Monthly Archives: November 2013

Nov
22
2013

About the Word(s) of the Day

Posted in Vocabulary, Wordsmyth features by admin

Every weekday we feature two words: Word of the Day and Academic Vocabulary of the Day. The rationale and target audience for each is different.

Academic Vocabulary of the Day is aimed at intermediate to advanced English language learners and middle and high school native speakers who need exposure to Tier 2 academic vocabulary words.

The words are selected from the 2000 most frequent general academic vocabulary words in American English. These 2000 words come from Mark Davies’ analysis of published academic texts in the Corpus of Contemporary American English. This academic vocabulary list is comparable to Coxhead’s Academic Word List (AWL), but is based on 120 million words of academic texts in the 425 million word corpus. Words are considered to be general academic vocabulary if they fulfill these criteria:

    • They appear at least 50% more frequently in academic texts than in non-academic texts;

    • Across disciplines, they appear more frequently than in non-academic texts. In other words, they are words important in all academic domains, rather than specialized, domain-specific technical terms.

    • Finally, they are among the 2000 most frequent of these general academic terms–the core.

Because the context in which the Academic Vocabulary Word of the Day will be most useful is academic writing, we also highlight the sense or senses of these words that are most frequently used in academic discourse. For example, the verb “conduct” has an important meaning of “leading an orchestra,” and a specialized meaning in the study of electricity, yet in the context of general academic vocabulary, the most important meaning is “to carry out or lead,” as in “conduct a study/investigation/seminar.”

The Academic Vocabulary of the Day words belong to the Tier 2 words which have been identified as of especial importance in the Common Core State Standards.

Word of the Day

Word of the Day covers less frequent, more advanced Tier 2 words, useful for SAT study and for acquiring a wider and deeper knowledge of English words. The Word of the Day is drawn from levels 3 to 5 (grades 7-12+) of the Wordsmyth Vocabulary Index (WVI), a forthcoming resource covering vocabulary words for K-12+ in five levels. WOTD is often accompanied by images, quotations from literature, or other aids to word learning, such as Greek and Latin roots and endings.

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Nov
22
2013

initiate

Posted in Academic Vocabulary of the Day by admin2

ih nI shi eIt

definition 1:  to cause to begin; institute; originate.
example:  After two years of fighting, the warring countries have initiated peace negotiations.
example:  The company has initiated a new policy concerning smoking.

definition 2:  to provide with basic knowledge in a skill or field of learning.
example:  The new recruits were initiated in the techniques of self-defense.
example:  He felt that the experience of being swindled initiated him as to the ways of the world.

definition 3:  to admit as a member of a club or society by performing a formal ceremony or ritual.
example:  At the ceremony to initiate new members, each new person must repeat the club pledge.
(more…)

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Nov
22
2013

solipsism

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

sa lihp sih zəm

noun

definition 1: in philosophy, the theory that the self is the only verifiable reality.

definition 2: the self-centered habit of interpreting and judging all things exclusively according to one’s own concepts of meaning and value.
example: He knew his wife’s solipsism would prevent her from regarding his injury as anything but an infringement on her freedom to do what she liked.

derivations: solipsist (adj.), solipsistic (adj.), solipsist (n.)

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Nov
21
2013

due

Posted in Academic Vocabulary of the Day by admin2

du

adjective
definition 1:  supposed to arrive; awaited; expected.
example:  He’s due back any minute, so please wait.
example:  I’ll have to finish the report tonight because it’s due tomorrow.

definition 2:  caused by (followed by “to”).
example:  The accident was due to his carelessness.
example:  The game was canceled due to the bad weather.

definition 3:  deserved; appropriate; fitting.
example:  They treated their parents with due respect.
example:  She should have given him due credit for his idea.
example:  The electric company has to give you due warning if they’re going to shut off the electricity.
(more…)

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Nov
21
2013

colloquy

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

ka lə kwi

noun

a conversation or written dialogue, especially one with a formal setting and purpose.
quotation: The hearing ended…with an extraordinary colloquy between Senator Kerry and Ms. Rice in which the senator, the recent Democratic presidential nominee, alternatively asked sharp questions and offered lectures about various themes from his campaign. (The New York Times, May 1, 2005)

  (more…)

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