Use your words

Here’s a time waster that’s educational: How many of these 100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know do you *not* know?

I can give a pretty good definition for maybe a dozen of them, and could probably get within swinging distance of the rest. Except for these two: “gamete” and “moiety.”

Of course, now I’ve looked them up. I believe that I could have defined “gamete” when I was in high school and taking a course in which such a thing was discussed (hint!), so I’ll agree that high school graduates should know it. I’m not convinced that every high school graduate needs to know the word “moiety.”

Definitely everyone should know “hubris.” Does everyone need to know “ziggurat”? I think it’s there just to represent the letter ‘z.’ I’d rather they chose “zazen” instead

Which words on the list do/don’t you know?

(Link via Coudal Partners.)

4 replies on “Use your words”

  1. I use ziggurat once or twice a year; what can I say? We have a lot of ziggurats in Manhattan. And my brother took a fancy to moiety some time in his teens, so while I don’t use the word myself, I feel like it’s quite familiar. That’s the story with most of these: I don’t use them, but I hear or read them often enough that I’d never be disconcerted by their appearance.

    I do have some other objections to the list, which I’ve muttered subcoherently elsewhere.

  2. Correction: There are many circumstances in which I might be disconcerted by some of these words’ appearance. If any word on the list sidled up to the bar and offered me a drink, for instance, I’d be disconcerted.

  3. India: Maybe the list has something of an NYC angle, which would explain ziggurat.

    I agree with your clusterflock post about the book. Well said! I kowtow to you.

    If any word on the list offered me a drink, I’d probably be disconcerted as well but I think I could hide it.

  4. I knew the definitions or basic gist of some, but didn’t recognize others. If I had studied them, it may have been an “in one ear and out the other” kind of thing. I am happy, though, that I had a vague recollection that gamete was from biology – yeah, me! All in all I realize I use very few of these in everyday life. That must mean my vocab stinks, or sucks or whatever term high school kids say these days.

    Ziggurat isn’t even in my Webster collegiate dictionary (paper back version, but there are 75,000+ entries). After high school it must no longer be necessary.

Comments are closed.