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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

100 Words Everyone should Know

[Fasting today (17th of Tamuz), so instead of tossing down lunch, I put up a second post.  Lucky you.]

One of my favorite reads - Defective Yeti - has a fantastic test up on his site.

Apparently, the American Heritage Dictionary (sorry Jesse) has come up with a list of one hundred words that every high school graduate should know.

I've always thought I had an above-average vocabulary, but I scored only 77 out of 100 (with a few more words that were close but no cigar).

Rather than just post the list along with the definitions, DY constructed a way to test yourself honestly without doing the old 'Oh, of course... that's what I meant' when in fact, you totally missed the word.

Let's see how you do.


Posted by David Bogner on July 3, 2007 | Permalink


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79 for me (very strict grading), with a bunch of "almost."

To be fair to myself (and probably to many others who take this test), I could use almost all of the other words correctly in a sentence, or spot incorrect usage. Also, I probably have a bit of an advantage on the science/math terms. Still, a bit disheartening...

Posted by: efrex | Jul 3, 2007 3:06:50 PM

85 and 4 almost for me... Only because I've been helping my 16 year old prepare for his SATs, That was probably good for 10 or so that I'd have only been close on... btw I recommend The Not So Scary Vocabulary as a prep tool... google it I have no other interest.

We should know the words, but really how often are you going to use "Moiety" and we can certainly use it in regards to Isaac and Ishmael.

Posted by: oceanguy | Jul 3, 2007 3:22:01 PM

Oh, boy, I thought I had a good vocabulary. (not that my blog would be any indication of that. I don't actually think while I write)

At least now I know where to take my word of the day from...

Posted by: Shevy | Jul 3, 2007 4:04:25 PM

Saw this when it came out a few weeks ago.


Posted by: G | Jul 3, 2007 4:59:04 PM

97 out of 100, but I work on my vocabulary on a regular basis.

Posted by: Jack | Jul 3, 2007 9:14:42 PM

95. Fun, and I learned a lot. Thanks!

Posted by: Rahel | Jul 3, 2007 10:38:20 PM

76. The rest of you all should feel good.

Posted by: Seattle | Jul 4, 2007 5:22:47 AM

Took the short test ... 22 of 25, grading very strictly.

Posted by: Andy Levy-Stevenson | Jul 4, 2007 8:27:47 AM

I vividly remember that (many years ago) when I took the SAT's, I got a 760 on the math and a 480 on the verbal.

I trusted those results so I saw no reason to punish myself with this test.

Posted by: dfb1968 | Jul 4, 2007 2:48:01 PM

19 out of 25. In my defense, I fell down on the STEM words, missing only "sanguine" out of the more humanities-based words.

Posted by: Liz Ditz | Jul 4, 2007 9:12:03 PM

efrex... Show off! :-)

oceanguy... Well done, but I still detect some bragging there. :-)

Shevy... C'mon, fee free to share. (I need the boost in self esteem... even if it's at someone else's expense). :-)

G... Clearly you've been praciticing.

Jack... Excuse me... I think I have something caught in my throat [cough, cough]. :-)

Rahel... Oy, another gold star seeker. You and Zahava would do well together. :-)

Seattle... See that people. That's how you ingratiate yourself with your host. Come in just below his score so as to stroke his ego. Not so low as to make him think your an imbecile but low enough that the host feels good about himself for a few hours. Well done!

Andy Levy-Stevenson... You took the short test. Is that like taking the short school bus? :-)

dfb1968... Mine was tilted the other way. I nearly aced the verbal and used the 'quadrant method' to answer pretty much all the math questions. This entailed reading the question and then looking at my watch. Whichever quadrant the second hand was in when I glanced at it (12 - 3 = A, 3 - 6 = B, 6 - 9 = C and 9 - 12 = D). I got a combined score of 1450.

Liz Ditz... Ok, but I expect to see an improvement in your grades next semester young lady! ;-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jul 5, 2007 10:09:10 AM

That is called your uvula. It is not meant to be played with. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Jul 6, 2007 7:47:48 AM

90. but there are going to be lots of other areas of expertise in which i will not fare so well...

Posted by: christopher | Jul 6, 2007 10:35:58 AM

Jack... Yeah, that must have been it. [cough cough] :-)

christopher... OK Mr. Teacher, stop showing off. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jul 6, 2007 6:33:59 PM

96! I'd never heard of bowdlerize, gerrymander, jejune, moiety, winnow or ziggurat - I reckon speakinging a romance language definitely made a difference in my case.

Posted by: Lioness | Jul 8, 2007 8:39:01 PM

Lioness... Great, as if my self esteem wasn't already at low ebb... a non-native English speaker has a better vocabulary (by far) than I do! :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jul 9, 2007 9:25:22 AM

"ROMANCE" was the key to understanding it see, we grow up with hard vocabulary. Plus, Portuguese is definitely convoluted so that helps - in this case.

Posted by: Lioness | Jul 16, 2007 4:10:01 PM

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