wonderful words

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Wonderful Words: Laconic

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Here’s another interesting word origin story that traces back to the Mediterranean.  I’ve borrowed this from another fun “word” book I picked up – Random House Webster’s Pocket Power Vocabulary, which is a tiny book about the size of a pack of index cards and includes more than a hundred tests to improve your word mastery.

In Sparta, the capital of the ancient Greek region of Laconia, the children were trained in endurance, cunning, modesty, and self-restraint.  From the terse style of speech and writing of the Laconians we derive the English word “laconic.”  Today the word retains this meaning, expressing much in few words.

Why yes, of course I have a few analogies from our WordMasters archives!  No one ever accused me of being laconic.  See if you can solve these:

SPEAKER : LACONIC :: DONOR : _______________________

  1. PARSIMONIOUS
  2. GARRULOUS
  3. PIVOTAL
  4. PUGNACIOUS
  5. ORATORICAL

GARRULOUS : LACONIC :: DIAPHONOUS : ___________________________

  1. GREGARIOUS
  2. APPREHENSIVE
  3. SHEER
  4. OPAQUE
  5. COMPLIANT





 

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Wonderful Words: Poignant

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Yes, I am a self-proclaimed word nerd and I love to read about words.  Here’s another interesting tidbit from Mignon Fogarty, author of Grammar Girl’s 101 Words Every High School Graduate Needs to Know.

Something poignant is painfully moving, keenly felt, or sharply experienced.  Poignant comes from a Latin word that meant “to prick” and a later Old French word that meant “to prick or sting” and may be related to the word pungent, which has a similar meaning but is more likely to be applied to a taste or a smell.

Okay, so now try your hand at solving these WordMasters Challenge analogies from the archives using poignant and pungent.

 

POIGNANT : MAUDLIN :: DRAMA : ­­­­­­­­­­______________________________

  1. TRAGEDY
  2. COMEDY
  3. SOAP OPERA
  4. SCRIPT
  5. NOVEL

 

SOUP : PUNGENT :: STORY : _____________________________

  1. BOUNTIFUL
  2. POIGNANT
  3. MAWKISH
  4. PUERILE
  5. MORDANT





 

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