To enjoy and learn from what you read you must understand the meanings of the words a writer uses. You do yourself a grave disservice if you read around words you don't know, or worse, merely guess at what they mean without bothering to look them up. For me, reading has always been not only a quest for pleasure and enlightenment but also a word-hunting expedition, a lexical safari.
Charles Harrington Elster
Lexical variety, eccentric constructions and punctuation, variant spellings, archaisms, the ability to pile clause on clause, the effortless incorporation of words from other languages: flexibility, and inclusiveness, is what makes English great; and diversity is what keeps it healthy and growing, exuberantly regenerating itself with rich new forms and usages.
Subjective conscious mind is an analog of what is called the real world. It is built up with a vocabulary or lexical field whose terms are all metaphors or analogs of behavior in the physical world... concrete metaphors increase enormously our powers of perception of the world about us and our understanding of it, and literally create new objects.
I remember the very day, sometime during the first two weeks of my five-year amorous sojourn in Brutland, when I was made privy to one of the most arcane of their utterings. The time was ripe for that major epiphany, my initiation into the sacred knowledge-or should I say gnosis?-of that all-important, quintessentially Brutish slang term, the word that endless hours of scholastic education by renowned mentors, plus years of scrupulous scrutiny into scrofulous texts, had disappointingly failed to impart to me, leaving me with that deep sense of emptiness begotten by hemimathy; the time was finally ripe for me to be transported by the velvety feel of the unvoiced palato-alveolar fricative, the elan of the unpronounceable and masochistically hedonistic front open-rounded vowel, and, last but not least, the (admittedly short) ejaculatory quality of the voiced velar stop: all three of them combined together to form that miraculous lexical item, the word shag.
Leonard is far and away my least favorite relative, and I have no clue why I call him one night, collect, very late, and give him an involved and scrupulously fair edition of the whole story. We end up arguing. Leonard maintains that I am just like our mother and suffer from an unhappy and basically silly desire to be perfect; I sat that this has nothing constructive to do with anything I've said, and furthermore I fail to see what's so bad about wishing to be perfect, since being perfect would be... well, perfect. Leonard invites me to think about how boring it would be to be perfect. I defer to Leonard's extensive and hard-earned knowledge about being boring, but do point out that since being boring is an imperfection, it would by definition be impossible for a perfect person to be boring. Leonard says I've always enjoyed playing games with words in order to dodge the real meanings of things; this segues with suspicious neatness into my intuitions about the impending death of lexical utterance, and I'm afraid I indulge myself for several minutes before I realize that one of us has severed the connection. I curse Leonard's pipe, and his wife with a face like the rind of a ham.
David Foster Wallace