Browsing All posts tagged under »words«

It Goes Without Saying

November 28, 2013


Sometimes I’ll be seated at my desk, pretending to be working or lost in thought, and someone will walk by and say, “Is it okay if I steal your pen?” As they ask me this, they’re grabbing one of the hundreds of pens that I’ve acquired over recent years, and that are now scattered around […]

The Well-Dressed Post

November 28, 2012


At a recent Thanksgiving dinner, someone asked if I would pass the dressing. Growing up where I did, I was more used to the term stuffing. To me, dressing is that gloppy mixture you pour over salad. But I’m sophisticated and worldly, and I knew almost immediately what she was talking about. Also, there was […]

Inexplicably Irritated

August 3, 2012


We all have them. Those insignificant things that drive us so crazy, they make us want to yank out our own hair by the fistful. But we don’t do it, because we know how painful a little paper cut is, and we can imagine that tearing out clumps of hair and scalp would have to […]

On Being Neurotic (Part 1) (Will I Have Enough for Two Parts?) (Who Am I Kidding?)

May 27, 2012


I’ve been neurotic for a long time, at least since I was four, when my mother had to cut the feet off my pajamas because they were worn down to bits of thin, rubbery fabric hanging on by threads. I nearly lost my mind. It wasn’t so much an issue of fashion, but safety. A […]

The SAT and Vocabulary, Part 3

May 31, 2010


Words You Know, But Don’t Know You Know One effective tactic used on standardized tests is to haul out words you don’t know. Another is to take words you do know and dress them up in clever disguises. If you don’t think you know a word, then for the moment, you don’t. And that’s good […]

The SAT and Vocabulary, Part 2

May 25, 2010


Look-Alike and Sound-Alike Words The English language is confusing, and no one knows that better than the clever people who write SAT questions. Hundreds of words look like other words, but their meanings are most often completely different. For example, consider prodigal and prodigious. The first means wasteful of money, the second means big. You may be […]

The SAT and Vocabulary (Part 1)

May 21, 2010


The Critical Reading sections of the SAT test your ability to grasp concepts presented in words, sentences, and paragraphs. One of the things that makes this difficult is the strategic placement of certain unfamiliar words. These words are used in such a way that they affect the meaning of the entire phrase, sentence, or passage. […]