Monday, January 20, 2014

Test your knowledge of higher-order English vocabulary - 10 words + exercise

malfeasance - this means an illegal or wrong action, especially by a government official

ornery - an ornery person is kind of a nasty, bad-tempered person who likes to argue and fight

untrammeled - unrestricted, not fenced in, free to move about

arbitrage - when you buy something cheaper in one place and sell it for a higher price in another place

ubiquitous - all over the place; if something looks as if it is all over the place, it is ubiquitous (the word is pronounced with an initial 'you' sound --> you BIK wih tus

unalloyed - pure, not mixed with anything else

an obloquy - a very nasty or mean statement about another person; harsh, severe criticism (this noun can be countable or non-countable...i.e. non-countable: How can you resort to such obloquy!  countable: I am tired of all these obloquies being directed at the president!)

a blandishment - this is a deliberately kind of flattering or nice statement meant to get a person to do what you want him/her to do

to bowdlerize - to remove material from a literary work because the material is thought to be too 'dirty', vulgar or offensive; basically this means to censor a work but there is an extra meaning - if a work is bowdlerized, it no longer has the same meaning as it had before the censoring

athwart -  in opposition to, against something

Answers are below the exercise:

Sometimes young adult versions of classic famous novels are ____________________ so much that they no longer even resemble the original works.

The current data were completely ________________ what everyone had believed.  The theory obviously had to be changed.

One of the worst cases of _________________ in recent American history involved Rod Blagojevich, the governor of Illinois.  He was thrown in jail for trying to sell a high-ranking political position to anyone who wanted to buy it.

These days there are people who engage in what is called the "forex" trade, which is a type of ___________________.  They buy a certain amount of foreign currency at one price and then sell it at a higher price in a different market.  Basically, 'forex' is a type of individual gambling that produces no real good for any economy.

Sometimes it's better to use _________________ to encourage a person to do something that is right than using threats of punishment.

I don't understand why it is so hard to catch a cab in Manhattan.  The cabs seem to be _________________, yet they all also seem to be carrying people. 

If a country in Europe joins the European Union, their citizens will have ____________________ access to other EU countries.

Bob recently proposed marriage to Becky and when she accepted, he was filled with the deepest and most _______________ joy he had ever felt.

Frankly, I was disgusted by the recent presidential campaign.  I do not understand why candidates cannot focus on the issues and why they have to resort to ____________________ that attack the reputations of other candidates.

Many people say that New York City cabbies (cab drivers) are rude.  That is an understatement.  They are worse than rude, they are __________________ and it is best to just take the subway in order to avoid arguments and nasty exchanges with them.

Answers are below:



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