Rate this wordlist:

Join the conversation

Comments from our users:

Saturday January 9th 2010, 7:24 AM
Comment by: Denise H.
Where is "hegemony"!
Thursday January 14th 2010, 7:33 PM
Comment by: Margaret E. T. (OH)
I am searching for "discourse"!
Monday January 25th 2010, 1:04 PM
Comment by: Paula P.
Interesting! A further breakdown by discipline or college would be interesting, too.
Sunday January 31st 2010, 1:09 PM
Comment by: Paula P.
One can check to see if their scholarly works get read by anybody by using an unusual--although correct--word and see if anybody in that discipline begins using it.
Wednesday February 3rd 2010, 12:44 AM
Comment by: Andrew R. (Traverse City, MI)
wow, syllabus didn't make the list.
Tuesday February 9th 2010, 1:50 PM
Comment by: D-EVA (Melbourne Australia)
How about the word "paradigm" ?
Thursday March 18th 2010, 10:53 AM
Comment by: Patricia KS (Sackville Canada)
I wonder what the sample was.
Saturday October 1st 2011, 2:34 PM
Comment by: siavash K. (tehran Iran, Islamic Republic of)
it's too easy
Saturday October 1st 2011, 9:58 PM
Comment by: Paula P.
I copyedit scholarly works for liberal arts professors. Some of them reach as far back as as OED to find words that are correct, but generally unknown now.
Saturday October 22nd 2011, 11:30 AM
Comment by: Skagen
Can someone tell me how to create use Challenge with a list so that freshman students can focus on acquiring these words???
Saturday October 22nd 2011, 4:55 PM
Comment by: Paula P.
Suzanne -- a difficult task.

You might begin by addressing how text messaging has affected use of language and spelling..

Or, this history of spelling?
The reason we see words like "olde" and "shoppe" in documents from the 1400s, and see the same words spelled "old" and "shop" in the same book is because the typesetters needed to fill out the line of text so the book would look nicer, sort of early justified text.

Maybe, too, find some words currently in use in the media and trace the etymology of them: where did they come from, how has the meaning changed over years, centuries, and why?

Or introduce the to Visual Thesaurus and see how they can expand their vocabulary. Ask them to write an paper and not use the same adjective more than once -- or same noun or adverb, etc. Have them use a thesaurus of any kind to find synonyms.

As an undergrad in comp class I wrote a humorous paper about "the Power of Privileged Position" and invented the reason certain guide words were at the tops of the pages of dictionaries I selected some dictionaries over a 100-year period to "prove" my point. For example, in older dictionaries the guide words were usually noncontroversial. BUT in late 20th century dictionaries (I think I chose the Websters New Collegiate Dictionary in vogue at that time), the words "masturbate" and "menopause" were at the tops of pages! Tsk, what was the world coming to?! I made up the reason for this: In earlier years people had a sense of modesty and decorum and would lengthen or shorten the entries in the "M's" so that those words wouldn't be at the tops of pages. In the late 20-th century, after the social revolutions in the U.S. people had different attitudes.

As i said, I invented this and certainly didn't use valid research. But everybody in the class said they started then to pay attention to the words at the tops of pages in dictionaries, thereby enlarging their vocabularies.

Of course, few people use paper dictionaries any more. .
Sunday October 23rd 2011, 8:21 AM
Comment by: Ben Zimmer (New York, NY)Visual Thesaurus ContributorVisual Thesaurus Moderator
I believe Suzanne is referring to the Vocabulary.com Challenge. We're actually working on making vocabulary lists available in the Challenge, so stay tuned for further developments.
Monday December 19th 2011, 12:09 PM
Comment by: John B.
Interesting that "value" and "truth" didn't make the list
Wednesday May 9th 2012, 7:48 PM
Comment by: Genius (Washington, D.C., DC)
This list is really easy.

P. S. You can use it if you want some easy points!
Friday May 11th 2012, 5:01 PM
Comment by: Lesley (Santa Cruz, CA)
'agency' didn't make the list either
Thursday June 7th 2012, 3:32 PM
Comment by: Genius (Washington, D.C., DC)
great list. why include approach?
Wednesday July 11th 2012, 3:29 AM
Comment by: Rhonda H. (WA)
My school recently looked at academic words. Our list was from Robert Marzano. One reason to address these words is students may understand the word, but not understand another form. Think about the word analyze. Then think of a question with the word analysis. Think of apply. Then think of application or applicable. Dav, this might be the reason "approach" is included.
Wednesday July 11th 2012, 8:29 AM
Comment by: Georgia S. (New York, NY)
Rhonda,

I think you are right. Students may be familiar to the more literal "approach" as in "the plane is approaching," but they may not be familiar with the more abstract/academic usage -- "how to approach a problem" or "one's approach to foreign policy."
Friday October 12th 2012, 4:22 PM
Comment by: Annabel
Thank you. Now I am able to comprehend what nerds are saying. And speak like one. YAY. :)
Sunday October 28th 2012, 11:23 AM
Comment by: Bernita W. (Mount Vernon, NY)
Our education district always uses the word "rigor" and it's not there-interesting!
Sunday October 13th 2013, 4:34 PM
Comment by: Rudolf M. (Almonte Canada)
the most useful vocabulary other than this one I created from Harry Frankfurt : "On Bullshit"
Sunday January 12th, 11:06 PM
Comment by: vi (NY)
Very nice words! Although you are missing a few great ones out there but as long as we know more than what's already here, we are fine >;D
Saturday February 1st, 9:55 AM
Comment by: Mr. khudri (Indonesia)
I am searching "Graphic Organizer"
Saturday March 15th, 7:04 PM
Comment by: SEQUDIUD (Australia)
awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday March 17th, 2:16 AM
Comment by: SEQUDIUD (Australia)
awsome
Monday March 17th, 2:16 AM
Comment by: SEQUDIUD (Australia)
awsomer

Do you have a comment?

Share it with the Visual Thesaurus community.

Your comments:

Sign in to post a comment!

We're sorry, you must be a subscriber to comment.

Click here to subscribe today.

Already a subscriber? Click here to login.

Create a new Word List