Thursday, March 01, 2012

Thursday Thirteen 239: Vocabulary--A Tale of Two Cities, Pt 2

In last week’s post, I shared several words encountered in a recent reading of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, which I quite enjoyed. Here are thirteen more words for your edification.

gamut [gam-uht] nounThe entire scale or range.
USAGE: …The sounders of three-fourths of the notes in the whole gamut of Crime, were put to Death.

reversionary [ri-vur-zhuh-ner-ee, -shuh-] adjective
of, pertaining to, or involving a reversion.
USAGE: Having thus given his parent God speed, young Jerry seated himself on the stool, entered on his reversionary interest in the straw his father had been chewing, and cogitated.

pernicious [per-nish-uhs] adjective
1. causing insidious harm or ruin; ruinous; injurious; hurtful: pernicious teachings; a pernicious lie.
2. deadly; fatal: a pernicious disease.
3. Obsolete: evil; wicked.
USAGE: That, the proof would go back five years, and would show the prisoner already engaged in these pernicious missions, within a few weeks before the date of the very first action fought between the British troops and the Americans.

asseveration [uh-sev-uh-rey-shuhn] noun
1. the act of asseverating (to declare earnestly or solemnly; affirm positively; aver).
2. an emphatic assertion.
USAGE: …in the name of everything he could think of with a round turn on it, and on the faith of his solemn asseveration that he already considered the prisoner as good as dead and gone.

compeer [kuhm-peer, kom-peer] noun
1. an equal in rank, ability, accomplishment, etc.; peer; colleague.
2. close friend; comrade.
USAGE: The learned profession of the law was certainly not behind any other learned profession in its Bacchanalian propensities; neither was Mr Stryver, already fast shouldering his way to a large and lucrative practice, behind his compeers in this particular, any more than in the drier parts of the legal race.

deprecatory [dep-ri-kuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] adjective
1. of the nature of or expressing disapproval, protest, or depreciation.
2. apologetic; making apology
USAGE: With a deprecatory grunt, the jackal again complied.

apostrophise [uh-pos-truh-fahyz] verb (used with object) (also: apostrophize)
To address.
USAGE: But it’s not worth your while to apostrophise me, or the air, about it; what you want to do, you do.

bark [bahrk] noun (also: barque)
1. Nautical. a sailing vessel having three or more masts, square-rigged on all but the aftermost mast, which is fore-and-aft-rigged.
2. Literary. a boat or sailing vessel.
USAGE: There ought to have been a tranquil bark in such an anchorage, and there was.

imputation [im-pyoo-tey-shuhn] noun
An attribution, as of fault or crime; accusation.
USAGE: I say, when you began it, it was hard enough; not that I have any fault to find with Doctor Manette, except that he is not worthy of such a daughter, which is no imputation on him, for it was not to be expected that anybody should be, under any circumstances.

perforce [per-fawrs, -fohrs] adverb
Of necessity; necessarily; by force of circumstance.
USAGE: Yes, Monseigneur had slowly found that vulgar embarrassments crept into his affairs, both private and public; and he had, as to both classes of affairs, allied himself perforce with a Farmer-General.

vaunted [vawn-tid, vahn-] adjective
Praised boastfully or excessively
USAGE: As for the roof he vaunted, he might have found that shutting out the sky in a new way—to wit, for ever, from the eyes of the bodies into which its lead was fired, out of the barrels of a hundred thousand muskets.

affable [af-uh-buhl] adjective
Showing warmth and friendliness; benign; pleasant
adverb: affably
USAGE: Bestowing a word of promise here and a smile there, a whisper on one happy slave and a wave of the hand on another, Monseigneur affably passed through his rooms to the remote region of the Circumference of Truth.

obsequious [uhb-see-kwee-uhs] adjective
1. characterized by or showing servile complaisance or deference; fawning.
2. servilely compliant or deferential.
3. obedient; dutiful.
USAGE: Monsieur Gabelle was the Postmaster, and some other taxing functionary united; he had come out with great obsequiousness to assist at this examination, and had held the examined by the drapery of his arm in an official manner.

I hope that you recognized at least a few of these words, or found one or two you might like to add to your own vocabulary.

Find more Thursday Thirteen participants here.


Jaycee DeLorenzo said...

Thanks for sharing.

Only know 3 - I've heard a few used before but couldn't tell you what they meant.

Alice Audrey said...

I recognized them all, though I needed your definitions to help me along in places. :)

i beati said...

I'm trying to be affable with my student this afternoon haha

Heather said...

Jaycee: Those are what are often refered to as "frontier words." You've seen them around, but aren't quite sure of the definitions. Hope they stick with you now!

Alice: Yay you! Congrats on at least recognizing all of them. :)

i beati: LOL - Trying your patience today, are they? *G*

CountryDew said...

I know most of those: conteer (I hope I'm remembering that correctly) is new to me.

The Gal Herself said...

Ha, ha! I knew SIX! (I'm only gloating because last week's TT was such a humbling vocabulary experience for me.)

Heather said...

Anita: Close...the word is "compeer." ;)

Gal Herself: Congrats! Half is pretty good (though I did try to pick easier, more recognizable words this week). *g*

Hazel said...

Familiar with 4. "Pernicious" seemed to have been used by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice, but I'm not sure if it was actually written in the book or I am imagining the film.

Shelley Munro said...

A few are familiar. I'm glad you put them in sentences though!

Heather said...

Hazel: Pernicious very well may have been used by Austen.

Shelley: I thought seeing them in the context used by Dickens might help. ;)

Maggie Nash said...

Great post. I loved that book so much. Dickens had a wonderful grasp of the language and knew how to use words well.

He did run the gamut sometimes. That book did encourage pernicious and reversionary thoughts!


Heather said...

Margie: Extra points to you for correctly using some of this week's words in a sentence, lol. Dickens really did have a way with language. Though it's been years since I read or saw Great Expectations, I happened to catch the old B&W movie on TV Sunday afternoon. *Sigh* There's a reason they're called classics...