Friday, June 01, 2007
100 Words That All High School Graduates - And Their Parents - Should Know!You all probably know that I am a "word" person. I love the language and I love words and I love etymology. Words are a lot like people; they have a history, and often, that history is fascinating. I mean, check out "testify" in all of its incarnations, some time. You'll never read or watch "Perry Mason" without giggling, again.
Um, for all you young people, Perry Mason is a fictional lawyer, of both book and tv show fame.
I have always emphasized to my students that everyone has at least three vocabularies: the speaking vocabulary, which is the smallest; the writing vocabulary, which is a little bit larger than the speaking vocabulary; and the reading vocabulary, which is the largest of all, for most people.
The more words we know, the more we can understand what others say and write. The more words we know, the less likely we are to be fooled, or taken advantage of. The more words we know, the better able we are to discern true from false, right from wrong, deception from truth.
The more words we know, the more fun life has to offer us.
The more words we know, the more dangerous we can be to those who wish to hold power over us. Why do you think gang leaders and dictators and ignorant moonbat 'preachers' forbid their followers to learn?
A large vocabulary, used properly, is an indication of education. It is not an indication of where one got that education, but it's definitely a symptom of being learned.
I don't know the authors of some of these quotations, but I'm using them anyway:
Education makes people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave. - Henry Peter BroughamIt is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it. - Aristotle
He that reads and grows no wiser seldom suspects his own deficiency, but complains of hard words and obscure sentences, and asks why books are written which cannot be understood. --Samuel Johnson
Ignorance deprives men of freedom because they do not know what alternatives there are. It is impossible to choose to do what one has never heard of.
Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened by education; they grow there, firm as weeds among rocks.
A child who is protected from all controversial ideas is as vulnerable as a child who is protected from every germ. The infection, when it comes - and it will come - may overwhelm the system, be it the immune system or the belief system.
When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come close to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge. -Einstein
Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts. -Baruch
To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant. -B. Alcott
The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet.
It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated.
Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper.
Educated men are as much superior to uneducated men, as the living are to the dead.
Okay, enough quotations. I've been collecting them for thirty years and sometimes I get carried away.
Here is what I pulled straight off the 'net from someplace. . . . Be honest with yourself, now.
"The editors of the American Heritage® dictionaries have compiled a list of 100 words they recommend every high school graduate should know.
The words . . . are not meant to be exhaustive but are a benchmark against which graduates and their parents can measure themselves. If you are able to use these words correctly, you are likely to have a superior command of the language."
Here they are, crossword fans. The ones in bold are the ones I had to look up. TWO. Hah! I musta majored in, like, English or something.