April 09, 2010

Helping With Words

In high school, my classmates used to call me the "walking dictionary." Every time they didn't know what a word meant, they asked me.

So, as a result, I've always been smug about my vocabulary. Well, that is until I stumbled on www.freerice.com.

Fight World Hunger

The premise of the website is that they give you a word, and you have to pick the correct definition from three choices. Each time you get a right answer, a company or organization sponsors ten grains of rice through the World Food Programme.

Sounds simple, right?

Well, not exactly. The game completely annihilated me.

The first word you have to define is always easy, but they get harder with each level. Here are some of the insane words I encountered:

Appel - stomp.

Bahuvrihi - compound noun.

Balister - a crossbow.

Curtilage - enclosed area of land adjacent to a dwelling house.

Gadwall - a duck.

Pantofles - slippers.

Seel - to sew up the eyes.

Soave - white Italian wine.

Subvene - support monetarily.

Tsuris - an effort that is inconvenient or trouble.

I've been speaking English my whole life, but being faced with these words reminded me that I don't know everything about the language. It is always evolving, and, as writers, we must evolve with it.

Have you encountered these words? Will you ever use them in your writing?


Shannon O'Donnell said...

Whoa! Um...nope. I've never seen most of those words, so it's doubtful I'll ever use them. The only one I recognize is balister.

Swimmer said...

Nope... never... not once. They are very intresting though

Amparo Ortiz said...

Never seen them, either... *blushes from embarrassment*

Anyway, I just gave you an award on my blog! Congrats!

Swimmer said...

Oh I just tried it and I didn't fail!

Paul C said...

Thanks for this link to an interesting word building site. Also it's tied in well with a worthy cause.

kanishk said...

They are very intresting though
post free classifieds