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I like running and science and I have no idea what I'm doing with my life. So I'm writing a blog or something.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

GRE words in action!

From a Sunday NY Times opinion piece on CA governor Brown (thanks to my dad):
Some of Brown's ideas that seemed wacky in the '70s have now gone mainstream. When I ask if he's less flaky, he replies, "That was a canard." Then he goes off on a semantic tangent. "Canard. That's a good word. It's hard to use, though, without being awkward. I've not found too many sentences I can put it in." Then he resumes defending himself: "I'm open and innovative and experimental, and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't work."

Friday, March 4, 2011

words words words

So I'm studying for the GREs. I took a practice exam to see where I need to study and the results were (unsurprisingly) that I rock at the quantitative sections (read: math and interpreting graphs) and kind of fail at verbal (except reading comprehension- I'm a good reader!). Anyway, to remedy this, I've been studying flashcards, first some handmade ones but now some actual ones (thanks Colin!).

Now a good portion of the words I know or at least have a general idea of what the word can be used for. There are a lot that I'm working on learning, but sometimes I wonder the choice of including these words. I mean, "distaff" for instance. Who uses that word? It sounds like a disease or something. And "canard." Canard is French for duck and that's really as much information on that word my brain seems to want to remember.

Then again, they used the word "chicanery" in an episode of The Mentalist and I only truly knew what it meant because of the GRE. And "nadir" was in Thursday's crossword (clue: rock bottom- I'm still working on that crossword by the way, Papa).

I guess my main beef with the GREs is that I could have studied and in all likelihood done just as well on them after high school as I will now. Maybe my writing has improved since high school, but not my ability to learn words or solve the level of math problems I'll need to solve.