Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Vocabulary Exercise (Part 2)

More vocabulary words from Mom's spring 1994 writing class. I find these interesting because Mom explains where she hears the words, giving a look into her day.

The photo is of Mom and Dad in 2006 on a boat ride near me on Lake George in Upstate New York.

11. Coalition
The word "coalition" has begun showing up in a lot of news writing. It seems to be in connection with groups of people. It almost seems like it could be groups of groups brought together to share ideas. Webster's says a body formed by coalescing, distinct elements combination, temporary alliance a purpose.

12. Ambivalent
I came across this word in reading an article in the Ligaurian. It was about violence and our prison system; about a sister visiting inmates on death row. It talks about the attitude (I think) of the prison in the ambivalent prison personal victims on both sides of the "chair." The Webster says "simultaneous and contradictory attitude or feelings as attractions and  repulsion towards an object, person, or action."

13. Myopia
I encountered this word in response to a letter to the editor. "Unfortunately the article contains a too-widely-held American Catholic myopia concerning our capitalist system." This sounds to me to be a sort of tunnel vision. The dictionary is the lack of foresight or discernment, a narrow view of something.

14. Condescending
This word has been used a lot here and denotes to me an attitude. When grace and spiritual friendship is absent or unknown, they may deny intimacy needs altogether becoming instead cynical, sarcastic and condescending. Webster: To descend to a less formal or dignified level, unbend, to wave the privilege of rank to assume superiority.

15. Virile
We encounter this word many times when a man is trying to show what a big man he is. I came across it again in an article on man's spirituality. The Latin word for strength in man is a virtue from the work. Vir, which means man and from this we get virile and virility. I wasn't sure if these words do indeed mean strength. Webster says that it means having the nature properties or qualities of an adult male.

26. Lethargy
I encountered this work regarding a patient at the hospital. It referred to a patient in a state of lethargy. I took it to mean that the patient was depressed and not caring much in his condition. In the dictionary, it says that it is a state of apathy or indifference, abnormal drowsiness, sluggish.
His illness left him in a state of lethargy.

27. Stagnant
This word was used in conjunction with the elderly. It referred to the seniors' lives as stagnant. To me this seemed to mean that their lives seemed to be in a state of stillness. Nothing of significance going on in their lives. They are going nowhere. Much like a pond of water that is stagnant because it doesn't flow anywhere.
The dictionary says to vegetate, going nowhere.
The nursing home residents had no recreation program to keep them busy, they just sat stagnant.

28. Plagiarize
This word has been seen many times in instruction with this comp class and with speech class. To me, it means not to use another's ideas and not to give them credit. Trying to claim their ideas as your own.
The dictionary says to appropriate and claim as one's own the literary work of another. Present as new material that has been presented before.
The young writer needed a poem to hand in for an assignment, took a poem out of a book and plagiarized by signing his name on it and handing it to the teacher.

29. Ligament
This word was also used at the hospital when referring to parts of your body. Something to the effect that a ligament holds the knee together. When we cut up a chicken or turkey we can see the ligaments joining the bones. Dictionary rough band of tissue which connect articular extremities of bones or supporting organ in place.
The athlete had a torn ligament in her ankle after she fell during the game.

30. Amazon
I saw this word in a magazine describing a big sexy girl. In some cases, the description may be derogatory or not complimentary.
The dictionary says feminine, alluring, big - a member of a race of female warrior.
The model appeared to be an amazon modeling her swimsuit.

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