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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 19, 2007 / 3 Tamuz, 5767

100 words every grad should, supposedly, know

By Lenore Skenazy


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Hey there, you literate person, you. Abjured any abstemious moieties lately?


Me neither I don't think. Then again, maybe I'm doing it right now. I really have no idea, which is kind of strange, considering "abjure," "abstemious" and good ole "moiety" are just a few of the "100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know."


The title should have added, "But Doesn't."


This little book, put out by the folks at American Heritage Dictionaries, levitates off its retailing domicile this time of year — you know, flies off the shelf — as a graduation gift. It has proved so popular that now there's a "100 Words" for middle school grads and another spin-off for, hmm, I guess anyone who didn't graduate but is feeling lugubrious, if not downright atrabilious, about it: "100 Words To Make You Sound Smart."


As if slinging around big words is what makes a person sound smart. "100 Incredibly Flattering Compliments To Make You Sound Smart." That, my dear, discerning and svelte reader, is a book that would work.


The thing about actual word books — and the whole "Boost Your Vocabulary" industry — is that however fascinating it is to study etymology (unless that's the study of bugs), some words are just plain old obscure. While delightful in and of themselves, there is really no reason to program words like "perspicacious" into one's personal database. And yet on just such words hinge the SAT scores (and possibly futures) of many young people.


"Foppish," said the head of high school program development at the Princeton Review, Christine Parker. "I think I could go through a fairly challenging college career and not know 'foppish.'" Nonetheless, she added, "it actually has shown up on the SAT for the last few years a few times." Other surprises included "perfidy" and "gewgaw," words that Parker assumes were thrown in mostly to determine if the test-taker had read any 19th century novels, or perhaps "grew up in a household that listened to light opera."


Clearly the express buggy to success.


The editor of the American Heritage books, Steve Kleinedler, admits that some of the entries that made his "100 Words" for high school grads are not even words that he uses. "Jejune," for instance.


When I asked another wordsmith, obit writer Stephen Miller, if he knew what it meant, he replied, "It's either jaded or innocent."


Yup. It is.


The American Heritage list trots out other consistent confusers such as "enervate," a word we should just throw out because it means exactly the opposite of what it sounds like (sounds like energize, means to tire) and "interpolate," which simply means to insert. Insert "insert" for "interpolate" whenever possible.


And then there's one of Kleinedler's favorites, "ziggurat," which he threw in the book mostly because there are not a whole lot of great vocabulary "z" words, and its roots are Akkadian, an ancient Semitic language.


Next time you're looking for a "z" word with hidden roots, Steve, try "Zagnut," a crunchy peanut butter/coconut bar introduced in the ancient 1930s.


The folks at Kaplan Test Prep give their students a daunting chart of words that have shown up on recent SATs and can be expected to reappear, including "adumbrate," "captious," "celerity," "imprecation," "incarnadine" and the ever popular "palimpsest."


As a professional writer, allow me to use them all in one sentence: "Adumbrate, captious, celerity, imprecation, incarnadine and palimpsest are words I do not know."


High school graduates — and juniors taking life-determining tests — should not be expected to, either.

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© 2007, Creators Syndicate

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