Vocab Builder: Power Vocabulary

I picked up a handy new vocabulary book while in the bookstore the other day not finding what I wanted (B&N, why don’t you stock APA’s style manual in my local store?). Webster’s Pocket Power Vocabulary is filled with 10-minute lessons broken up by topic, such as “Using Prefixes,” “Root Power I,” and “Imported Words.” Following each lesson is a short test. Also included are an index of terms and room for notes. This week, I’ll take words from the “Test for an Excellent Vocabulary.”

  • Parsimonious, adjective: frugal, extremely sparing.

Law students have been particularly stung of late, as law firms continue to be rather parsimonious with job offers. –Wall Street Journal

  • Exigency, noun: a situation requiring urgent action.

The house, located at 104 Wisteria Lane, was declared a state of exigency March 8 after a heavy rain system eroded a major portion of the yard behind the house, NRCS project engineer Norman Patterson said. –Natchez Democrat

  • Catholic, adjective: comprehensive; wide variety.

Roots music is one gigantic gumbo that epitomises a truly catholic taste in music. –Scotsman.com Living (via Oxford Dictionaries Online)

  • Obviate, verb: to make unnecessary; to prevent.

One reader pointed out that if schools provided wireless access, wifi-enabled phones would obviate the need for data plans. –Mindshift

  • Erudite, adjective: scholarly; learned in a specific knowledge area.

It has taken decades and the result is an extravagantly erudite manifesto for rational thought. –Sydney Morning Herald

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About Erin Brenner

With a BA and an MA in English, Erin has been an editing professional for 15 years, working on a variety of media, especially online. Her niche is business/marketing and online. In addition, she has experience teaching editing to non-editors and coaching writers. In 2008, Erin was bitten by the social media bug...hard. Follow her on Twitter, @ebrenner, and get a daily vocabulary word, a link to the article of the day, and much more. You can also find her on Facebook and LinkedIn.
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