The quotation marks around the word "specialist" make it seem special--both in a mocking tone because the specialist is like a rare animal that Charlie has never seen until now, but also in a somewhat admiring tone because the specialist took the time to learn about Charlie before meeting him (which makes him feel special in a strange way).
What was so strange about this was the fact that I had never met this man because he was a “
specialist” and he knew my name even though I wasn’t wearing a name tag like they do in open house.
"Jaundice" means "a rough and bitter manner" or "yellowing of the skin from an accumulation of bile pigment"--neither definition is intended, since the example sentence is seemingly mentioning random vocabulary. But "jaundiced" means "affected by distaste" and this could be the author's tone towards the teacher's suggestion, because even though Charlie tries to follow it, it's the opposite of the style and voice in which the novel is developed.
He also said that I should use the vocabulary words that I learn in class like “
corpulent” and “jaundice.”
In this example sentence, the word "pragmatic" is used in contrast to someone who is more affectionate, such as someone who would compliment someone else. It also contrasts with the focus on beauty, which can be seen as useless.
The fact that one of these ladies was my mom made me feel particularly sad because my mom is beautiful. And she’s always on a diet. Sometimes, my dad calls her beautiful, but she cannot hear him. Incidentally, my dad is a very good husband. He’s just
“What would a mom do if she couldn’t
fuss over you and make you clean your room? And what would you do without her
fussing and making you do it? Everyone needs a mom. And a mom knows this. And it gives her a sense of purpose. You get it?”
despite anything to the contrary (usually following a concession)
Compare with "regardless" in this list. The placement of the two words is a clue to their parts of speech: "regardless" is used as an adverb; and while "nevertheless" is also an adverb, because it's at the beginning of the example sentence, it is acting as a conjunction (synonymous with "however") that connects this thought to the previous one in the novel.
marked by excessive complacency or self-satisfaction
Compare with "cocky" in the list for Part 3. "Smug" connects to self-satisfaction, which is often displayed to others, while "cocky" is a flashier show of confidence, which may or may not connect to self-satisfaction.