Category: vocabulary

English: ideologue

Self-tutoring about English: the tutor mentions the word ideologue. An ideologue is someone who lives their code of beliefs. It’s the first ‘o’ I find interesting here: ideologue, yet idealist. Source: Barber, Katherine et al. Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current

English: obviate

Self-tutoring English: the tutor mentions a word he noticed. Obviate means to relieve from need or from peril. Finding your own pencil can obviate the requirement of borrowing one. As well, one can obviate holiday panic by starting their Christmas

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

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