Thursday, May 26, 2011

GRE Vocabulary Words

I’ve been a bit of a negligent literary blogger…sorry! I’m reading a bit of hefty Russian literature…Crime and Punishment to be exact. (And no, reading it is not actually any kind of punishment. It's for book club.)

It’s a lot of pages long…but so far I’m enjoying it. The writing style is similar to Anna Karenina, but the subject matter is heavier. Anna K. was about marriage and romance and political intrigue, Crime and Punishment lives up to its title. But score for C&P – unlike Anna K., there aren’t any random chapters about the condition of Russian workers/peasants (so far at least).  

And I’m doing something else a wee bit crazy – studying for the GREs! For those of you lucky enough to have no idea what I’m talking about, the GREs are the invidious* standardized test required by grad schools in the US. The scores are good for 5 years, and I most likely will want a masters degree within the next half-decade. So here I am, a dilettante* in the test-taking sphere, memorizing words and looking at math (ick!).

One of the most notorious aspects of this test is the vocabulary. I thought, no problem! I have a bombastic* vocabulary! But it turns out, GRE-style vocab is all about words no normal human has ever encountered or would ever use (mostly because no one else would know what they’re talking about).

In light of this, let’s all learn something together. Every blog post between now and July 23rd (GRE-day) will include at least one GRE word. They will be in bold with a *, and at the end of the post I will give the definition. Sound good?

(No, it doesn’t.  I’ll tell you what sounds good – a prestigious grad school saying, “Mollie, you seem awesome. Please come to school here. And by the way, we’d like to pay your tuition too.” Hah! A girl can dream…)

I promise I’ll be more fun and less educational tomorrow! 

*Invidious-adj. calculated to create ill will or resentment or give offense; hateful
*Dilettante – n. a person who takes up an art, activity, or subject merely for amusement, especially in a desultory or superficial way; dabbler.
*Bombastic –adj. (of speech, writing, etc.) high-sounding; high-flown; inflated; pretentious.