abjure abrogate antebellum circumlocution deciduous enfranchise fatuous jejune loquacious lugubrious moiety obsequious pecuniary precipitous suffragist unctuous winnow
These are some of the words every high school-leaving American student should know, according to American Heritage® dictionaries editors. The entire list contains 100 words. The editors claim that it is not a benchmark, just a measure of one's level of English language mastery.
To tell you the truth, I do struggle with these kind of words. They're not commonly used, so you don't see them often. A word that is used often and correctly reinforces our grasp of it. These words used very rarely and usually substituted by a more commonly-known equivalent word. But then again, they are not often used because not many people know their meaning. So basically it's another 'chicken and egg' situation.
Without a doubt, these words do have their place in the language. Sometimes similar words invoke different feelings and impressions. For example the words quick, fast and swift suggest a similar meaning. But they are not always a substitute for one another. It depends on the context and subject being discussed as well.
Should we add these words to our vocabulary?
[ 100 Words That All High School Graduates — And Their Parents — Should Know ]