It’s CARE-VOCABULARY TIME. (Go ahead and express your excitement. I know you wanna.)
I am taking notes. (and this is just the first 39 pages!)
Part ONE: Let’s play MATCH, shall we? This shouldn’t be too hard for all you erudite friends who all read this blog; I seem to look up these words a lot, over and over and over. The definitions just don’t seem to stick in my brain! When I look ‘em up, I see the meaning and (*slapforehead*) say to myself, “I know that.”
A. DINT 1. dark green, a form of jade
B. HARRIDAN 2. a prayer
C. PARVENU 3. devoid of hair
D. HUGGER-MUGGER 4. suitable
E. NEPHRITE 5. a person new to wealth and without class
F. CONDIGN 6. dung, filth, manure
G. ESCRITOIRE 7. head or brain
H. NODDLE 8. a strict, bossy, or belligerent old woman
I. ORISON 9. writing desk
J. GLABROUS 10. force; power
K. ORDURE 11. disorder or confusion
I mean, sure. NODDLE was EASY to figure out by its context but it still seemed new and fresh and odd and a varietal of NOODLE. Or a typo. Escritoire and orison are TOTALLY new to me. I am positive I have looked up PARVENU a million times… sigh. Give me a million dollars and I can be a parvenu.
Fun story: Last week, I got to ‘play’ librarian at the High School. I do not mean to be disrespectful but I had fun, thus ‘play’. I had just started reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and had encountered hugger-mugger* at the time when a couple of sophomores signed in. I do have a tendency to chat with library patrons and asked one of the nice girls if she would be willing to look up a word for me since she was on the side of the counter that had the BIG DICTIONARY**. She obliged me. In only a few page turns (the girl knew her alphabet), she read aloud the definition and I thought up an example that she might relate to and she assured me she ‘GOT it’. She promised me she would use it in a sentence that day. I felt convinced she actually meant it. I made a difference in a young student’s life. Or, David Mitchell did and I was the conduit! Yep, I’m a geek. Wave your hand if you’re a geek, too.
I was very happy and relieved that I didn’t ask the next kid to look up ONANISM. *EYEPOP* (yea, pretty sure I’ve looked that one up a time or two. or not.)
PART TWO: the rest of the words…***
p.4 – peregrinations – travels, journey
p.5 – polymath – person of great learning in several fields of study. (noted because I had recently looked it up so I KNEW IT!)
p.6 – circumvallated – a variety I was unaware of for circumnavigated? – surrounded by
p.8 – sheog – CAN’t FIND THIS ONE. assume ‘grog’, moonshine, … (from context.) [Just asked Twitterville how to deal with this and got crickets. Twitter can be hit or miss...]
p.8 – obdurate – stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or course of action.
p.8 – demotic**** – of common folk, makes sense if you think of democracy which I didn’t until I read the definition.
p.8 – thitherwards – This one is just fun to say.
p.9 – tatterdemalion - tattered: worn to shreds; or wearing torn or ragged clothing
p.10 – appellate – AS a VERB? – I get it but can’t quite grasp this one with how it was used: “the islanders thus appellate New Zealand”.
p.10 – dint
p.11 – hugger-mugger
p.11 – terraqueous – I just like the imagery of this word
p.11 – parlor – enclosure to raise domestic pigs? “…willfully marooned pigs here to propagate a parlor.”
p.12 – mmmmmmmmmm[this page had no words requiring me to write down. WHA?!]
p.13 – parvenu
p.13 – penurious – stingy, lacking resources. (sigh, I (should) KNOW THIS!)
p.14 – ordure
p.16 – extirpation – to rid completely (why not use exterminate? I don’t know…)
p.17 – simulcrums – unreal likeness
p.30 – scrofula – lung disease
p.31 – condign
p.32 – mal de mer – French word for seasickness
THUS concludes vocab from the first SECTION: The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing.
(Noddle, Glabrous, Escritoire were from the second section but I’m tired of typing. Orison is from the fourth section, I believe and we saw Ordure again on page 202, FYI.)
Highlight the following for the answers to Part ONE:
A – 10, B – 8, C – 5, D – 11, E – 1, F – 4, G – 9, H – 7, I – 2, J – 3, K – 6
Was this fun? Do you have a favorite word from this list? Did you learn anything?
Half-Way Point to page 236 of Cloud Atlas Readalong scheduled for March 16, Friday – plenty of time to join in! Visit Melissa’s signup post for more information. OH! and don’t let this list intimidate you! The first part is written hundreds of years ago when they talked funny!! The second section was delightful (imo) and it’s just a wild ride so far…
* hugger-mugger – fun! I love this phrase. Makes me wonder how exactly it ever came to be. I would have loved to be an linguist. But at the age of 18 when you are looking at majors to major in in college, this did not look very financially appealing. Stupid me.
** The BIG DICTIONARY is the COOLEST thing.
*** All page numbers reference the Tradeback edition, ISBN 978-0-375-50725-0. YOU STILL HAVE TIME! We are reading ~15 pages a day this month of March and will have a HALFWAY-POINT post here at Care’s Online Book Club on Friday March 16. Do know that I will not be checking in that day until late afternoon because I am subbing for my favorite English teacher at the local High School and she is only my favorite because I know her the best. I do like all of the English teachers I have met and chatted with and have seen-in-action. Just sayin’.
*** demotic – My FAVORITE new word of the book. Doesn’t it sound evil?! and it is not.
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