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Vocab Lesson 5, Reading and Writing
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Vocab Lesson 5, Reading and Writing

Reading and Writing 

   Vocab Lesson 5

   Reading and Writing

   Word Bank (just pronounce)

   Latin saying

Nomen est nomen.

A name is an omen.


Latin – “letter”


   Familiar words

   1. alliteration

   Al = Latin – to; toward


   The occurrence of the same initial sound in several words in succession.

   In “Renascence,” Edna St. Vincent Millay uses alliteration: “Before the wild wind’s whistling lash…

   Other forms

   2. Literal, definition #1


   In accordance with the explicit or primary meaning of the word or phrase – not a metaphorical meaning

   The literal meaning of “to spill the beans” does not convey its common meaning “to blurt out a secret.”


   2. Literal (definition #2)



   Word for word – verbatim

   A court recorder makes literal transcriptions

   Of what is said in the courtroom during a trial.

   2. Literal (definition #3)


   Concerned mainly with facts; unimaginative.

   The U.S. Geological Survey’s literal account of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake contrasted sharply with the victim’s emotional accounts.

   Other forms

   3. Literate, Definition #1


   Able to read and write

   To prevent slaves’ becoming literate and better able to escape, southern states passed laws forbidding anyone to teach a slave to read.


   3. Literate, Definition #2

   Knowledgeable; educated

   Elena Cornaro Piscopia, was so literate she became the first woman ever to earn a university degree in Italy in the 1600’s.

   Other forms

   Literacy – noun


   Antonym - illiterate

   4. Obliterate

   Ob – Latin – off; against

   Transitive verb

   To do away with completely; to wipe out; erase

   Acid rain as begun to obliterate the hieroglyphics  on Cleopatra’s Needle,  an Egyptian monument.

   Other form

Obliteration - noun


Latin – to write

   Familiar words

   5. Ascribe

   As = Latin – “to;” “toward”

   Transitive verb

   To attribute to a particular cause, source, or origin

   Always use with “to”

   Recent studies ascribe the Greek culture to Africa and the Middle East.

   Other form


   6. Circumscribe, Definition #1

   Circum – Latin – “around”

   Transitive verb

   To fortify their camp by night, pioneers circumscribed it with covered wagons.

   6. Circumscribe, Definition #2

   To confine; limit

   Refusing to let the traditional role of women in the 19th century circumscribe her life, Alexandra David Neel disguised herself as a monk and traveled extensively in Tibet.

   Other form

Circumscription - noun

   7. Conscription

   Con – Latin – “with”


   A military draft

   During the American Civil War, conscription required even very young boys to serve in the military.

   Other form

   Conscript - noun

   8. Proscribe, Definition #1

   Pro – Latin – “before,” “for”

   Transitive verb

   To denounce or condemn

   Leaders of the French Revolution proscribed the wearing of wigs or powdering of hair as an aristocratic fault.

   8. Proscribe, Definition #2

   To prohibit; to forbid

   In an attempt to lessen Kurdish influence, the Turkish government proscribed playing Kurdish music in public.

   Other form

   Proscription - noun

   9. Subscribe, Definition #1

   Sub – Latin – “under”

   Intransitive verb

   To pledge to pay for something

   To contribute to something

   To place an order by signing

   In order not to miss a single concert next year, we have decided to subscribe to the whole season.


   9. Subscribe, Definition #2

   To express consent or agreement; to assent

   Refusing to subscribe to the current opinion that only men could be doctors, Elizabeth Blackwell earned her M.D. in 1849.

   9. Subscribe, Definition #3

   Transitive verb

   To sign one’s name to something

   When opening an account, a depositor is required to subscribe his or her name to the regulations of the bank.

   Other forms

   10. Transcribe, Definition 1

   Trans – Latin – across + scribe – to write

   Transitive verb

   To make a copy of; to write out fully.


   Many of the works of Aristotle have survived only because Islamic scholars transcribed and preserved them in the libraries of Moorish Spain.

   Transcribe, Definition #2

   To make a sound recording for later reproduction.

   In order to study oral literature, folklorists have transcribed African storytellers reciting epic poems.

   Transcribe, Definition #3

   To arrange music for an instrument different from the one first composed for.


   Musicologists who transcribe Renaissance music written for early instruments like shawms or crumhorns can only approximate their sounds by using oboes and clarinets.

   Other forms

   Familiar Words


   Greek – “name”

   11. Acronym

   Akros – Greek – “topmost,” “extreme”

   + Nym – name



   A word composed of the first letters or parts of a name or series of words.


   Laser is an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.”

   Other forms

   12. Onomatopoeia

   Onomatapoein – Greek – to coin words



   A word that sounds like the thing it names

   The word hiccup is an example of onomatopoeia because its sound imitates the thing it names.

   Other forms

   13. Pseudonym

   Pseud – Greek – “pseudein” “to lie”

   Pseud + nym



   A fictitious name

   Harriet Stratemeyer Adams wrote under several different pseudonyms, including Carolyn Keene for the Nancy Drew books.



   “Name” = Latin

   Familiar words

   14. Ignominious

   Ig – Latin – “not”


   Shameful; disgraceful


   In Shakespeare’s play Henry V, the French knights meet ignominious defeat at the Battle of Agincourt.

   Other form

   Ignominy - noun

   15. Nomenclature

   Nomen – name + clature = Latin – “to call”


   A system of naming, especially in the arts or sciences.


   Much of the nomenclature of ballet, such as pas de chat, “cat-like jump,” is derived from French.

   Other form

   Nomenclator - noun




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