Category: vocabulary

English: obfuscate

Tutoring English, vocabulary is always interesting. The tutor mentions a word he recently noticed: obfuscate obfuscate: to make more confusing; to hinder understanding. Source: Barber, Katherine et al. Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2005.

English: vocabulary: decedent

Tutoring English, new words emerge. The tutor mentions one. I heard someone say “decedent” recently, so wondered if it’s a word, which it indeed is. A “decedent” is one who is deceased. Source: Mish, Frederick C. (editor). Merriam-Webster Dictionary.Springfield: Merriam-Webster,

English: preventive or preventative?

Tutoring English, questions arise I’ve wondered about for years. Preventive or preventative? According to Merriam-Webster, they’re equivalent. Source: Mish, Frederick C. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

Vocabulary: beeves

Tutoring English, surprises arise. The tutor mentions beeves. Beeves is plural of beef. It can refer to presented beef dinners or standing animals. I first read “beeves” in Shelby Foote’s The Civil War. I believe he was referring to cattle

English: pith and pithy

Self-tutoring about English: the tutor mentions definitions for pity and pithy. The “pith” of a sentence is its message. “Pithy” means abundant with meaning. Source:

English: august, the adjective

Self-tutoring about English: the tutor recalls…. I remember, decades ago, hearing that august can be an adjective. I’m sure my sister told me so. What does it mean? august:impressive by way of grace, dignity, or greatness, and earning spontaneous respect

English: what does excise (tax) mean?

Self-tutoring about English: the tutor notices a word and finally checks it. An excise is a tax levied on the sale or production of an item. An event has to happen for an excise to be due. Source: Mish, Frederick

English: vial and phial

Tutoring English, questions can linger for years before the answer is sought. I’ve long heard of phial, but didn’t know for sure. Yet, its meaning matches vial: a small bottle, perhaps for medicine. Source: Gilmour, Lorna, Editor. Collins Essential Canadian

English: approbation

Tutoring English, you might often see words you can’t recall. The tutor mentions approbation. approbation: good feelings, positive response Source: Barber, Katherine et al. Oxford Canadian Dictionary. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2005.

English: concision

Tutoring English, you might encounter a new word anytime. The tutor mentions concision. concision: conciseness Source: dictionary.com Gilmour, Lorna. Collins Essential Canadian English Dictionary and Thesaurus. Glasgow: HarperCollins, 2006.

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