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Vocabulary Words: The Dumbest Generation

I made note of a few vocabulary words to check out while reading The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein.

recondite - I should know this, because I wrote it down and looked it up while reading a previous book. It means: not easily understood. Abstruse. Okay, now I have to look up abstruse.

colloquy - one of those words I've seen many times, and have had a kinda-sorta idea of what it meant. It means: a conversation, especially a formal one. A written dialog.

polemic - another one of those kinda-sorta words about which I should feel more confident. It means: a controversial argument, especially one refuting or attacking a specific opinion or doctrine.

meretricious - another word I've looked up before. Isn't this the one that has something to do with prostitutes? Tacky prostitutes? Let's see, meretricious actually means: of, like, or relating to a prostitute (see, I told ya!). Attracting attention in a vulgar manner. Plausible but false or insincere; specious. This last application is the meaning intended in this book.

perfervid - extremely or extravagantly eager; impassioned or zealous.

hagiographic - a biography of saints; worshipful or idealized biography.

aporiae - in rhetoric: the expression of a simulated or real doubt, as about where to begin or what to do or say. In Logic or Philosophy: a difficulty encountered in establishing the theoretical truth of a proposition, created by the presence of evidence both for and against it. Okay, that there, that's one of them college words, I tell you what!

sanative - appears twice in The Dumbest Generation. Obviously Mr. Bauerlein does not want that generation reading his book! It means: having the power to cure; healing or restorative. Oh, I get it! Like "sanatorium".

abstruse - difficult to understand. Recondite.

Definitions courtesy The Free Dictionary dot com, which rawks awesome... and it's free!

Except for aporiae, which would be even more college-y if it were written as aporiæ, and which is apparently too danged snooty for a mere "free" dictionary; I found it at Dictionary dot com, which roxx almost as awesome as the previous site, and it's also free; but I like the first one better because they let you know it's free right there in the name! Plus, the free one has a livelier home page.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
sjonsvenson
Jan. 24th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
Polemic : Polemiek in Dutch. Typically a discussion, argument where opinion has the upperhand over facts.

davidd
Jan. 24th, 2010 06:38 pm (UTC)
I like that concise definition. Thanks!
pastilla
Jan. 24th, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
Hurrah for continuing education! Rest assured, you are NOT the dumbest generation.

P.S. Abstruse was one of my GED words.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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