Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Learning new words and giving them home in my active vocabulary :-)

The only way I can think of learning new words is by trying to use them in as many sentences as I can. I will do that every day (I hope I can manage). Over a period of time, I will try to repeat all of them by using them in even more sentences. I always try to learn a new word by collocating it to others. I think there's no point in learning a word on its own, because there is a danger of collocating it with wrong words. That is why I only use dictionaries that have lots of examples.

So, here we go...the 5 words for today are:

  • We went to Egypt for the summer holidays and were shocked by the abysmal living conditions.
  • After his mother died, he was in abysmal misery.
  • Ignored by authorities and communities, the gypsies in Romania lived in abysmal poverty.
  • I did not enjoy it. It was an abysmal performance.
  • The weather was abysmal.
I like the way the word atrocity sounds. But I have no idea what it means. Let's check it out.

  • The invading army committed many atrocities.
  • Hitler not only committed and act of atrocious cruelty, but committed crimes against all humanity.
  • Americans were behaving atrociously in the Vietnam war. Just watch The Apocalypse Now by Coppola. It is a very vivid example of how atrocious the behavior of people can get when they think they are God.

I don't like the way the word sound anymore. It's meaning ruins it!

  • What we wanted this summer was going away from crowded cities and beaches. What we wanted was a quiet little place in the back of beyond.
  • We fell for the commercial of the gorgeous little cottage on the edge of the town, but in the end we found that it was in the back of beyond. It took us 2 hours to get to the nearest shop.
  • I get very annoyed if I am on a train, trying to read a kick ass novel, and some hectic woman starts to cackle.
  • He seemed like an interesting fellow, but every now and then he cackled like a madman, which shocked me every time.
  • I prefer giggling to cackling, because the latter makes me fall into a shock.
So far, I've go abysmal, atrocity and cackle. I will try to make a sentence out of all three.
The army devastated the land, behaving atrociously towards the hostages left behind. One of the soldiers cackled like a madman every time a hostage tried to escape but couldn't.

Oh, dear. All of these words are so depressing. I don't think it is even possible to use them in a more positive meaning, because of their negative connotation, except maybe the word cackle. Although, I can't imagine anyone not being annoyed by it....Let's move on to some more positive words this time.

  • We discerned a sail on the horizon.
  • She is incapable of discerning right from wrong.
  • Walking for miles on end without a living soul, we finally discerned twinkly lights and a few houses in the distance.
  • Tina finally discerned a figure approaching through the fog and we were rescued.
  • Walking through the kitchen we discerned a strange odor. (we can discern with other senses than the eyes as well!)
  • We had no clue why he did it. We were unable to discern his motives.
I can already tell that this is going to be a tough one to remember - or to use in my active vocab. I need to come back to that one...I hope I will discern the word through the huge chunk of other words:-)

  • That was a nifty joke! You have a clever mind.
  • He's always full of nifty ideas.
  • I bought a nifty dress for my prom.
  • Luckily, I sold my car for a nifty price.

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