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SAT Vocabulary: Putting New Words to Use in the Real World

Right now, you may not care about the real world. All you care about is getting through your SAT test. But given that you've been sweating and fretting your way through mastering a lot of new words, why not use them in every day activities and make all that pain and suffering — um, rather, joy and pleasure — really pay off for you? Here are a few techniques for getting double your value from your new words.

Titivate (spruce up, enhance, embellish) your love letters

Tell your dearly beloved that the very seraphim and cherubim (angels) sing of your love, and that you are sanguine (cheerfully optimistic) your relationship will last forever.

For guys: Anyone can call a woman beautiful, but you'll always be remembered if you call her pulchritudinous.

For girls: Anyone can tell a man that he's a real man, but it takes a real woman to tell him he's virile.

Get out of gym class

If you're trying to con the gym teacher, for heaven's sake, don't give him or her a prosaic (commonplace, humdrum) note saying you have a backache and can't participate in class that day. Instead, pen an epistle (letter) saying that you're a bungling (clumsy) maladroit (clumsy, bungling) dolt (blockhead) and can't participate. Chances are, the teacher won't have a clue what the letter means, but won't want to admit his or her nescience (ignorance) and will let you go rather than lose face.

Get out of doing chores

You say you just can't face getting up early on a Saturday morning to vacuum the carpet or mow the lawn? Inform your parents that you are too sluggish (slow), somnolent (sleepy), and just plain indolent (lazy) to complete the task today, that you'd rather procrastinate (put off, postpone) until tomorrow or better yet, eschew (avoid) it entirely. Of course, if your parents were savvy (smart, shrewd) enough to peruse (examine) this article themselves, they will know to accuse you of malingering (shirking your duties, pretending to be ill to get out of work) and insist you immediately become full of vim (life, liveliness) and get to work.

Placate (calm down) an irate (furious) parent over a heinous (really, really bad) grade

Your parents are incensed (furious) because your grades took a precipitous (steep) drop this semester? Pacify (calm down) them with a sentence such as, "Of course, venerable (honorable) parents, I acquiesce (consent, yield to without protest) to your proposed punishment, but plead extenuating (lessening the seriousness of, excusing) circumstances: I was so industrious (hard-working) with my logomachy (word games, arguments and discussion about words) that there was a dearth (lack of) of time for more prosaic (commonplace, everyday) activities, such as studying for that chemistry test."

Refuse a date without crushing an ego

You really, really don't want to go out with someone, but you don't want to hurt his or her feelings. Use your vocabulary to mitigate (make less severe or painful) your rejection. "While normally I would accept with alacrity (eager haste) such an offer, I lugubriously (sadly) must say no as I have to toil (work) in my father's noisome (smelly, malodorous) piscine (pertaining to fish) palace, helping him on the boat this weekend."

Leave a classy legacy in your yearbook

Don't you loath (hate) it when everyone signs the same trite, hackneyed (overly common, overused) phrases like, "Stay as sweet as you are" and "You'll go far, big guy!" in your yearbook? Show some style and try instead, "Don't be protean (changing) when it comes to your dulcet (sweet) status!" and, "You're a potential potentate (powerful person), Brobdingnagian (big) guy!"

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