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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wiley, Webster's New World Essential Vocabulary

How’s your vocabulary? Is it okay, pretty good, or exceptional? Whatever your
answer to these questions, this is the book for you. For those whose vocabulary
ranges from okay to pretty good, here is the opportunity to improve it. The main
content is grouped into sets of words that have been taken from the SAT and GRE
examinations over the past 10 years. These approximately 1,500 words are expected
by the examiners to be familiar in one form or another to college and graduate
school applicants. They need to become familiar to you, too.
If your vocabulary is exceptional, this is the opportunity to see whether you really
understand what the words you think you know mean and whether you can correctly
use them in a sentence.
Each word comes complete with a label indicating its part of speech, at least one
definition (often more), and usually at least two sentences using the word. Most
entries also include synonyms and other forms of the word, such as past tense and
gerund forms (for verbs) and adverbial and noun forms (for adjectives). Following
each group of vocabulary words is a matching test so that you can check what
you’ve just studied.
Check Appendix A for some very useful prefixes and suffixes that often affect
the meanings of words. I also recommend you check Appendix B, which lists
some foreign words that have insinuated themselves into the English language.
These words are commonly used by the more literate among us — in addition to
everyday words like sandwich, which reminds the author that he’s getting hungry.
Read on and have an enlightening and, hopefully, enjoyable experience.

I’ve never much cared for the pronunciation keys used by most dictionaries because
they use a whole different alphabet and set of symbols, which one must either
memorize or keep referring to just to understand the sounds being represented. The
key used here makes use of standard alphabet characters used in familiar words.
The following is a list of the letters that are used and the sounds they make. These
pronunciations are based on phonetic sounds. You might want to put a bookmark
here so that you can get back to it quickly when needed. We indicate the stressed
syllable of each word by using capital (KAP i tl) letters.

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