Alex in Transit(ion)

A great site

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Seventeen

Augury- prophecy, prediction of events

Some people believe that Wilco’s song Jesus Etc. was an augury of September 11th: “Tall buildings shake, voices escape singing sad, sad songs tuned to chords.”

Catholic- universal; broad and comprehensive

A red street sign is a catholic warning to stop your vehicle. 

(isn’t that weird that catholic means broad and comprehensive?)

Collusion- collaboration, complicity, conspiracy 

After 9/11, people had the misguided idea that Al Qaeda and Iraq had a collusion and plotted the attacks together. 

Eschew- to shun; to avoid

Sometimes, in order to get over someone, you have to eschew him or her. 

Estimable- admirable

It is estimable how so many people came to help their neighbors after the destruction that Tropical Storm Irene caused.

Ethos- beliefs or character of a group

Central to WONY 90.9FM’s ethos was that above all, a DJ cannot swear on air. Otherwise the FCC will come and steal your firstborn.

Euphemism- use of an inoffensive word or phrase in place of a more distasteful one

The boss decided to use the euphemism “downsized” instead of “cut” in his letter that was delivered to the one hundred employees to notify them that they were no longer with the company. 

Fervid- intensely emotional; feverish

The groom was fervid when he delivered his marital vows to his bride. 

Insipid- lacking interest or flavor

The blogger seems like she is  insipid with updating her blog. She hasn’t posted in months!

Jingoism- belligerent support in one’s country

Soccer fans in Europe are well known for their jingoism during the World Cup. 

Ostentation- excessive showiness

Some bloggers annoy me with their pictures that reek of ostentation. Do they ever get time to live and enjoy the moment instead of taking pictures every second? 

Overwrought- agitated; overdone

The voters were overwrought with the way their country was running, so they voted the President out to allow for a new voice to bring fresh ideas to the table.

Perfunctory- done in a routine way, indifferent

She always did her homework in a perfunctory manner. She would start out with history before she attempted to do math. 

Pugilism- boxing

The Fighter is a movie about pugilism.

Voluble- talkative; speaking easily; glib

People describe me as voluble.

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Sixteen

Twenty more days until I take this test! The pressure is on! 

Antipathy- extreme dislike

I have antipathy towards cyclists who bike the wrong way down one-way streets. 

Cabal- a secret group seeking to overturn something

In World War II, many cabals were formed to take down the Nazi regime. 

Discern- to perceive or recognize

I can discern the difference in taste between Pepsi and Coke. 

Fallow- dormant; unused

It has been a year since Albany Planned Parenthood moved its location to Central Avenue and still the old Lark Street location remains fallow. 

Gestation- growth process from conception to birth 

The normal gestation period for a human is nine months and I hope to not experience that for a good 10 years. 

Glib- fluent in an insincere manner; offhand; casual 

I didn’t decide to rush that sorority because I felt that the girls were all glib

Hyperbole- purposeful exaggeration for effect

There are a lot of hyperbolic moments in the movie, Machete. For example, whenever Machete kills someone, an obscene amount of blood pours out of the victim. 

Ignoble- having low moral standards; not noble in character; mean.

I believe anyone who destroys a bike that is parked on a bike rack is ignoble. 

Imbue- to infuse, dye, wet, or moisten.

I didn’t like the color of this dress, so I imbued it with fabric dye and now it is a brilliant blue!

Impious- not devout in religion.

After my parents’ divorce and realizing that my personal views are very different from the rules within the Catholic church, I became impious. However, I do remain very spiritual and do my best to treat others the way I would want to be treated.

Lugubrious- sorrowful; mournful; dismal

The ASPCA commercials are always lugubrious

Multifarious- diverse

I hear a multifarious amount of noises from my window each night. I’m glad to say that I can sleep soundly and the noises of the bums fighting outside and the sirens blasting have become music to my ears. 

Sportive- frolicsome; playful

The puppy was very sportive while he chased the butterfly. 


Pedant- someone who shows off learning

Mothers who drive around with bumper stickers proclaiming that their children are honor students can be classified as pedants.

Peripatetic- wandering from place to place, especially on foot

When I’m in cities, I love to be peripatetic because I feel that’s the best way to explore! 

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Fifteen

I never thought I would get a lot of attention in the blogosphere for choosing GRE words and making sentences out of them but seriously you all, keep the love coming. No matter how tired I am from working my two jobs, seeing all of these likes and reblogs just give me the extra oomph (that’s not a GRE word) to keep studying and hopefully rock this thing. It’s awesome to know that this is helping you all out too!

Ardor- intense and passionate feeling

Glen Hansard sings with ardor as he describes how much he misses his former lovers. 

Demagogue- a leader or rabble-rouser, usually appealing to emotion or prejudice

Sarah Palin is a demagogue of the Tea Party. 

Dirge- a funeral hymn or mournful speech

He gave a dirge at his father’s funeral. 

Enumerate- to count, list, or itemize

The campaign organizers enumerated the voters by their voter history to develop a contact strategy. 

Fecund- fertile, fruitful, productive

It is my dream to one day tend over fecund urban garden. 

Foment- to arouse or incite

A group of students thought that it would be a great idea to foment a revolution to change the dry campus policy by drinking on the quad and encouraging other students to do so. 

Inimical- hostile, unfriendly

After their breakup, they were so inimical, they couldn’t stand to be in the same room. 

Largess- generous giving bestowal of gifts

Magnate- powerful or influential person

Although it was well known that the magnate was ruthless when it came to buying out companies; he was also revered for his largess. Each year, he donated millions to various city charities. 

(two GRE words in one sentence. boom. roasted.)

Philistine- a person who is guided by materialism and is disdainful of intellectual or artistic values

The hipster was the biggest philistine I have ever seen. She only had a record player in her room because it added a vintage feel to the room and never played a single record on it. 

Ribald- humorous in a vulgar way

Louis C.K. is a ribald comedian and I love him for it. 

Sanguine- ruddy, cheerfully optimistic.

Everyone always compliments me on my sanguine personality. 

Stolid- unemotional; lacking sensitivity

O.J. Simpson showed the world how stolid he is when he released his book If I Did It, in which he hypothetically described how he would have killed his wife and Ronald Goldman. 

Turgid- swollen as from a fluid; bloated

The drowned man’s body was turgid.

Zealot- someone passionately devoted to a cause

There are many zealots who are outside of the White House and protesting against the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Fourteen

Assuage- to make something unpleasant less severe

To assuage the pain I experience when receiving Gardisil shots, I swear as the nurse injects me. For some reason, it helps. 

Enervate- to reduce in strength

Make sure to tell your doctor that you take birth control pills, otherwise he may prescribe you a medication that could enervate them.

Erudite- learned, scholarly, bookish

I think erudite guys are sexy. 

Exponent- one who champions or advocates

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an exponent for civil rights. 

Fractious- unruly, rebellious

He was so overwhelmed by the freedom he experienced at college that he became fractious. He thought attending parties were more important than attending classes. 

Inquest- an investigation, an inquiry

After the hackers sent an e-mail out to all of students saying that class was cancelled for the day, the college launched an inquest to find out how the system was breached.

Misanthrope- a person who dislikes others

I’m pretty sure misanthropes lead lonely lives. 

Mollify- to calm or make less severe

The mother mollified the fight between her two children by saying that if they stopped screaming at each other, they could have ice cream.

Orotund- pompous

I can’t hang out with Timmy, he’s so orotund. All he talks about is his furniture made out of the finest mahogany and his rich leather bound books.

Parry- to ward off or deflect, especially by a quick-witted answer

Earlier this year, Charlie Sheen gained notoriety by parrying every question he was asked by the Good Morning America interviewer. 

Rococo- very highly ornamented; relating to an 18th century artistic style of elaborate ornamentation.

I don’t even know how to use rococo in a sentence and I believe that this word was better for the old GRE because it was probably used in the analogies section.

Sybarite- a person devoted to pleasure and luxury

Paris Hilton is a sybarite.

Torpor- extreme mental and physical sluggishness

She experienced torpor after her 23 hour flight to China.

Viscous- thick and adhesive, like a slow-flowing fluid

Honey is very viscous.

Wanton- undisciplined; unrestrained; reckless

I can’t stand it when the wanton teens graffiti the neighborhood. 

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Thirteen

Aberrant- deviating from what is normal or expected

I don’t like my neighbor because of his aberrant behavior; he and his brother exercise naked in front of their window. They must have some ridiculous Adonis complexes.

Axiom- premise; postulate; self-evident truth

In Lost, the survivors lived by this axiom to survive: “Either we live together or die alone!”

Demur- to express doubts or objections

Towards the end of the relationship, he often demurred to her.

Maudlin- overly sentimental

There are so many maudlin blogs on the internet.

Numismatics- coin collecting

My grandfather loved numismatics; he had jars of coins in his room. 

Obsequious- overly submissive and eager to please

Don’t get me wrong, she was a great waitress but she was obsequious. She came back to our table every five minutes to see if we were alright.

Opprobrium- public disgrace

Anthony Weiner found himself in opprobrium after posting a picture of his junk on Twitter. 

Quotidian- occurring daily; commonplace

After living in a city for two years, the sounds of police and ambulance sirens are quotidian and I don’t seem to mind them anymore.

Repudiate- to reject the validity of

The supposed baby daddy jumped for joy on the Maury Povich show when the DNA test repudiated the accusing baby mama’s claims that she was 101% sure that he was the father. 

Restive- impatient, uneasy, or restless

In 2006, my family and I were evacuated out of our apartment when a flash flood devastated our small town. There was so much water that the streets resembled streams. As the fire department loaded us onto the rowboat to bring us to safety, my father calmed my restiveness and said “Well Allie, since I never took you to Venice, I decided to bring Venice to you.” It was that moment when I realized that I was so lucky to have been raised by such a wonderful man. 

Stentorian- extremely loud

Whenever the bums outside my window are being stentorian, I call the police. 

Trenchant- acute, sharp, or incisive, forceful, effective

Every time Michelle Bachmann tries to be trenchant about her views on how to build a greater America; she always comes off as ignorant. 

Usury- the practice of lending money at exorbitant rates

I feel the student loan companies are guilty of usury.

Yoke- to join together

Pioneers often yoked their oxen together so that they wouldn’t steer the wagon in all sorts of directions. 

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Twelve

Abeyance- temporary suppression or suspension

The earthquake gave us an abeyance from work since we had to evacuate our building.

Acme- highest point, summit; the highest level or degree attainable

Mount Marcy is the acme in New York State.

Glower- to glare or stare angrily and intensely

I glower at bikers who ignore traffic signals. 

Guile- deceit; trickery

I’m still in disbelief; I never knew he was capable of such guile

Hermetic- tightly sealed

I always make sure my water bottle is hermetic

Idiosyncrasy- peculiarity of temperament; eccentricity

Gary Busey is well known for his idiosyncrasies

Intransigent- uncompromising; refusing to be reconciled

The New York Daily News is intransigent with their negative views regarding placing bike lanes in New York city. 

Malediction- a curse; a wish of evil upon another

In many fairy tales, the antagonist casts a malediction onto the protagonist. 

Oblique- indirect or evasive; misleading or devious

The politician can be very oblique when it comes to his campaigning styles. 

Peregrinate- to wander from place to place; to travel; especially on foot

There’s nothing more I love than peregrinating around cities I’m visiting for the first time.

Rarefy- to make thinner or sparser

Add water to rarefy the sauce. 

Scintilla- trace amount

I love it when dogs get so excited after only sniffing out a scintella of a scent. They love being on the hunt!

Stratagem- trick designed to deceive an enemy

There are many stratagems designed in campaigns.

Surfeit- excessive amount

It seems that all the personal style bloggers have a surfeit of clothes!

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Eleven

I always lose track of the lesson numbers. I bet The Count wouldn’t though!

(also: I never knew he had a floral lining on his cape!)

Affected- phony; artificial

Yuck, this tastes like affected banana!

Arrogated- to claim without justification; to claim for oneself without right

Look dude, I know you’re upset that the Cookie Monster just barged into your apartment and arrogated your cookie jar without your permission, but what can you do? Some Muppets never change and you’re just going to have to accept that. 

Banal- predictable; cliched; boring

Actually, that’s the reason why I can’t hang out with Cookie Monster anymore, he is so banal! I just want to say “yes, I got it the last 100 times you told me, C is for cookie!”

Cosset- to pamper; treat with great care

The sickest thing about it all is that he cossets his cookie jars. He puts them all in this trophy case and polishes them daily. 

Disabuse- to set right; free from error

After talking with the DA, she said that as long as I perform 100 hours of community service my record will be disabused. 

Ebullient- exhilarated; full of enthusiasm and high spirits

I think a lot of people could describe my personality as ebullient

Edify– to instruct morally and spiritually

Yoda edifies young Jedi warriors. 

Exigent- urgent; requiring immediate action

After we heard voters complain of being intimidated at the polls, it was exigent that we got in contact with the Board of Elections and our lawyers. 

Gregarious- outgoing; sociable

I can also be described as gregarious

Mar- to damage or deface; spoil

There’s no question about it; his actions marred a beautiful friendship. 

Mercurial- quick, shrewd, and unpredictable

Cassidy, featured on Toddlers and Tiaras, is quite mercurial. You never know what kind of meltdown she will have next! 

Mirth- frivolity, gaiety, laughter

There’s no doubt about it, Rob brings the mirth to every party with his jokes.

Parley- discussion, usually between enemies

That was one intense parley between the two parsley manufacturers over whose grounding techniques are the best!

Perspicacious- shrewd, astute, or keen-witted

Tom was always very perspicacious when it came to hiding the fact that he lived in the radio station’s office. He always made sure to clean up after himself and leave before the janitors came by. 

Prevaricate- to lie or deviate from the truth

That’s the one thing about Cookie Monster, he won’t prevaricate and say that he didn’t steal your cookie jar. He will own up to the fact. You don’t meet many Muppets like that. 

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Ten

This day is brought to you by Pearl Jam’s Ten. I don’t know why, but I have been obsessively listening to the album today. Maybe it’s because this is Lesson Ten?

Actually, that’s not the reason at all, I had to look back at the blog to figure out what number I’m at. But I’ve got to say, I’m a big fan of random coincidences.

Dilatory- intended to delay

My four year old brother decided to resort to dilatory measures. He hid my keys to prevent me from leaving him to go to Albany. 

Dilettante- someone with an amateurish and superficial interest in a topic.

Dilettantes get under my skin; they claim to be experts of the 90’s grunge scene when they’ve only listened to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the radio.

Flag- to decline in vigor, strength, or interest

If you don’t eat before you go on a long bike ride, your stamina will flag

Inure- to harden; accustom; become used to

As hard as it can sometimes be, I’m inuring to living life without my former partner in crime. 

Invective- abusive language

The bums who frequently camp by my apartment building shout invectives at passers-by almost every night. Needless to say, I call the police a lot. A girl has to get her beauty rest these days. 

Latent- potential that is not readily apparent 

I always recognized the latent ambition inside of you. One day you will flourish when presented with the right opportunity. 

Pare- to trim off excess; reduce

Many companies have pared off their non-essential employees to cut back on costs. 

Phalanx- a compact or close-knit body of people, animals, or things.

The phalanx of philosophy students would often study and socialize together. 

Placate- to soothe or pacify

My dog always knows how to placate me when I’m having a bad day. No matter how mad or sad I am, she will always wag her tail and cuddle with me while we watch TV.

Prescient- having foresight

The psychic claimed to be prescient about the future. 

Quiescent- motionless

When a deer sees headlights, they either are quiescent or the bolt away from the road. 

Sacrosanct- extremely sacred; beyond criticism

Cows are sacrosanct in the Hindu religion. 

Syncopation- temporary irregularity in musical rhythm

The musicians were sick and tired of playing their songs to 4/4 time so they decided to tweak them of with spurts of syncopation

Taciturn- silent; not talkative

Compared to Bono and the Edge, the other two members of U2 are taciturn and tend to shy away from the public eye. 

Tome– book, usually large and academic

The professor used to boast about researching from his many tomes

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Nine

So what’s a girl to do when the S&P lowers the country’s credit rating and everyone is predicting the economipocalypse?

Study for the GRE, of course! 

Aerie- a nest built high in the air; an elevated, often secluded, dwelling.

If I were a bird, I’d build my aerie high up in the trees so predators couldn’t harm my eggs.

Apocryphal- of questionable authority or authenticity

My old professors used to warn about using Wikipedia as a source for my papers because they considered the information to be apocryphal.

Articulate- able to speak clearly and expressively

There’s no question about it; in order to win an election you must be able to speak articulately to connect with voters. 

Forestall- to prevent or delay; anticipate

The rain forestalled my plans to bike in the afternoon. 

Inchoate- not fully formed; disorganized

I’m glad that I am applying to graduate school now instead of right after I graduated in 2009. When I was an undergrad, my career plans were inchoate and I wasn’t sure of what I exactly wanted to do. Now that I’ve had almost two years of working in the political field, I know the direction I want to point my career towards. 

Inculcate- to teach; impress in the mind

It is clear that Governor Rick Perry inculcated his values and talking points upon his 30,000+ audience made up of Evangelical Christians. 

Indolent- habitually lazy or idle

I can’t stand people who complain about their jobs and are too indolent to look for other opportunities. Yeah, it may be a pain to job search every night after work, but you may come across a job that you may actually like!

Impecunious- poor; having no money

While I have been impecunious for most of 2011; I was rich in political experience. I know that one day all of this hard work will pay off!

Laconic- using few words

While I am very talkative; my brother Raymond is laconic. 

Lapidary- relating to precious stones or the art of cutting them

The lapidarist was very talented in cutting precious stones into beautiful pieces of jewelry. 

Panegyric- elaborate praise; formal hymn of praise 

The victim’s panegyric for the firefighter who saved his life brought everyone in the room to tears. 

Upbraid– to scold sharply

If I had known that he was groping my best friend at the bar, I would have upbraided him and ended things then and there. 

Wan- sickly pale

I was concerned when I saw her wan skin; she was so healthy the other week! 

Wraith- a ghost or specter; a ghost of a living person seen just before his or her death

As geeky as this sounds; I know that you have to kill a lot of wraiths in the Elder Scrolls games.

Zenith- the point of culmination; peak

Even though I already have a campaign win under my belt; I do not believe I’m at the zenith of my career. There is still so much more good work to do! 

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Eight

Ohhhhhh snap kids, it’s time to get our learn on!

I should never type that sentence ever. ever. again. 

Also, I decided to up the ante. Instead of doing 10 words a day, I decided it would be best to do 15 a day. I’m testing at the end of September and when I worked the math out, I see that I can blast through these vocab words by the end of August if I do 15 a day and then I can review them all later. If anyone has any thoughts about this method, feel free to share!

Abjure- to reject; abandon formally

I’m sure that that some graduate schools will sent me letters of abjuration.

NOTE: Abjure can be easily confused with Adjure which means “to charge, bind, or command earnestly and solemnly, often under oath or the threat of penalty.”

Hapless- unfortunate; having bad luck

Don’t consider yourself hapless because you’re not getting any job offers. Since the economy has tanked and budgets have shrunk, employers are more apt to give jobs to those with more experience than to fresh, college grads.

Keen– having a sharp edge; intellectually sharp; perceptive

Alex the parrot was very keen. He could pick up an object and determine what kind of matter it is made up of. 

Itinerant- wandering from place to place; unsettled

Since I haven’t lived in the same zip code for more than six months since May 2009, I guess you could describe me as itinerant.

Jargon- nonsensical talk; specialized language

I’ve learned more jargon working in the political field than I ever did in a political science class.

Jettison- to discard; to get rid of as unnecessary or encumbering

It makes me sick when I see boats jettison trash into the water. 

Jocular- playful; humorous

There is no doubt about it, my college friends were some of the most jocular people I know. I don’t think I’ll ever meet anyone else who would ever feel comfortable playing baseball in a car.

Levity- an inappropriate lack of seriousness; overly casual

If there’s one thing I admire about Rob, it’s that he can always bring levity to any serious situation. 

Mendicant- beggar

We get a lot of mendicants hanging outside of our building at night. 

Missive- a written note or letter

This past weekend, I had to write a missive that I hoped I never had to write, but I didn’t have a choice. I could not continue to be treated like the only girl in the world when I apparently wasn’t. 

Obdurate- hardened in feeling; resistant to persuasion

There’s no doubt about it, when I found out about the deception, I was obdurate. I could not ignore what I saw and pretend like it never happened. 

Plastic- able to be molded, altered, or bent

Silly Putty is very plastic; you can mold it into just about anything. 

Prodigal- lavish; wasteful

I can’t watch shows like Real Housewives of Orange County. Their prodigal lifestyles annoy me. 

Pulchritude- beauty

If some guy told me that he admired me for my pulchritude, before coming across this GRE flashcard, I wouldn’t know what to say. I would have thought that he was saying that I was ugly since, by its spelling and pronunciation, it doesn’t seem like a word you would use to flatter someone.

Variegated- varied; marked with different colors. 

I enjoyed the variegated building I saw in Montreal; each windowpane was a different color of the rainbow.