Clarice James

Smart, Fun, Relatable Fiction


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As Rusty As the Spokes On My First Tricycle

tricycleMy memory is as rusty as the spokes on my first tricycle. Unused for years, many words are long gone or have morphed into variations never heard before. Who knows if I ever had them right to begin with?

Is it tact or tack? Further or farther? Affect or effect? Moot or mute?

Don’t get me started on biological or medical terms. More than once, I’ve said, “I fell prostate before the Lord” when I meant prostrate.

Speaking of prostates, I’ve told people I take Flomax instead of Flonase for nasal congestion. Flomax is an alpha-blocker that relaxes the muscles in the prostate and bladder neck, making it easier for men to urinate. Instead of Zantac, I raved how well Xanax works to relieve heartburn, when Xanax is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.

Hm. Perhaps, it is Xanax I need.

For those of you like me struggling with recall and vocabulary, I’ve made this easy-peasy quiz by giving you the definition. All you have to do is circle the word it goes with. May the farce be with you! 

I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, ~ 2 Peter 1:13 (NIV)

  1. a sieve, especially a very fine one – a) carse; b) farce; c) sarse; d) parse
  2. lacking a tail or tail-like appendage – a) masticate; b) flagellate; c) castigate; d) acaudate
  3. put an end to, put a stop to, nip in the bud, put the lid on — a) scotch; b) botch; c) swatch; d) splotch
  4. the method of beginning play in which the forwards of each team crouch side by side with locked arms; play starts when the ball thrown in between them and the two sides compete for possession – a) plumb; b) scrum; c) bumb; d) rhumb
  5. a small stream; especially one that dries up in summer– a) dyke; b) sike; c) shrike; d) pike
  6. (of horses, dogs, and other animals) shortish and thickset; stocky – a) dobby; b) cobby; c) nobby; d) knobby
  7. have legs that curve outward at the knees; bowlegged – a) bandy; b) chandi; c) grandee; d) shandy
  8. turn or hold (a hand, foot, or limb) so that the palm or sole is facing downward or inward – a) rotate; b) pronate; c) probate; d) notate
  9. the pulpy acidic fluid that passes from the stomach to the small intestine, consisting of gastric juices and partly digested food — a) clime; b) chyme; c) slime; d) rhime
  10. subject to prolonged examination, discussion, or deliberation rip-rap – a) hex; b) aix; c) vex; d) sphex
  11. to cause the infliction of (vengeance or punishment) – a) wreaking; b) tweaking; c) cheeking; d) piquing
  12. a small locomotive used to move cars around but not to make trips – a) bunter; b) shunter; c) punter; d) blunter

    Have you found the words to go with the definitions? Can you use the words in a sentence? Scroll down to see how you did.

    Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. ~ Proverbs 9:9 (NIV)

    memory-loss_1024

    Here are the correct answers.

    1. c) sarse
    2. d) acaudate
    3. a) scotch
    4. b) scrum
    5. b) sike
    6. b) cobby
    7. a) bandy
    8. b) pronate
    9. d) chyme
    10. c) vex
    11. a) wreaking
    12. b) shunter

      How do you feel about your score?

      10-12  Did you cheat? Come on, you can tell me.

      07-09  You must be young and still in AP English.

      04-06  You guessed better than most.

      00-03  You’re not losing it; you’ve lost it.

      Want to know what the other words mean? As my father would say, “Then look ’em up!”

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      Twelve Words for a Thinker’s Vocabulary #6

      Marsha-Thinking-Cap-200Many of the words I chose are from The Thinker’s Thesaurus by Peter E. Meltzer.

      For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. ~ Proverbs 2:10-11 (NIV)

      1. alexia – a) automated procedure; b) written material;  c) respiratory condition; d) architectural detail
      2. clerestory – a) type of window; b) cleric’s quarters; c) talkative; d) clearing house
      3. echopraxia – a) practice of echocardiograms; b) uncontrollable mimicking; c) art of yodeling; d) military maneuver
      4. glaciate – a) freeze; b) sink; c) glad-handing; d) make wide at the bottom
      5. lentiginous – a) contentious; b) freckled or speckled; c) liable; d) originating in a certain region
      6. maculate – a) impure; b) manly; c) eye condition; d) sterile or clean
      7. nobby – a) light-hearted; b) boney; c) pimple-faced; d) fashionable
      8. osculate – a) rotate; b) kiss; c) debate; d) insert breathing tube
      9. potable — a) able to be transported; b) plants that grow best in pots; c) type of Irish potato; d) fit or suitable for drinking
      10. rip-rap – a) lower class; b) material used to protect a slope; c) type of sail; d) brand of of bubble wrap
      11. salariat – a) employees; b) a lasso expert; c) toastmaster; d) dental suction tool
      12. tuft-hunter – a) upholsterer; b) furrier; c) hanger-on; d) hound dog

        thinking capHave you chosen the correct definition? Can you use the words in a sentence? Scroll down to see how you did.

        The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction. Prudence is a fountain of life to the prudent, but folly brings punishment to fools. The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction. Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. ~ Proverbs 16:21-24 (NIV)

        Here are the correct answers.

        1. b) written material
        2. a) type of window
        3. b) uncontrollable mimicking
        4. a) freeze
        5. b) freckled or speckled
        6. a) impure
        7. d) fashionable
        8. b) kiss
        9. d) fit or suitable for drinking
        10. b) material used to protect a slope
        11. a) employees
        12. c) hanger-on

          Jumping for joy over your score?

          10-12  Did you spend your entire childhood alone in your room reading the Oxford English Dictionary?

          07-09  Many of your friends just pretend to know what you’re talking about.

          04-06  You’re a better guesser than most.

          00-03  You are monosyllabic like me.


          1 Comment

          12 Words for a Thinker’s Vocabulary #2

          thinking capThis vocabulary quiz was a hit so I thought I’d make it an irregular event. Besides, if I keep looking up new words, one of them might actually stick in my mind long enough for me to use it.

          1. au fait: A) familiar; B) fateful; C) finished; D) French coffee
          2. bal-us-trade: A) hissy fit; B) railing; C) cargo;      D) treaty
          3. cadge: A) fight; B) rodent; C) imprison; D) mooch
          4. ex-tir-pate:  A) abolish; B) behead; C) vomit; D) loosen
          5. frip-per-y: A) detailed accessories; B) foolishness; C) wisecrack; D) curtains
          6. gnome: A) aphorism; B) cupola; C) travel agent; D) leprechaun
          7. luft-mensch: A) neighbor; B) castle guard; C) dreamer; D) mechanic’s tool
          8. ob-lo-quy: A) agreement; B) speech; C) crooked; D) public abuse
          9. per-vi-ca-cious: A) witty; B) full-figured; C) adamant; D) rambunctious
          10. rheu-my: A) romantic; B) arthritic; C) watery; D) expansive
          11. su-per-ja-cent: A) large; B) overlying; C) overactive; D) next door
          12. twee:  A) affected; B) swing; C) evergreen; D) sigh

          Have you circled the correct answers? But can you use them in a sentence? Scroll down to see how you did.

          ANSWERS:

          1. A) familiar
          2. B) railing
          3. D) mooch
          4. A) abolish
          5. A) detailed accessories
          6. A) aphorism
          7. C) dreamer
          8. D) public abuse
          9. C) adamant
          10. C) watery
          11. B) overlying
          12. A) affected

          Not happy with your score? Here’s a bonus question. What is a synonym for the word poecilonym [pronounced pee-SILL-o-nim]?

          • 10-12  I bet you’re full of yourself. Am I right? Thought so.
          • 07-09  Do you drool when you hear someone say “OED”?
          • 04-06  It must be agony for you to watch Jersey Shore.
          • 00-03  Call me sometime. We can chat.

          Bonus Answer:  Poecilonym is a synonym for the word synonym.