Friday, September 27, 2013

4:2 - Indelible

When & Where: I came across the word indelible almost immediately after stumbling across guileful. I was reading An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (2006) before bed when the main character, Colin, says "I won a...game show a year ago? That's my indelible mark on human history?" (p.39)

Level of Familiarity: I have seen this word so many times and I have never known what it means! I never stopped to look it up until now, though. I usually just keep on reading.

What it Means: www.dictionary.com says, "Making marks that can never be removed."

Reflective Commentary: I definitely want to try and use this word. I feel as though I've heard it enough times over the years so that I will actually remember what it means and can therefore use it.

4:1 - Guileful

When & Where: I read the word guileful while reading An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (2006). The sentence is: "She had the sort of broad and guileful smile in which you couldn't help but believe -- you just wanted to make her happy so you could keep seeing it" (p. 31).

Level of Familiarity: I have definitely heard this word before, but I'm not quite sure where. I think it has something to do with being exuberant or not shy.

What it Means: www.dictionary.com defines it as "deceitfully or treacherously cunning."

Reflective Commentary: This makes sense because the main character is describing a country girl from Tennessee, who's got a bit of mystique surrounding her. She seems like a plain and simple girl, but it turns out that she is quite mischievous and the other characters find this out immediately after. I can't see myself ever using this word; however, I do think it's important to know because it adds to the description of the character and can be used to describe a lot of characters in literature. If I was teaching a novel to the class I would want to teach them about descriptive/characterization words, and I believe this would be a useful one.

Friday, September 20, 2013

3:2 - Tenement

When & Where: I was sitting in my apartment reading Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope by Nikki Grimes (2008) when I came across the word tenement. It's a children's book that I was reading for LTED 626, so I was surprised at the vocabulary. The sentence was: "It was early evening, and a boy named David sat on a tenement floor, glued to the TV" (p. 1).

Level of Familiarity: I have heard this word used before, possibly in a history class or having something to do with being a tenant but I never knew what it meant.

What it Means: www.dictionary.com says a tenement is "a run-down and often overcrowded apartment house, especially in a poor section of a large city."

Reflective Commentary: I liked this word because it gave a lot of detail about what kind of apartment the boy lived in, without having to go too in-depth. I immediately was able to visualize where this little boy lived and what kind of life he had, just based on that one word. I could possibly see myself using this word when I'm talking about different areas in the city, or when I'm talking about a run-down house so that people will have a better understanding of what it is that I'm describing.

3:1 - Chary

When & Where: I found the word chary when I was reading the short story "Marigolds" by Eugenia W. Collier (1969) at work today. The sentence was "But God was chary with miracles in those days, and so we waited -- and waited" (p. 1).

Level of Familiarity: I have never heard this word used before, so I had no idea what it meant. I thought it might have been a typo at first, but I was able to correctly deduce what it meant by looking at the context and the rest of the sentence. I guessed that since the narrator had been talking about how hard times were and that everyone was living in poverty, it probably meant that there weren't too many good things happening at the time.

What it Means: www.dictionary.com had a few definitions for chary. The most appropriate one for this context was "sparingly." The word was also defined at the end of the story and was said to mean "not generous." This makes sense and goes along with what I had initially thought -- that God was not generous in handing out miracles during the narrator's childhood.

Reflective Commentary: I found this word interesting simply because I had never come across it before now, but I don't think it's a word that I will regularly use. I feel as though the word chary is a little out-dated and so not very many people would even know what I was talking about. Also, there are a lot of other words that can be used instead of chary that are more appropriate such as hesitant, reluctant, or sparing.