by Travis Pickell

As mentioned in the previous post, I’ve been learning alot of words for the GRE. I have noticed (a) that there are many words that signify very specific things, which you would never have expected to have their own word, and (b) some of the ETS/Barron/Princeton Review definitions are funny/interesting to me. Some examples:

Words that mean one thing… and the exact opposite (e.g. cleave = to break apart, or to hold tightly together. Or, sanction = to make legal, or to impose punishments upon)

Words that sound alike, but mean exactly the opposite (timorous = fearful, temerity = fearlessness)

Definitions that have a low view of clergy (salacious = lascivious, lustful i.e. a salacious monk; or, pontifical = pertaining to a bishop or pope; pretentious or pompous)

Words that don’t really need to exist (avuncular = of or like an uncle)

Definitions that make me laugh (academic = not practical or directly useful; bohemian = unconventional (in an artistic way))

Definition that scares me (gerontocracy = rule by the elderly…  I’ve been to Sun City West, many elderly should not be driving, let alone ruling)

There’s a word for that? (rebus = representation of words in the form of symbols, i.e. R U coming over L8er??)

Random (cow = to intimidate… they don’t seem that intimidating to me)