Wednesday, 30 May 2007

More words

How many of the words below do you know? By know I mean able to explain their meaning and know how and when to use them properly.
abjure abrogate antebellum circumlocution deciduous enfranchise fatuous jejune loquacious lugubrious moiety obsequious pecuniary precipitous suffragist unctuous winnow
My score? Zero.

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? I don't know about you, but it is said that the ignorant are prey for the learned. I suppose another 100 new words wouldn't hurt, would it? Let's grab our dictionaries and all the best!

[ 100 Words That All High School Graduates — And Their Parents — Should Know ]


dzul said...

My score is nil too >.<

rol said...

I plan to explore this uncommon words issue further insya-Allah. As always, appreciate the feedback, bro.

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