FEBRUARY THREAD - Updated regularly Make sure to do all words from previous threads also... 1.

Esoteric - Beyond the understanding of an average mind; mysterious, obscure; not publicly disclosed; confidential; confined to a small group; intended for or understood by only a particular group; of or relating to that which is known by a restricted number of people 2. Augury - The art, ability, or practice of auguring; divination; sign of something coming; an omen; phenomenon that serves as a sign or warning of some future good or evil; practice of reading signs or omens 3. Rapacious - Taking by force; plundering; greedy; ravenous; subsisting on live prey; grasping; having an insatiable appetite for an activity or pursuit 4. Spurious - Lacking authenticity or validity in essence or origin; not genuine; false; of illegitimate birth; similar in appearance but unlike in structure or function; counterfeit, fake; fraudulently or deceptively imitative 5. Reminiscence - The act or process of recollecting past experiences or events; event that brings to mind a similar, former event; calling to mind of incidents within the range of personal knowledge or experience; narrative of experiences undergone by the writer. commentary (often used in plural) 6. Sacrilegious - Grossly irreverent toward what is or is held to be sacred; showing irreverence and contempt for something sacred; profane; grossly irreverent toward what is held to be holy 7. Unflappable - Persistently calm, whether when facing difficulties or experiencing success; not easily upset or excited; cool and calm 8. Apron - A garment of cloth worn to protect your clothing; a defined area on an airfield intended to accommodate aircraft for purposes of loading or unloading passengers or cargo, refueling, parking, or maintenance; flat piece of wood mounted under the base of a cabinet; part of a stage in a theater extending in front of the curtain; platform, as of planking, at the entrance to a dock 9. Arboreal - Relating to or resembling a tree; living in trees; pertaining to trees; of or relating to or formed by trees; inhabiting or frequenting trees; resembling a tree in form and branching structure 10. Altercation - A vehement quarrel; discussion, often heated, in which a difference of opinion is expressed; fight, often verbal; angry fight or dispute 11. Whet - To sharpen (a knife, for example); hone; make more keen; stimulate; sharpen; arouse; excite 12. Obstreperous - Noisily and stubbornly defiant; aggressively boisterous; unruly; not submitting to discipline or control;

offensively loud and insistent 13. Interloper - One that interferes with the affairs of others, often for selfish reasons; a meddler; one that intrudes in a place, situation, or activity; one that trespasses on a trade monopoly, as by conducting unauthorized trade in an area designated to a chartered company; ship or other vessel used in such trade; one who encroaches or intrudes; person given to intruding in other people's affairs 14. Voluble - Marked by a ready flow of speech; fluent; turning easily on an axis; rotating; talkative; marked by a ready flow of speech 15. 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 16. Modicum - A small, moderate, or token amount 17. 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 18. 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 19. Phlegmatic - Without emotion or interest; having or suggesting a calm, sluggish temperament; unemotional 20. Intermittent - Stopping and starting at intervals; alternately containing and empty of water; irregular, sporadic; happening or appearing now and then 21. Unctuous - Characterized by affected, exaggerated, or insincere earnestness; slippery; greasy; affectedly and self-servingly earnest; too polite in speech or manner 22. 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 23. Cavil - To find fault unnecessarily; raise trivial objections; quibble about; detect petty flaws in; carping or trivial objection; critic of our own work 24. Laxatives - Laxatives are products that promote bowel movements; having power to open or loosen the bowels 25. Doleful - Filled with or expressing grief; mournful; causing grief; depressing 26. Lugubrious - Mournful, dismal, or gloomy, especially to an exaggerated or ludicrous degree 27. Awe - A mixed emotion of reverence, respect, dread, and wonder inspired by authority, genius, great beauty, sublimity, or might; amazement; amaze; deep respect mixed with fear and wonder; impress strongly by what is unexpected or unusual 28. Tepid - Moderately warm; lukewarm; lacking in emotional warmth or enthusiasm; halfhearted; neither hot nor cold

29. Unsubstantial - Lacking material substance; insubstantial; lacking firmness or strength; flimsy; lacking basis in fact; lacking material form or substance; unreal 30. Slipshod - Marked by carelessness; sloppy or slovenly; shabby or seedy; careless; not well done; indifferent to correctness, accuracy, or neatness 31. 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 32. Mendicant - Depending on alms for a living; practicing begging; beggar; member of an order of friars forbidden to own property in common, who work or beg for their living; one who begs habitually or for a living 33. Repose - Freedom from labor, responsibility, or strain; relax; recline; calm; rest; to lie while being supported by something; to place (trust, for example); cease from troubling 34. Futility - The quality of having no useful result; uselessness; lack of importance or purpose; frivolousness; condition or quality of being useless or ineffective; fruitlessness 35. Dicey - Involving or fraught with danger or risk; risky;of uncertain outcome; especially fraught with risk 36. Zest - A distinctive property of a substance affecting the gustatory sense; spirited enjoyment; energy, gusto; taste, flavor; hearty enjoyment. Also: The outermost part of the rind of an orange, lemon, or other citrus fruit, used as flavoring; piquancy 37. Fustian - A coarse sturdy cloth made of cotton and flax; pretentious speech or writing; pompous language; pompous, bombastic, and ranting 38. Thaw - Change from a frozen solid to a liquid by gradual warming; unfreeze, warm 39. Sangfroid - A stable, calm state of the emotions 40. Grueling - Physically or mentally demanding to the point of exhaustion; difficult, taxing 41. Venerate - To regard with respect, reverence, or heartfelt deference 42. Quisling - A traitor who serves as the puppet of the enemy occupying his or her country; someone who collaborates with an enemy occupying force 43. Hodgepodge - A mixture of dissimilar ingredients; a jumble; mixture, mess; a theory or argument made up of miscellaneous or incongruous ideas; collection of various things 44. Skittish - Feeling or exhibiting nervous tension; very nervous; lively; shy 45. Circumlocution - The use of unnecessarily wordy and indirect language; roundabout expression; evasion in speech or writing;

redundancy 46. Bewail - To cry over; lament; express sorrow or unhappiness over; regret strongly 47. Bemoan - To express grief over; lament; express disapproval of or regret for; deplore; express sorrow; regret strongly 48. Blasphemous - Impiously irreverent; showing irreverence and contempt for something sacred; irreverent 49. Minotaur - A monster who was half man and half bull, to whom young Athenian men and women were sacrificed in the Cretan labyrinth until Theseus killed him 50. Stern - Hard, harsh, or severe in manner or character; grim, gloomy, or forbidding in appearance or outlook; firm or unyielding; uncompromising; inexorable; relentless; the rear part of a ship or boat; rear part or section 51. Abaft - Toward the stern; nearer the stern than; behind; at or near or toward the stern of a ship or tail of an airplane; in or behind the stern of a ship 52. Abattoir - A slaughterhouse; something likened to a slaughterhouse 53. Butcher - One who slaughters and dresses animals for food or market 54. Gerontophobia - Fear of old people or of growing old; fear of growing old, or a hatred of the elderly 55. 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 56. Presbyterians - Supporters of Calvinism, preaching the doctrine of the elect and advocating church government by a hierarchy of courts. Ultimate authority was the Bible and services gave great prominence to preaching 57. Presbyterian - One who holds the conviction that the government authorities of the Church should be called presbyters; that form of church government which invests presbyters with all spiritual power, and admits no prelates over them; also, the faith and polity of the Presbyterian churches, taken collectively 58. Presbyters - A priest in various hierarchical churches; elder of the congregation in the early Christian church 59. Cinnamon - A light brown spice made from the inner bark of a tree that grows in the East Indies; of a light reddish brown 60. Stygian - Gloomy and dark; infernal; hellish 61. Zealot - Excessive enthusiasm or u can say excessive zeal; or fanatic 62. Impertinent - Exceeding the limits of propriety or good manners; improperly forward or bold; not pertinent; irrelevant; bold, disrespectful

63. Satiate - To satisfy to the full or to excess; stuff, satisfy 64. Debauched - Dissolute; dissipated; violated, corrupted; lead away from virtue or morality; to corrupt 65. Gallant - Smartly or boldly stylish; dashing; unflinching in battle or action; valiant; nobly or selflessly resolute; courteously attentive especially to women; chivalrous; fashionable young man; having or showing courage; brave, gentlemanly 66. Mason - One who builds or works with stone or brick; craftsman who works with stone or brick; to build of or strengthen with masonry 67. Sap - A person who is easily deceived or victimized; lessen or deplete the nerve, energy, or strength of; lessen or weaken severely, as by removing something essential; squeeze out; watery fluid that circulates through a plant, carrying food and other substances to the various tissues; vitality; leather-covered hand weapon; a blackjack; covered trench or tunnel dug to a point near or within an enemy position; undermine the foundations of (a fortification) 68. Crux - The basic, central, or critical point or feature; puzzling or apparently insoluble problem; most important part; a cross; a difficulty; a stumbling-block; a puzzle 69. Awry - In a position that is turned or twisted toward one side; askew; away from the correct course; amiss 70. Intransigent - Refusing to moderate a position, especially an extreme position; uncompromising; firmly, often unreasonably immovable in purpose or will; not capable of being swayed or diverted from a course; unsusceptible to persuasion 71. Wag - To move (a body part) rapidly from side to side or up and down, as in playfulness, agreement, admonition, or chatter; humorous or droll person; a wit; walk with a clumsy sway; waddle; person whose words or actions provoke or are intended to provoke amusement or laughter 72. Droll - Amusingly odd or whimsically comical; amusing, farcical; buffoon; arousing laughter 73. Sabotage - Destruction of property or obstruction of normal operations, as by civilians or enemy agents in time of war; treacherous action to defeat or hinder a cause or an endeavor; deliberate subversion; deliberate damage to equipment or information; incapacitate, damage 74. Saboteur - Someone who commits sabotage or deliberately causes wrecks; a member of a clandestine subversive organization who tries to help a potential invader 75. Venerable - Commanding respect by virtue of age, dignity, character, or position; worthy of reverence, especially by religious or historical association; belonging to, existing, or occurring in times long past; respected 76. Subtle - So slight as to be difficult to notice or appreciate; able to make or detect effects of great subtlety or precision; clever, cunning;

nice, quiet, delicate; having a low intensity; not severe and having no serious sequelae; difficult to detect or grasp by the mind 77. Infirm - Weak in body, especially from old age or disease; feeble; lacking firmness of will, character, or purpose; irresolute; not strong or stable; shaky; sick, weak; weak; feeble, as from disease or old age 78. Vigorous - Possessing, exerting, or displaying energy; energetic, powerful; active in mind or body; robust 79. Providential - Happening as if through divine intervention; opportune; of or resulting from divine providence; characterized by luck or good fortune; opportune; unexpectedly and conspicuously beneficial to the person so describing it 80. Fortuitous - Happening by accident or chance; occurring unexpectedly; lucky, accidental; fortunate 81. Surfeit - To feed or supply to excess, satiety, or disgust; overindulge; excessive amount; satisfy to the full or to excess; Immoderate indulgence, as in food or drink; overfill; state of being more than full; quality of being so overabundant that prices fall ANALOGIES: 1. apron:clothing 2. arboreal:trees 3. interloper:intruder 4. fraught:placidity 5. equivocation:ambiguous 6. mendicant:beg 7. phlegmatic:arouse 8. lugubrious:doleful 9. obstreperous:control 10. vivid:inspiration 11. instigate:provoke 12. presbyterians:church 13. cinnamon:spices 14. gerontophobia:old 15. abattoir:butcher 16. abaft:ship 17. wag:droll 18. saboteur:disrupt 19. venerable:respect 20. subtle:awe 21. vigorous:infirm ISSUE TOPICS:

1. Laws should not be rigid or fixed. Instead, they should be flexible enough to take account of various circumstances, times, and places 2. The study of history places too much emphasis on individuals. The most significant events and trends in history were made possible not by the famous few, but by groups of people whose identities have long been forgotten 3. Governments should focus more on solving the immediate problems of today rather than trying to solve the anticipated problems of the future 4. 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 5. Those who treat politics and morality as though they were separate realms fail to understand either the one or the other 6. Over the past century, the most significant contribution of technology has been to make people's lives more comfortable 7. The most essential quality of an effective leader is the ability to remain consistently committed to particular principles and objectives. Any leader who is quickly and easily influenced by shifts in popular opinion will accomplish little 8. Progress is best made through discussion among people who have contrasting points of view 9. Although many people think that the luxuries and conveniences of contemporary life are entirely harmless, in fact, they actually prevent people from developing into truly strong and independent individuals 10. In this age of intensive media coverage, it is no longer possible for a society to regard any woman or man as a hero. The reputation of anyone who is subjected to media scrutiny will eventually be diminished ARGUMENT TOPICS: 1. 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." 2. The following appeared as a letter to the editor of a national newspaper.

"Your recent article on corporate downsizing* in the United States is misleading. The article gives the mistaken impression that many competent workers who lost jobs as a result of downsizing face serious economic hardship, often for years, before finding other suitable employment. But this impression is contradicted by a recent report on the United States economy, which found that since 1992 far more jobs have been created than have been eliminated. The report also demonstrates that many of those who lost their jobs have found new employment. Two-thirds of the newly created jobs have been in industries that tend to pay above-average wages, and the vast majority of these jobs are full-time." 3. The following appeared in an editorial in the Mason City newspaper. "At present, Mason City residents seldom use the nearby Mason River for any kind of recreational activity, even though surveys of the region's residents consistently rank water sports (swimming, fishing, and boating) as a favorite form of recreation. Since there have been complaints about the quality of the water in the river, residents must be avoiding the river because they think that it is not clean enough. But that situation is about to change: the agency responsible for rivers in our region has announced plans to clean up Mason River. Therefore, recreational use of the river is likely to increase, so the Mason City council will need to increase its budget for improvements to the publicly owned lands along the Mason River." 4. The following appeared in the summary of a study on headaches suffered by the residents of Mentia. "Salicylates are members of the same chemical family as aspirin, a medicine used to treat headaches. Although many foods are naturally rich in salicylates, for the past several decades foodprocessing companies have also been adding salicylates to foods as preservatives. This rise in the commercial use of salicylates has been found to correlate with a steady decline in the average number of headaches reported by participants in our twenty-year study. Recently, food-processing companies have found that salicylates can also be used as flavor additives for foods. With this new use for salicylates, we can expect a continued steady decline in the number of headaches suffered by the average citizen of Mentia."

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