DECEMBER THREAD

1. Covert - Existing or operating in a way so as to ensure complete concealment and confidentiality; lying beyond what is obvious or avowed; something that physically protects, especially from danger; a hiding place; clandestine, underhanded; something that serves to conceal or shelter 2. Fir - Any of various evergreen trees of the genus Abies, having single flattened needles and erect cones with deciduous scales; wood of these trees 3. Truculent - Disposed to fight; pugnacious; expressing bitter opposition; scathing; disposed to or exhibiting violence or destructiveness; fierce; belligerent, hateful; defiantly aggressive 4. Bore - One that is wearingly dull, repetitive, or tedious; to make a hole in or through, with or as if with a drill; proceed or advance steadily or laboriously; high, often dangerous wave caused by the surge of a flood tide upstream in a narrowing estuary or by colliding tidal currents; unpleasant, tiresome person; hollow out (a gun barrel or other tube) 5. Insipid - Lacking flavor or zest; not tasty; lacking qualities that excite, stimulate, or interest; dull 6. Dispassionate - Devoid of or unaffected by passion, emotion, or bias; feeling or showing no strong emotional involvement; free from bias in judgment; unfeeling, impartial; unaffected by strong emotion or prejudice 7. Quandary - A state of uncertainty or perplexity; delicate situation; state of doubt or puzzlement; a situation from which extrication is difficult especially an unpleasant or trying one; state of uncertainty or perplexity especially as requiring a choice between equally unfavorable options 8. Gaunt - Thin and bony; angular; emaciated and haggard; drawn; bleak and desolate; barren; skinny, pale; having little flesh or fat on the body; worn and lean, as from hunger or illness 9. Dank - Disagreeably damp or humid; clammy; slightly wet; unpleasantly damp or cold 10. Malaise - A vague feeling of bodily discomfort, as at the beginning of an illness; general sense of depression or unease; general feeling of discomfort or uneasiness, often the first indication of an infection or other disease 11. Stagnant - Not moving or flowing; motionless; showing little or no sign of activity or advancement; not developing or progressing; inactive; lacking vitality or briskness; sluggish or dull; motionless 12. Luminary - An object, such as a celestial body, that gives light; person who is an inspiration to others; person who has achieved eminence in a specific field; celebrity; a famous person

13. Bummer - A great disappointment or regrettable fact; one who begs habitually or for a living; an experience that is irritating or frustrating or disappointing; a bad reaction to a hallucinogenic drug; beggar; a loafer or idler; one that depresses, frustrates, or disappoints 14. Expurgate - To remove erroneous, vulgar, obscene, or otherwise objectionable material from (a book, for example) before publication; examine (material) and remove parts considered harmful or improper for publication or transmission; censor, cut 15. Obstinate - Stubbornly adhering to an attitude, opinion, or course of action; obdurate; difficult to manage, control, or subdue; refractory; difficult to alleviate or cure; stubborn, determined 16. Swarthy - Having a dark complexion or color; of a complexion tending toward brown or black; dark-complexioned 17. Crass - So crude and unrefined as to be lacking in discrimination and sensibility; coarse, insensitive; lacking in delicacy or refinement 18. Kiosk - A small open gazebo or pavilion; small structure, often open on one or more sides, used as a newsstand or booth; cylindrical structure on which advertisements are posted; an independent stand from which merchandise is sold, often placed in the common area of a regional shopping center 19. Coy - Tending to avoid people and social situations; reserved; affectedly and usually flirtatiously shy or modest; annoyingly unwilling to make a commitment; very modest; not forward but reticent or reserved in manner; given to flirting; shy 20. Matter-of-fact - Relating or adhering to facts; literal; straightforward or unemotional; realistic, unembellished; lacking liveliness, charm, or surprise; having or indicating an awareness of things as they really are; with little or no emotion or expression 21. Shadowy - Lacking distinctness; faint; lacking substance; unsubstantial; relating or resembling a shadow; full of shade; dark; lacking clarity; indistinct 22. Caustic - Capable of burning, corroding, dissolving, or eating away by chemical action; so sharp as to cause mental pain; burning, corrosive; sarcastic; destroying living tissue by chemical burning action; enveloping surface formed by light rays reflecting or refracting from a curved surface, especially one with spherical aberration; causing a burning or stinging sensation, as from intense emotion 23. Boastful - Characterized by or given to boasting; exhibiting selfimportance 24. Aphid - Any of various small, soft-bodied insects of the family Aphididae that have mouthparts specially adapted for piercing and feed by sucking sap from plants; A small sucking insect that feeds primarily on new soft growth 25. Wary - On guard; watchful; characterized by caution; vigilantly attentive; trying attentively to avoid danger, risk, or error; careful,

cautious; openly distrustful and unwilling to confide 26. Gull - A person who is easily tricked or cheated; a dupe; any of various chiefly coastal aquatic birds of the family Laridae, having long wings, webbed feet, a thick, slightly hooked beak, and usually gray and white plumage; person who is easily deceived or victimized; get money or something else from by deceitful trickery 27. Laconic - Using or marked by the use of few words; terse or concise; short, to the point 28. Befriend - To behave as a friend to; make social acquaintance; support 29. Bolster - To support or prop up with or as if with a long narrow pillow or cushion; to buoy up or hearten; keep from yielding or failing during stress or difficulty; help; short horizontal timber or steel member placed on top of a column to support and decrease the span of beams or girders; to support; reinforce. To give a boost to someone 30. Transgression - A violation of a law, command, or duty; exceeding of due bounds or limits; relative rise in sea level resulting in deposition of marine strata over terrestrial strata; an act or instance of breaking a law or regulation or of nonfulfillment of an obligation or promise; violation, misbehavior 31. Peep - To utter short, soft, high-pitched sounds, like those of a baby bird; cheep; to speak in a hesitant, thin, high-pitched voice; slight sound or utterance; to peek furtively; steal a quick glance; to peer through a small aperture or from behind something; quick look; glance; first glimpse or appearance 32. Intangible - Incapable of being apprehended by the mind or the senses; indefinite, obscured; incorporeal; incapable of being realized or defined 33. Pinch - To be severely sparing in order to economize; take (another's property) without permission; take into custody as a prisoner; a seizing and holding by law; very small amount; predicament 34. Centigrade - A temperature scale in which 0 degrees if freezing and 100 degrees is boiling; a thermometer scale, divided into 100 degrees, in which 0°C is the freezing point of water and 100°C is the boiling point; celsius 35. Ostracize - To exclude from a group; to exclude from normal social or professional activities; to force to leave a country or place by official decree; exile, banish; to put into public disfavor 36. Formulaic - Characterized by or in accordance with some formula; being of no special quality or type; average 37. Inclined - Sloping, slanting, or leaning; having a preference, disposition, or tendency; having a preference, disposition, or tendency; at an angle to the horizontal or vertical position; having made preparations; used especially of the head or upper back 38. Paralyze - To deprive of the power to move or feel in a part of the

body; make powerless and unable to function; cause to be paralyzed and immobile; impair the progress or functioning of; make inoperative or powerless 39. Addle - To muddle; confuse; to become confused; to become rotten, as an egg; to cause to be unclear in mind or intent; mix up or confuse 40. Encipher - To put (a message, for example) into cipher; convert plain text into unintelligible form by means of a cipher system 41. Emulate - To take as a model or make conform to a model; to strive against (others) for victory; to imitate with intent to learn; strive to equal or excel, especially through imitation; compete with successfully; approach or attain equality with; ambitious; emulous 42. Saunter - To walk at a leisurely pace; stroll; leisurely pace; leisurely walk or stroll; stroll; walk in a confident manner; act of walking, especially for pleasure 43. Succor - Assistance in time of distress; relief; one that affords assistance or relief; to give assistance to in time of want, difficulty, or distress; give support or assistance 44. Pulchritude - Great physical beauty and appeal 45. Abate - To lessen; to subside; in metalwork, to cut away or beat down so as to show a pattern or figure in low relief 46. Peremptory - Urgent; imperative; overbearing, authoritative; tending to dictate; offensively self-assured; dictatorial; having the nature of or expressing a command; urgent; not allowing contradiction or refusal; imperative; putting an end to all debate or action 47. Timorous - Full of apprehensiveness; timid; easily frightened 48. Formulate - To convey in language or words of a particular form; form a strategy for; to use ingenuity in making, developing, or achieving; prepare according to a specified formula; devise or invent; express in systematic terms or concepts; state as or reduce to a formula 49. Disparate - Fundamentally distinct or different in kind; entirely dissimilar; containing or composed of dissimilar or opposing elements; at odds, different; not like another in nature, quality, amount, or form; including markedly dissimilar elements; fundamentally different or distinct in quality or kind 50. Tantalizing - Enticingly in sight, yet often out of reach; arousing desire or expectation for something unattainable or mockingly out of reach; very pleasantly inviting 51. Vile - Very evil; unpleasant; so objectionable as to elicit despisal or deserve condemnation; heavily soiled; very dirty or unclean; extremely unpleasant to the senses or feelings; having or proceeding from low moral standards; offensive, horrible; loathsome; disgusting 52. Vex - To trouble the nerves or peace of mind of, especially by repeated vexations; distress, bother; disturb or annoy; to cause

perplexity in; puzzle; to debate or discuss (a question, for example) at length; to toss about or shake up 53. Dauntless - Incapable of being intimidated or discouraged; fearless; having or showing courage; bold, courageous 54. Vapid - Lacking liveliness, animation, or interest; dull; lacking taste, zest, or flavor; flat; uninteresting 55. Cameo - To make into or like a gem or shell carved in relief; to portray in sharp, delicate relief, as in a literary composition 56. Herculean - Of extraordinary size and power; displaying superhuman strength or power 57. Trifling - Of slight worth or importance; frivolous or idle; insignificant, worthless; contemptibly unimportant; the deliberate act of wasting time instead of working 58. Observable - Possible to observe; deserving or worthy of note; noteworthy; apparent; readily seen, perceived, or understood 60. Polemical - Polemic; controversial; disputatious; given to arguing; of or involving dispute or controversy 61. Bromide - A tiresome person; a bore; a commonplace remark or notion; a platitude; a binary compound of bromine with another element, such as silver; sedative; trite expression or idea 62. Hackneyed - Over familiar through overuse; trite 63. Gratuitous - Costing nothing; not required, necessary, or warranted by the circumstances of the case; not necessary; free 64. Wedding - Marriage rite 65. Ladle - a long-handled spoon with a deep bowl for serving soup, stew etc 66. Spartan - Resolute in the face of pain or danger or adversity; unsparing and uncompromising in discipline or judgment; practicing great self-denial; austere; laconic; simple 67. Malice - A desire to harm others or to see others suffer; extreme ill will or spite; the intent, without just cause or reason, to commit a wrongful act that will result in harm to another; hate, vengefulness; state of mind that disregards the law and legal rights of others but that does not necessarily involve personal hate or ill will 68. Teetotaler - One who abstains completely from alcoholic beverages; a total abstainer; practice of refraining from use of alcoholic liquors 69. Aggrandize - To increase the scope of; extend; make greater in power, influence, stature, or reputation; cause something to seem or be greater, bigger 70. Banquet - An elaborate, sumptuous repast; ceremonial dinner honoring a particular guest or occasion; honor at or partake of a banquet; large meal elaborately prepared or served; dinner 71. Dire - Warning of or having dreadful or terrible consequences; calamitous; urgent; desperate; terrible, ominous; urgent; crucial 72. Comprehensive - So large in scope or content as to include much; full; including everything; inclusive; covering a wide scope

73. Oaf - A person regarded as stupid or clumsy; large, ungainly, and dull-witted person; person who is clumsy, stupid; awkward person 74. Complaisance - Agreeableness; disposition or tendency to yield to the will of others 75. Veto - To forbid or prohibit authoritatively; refusal of permission 76. Maverick - An unbranded range animal, especially a calf that has become separated from its mother, traditionally considered the property of the first person who brands it; one that refuses to abide by the dictates of or resists adherence to a group; a dissenter; being independent in thought and action or exhibiting such independence; radical 77. Accolade - An expression of approval; praise; special acknowledgment; an award; ceremonial embrace, as of greeting or salutation; ceremonial bestowal of knighthood; recognition; ornamental treatment, used over an arch, a door, or a window, composed of two curves meeting in the middle; often a richly decorated molding; approval 78. Gully - A deep ditch or channel cut in the earth by running water after a prolonged downpour; to wear a deep ditch or channel in; deep ditch cut by running water 79. Surreptitious - Obtained, done, or made by clandestine or stealthy means; sneaky, secret; trickily secret; conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods; Marked by quiet and caution and secrecy 80. Schism - A separation or division into factions; disunion; discord; state of disagreement and disharmony; condition of being divided, as in opinion; interruption in friendly relations 81. Penurious - Unwilling to spend money; stingy; yielding little; barren; poverty-stricken; destitute; mean; poor; ungenerously or pettily reluctant to spend money 82. Volatile - Following no predictable pattern; explosive, changeable; having a tendency to evaporate rapidly; flying or capable of flying; ephemeral; fleeting; inconstant; fickle; lighthearted; flighty 83. Harangue - A long pompous speech, especially one delivered before a gathering; speech or piece of writing characterized by strong feeling or expression; a tirade; long, violent, or blustering speech, usually of censure or denunciation; speak in a loud, pompous, or prolonged manner; lecture; long passionate speech 84. Mollify - To calm in temper or feeling; soothe; lessen in intensity; temper; reduce the rigidity of; soften; ease the anger or agitation of; ause to be more favorably inclined; gain the good will of; make more temperate, acceptable, or suitable by adding something else; moderate 85. Candid - Free from prejudice; impartial; characterized by openness and sincerity of expression; unreservedly straightforward;

unposed informal photograph; not posed or rehearsed; manifesting honesty and directness, especially in speech; honest 86. Belie - To give a false representation to; misrepresent; to show to be false; contradict; deceive 87. Accrue - Accumulate or increase; increasing by addition of growth, often financial 88. Bliss - Extreme happiness; ecstasy; ecstasy of salvation; spiritual joy; condition of supreme well-being and good spirits; be in a state of great happiness or joy 89. Fretwork - Ornamental work consisting of three-dimensional frets; geometric openwork; design of short bars or lines fitted together 90. Repudiate - To refuse to recognize or acknowledge; reject; turn one's back on; disown 91. Gainsay - To declare false; deny; to oppose, especially by contradiction; refuse to admit the truth, reality, value, or worth of 92. Ungainly - Lacking grace or ease of movement or form; clumsy; Difficult to move or use; unwieldy; awkward; lacking dexterity and grace in physical movement; difficult to handle or manage especially because of shape 93. Falter - To be unsteady in purpose or action, as from loss of courage or confidence; waver; speak hesitatingly; stammer; to operate or perform unsteadily or with a loss of effectiveness; stumble, stutter; to move in a shaky or unsteady way 94. Alluring - Tending to seduce; charming; tempting; highly attractive and able to arouse hope or desire; enticing 95. Bestow - To present as a gift or honor; give, allot; to store or house; to provide with often temporary lodging; give formally or officially 96. Couch - A sofa; convey in language or words of a particular form; ie down; recline, as for rest; lie in ambush or concealment; lurk; be in a heap or pile, as leaves for decomposition or fermentation; to word in a certain manner; phrase; to embroider by laying thread flat on a surface and fastening it by stitches at regular intervals; lower (a spear, for example) to horizontal position, as for an attack; frame or floor on which grain, usually barley, is spread in malting; priming coat of paint or varnish used in artistic painting; a layer of grain, usually barley, spread to germinate 97. Esteem - To regard with respect; prize; favorable regard; think highly of; have a high opinion of; recognize the worth, quality, importance, or magnitude of; feeling of deference, approval, and liking 98. Venerate - To regard with respect, reverence, or heartfelt deference 99. Din - A jumble of loud, usually discordant sounds; stun with deafening noise; instill by wearying repetition; sounds or a sound, especially when loud, confused, or disagreeable; uproar

100. Temerity - Foolhardy disregard of danger; recklessness; nerve, audacity; rash or presumptuous daring 101. Probity - Complete and confirmed integrity; uprightness; quality or state of being morally sound; fairness, honesty; virtue or integrity tested and confirmed 102. Pervasive - Having the quality or tendency to pervade or permeate; spreading throughout; extending; suffusing 103. Ineluctable - Not to be avoided or escaped; inevitable; certain; impossible to avoid or evade 104. Fraught - Filled with a specified element or elements; charged; marked by or causing distress; emotional; freight; cargo; marked by distress; filled with or attended with 105. Placidity - The quality or state of being placid; calmness; serenity; a feeling of calmness; a quiet and undisturbed feeling; a disposition free from stress or emotion 106. Mishap - Bad luck; an unfortunate accident; unexpected and usually undesirable event; an instance of misfortune; unpredictable outcome that is unfortunate 107. Happenstance - An unexpected random event 108. Intermittent - Stopping and starting at intervals; alternately containing and empty of water; irregular, sporadic; happening or appearing now and then 109. Agility - The state or quality of being agile; nimbleness; deftness (physical or mental) 110. Visa - An official authorization appended to a passport, permitting entry into and travel within a particular country or region; to endorse or ratify (a passport) 111. Pithy - Precisely meaningful; forceful and brief; consisting of or resembling pith 112. Procrastinate - To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness; postpone or delay needlessly; delay, put off doing 113. Imbue - To inspire or influence thoroughly; pervade; to permeate or saturate; to stain or dye deeply; to cause to be filled, as with a particular mood or tone; infuse, saturate 114. Playbill - A poster announcing a theatrical performance; a theatrical program 115. Conformist - A person who uncritically or habitually conforms to the customs, rules, or styles of a group; marked by conformity or convention; conventionalist, traditionalist 116. Voluble - Marked by a ready flow of speech; fluent; turning easily on an axis; rotating; talkative; marked by a ready flow of speech 117. Mulish - Stubborn and intractable; recalcitrant; unreasonably rigid in the face of argument or entreaty or attack 118. Opine - To state as an opinion; speak one's opinion without fear or hesitation; expect, believe, or suppose

119. Pundit - A source of opinion; a critic; learned person; usually elderly person noted for wisdom, knowledge, and judgment; person who is authority 120. Equivocation - Intentionally vague or ambiguous; falsification by means of vague or ambiguous language; a statement that is not literally false but that cleverly avoids an unpleasant truth; expression or term liable to more than one interpretation; use or an instance of equivocal language 121. Go-getter - An enterprising person; someone whose career progresses rapidly; intensely energetic, enthusiastic person 122. Glacier - A huge mass of ice slowly flowing over a land mass, formed from compacted snow in an area where snow accumulation exceeds melting and sublimation 123. Crouch - To stoop, especially with the knees bent; to press the entire body close to the ground with the limbs bent; bend servilely or timidly; cringe; to bend (the head or knee, for example) low, as in fear or humility; act of bending low with the limbs close to the body 124. Intimidate - To make timid; fill with fear; to coerce or inhibit by or as if by threats; frighten, threaten 125. Odious - Arousing or meriting strong dislike, aversion, or intense displeasure; hateful, horrible; so objectionable as to elicit despisal or deserve condemnation 126. Indelible - Impossible to remove, erase, or wash away; permanent; unable to be forgotten; memorable; indestructible; cannot be removed, washed away or erased 127. Reify - To regard or treat (an abstraction) as if it had concrete or material existence; interpretation of an abstract idea or concept, such as the state, as real or concrete; consider an abstract concept to be real 128. Natatorium - An indoor swimming pool; pool that provides a facility for swimming; building containing a swimming pool; a swimming pool 129. Luculent - Easily understood; clear or lucid; (of language) transparently clear; easily understandable 130. Qurush - 20 qurush equal 1 riyal in Saudi Arabia 131. Gravitas - Substance; weightiness; a serious or dignified demeanor; high seriousness; formality in bearing and appearance 132. Skulduggery - Crafty deception or trickery or an instance of it; verbal misrepresentation intended to take advantage of you in some way 133. Limpid - Admitting light so that objects beyond can be seen; characterized by transparent clearness; calm and untroubled; serene; clear; comprehensible 134. Modicum - A small, moderate, or token amount 135. Mirth - Gladness and gaiety, especially when expressed by laughter; state of joyful exuberance; great joy; joyfulness with laughter

136. Avarice - Immoderate desire for wealth; cupidity; excessive desire for more than one needs or deserves; extreme greed; greed or passion for money or riches

ANALOGIES: 1. fir:tree 2. truculent:light 3. insipid:bore 4. dank:moisture 5. insect:aphid 6. wary:gulled 7. ruler:length 8. peep:sound 9. degree:centigrade 10. hardness:mass 11. pinch:quantity 12. saunter:walk 13. cameo:sculpture 14. herculean:trifling 15. marriage:wedding 16. gratuitous:justification 17. bromide:hackneyed 18. soup:ladle 19. banquet:meal 20. comprehensive:dire 21. gully:erosion 22. candy:sugar 23. unstable:volatile 24. harangue:mollify 25. appointment:official 26. fretwork:ornament 27. mishap:accident 28. ineluctable:avoid 29. fraught:placidity 30. visa:country 31. mulish:persuaded 32. pundit:opine 33. equivocation:ambiguous 34. glacier:snow 35. approach:intimidate 36. indelible:forget

ISSUE TOPICS: 1. It is impossible for an effective political leader to tell the truth all the time. Complete honesty is not a useful virtue for a politician 2. Humanity has made little real progress over the past century or so. Technological innovations have taken place, but the overall condition of humanity is no better. War, violence, and poverty are still with us. Technology cannot change the condition of humanity 3. When research priorities are being set for science, education, or any other area, the most important question to consider is: How many people's lives will be improved if the results are successful? 4. Children must be skeptic and they will ask questions to teachers insraec of listening like a def and dumb people 5. Telecast of proceedings of government helps in development of society 6. The surest indicator of a great nation is not the achievements of its rulers, artists, or scientists, but the general welfare of all its people 7. The surest indicator of a great nation is not the achievements of its rulers, artists, or scientists, but the general welfare of all its people 8. In order to improve the quality of instruction at the college and university level, all faculty should be required to spend time working outside the academic world in professions relevant to the courses they teach

ARGUMENT TOPICS: 1. The following is a recommendation from the personnel director to the president of Acme Publishing Company. "Many other companies have recently stated that having their employees take the Easy Read Speed-Reading Course has greatly improved productivity. One graduate of the course was able to read a five-hundred-page report in only two hours; another graduate rose from an assistant manager to vice president of the company in under a year. Obviously, the faster you can read, the more information you can absorb in a single workday. Moreover, Easy Read costs only $500 per employee — a small price to pay when you consider the benefits to Acme. Included in this fee is a three-week seminar in Spruce City and a lifelong subscription to the Easy Read newsletter. Clearly, Acme would benefit greatly by requiring all of our employees to take the Easy Read course." 2. The following is a recommendation from the business manager of

Monarch Books. "Monarch Books should open a cafe in its store to attract more customers and better compete with Regal Books, which recently opened a cafe. Monarch, which has been in business at the same location for more than twenty years, has a large customer following because it is known for its wide selection of books on all subjects. Opening the cafe would clearly attract more customers. The cafe would require relatively little space. Space could be made for the cafe by discontinuing the children's book section, which will likely become less popular given that the last national census indicated a significant decline in the percent of the population who are under age ten." 3. Statistics collected from dentists indicate that three times more men than women faint while visiting the dentist. This evidence suggests that men are more likely to be distressed about having dental work done than women are. Thus, dentists who advertise to attract patients should target the male consumer and emphasize both the effectiveness of their anesthetic techniques and the sensitivity of their staff to nervous or suffering patients 4. The following appeared in a medical newsletter. "Doctors have long suspected that secondary infections may keep some patients from healing quickly after severe muscle strain. This hypothesis has now been proved by preliminary results of a study of two groups of patients. The first group of patients, all being treated for muscle injuries by Dr. Newland, a doctor who specializes in sports medicine, took antibiotics regularly throughout their treatment. Their recuperation time was, on average, 40 percent quicker than typically expected. Patients in the second group, all being treated by Dr. Alton, a general physician, were given sugar pills, although the patients believed they were taking antibiotics. Their average recuperation time was not significantly reduced. Therefore, all patients who are diagnosed with muscle strain would be well advised to take antibiotics as part of their treatment." 5. The following appeared in an article in a magazine for writers "A recent study showed that in describing a typical day's conversation, people make an average of 23 references to watching television and only 1 reference to reading fiction. This result suggests that, compared with the television industry, the publishing and bookselling industries are likely to decline in profitability. Therefore, people who wish to have careers as writers should

acquire training and experience in writing for television rather than for print media."