So yesterday I went and registered for school, got my ID and yearbook pictures (both absolutely terrible, but what else is new?), my schedule, and my books.
I was rather nervous when I saw the stack of uber-thick textbooks I was supposed to carry home–and more importantly, to read and study throughout the year. They ranged from Essential Biology with Physiology (always a fun read), to Addison-Wesley’s Algebra and Trigonometry (New York Times bestseller list #1, fifteen weeks in a row), and even Journalism Today! (which was published in 1993. Irony, huh?).
But I actually got a little excited when I saw the one on the bottom of the pile: Vocabulary for the College-Bound Student. Now maybe it’s just a testament to how much of a geek I am that this excites me, but c’mon. New words! Words that make you sound smarter, spice up your writing, aid you in those pesky crossword puzzles….
So I thought I’d share the joy with the rest of you. Here’s ten words I didn’t know before, and I’m betting you didn’t either.
10) Amelioration (n) = improvement.
After months of stall rest, and looking ahead at a long recuperation, Four-Legged Aloha was finally starting to show a bit of amelioration.
9) Ephemeral (adj.) = lasting one day only; fleeting; transitory; short-lived
The summer of 2011 seemed ephemeral– one moment the students were flooding the streets in celebration of their freedom, and the next they were seated in the classrooms, taking attendance, already dreaming about the 2012 summer.
8.) Nettlesome (adj.) = 1) literally, full of nettles (plants with stinging hairs); 2) irritating, causing annoyance or vexation
My siblings had been acting nettlesome all evening–so I threatened to go all Carl the Llama on them. Amelioration ensued.
7) Convivial (adj.) = 1) fond of eating and drinking with friends, 2) sociable
The mood was generally convivial at the Yule Ball, save tension between Ron Weasley and Hermoine Granger.
6) Ascetic (n.) = person who shuns pleasures and lives simply
There are very few ascetics in modern society; instant gratification has created a sort of gilded age within the fading recession.
5) Maudlin (adj.) = weakly sentimental and tearful
Les Miserables has its maudlin numbers, such as I Dreamed a Dream and Castle on a Cloud, but the pace picks up for higher-energy songs like Red and Black and Do You Hear the People Sing?.
4) Attenuate (v.) = make thin; weaken
The Hunger Games tended to attenuate its victims, due to lack of food, extreme duress, and the inevitable stress than comes with fighting other children to the death on live television.
3) Blandishment (n.) = word or deed of mild flattery; allurement; enticement
He was a master of blandishment, and soon had all the girls fawning over him.
2) Obsequious (adj.) = showing excessive willingness to serve; subservient; fawning
All the peasants were completely obsequious to their Supreme Dooming Ruler, with at least one attendant tending to her chocolate milk desires at any given time.
1) Halcyon (adj.) = calm; peaceful.
The halcyon days of hazy summer fun were nearing their end, driving Aloha to the point of blogging out of her English textbook.
If you can use two or more of the above words in a comment below (coherently!!), I’ll give you a special badge for your blog/website/bedroom wall. Customized, heck yeah.