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Is That A Word?

Going, Going, Not Quite Gone

The italicized words in the sentences below were once common. They can still be found in at least one of our largest dictionaries (The Oxford English Dictionary; Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary; or Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged), but otherwise they have dropped out of the language. Your assignment for tonight is to figure out what one of them meant, and to identify what we now use in its place. Check off your assigned sentence, then do the following with it:

  1. Write out the italicized word, and a definition for it based on its usage in the sentence.

  2. Clearly and concisely explain how you determined the word’s meaning.

  3. Rewrite the sentence substituting the word or phrase we would use today.

  4. Proofread your work for spelling, punctuation, clarity, completeness, and capitalization; then prepare a final draft on a separate sheet.

_____ My family took a biduous ski trip to the mountains.

_____ Each Friday we select a luncheon spot with a chirotony.

_____ I am uncertain whether I can withstand a darg.

_____ To be a true school, we need educands.

_____ Don’t be festinate if you want to make a good decision.

_____ The weather last weekend was truly hibernal.

_____ Without a libkin I will really be in trouble.

_____ My mother specializes in magirology.

_____ I am a truly panivorous person.

_____ I dislike people scaffing while I am trying to eat.

_____ I was forced to read a tyrology before my first downhill run.

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original web posting: Monday, August 7, 2000
last modified: Thursday, April 14, 2005