Welcome to my blog

Words and phrases shown on this blog are taken from actual speeches and written text in the public arena during the current week

I hope that GRE General Test Takers and others who aim to build their word power will find this blog useful

"Language is the medium of all understanding and all tradition

And language is not to be understood as an instrument or tool that we use, rather it is the medium in which we live" (Gadamer)

This is a work in progress.
- Your comments and suggestions are welcome
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

281. Kinetic

Excerpt from, “On Video Games and Storytelling: An Interview with Tom Bissell” posted by Maria Bustillos, The New Yorker online, March 19, 2013:

 As matters progressed through the eighties and early nineties, the pleasures of controlling moving images on a screen, of bewitching sound effects and saturated colors, came to video games, and these were seductive in a new and different way. But, so far as wild graphics and kinetic surprises were concerned, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and even my beloved Crystal Castles (“Get the gems, Bentley Bear!”) really had very little on the powerful thrills of a state-of-the-art pinball machine.

Kinetic: of, relating to, or resulting from motion

Monday, March 18, 2013

280. Freighted

Excerpt from, “Obama’s Israel Itinerary Includes Some Standard Stops, but Not Others’ by Mark Landler, The New York Times, March 13, 2013:

These, and a host of other scheduling decisions, have been made by the White House as it seeks to orchestrate every minute of Mr. Obama’s first visit to Israel as president. But before he even departs, Mr. Obama is confronting the reality that in a land so freighted with symbolism, any place he chooses to visit, or not visit, can strike a nerve.

Freight: burden
Note. I have seen the word fraught used more often than freight in similar context.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

279. Heed; Resolute

Excerpt from, “More Stocks, Fewer Bonds,” by Karen Hube, Barron’s Cover (online) March 4, 2013:

Wealthy investors appear to be heeding their managers' advice, which itself is a big change. In the past few years, portfolio managers have periodically urged their clients to become more risk-tolerant and more open to equities, but their clients wouldn't budge. Still rattled by the recession of 2008, they resolutely ignored their bankers' advice.

Heed: pay attention to; take notice of
Resolute: admirably purposeful; determined

Thursday, March 14, 2013

278. Decry

Excerpt from “Let Us Praise These Billionaires (At Least Most of Them)” from Forbes Magazine online 3/5/13 (3/25/13 issue):

The impressive increase in the net worth of the world’s billionaires and the fact that there are 200 more of these folks than there were a year ago will have leftists everywhere decrying the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots.

Decry:  to express strong disapproval of

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

277. Flak

Excerpt from, “Paul Ryan in Wonderland: Chapter Six” by John Cassidy, March 12, 2013, The New Yorker online:

Having wandered back into writing about U.S. politics for the past eighteen months or so, I sometime wonder how the full-time Washington correspondents, the lifers, do it: cover the same old junk year after year. The key to career longevity and job satisfaction, I suppose, is to buy into the notion, assiduously promoted by the politicians and their flaks, that what they are doing is serious.

Flak: a savvy spokesperson who can turn any criticism to the advantage of their employer (WordWeb online)

Note: this is the first time I've seen 'flak' used this way. Flak is slang for criticism.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

276. Provocative

Excerpt from, “Postscript: Hugo Chávez, 1954-2013,” by Jon Lee Anderson, March 5, 2012, The New York online blogs:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frias, who died on Tuesday, from cancer, at the age of fifty-eight, was one of the most flamboyantly provocative leaders on the world scene in recent years.

Provocative (provoke verb): stimulating or giving rise to (a reaction or emotion, typically a strong or unwelcome one) in someone.