Monday, June 04, 2007

100 words

About a week or so ago, I found a list of 100 words every high school graduate should know.

As a self-declared logophile, I had to star it in my reader so I could find it later when I had time to check it out. I finally had time to review it.

And? There were 18 words that I did not know. As in, if you asked me what any of the words meant, I would most likely reply, "I don't know", and look them up when I could. Words like hegemony and moiety. Words I know now. Will I know them next week? Probably not, although I guess they could be inculcated (that's another one I didn't know) into my brain...

Here's the bad part: There were 7 words that I thought I knew, but the meaning in my head did not match the meaning(s) in the dictionary. These are the ones that bother me. These are the words that might slip into a sentence and come tumbling out of my mouth and make me look like a complete idiot.

It's not that I'm afraid to admit I don't know something; ignorance is bliss, right? But thinking I know something and then finding out I'm wrong not right, that's a little hard to swallow. As a child, I pored over my Childcraft dictionary and read my way through the entire Encyclopedia mom got at the grocery store. As an adult, I try to keep a dictionary handy, and am constantly researching words online.

But these 7 words would never have triggered me to look them up, as I already "knew" them. Guess I found my beach book!

1 comment:

Klinde said...

I too am a lover of words... I come by it naturally having grown up with people who try to "out do" one another with what we consider to be fun words.

Words like periwinkle, onomatopoeia, steatopygia... Okay, I know periwinkle is a shellfish and a crayon color; however, I love how it trippingly falls off of the tongue.

I actually have a cousin who will not eat foods with names she is opposed to... She dislikes the word gravy; however, if you call it sauce, she will drown her potatoes. Due to the name, she will also not eat meat loaf (as she puts it, meat should not be in a loaf), pot roast (roast beef; however, is okay), marshmellows and mayonaisse (she has no explanation for those two, she just is opposed to the word). To show the irony, she will consume Miracle Whip...

Time to whip out the dictionary for the 33 I did not know although I will look up all 100 to make certain I am not mistakenly using the 67 I "think" I know.