Saturday, June 30, 2007

100 Werds You Should Know

Houghton Mifflin, which is a publisher of books, has published a book. See the picture there on the left. They've also published a press release about this book which you can see here.

"The words we suggest," says senior editor Steven Kleinedler, "are not meant to be exhaustive but are a benchmark against which graduates and their parents can measure themselves. If you are able to use these words correctly, you are likely to have a superior command of the language."

Now, I don't know about you, but for me, benchmarks are an iffy thing. I got a detention in grade 7 for making a benchmark. It (the benchmark, not grade 7) looked something like this:

(Come to think of it, grade 7 did look quite a bit like that.)

Sometimes I get so annoyed by my keepers here at the Yoni School, the so-called arbiters of the King's English, that I'd like to bite them. However, you need a good set of teeth to chew into such hide-bound arses. So, instead, I decided to take the 100-Werd challenge cuz I know these werds as good as any old high-school student. And I might incidentally ingratiate myself with somebody higher up in the school's ivory tower by demonstrating that I'm trying to be a good little pote and deserve time off for good behaviour.

So here are my offerings for the 100 Werd Challenge and, as Ringo Starr says, "I hope we passed the audition."
  1. abjure (Are you jure you wahd do do dis? Yes, I ab jure. I ab gombletely jure.)

  2. abrogate (Canada could have had a major aerospace industry, but it was Avrogated.)

  3. abstemious (The room was so abstemious it was like being in a sauna.)

  4. acumen (The upscale model of Honda.)

  5. antebellum (The cose akeep gittin lost. Uncle Sam sez to Aunt Jemima: Auntie! Bell 'em!)

  6. auspicious (Mergatroyd always gets auspicious when everything seems to be going right.)

  7. belie (The Belie Massacre during the Viet Nam War was a most shame-faced incident, not least because they tried to say it never happened.) (Small aside: didn't I just read somewhere that the Vietnamese people call that war, the Murrican War?)

  8. bellicose (Aunt Jemima sez: Bell who? Uncle Sam sez: Air ya deef? Bellicose!)

  9. bowdlerize (Historically speaking, because of their characteristic headgear, you might say that many British civil servants have been bowdlerized.)

  10. chicanery (Juan Valdez likes to use chicanery as a coffee substitute.)

  11. chromosome (Eddie loved his '53 Cadillac because it had so much chromosome.)

  12. churlish (Don't ever call me that!)

  13. circumlocution (This is a painful medical condition also known as 'forked tongue'. It occurs frequently among Jewish parents when they have to explain circumnavigation to their sons...See next werd.)

  14. circumnavigate (Ancient Jewish law requires parents to circumnavigate their male children.

  15. deciduous (I am quite deciduous in my quest for the truth.)

  16. deleterious (A Jewish cafeterious.)

  17. diffident (And now for something completely diffident...)

  18. enervate (Have you heard of the process of enervating foods to kill harmful bacteria?)

  19. enfranchise (Herve Tattoo is thinking about opening up a Dunkin' Donut enfranchise. De plain! De plane!)

  20. epiphany (I've always considered Beethoven's Fifth Epiphany to be his best.)

  21. equinox (This is simple. "Equi" comes from the Latin word meaning "horse". "Nox" is obviously related to "noxious". So, "equinox" means horse fart.

  22. euro (I'd say euro about five foot nine.)

  23. evanescent (Emmy is smart but Evan escent.)

  24. expurgate (Is it true James Joyce suffered from premature expurgation?)

  25. facetious (Perkins, there are so many facetious errors in this report that it's really no laughing matter!)

  26. fatuous (I didn't like that pork chop. It was way too fatuous.)

  27. feckless (Steve careened down the slope with feckless abandon.)

  28. fiduciary (Many neo-cons find it hard to trust our fiduciary.)

  29. filibuster (A filibuster is a hard nut to crack.)

  30. gamete (Some people don't like caviar because it tastes rather gamete.)

  31. gauche (Who is more gauche than a Bolivian cowboy?)

  32. gerrymander (The First-year Med students studied gerrymanders in anatomy class.)

  33. hegemony (Conrad called the bank to find out the exchange rate for hegemony.)

  34. hemoglobin (A new model of Chrysler automobile: the Hemo Goblin.)

  35. homogeneous (The first guy to call gays "gay" was a homo genius.)

  36. hubris (Caesar's chef garnished the salad with fresh sprigs of hubris.)

  37. hypotenuse (The hypotenuse spends most of its time in hot water.)

  38. impeach (Congress decided to impeach Clinton to prevent him from picking all the ripe cherries in the Rose Garden.)

  39. incognito (The Ambassador's personal mechanic told me my incognito was blown.)

  40. incontrovertible (A different new model of Chrysler automobile: the Incontrovertible.)

  41. inculcate (Inculcate...that's a brand of toothpaste that comes from China which has been in the news lately because apparently it contains some foreign substance. Of course it does, if it comes from China, which is a foreign country. Unless, of course, you're Chinese. This substance, however, is supposed to be bad because it absorbs into your blood without your knowledge and after a while you hardly notice the difference.)(Sorry for the long explanation, but I wanted to make sure you had the idea firmly planted.)

  42. infrastructure (I'm infrastructure, peace, order and good government. How about you?)

  43. interpolate (The international police agency.)

  44. irony (What you make fences out of: rotten irony.)

  45. jejune (Farhad was so nervous at his immigration hearing that, when asked his date of birth, all he could think of to say was, "Jejune?")

  46. kinetic (The Kinetic Indians were a restless, nomadic tribe of the Great Plains.)

  47. kowtow (It's almost embarrassing to have to say this. This is obviously what Aunt Jemima does with the kows when she takes em to market. First she bells em then she tows em.

  48. laissez faire (I went to the Laissez Fair last week because I decided, for once I'd do whatever I felt like.)

  49. lexicon (The upscale model of Toyota.)

  50. loquacious (The number one rule that every real estate agent knows: Loquacious, loquacious, loquacious!)

  51. lugubrious (I took my car in for oil and lugubrious.)

  52. metamorphosis (The butterfly begins life as a lowly metamorphosis.)

  53. mitosis (Mytosis broken!)

  54. moiety (This half of the pot is moiety, and that half is yourety. Lemon or milk?)

  55. nanotechnology (Something found in Canajun 25-cent pieces. Shhh! It's a secret! Don't tell anybody!)

  56. nihilism (As soon as it becomes an "ism" you're dead wrong.)

  57. nomenclature (I think it's about time the Speaker of the House introduced some decorum into the nomenclature.)

  58. nonsectarian (Teresa's mother agreed to visit the biology class only because it promised to be nonsectarian. She was morbidly afraid of creepy-crawlies.)

  59. notarize (I liked borrowing Jane's textbooks in university because they were all fully notarized in the margins.)

  60. obsequious (Just prior to his premature expurgation, Joyce's book was banned by the US under the Obsequious Laws.) ( I even managed to use two of the words in one sentence!)

  61. oligarchy (The pedanticist subscribed inserts for my shoes because I had fallen oligarchies.)

  62. omnipotent (Don Juan's appetite for women was insatiable. Luckily, he was omnipotent.)

  63. orthography (Orthography. O-R-G-O-P-H-R-A-P-H-Y. Orthogrpahy.)

  64. oxidize (Mickey polishes his Corvette with oxidize every week. He says it helps to keep it from rusting.)

  65. parabola (They say there are often live parabolas in the crates of fresh bananas.)

  66. paradigm (Two paradigms are not enough to buy a cup of coffee.)

  67. parameter (Two parameters are enough to make a respectable instrument panel.)

  68. pecuniary (Your concerns are much too pecuniary for a man of my station. In fact, they are so insignificant they hardly make cents at all.)

  69. photosynthesis (Photosynthesis is what occurs as a result of using Photoshop.)

  70. plagiarize (Before the computer, before the scanner, before the Xerox, before the Gestetner, before the printing press...if you wanted a copy you had to plagiarize it.

  71. plasma (It's either Elsie Dee or Plas Ma that makes TV go. Plas Ma also makes spaceships go. I think Plas Ma is Japanese.)

  72. polymer (Polymer want a cracker?)

  73. precipitous (The weatherman is calling for sudden downpours and heavy precipitous today.)

  74. quasar (An old brand of TV. Before Plas Ma made it go.)

  75. quotidian (You could look it up in Bartlett's Book of Famous Daily Quotidians.)

  76. recapitulate (The reporters were late for the signing of the Armistice, so the Generals were forced to recapitulate for the TV cameras.)

  77. reciprocal (I love the way that reciprocal saw goes back and forth, back and forth. Would you like to take turns watching it with me?)

  78. reparation (They'll never be able to fix that reparation in the Berlin Wall.)

  79. respiration (Check the respiration date on that oxygen tank, would you?)

  80. sanguine (I've heard that the Dagwood was invented when the Earl of Sanguine put blood sausage between two slices of bread. Since there was no refrigeration at the time, it was a little sour, dough.)

  81. soliloquy (William was able to sneak in through the back door of the theatre by using the soliloquy he had stolen from a locksmith.)

  82. subjugate (In Latin class I wrestled with subjugating verbs until, finally, I conquered them.)

  83. suffragist (John L. Lewis and Jack Dempsey were both highly renounced suffragists at the Market of Queens Borough.)

  84. supercilious (Augustus attached his diploma to the wall with supercilious and it has never failed him yet.)

  85. tautology (I think Martin Luther taught Ology at the University of Wittgenstein, before he decided to deface the pope and become a Protestant.)

  86. taxonomy (The federal government charges outrageous income taxonomy!)

  87. tectonic (Isn't the term "Prairie Oyster" just a euphonium for bull tectonics?)

  88. tempestuous (If I didn't know better, I'd say there was something tempestuous about the way that brother and sister act toward each other.)

  89. thermodynamics (Thermodynamics is that branch of science which studies the movement of thermo underwear.)

  90. totalitarian (After Adolph took Neville's Queen with his Teutonic Knight, he became so absorbed in the chess game that he achieved a totalitarian state.)

  91. unctuous (The doctor said I should use unctuous for my sore muscles, but I didn't like it. It was too greasy.)

  92. usurp (People know you are ill-mannered if usurp your soup.)

  93. vacuous (I believe it was Herbert Hoover who invented the vacuous cleaner.)

  94. vehement (When I was a kid I always wanted to drive a vehement mixer. Either that or the fire truck.)

  95. vortex (I always said I wished I were the inventor of Vortex. Then I'd be a rich man now, instead of being left out in the cold.)

  96. winnow (Buster bought a pail of winnows to use as fish bait.)

  97. wrought (Behold what man hath wrought. Irony.)

  98. xenophobe (I've heard that the use of xenophobes at rock concerts can sometimes induce apoplectic fits.)

  99. yeoman (Yo! Man!)

  100. ziggurat (Where's yer ziggur at me son?)(Commonly heard in Newfoundland where they also say, "Don't stay where you're to. Come where we're at.)

How about you? Think you can pass the audition? If you would like to try your hand at using each one of the 100 Werds in a sentence, you can go to the press release and copy them (or copy them from here.) All I ask is that you leave a comment for me with a link so I can go to your site and check out your handiwork.

Digg! diigo it


Anonymous said...

New Werd: neural plasticity

the information excites my brain... for me its a
another approach to thinking...

here a story that demonstrates

Neanderthal man lived side by side us..we continued
and they didn't

for Neanderthal man there was only one way to make a
stone axe. If the axe didn't turn out exactly the way
they were taught to make it..they threw it out... even if that axe was better than the one they were taught to made..

where as we in making an axe may have accidentally
varied in that we were taught but recognized that we had made something better.. we had the ability to realize a variation and that there was more than one
way to make an axe..

the concepts I find very exciting for many reasons...

so much potential in such things as brain injuries,
addictions, disorders, philosophy, religion and

there is very few things that really make me mentally
shift on how I perceive the world..but this new
concept of neural science...makes me smile..ah
something new for Bobby...

There is an aspect of multiple realization that was important to our survival

and example of multiple realization in thought..

all religions that contemplate a higher being lead to a realization of God.... my thought

vs singular realization

is the current stance of the RC church.. only thru the catholic church may we have salvation


I will never realize salvation because
the pope told me so..

Jesus well he was a big proponent of neural
plascity.., well as far as I am concerned he was...

"physician heal thyself"

Oliver sacks would be very excited by these concepts

for instance..lets us say I have nerve damage and
can't move my arm...

if I think well thee is no other way to move my
arm..the arm will never move... there may be another
way to move my arm..I just have to build a new neural

its all very exciting...but ya know in philosopy,
religion..this neural plascity has been around fr
thousands of years..

we are just speaking about it in scientific terms..

in other words..there are many roads to Rome..

and in fact we can teach dogs new tricks

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Young can do with this.


Anonymous said...

Good entry. I appreciate you for posting it. Keep up the fine blogging.

Anonymous said...

best one yet. I was rolling!!! hahaha

Anonymous said...

Excellent & thoughtful post.

Anonymous said...

Wow! what an idea ! What a concept ! Beautiful .. Amazing

Help! I've written and I can't get up!