Category Archives: Vocabulary Posts

Thank You Pamela Bogart!

Thank You Pamela Bogart!

Pamela Bogart posted something very interesting called My favorite vocabulary & dictionary site/game to her blog Connected English. She wants people to get connected – English learning websites, apps, and ideas at your fingertips. The title of her post is self explanatory, but the information she gives is VERY helpful! She posted a link to a website dictionary. Her description of the site is:

You might call it a dictionary with witty definitions. You might call it an advanced vocabulary game that can quiz you on up to thousands of words by definition, example usage, and spelling, and keep track of which ones you’ve mastered. You might call it a massive database of real examples of how words and phrases are actually used. You might call it a way to learn all the forms of a word and their relative frequencies of use in English. You might call it a resource full of useful word lists that you can bookmark & learn. You might call it a great place to make your own vocabulary lists and quiz yourself on them.

I took a look at it and I must say, it is a GREAT suggestion! A good sight for learning new vocabulary. But if you want to know what the site is, you have to go to her blog post called My favorite vocabulary & dictionary site/game.

Again, thank you Pamela Bogart!

Romeo and Juliet Vocabulary Quiz

Romeo and Juliet Vocabulary Quiz

Please match the vocabulary word with the correct answer.

  1. _______ Good morrow
  2. _______ Thrice
  3. _______ Doth
  4. _______ Hence
  5. _______ O’er

a)      Does
b)      Away from here
c)       Over
d)      Three times
e)      Good bye

__________________________________________________________________________________

  1. _______ Ne’er
  2. _______ ‘t
  3. _______ Foresooth
  4. _______ Wherefore
  5. _______ Sirrah

a)      Man or servant (person of low status)
b)      Never
c)       In truth
d)      It
e)      Why

_____________________________________________________________________________________

  1. _______ E’er
  2. _______ ‘tis
  3. _______ Aye
  4. _______ Thee
  5. _______ Thy

a)      Yes
b)      Ever
c)       You
d)      Yours
e)      It is

_____________________________________________________________________________________

  1. _______ Shrift
  2. _______ Whither
  3. _______ Thou
  4. _______ Good den
  5. _______ Fortnight

a)      Good afternoon
b)      You
c)       Confession
d)      Two weeks
e)      Where to

_____________________________________________________________________________________

  1. _______ Visage
  2. _______ Fray
  3. _______ Hither
  4. _______ Anon
  5. _______ Coz

a)      Cousin, relative or friend
b)      Here
c)       Fight
d)      Soon
e)      Face

_____________________________________________________________________________________

  1. _______ Ye
  2. _______ Fair
  3. Romeo is a _______.
  4. Juliet is a _______.

a)      Plural for “you”
b)      Montague
c)       Capulet
d)      Beautiful

Please translate the line below into “modern day” English.

Aye, thy fair visage doth inspire me.

__________________________________________________________________________________

The Phrontistery

This link (above) I found a WHILE ago.

Here, you will find a list of extremely unusual words and their definitions.

Comment and tell me what you think of them!

Ever Wish You Could Improve Your Vocabulary?

Ever Wish You Could Improve Your Vocabulary?

Today I found on dictionary.com a game called Word Dynamo. Click here to check it out!

5 Fun Ways to Say “Boring”

5 Fun Ways to Say “Boring”

1. Ennui
[ahn-wee]

Not all boredom is created equal: some of it is fleeting and circumstantial, and some of it teeters on existential crisis. Ennui tends toward the latter–or at least it used to. Derived from the French verb enuier meaning “to annoy,” its peak usage was in Victorian and Romantic literature to express a profound sense of weariness, even a spiritual emptiness or alienation from one’s surroundings and time. Nowadays it’s used at both ends of the boredom spectrum, but its deep literary history lends even the most shallow disinterest a grandiose air.

2. Bromidic
[broh-mid-ik]

Bromide is a chemical compound that was commonly used in sedatives in the 1800 and 1900s. It took on a figurative sense to mean a trite saying or verbal sedative, or a person who is platitudinous and boring, in the early 1900s with help of the U.S. humorist Frank Gelett Burgess, who published a book titled Are You a Bromide? in 1907. The next time a particularly bland work meeting lulls you into a near coma, remember to mentally log it as bromidic just before nodding off.

3. Prosaic
[proh-zey-ik]

If your personal brand of boredom stems from a deficit of literal or figurative poetry in your life, this is the word for you. Now commonly used to mean dull, matter-of-fact, or unimaginative, prosaic entered the lexicon as the adjectival form of the word prose–as innot poetry. Its evolution to mean uninspired and commonplace in a broader context feels in many ways like a love letter to the oft-neglected literary genre.

4. Insipid
[in-sip-id]

Much like bland and flavorlessinsipid is commonly used to describe food that leaves your taste buds wanting more, but it’s also used in an abstract sense to describe a person, place or thing that lacks distinction, depth or intrigue. Its versatility can be attributed to its root word, the Latin sapidus, which translates to well-tasted, wise, or prudent. The next time you find yourself surrounded by droning company and uninspired cuisine (perhaps on your next flight?) liven things up with this handy twofer.

5. Platitudinous
[plat-i-tood-n-uhs, -tyood-]

Stemming from the French word for flat, plat(think plateau), platitudinous is used most frequently to refer to lackluster or trite use of language. A political speech brimming with tiresome rhetoric and cliches can be said to be platitudinous, but with this illuminating descriptor in your word arsenal, your bemoaning of the speech doesn’t have to be.

(I found this on dictionary.com)

Can anyone think of any more? If so, comment!

Double your fun with these irregular plurals!

Double your fun with these irregular plurals!

1. Spaghetti

Next time you dive into a hot plate of spaghetti, take a moment to appreciate each individual spaghetto. The word spaghetti is from the Italian spago meaning “thin rope, twine.” It’s amazing to think that this beloved, stringy pasta has been a plural all along. Early on in its time in English, spaghetti was spelled “sparghetti,” as in Eliza Acton’s pivotal 1845 cookbook Modern Cookery, but by 1885 the plural pasta assumed its currently accepted form.

2. Passersby

When a person is seen passing by a scene either casually or by chance, they are considered a passerby, but on a busy street, one passerby is just a member of a crowd of passersby. Instead of pluralizing the act of passing, as would the incorrect “passerbys,” this clever word pluralized the passer or passers themselves, indicating that multiple people might be getting a quick glimpse of the same thing.

3. Kine

If you think the plural of “cow” is “cows,” that’s right. However, kine is also an accepted alternate plural form, and it’s the only word in English whose plural shares no letters with the singular form! From the Old English cy, plural of cu (Old English for “cow”), kine is actually a double double, because it adds the secondary plural element “n” to the previously doubled “y” or “i” sound.

4. News

News comes from the Middle French nouvelles, or from the Latin nova meaning “new things.” News was originally spelled newis or newes, the plural form of the Middle English newe. The now-standard spelling news was not firmly established until the mid-17th century. When news first entered English in the 1300s, it referred literally to “new things,” though this sense is now obsolete. During the 15th century news took on the sense of “tidings” or “an account of recent events.” The construction “the news” only entered English in the 20th century.

5. Scissors

This handy cutting instrument consists of two blades pivoted together, but by no means is one blade a singular scissor. From the Medieval Latin cisoriascissors emerged in English as a plural without a singular, describing the cutting tool as a whole entity. The 19th century saw a short-lived slang use of scissors with the exclamation oh scissors!, which was used to express impatience or disgust.

6. Dice

As a noun, dice is the irregular plural form ofdie, a small cube typically marked on each side with one to six spots and used in pairs for games of chance. From the Middle English dees, an interchangeable singular and plural form, dice was reborn as a verb with to dice meaning to chop something into small die-sized cubes. Some evidence suggests that if you trace the etymology of dice all the way back to the Latin dare meaning “to give,” or in this case “to cast,” it shares root with our next term.

7. Data

When we download or research large amounts of data, it’s far too easy to gloss over each unique datum. A participle of the Latin verb dare, “datum” is on direct loan from the Latin, meaning “a thing that is given.” Today the word represents individual facts, statistics, or items of information, but the plural form data has come to function as a singular mass noun meaning “information” in the general sense.

(I found this on dictionary.com.)

Alot vs. A lot: 9 Language Crimes to Watch Out For

Alot vs. A lot: 9 Language Crimes to Watch Out For

1. Irregardless

Irregardless is considered nonstandard because of the two negative elements, ir- and-lessIrregardless first appeared in the early 20th century and was perhaps popularized by its use in a comic radio program from the 1930s. Use regardless to keep your grammar-loving friends at bay.

2. Thusly

Because both thus and thusly are adverbs, language aficionados find thusly unnecessary. The Chicago Manual of Style discourages the use of thusly altogether. For copy editors, spotting the word thusly has a cringe-inducing effect similar to hearing fingernails on a chalkboard.

3. Everyday

Be careful when using everyday. As one word it’s adjectival; spelled out as two words, every day is adverbial. If you remember to do your everyday chores every day, your grammar-savvy roommates will appreciate you.

4. Anyways

While it’s commonly used in speech and writing, anyways is nonstandard. Always drop the “s” and opt for the standard anyway to impress the language fanatics in your social networks. In a world of 140-letter tweets, that one saved character is valuable real estate.

5. Literally

The Internet is literally full of critics of the figurative use of literally. While employing this metaphorical usage might make many casual language lovers’ ears bleed, descriptivist lexicographers will hail you as a language innovator. Our advice: be self-aware. Know that if you use literally figuratively, it will sound horrible to some, and perfectly acceptable to others.

6. Alot

Alot is a frequent misspelling of a lot. As many middle school English teachers constantly remind their students, “A lot is a lot of words.” So make your old English teacher proud.

7. Alright

As an informal variant of all rightalright is perfectly acceptable. The popular song and album “The Kids Are Alright” by The Who is evidence of general acceptance of alright. However, note that the creators of the 2010 film The Kids are All Right couldn’t bring themselves to use the informal variant even if the title was a clear nod to The Who.

8. Fewer

Confusion of the terms fewer and less will set off alarms in the heads of language enthusiasts. Fewer is only to be used when discussing countable things, while less is generally used for singular mass nouns. For example, you can have less salt, money, honesty, or love, but fewer ingredients, dollars, people, or puppies.

9. Hopefully

Self-described language buffs might explode with untamed rage if they hear hopefully used as a sentence modifier as in “Hopefully, it won’t rain tomorrow.” However, since the 1930s, this sense has been folded into acceptable usage. That said, it’s important to understand the extreme reaction you might provoke if you use this common sentence starter. If someone gives you guff, just refer them to Dictionary.com’s excellent usage note at hopefully. Crisis averted.

(I found this on dictionary.com.)

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