GRE Vocabulary: Let’s Go to the Movies! Part II
As we continue our study of GRE vocabulary by learning words via cinematic context, let’s further mine the abundant vocabulary vein found in the Coen Bros. films by examining O Brother, Where Art Thou. Perhaps their most peculiarly-written dialogue (which is really saying something given their variety of off-kilter perspectives), O Brother, Where Art Thou is a period-piece comedy set in the rural South during the Great Depression and is based loosely on Homer’s Odyssey.
Although all of the characters are given the opportunity to voice obscure expressions and dialect-heavy lines, George Clooney’s role as Everett McGill is awarded the greatest privilege to riff rich remarks that contain a copious amount of exalted words and phrases. In fact, viewers must wade carefully through the swirling debris of jargon so as to discern the distinction between actual words and those contrived by the writer’s use of dripping dialect. To be frank, although I had seen the film several times prior to creating this blog post, my dictionary was getting heavy play in researching the particulars of the script versus the pronunciation of the words as heard in the movie: Lots of “What did he say?”, “That’s not what he said”, and “Wow – that’s actually a recognized word!” could be heard coming from my media room that day.
Again, however much you might enjoy the movie, remember to use the film as yet another avenue of GRE vocabulary acquisition. Now more than ever, the GRE is testing your ability to recognize the meanings of words as they are used in context. Whether it is via framing questions asking you about the use of given highlighted words in the Reading Comprehension passages or via Sentence Equivalence questions that ask you to determine which choice of two different words would arrive at the same meaning within a given sentence, the GRE test-makers are all about context.
As directed in my last post, please watch the film and listen closely. While I have given you the links to the words’ accepted definitions (in the order of appearance), nothing beats hearing them used by the characters in the film and, as the dialogue is fairly abstruse (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/abstruse), your attention is required – and will be rewarded!
metallurgic - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Metallurgic
fraught - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Fraught
Pregnant (alternate def.) - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/pregnant
vouchsafe - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/vouchsafe
impediment - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Impediment
coiffure - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Coiffure
transgression - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Transgression
bifurcated - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/bifurcated
ordnance - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ordnance
rusticate - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/rusticate
peckish - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/peckish
gustation - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/gustation
sentient - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/sentient
cronyism - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cronyism
nepotism - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/nepotism
admonish - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/admonish
paterfamilias - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/paterfamilias
progeny - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/progeny
succubus - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/succubus
precept - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/precept
constituency - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/constituency
trussed (as transitive verb) - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/trussed
blandishments - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/blandishments
miscegenation - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/miscegenation
rectitude - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/rectitude
miscreants - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/miscreants
venerated - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/venerated
remanded - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/remanded
refugium - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/refugium
foreordained - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/foreordained
Enjoy, and let me know how your GRE vocabulary has improved after taking on this fun AND productive study break!