Entries by Lisa Lombardi

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Wonderful Words: Sardonic

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After last week’s blog about POLTROONERY, I started thinking about how much fun it is to learn about the origin of words, and how that knowledge can really help you remember the meaning and usage of a word.  I was perusing a book I purchased last year called Grammar Girl’s 101 Words to Sound Smart by Mignon Fogarty, and came across this entry for SARDONIC (a WordMasters word in 1991 and 2009):

Greeks coined the word sardonic from the name of the island Sardinia (now part of Italy), where a plant was said to grow that, if eaten, would force face muscles into a grimacing smile—not a smile of happiness, but a smile of pain—a sardonic smile.  Scientists in Italy recently reported that they believe a Sardinian plant called water celery is the lethal herb the Greeks had in mind.

Sardonic means cutting, cynical, and disdainful and is often used to describe a kind of humor.

Now try to solve this WordMasters Challenge from our analogy archives:

COMMENT : SARDONIC :: __________________________

  1. APPLE : CRISP
  2. STEAK : TOUCH
  3. BREAD : STALE
  4. PEPPER : HOT
  5. COFFEE : BITTER





 

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WordMasters Basics: What is the WordMasters Challenge™?

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Are you looking for a new way to help your students grow their vocabulary and verbal reasoning? Join over 150,000 students from some of the best public and private schools throughout the United States who participate in the WordMasters™ Challenge!

What is the WordMasters Challenge™ and what are the benefits?

WordMasters Challenge™ (n.) 1. A yearly, national competition for students in grades 3-8 that encourages growth in vocabulary and verbal reasoning through the use of analogies.

Unlike other language arts competitions for this age group—which focus on grammar, punctuation, spelling and other language mechanics—the WordMasters Challenge™ helps students learn to think both analytically and metaphorically. The contest addresses higher-level word comprehension and verbal reasoning in two ways:

  • It challenges students to complete analogies based on relationships among words they have learned.
  • It bases the analogies on special vocabulary lists, developed for each grade and difficulty level by experienced teachers, which participants study before each meet.

Traditional vocabulary learning : WordMasters Challenge™ :: Rote memorization : ___________

A. Verbal reasoning

B. Higher-level word comprehension

C. Improved reading comprehension

D. Improved verbal expression

E. Improved standardized test scores

F. All of the above!

The benefit? Research shows that developing higher order thinking skills impacts reading comprehension, verbal expression and performance on standardized tests!

To enroll your team for the 2013-14 school year, visit www.wordmasterschallenge.com.
 

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