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"New SAT Won’t Include Obscure Vocabulary Words"

"New SAT Won’t Include Obscure Vocabulary Words"

Apr 19th, 2014, 08:45 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,001
princesslily - you really seem to have gone off the deep end. Are you sure you don't need help? We are all here for you. Frankly, I'm not sure what you problem is. Or why you think 3rd grade name-calling is appropriate. Seriously, seek help.

I'm guessing that someone might possibly give a toss about you, and I think you should seek them out. Maybe a family member that feels obligated? I'm guessing that you have nobody in your life that volunteers to actually care about you, right? I mean, you don't seem particularly nice, or clever, or really to have any redeeming qualities at all. But that doesn't mean someone doesn't feel kind of guilty about not really liking you. Find those people and pretend they are your friends. It might make you feel less cr**py about yourself. And when you find that person that pities you enough to be sort of nice, you can look back on this day and remember how kind I was. It is an Easter miracle! I feel warm all over.
travelgourmet is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 04:12 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 19,737
Was that another apology?
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 07:18 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,118
Hey nyt,

>One of my colleagues has a sweatshirt with the line


which I grant is probably beyond 12th grade - <

Which is why we have dictionaries.

By the time I got to 12th grade, my class was expected to know such words as "egregious", "usufruct", "alliteration" .... because Mr Royer kept throwing them at us.

We were also required to read the editorial pages of the Balimer Sun.

Today, of course, it would be the New Yorker.
ira is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 814
Vincenzo that was a very very late night of fun lol am glad to see it provoked the grommti. He's good value entertainment.
princesslily is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 10:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,380
I wouldn't have a problem with this if it really was omitting obscure words in the sense of words that are really never used, even in good literature. These are the kind of words they spell in the National Spelling Bee.

However, I've seen lists of the words on the SAT and a lot of them are pretty ordinary, everyday words IMO. I knew most of them even in high school, and I always got about 100 pct on every language portion of any standardized test I took (they have sections like this on the GRE and LSAT, also, as I recall). I was a voracious reader since the age of 6, and had no trouble with it. I don't think it is a matter of how much you read, but what. You can read a lot but be reading junk or Harry Potter, for example, and that isn't going to increase your vocabulary. I was reading classics, like Jane Austen, Shakespeare, even Tolstoy, and a newspaper, back in high school. I also don't think you need to study Latin. I never did, you can easily just study English and learn the meaning of words in English, IMO.

So I might have thought this was okay until I found actual examples of words they considered "obscure" and were going to eliminate, and they are regular words. Sure, a lot of teens won't know them, but isn't that the point of tests that score people relative to some standard. I don't think it has anything to do with prep classes, either, I never took those. I don't think they existed when I was in high school. But you can easily buy lists and books and study yourself, if that's what you want to do, you don't have to pay for expensive classes. I never studied at all for any of the language or vocabulary sections, I just brushed up on math somewhat for the GRE.

I found this news article about the changes: <>

So while I would have agreed if it was words like they win the spelling bee with, I don't think those examples are "obscure" in the sense of being outdated or never used. I gather the SAT is using the word obscure just to mean a lot of kids don't know them. Obsequious and propinquity aren't that unusual IMO. I've seen vocabulary lists for the SAT and they include such simple words as tardy, abbreviate, and subtle. Wouldn't you learn those words in grade school?
Christina is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 11:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,118
Hi Chri,


In my OP, I wrote,
>What "obscure" words do you think should be kept? Nothing over 3 syllables, please. <

Those words are mostly more than 3 syllables.

ira is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,090
I guess my over all position here in answering this thread is that I DO DEFINITELY WORRY about the dumbing down of our universities.

I did have a year of Latin in h.s. I must admit that many, many times it helped me figure out either the spelling or meaning of a word.

However, neither Latin, nor my high scores helped me jobwise. My misfortune--do to DH's constant moves (career-caused) most of my jobs involved working for people I could tell -- how should I put this--maybe had had lower SAT scores than I.

P.S. DH (as an aside) went to high school with Sally Struthers!
hopingtotravel is offline  

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