to; to make something or someone more lively or vivid; to give life to; to brighten or sharpen; to make more interesting


  1. Rosita began planting chrysanthemums to vivify the flower beds in her front lawn.

  2. Too sleepy and wracked with thorns, I vivify; I gloss.

To read more about the word vivify and ways to use it, check out these sources: Merriam Webster,, Oxford Dictionary.

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