March 15, 2010 in English, Grammar, Vocabulary
SAT vocab: What does “ferret” mean?
Definition: The noun: A type of domesticated mammal that looks like a weasel and is often bred to hunt small game. The verb: To find after searching (Ex: to ferret out a criminal).
Part of Speech: noun & verb
or, if you prefer the IPA: /ˈfɛɪr.ɪt/
Example: Our Health Ed teacher challenged us to go to any corporate supermarket to ferret out packaged goods that were both healthy and inexpensive (for example, a product with more milligrams of salt than number of calories would be disqualified); this was a challenge more difficult than we had expected.
March 13, 2010 in Literature Texts
This is a list of the important words to know for H. G. Wells’ The Country of the Blind. There are some proper nouns in here, which I will try to remove later. But for now, this is the list of most of the words that many English-speaking students (middle-school and high-school students, for example) should know.
Please note that this is the output of the software that we use; some words may not be English words.
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March 11, 2010 in English, Grammar, Vocabulary
SAT vocab: What does “flounder” mean?
The noun: A type of food fish that is relatively flat.
The verb: To move clumsily, ineffectively, and irregularly (Ex: to flounder around in the dark after falling). To move or act in a clumsy, ineffective, or confused way (Ex: to flounder during a job interview).
Part of Speech: noun and verb
or, if you prefer the IPA: /’flaʊn.dər/
Example: Despite her great desire to learn Cantonese and Portuguese, Claire discovered that she floundered in those classes, especially when they were taught in the respective language, and not in English, her native tongue.
Teacher Talk (Erin, in this case): When we think of the verb “flounder”, we might first think of the flatfish that is often served as food; I’ve seen it in many Japanese and Chinese restaurants. And we also often think of the fish out of water, flopping around madly, although the verb form of the word “flounder” may not actually be related to the fish “flounder”, believe it or not. So, to flounder is to struggle to stay in control, to reach a goal, etc. And even if the etymology of the verb is not related to the fish, the image of a fish flopping around could serve as an excellent mnemonic.
March 10, 2010 in English, Grammar, Vocabulary
SAT vocab: What does “albatross” mean?
Definition: Something that makes it hard to succeed or progress, especially something persistent or difficult to rid oneself of (Ex: alcoholism can be a great albatross for many). A type of large seabird.
Part of Speech: noun
or, if you prefer the IPA: /ˈæl.bə.trɔs/
Example: The inefficient and often failing systems of health care, prisons, and education in the United States are proving to be political albatrosses for those who campaign on their ability to fix those systems.