"Simon's Saga," Vocabulary from Episode 1

Philip Geer's "Simon's Saga" includes 820 SAT-level words and gives students an entertaining glimpse into college life.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7, Episode 8, Episode 9, Episode 10, Episode 11, Episode 12, Episode 13, Episode 14, Episode 15, Episode 16, Episode 17, Episode 18, Episode 19, Episode 20, Episode 21, Episode 22, Episode 23, Episode 24, Episode 25, Episode 26, Episode 27, Episode 28, Episode 29, Episode 30, Episode 31, Episode 32, Episode 33, Episode 34, Episode 35, Episode 36, Episode 37

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. mentor
    a wise and trusted guide and advisor
    I’ll be your guide—sort of your mentor.
  2. mundane
    found in the ordinary course of events
    Before we meet my friends and start to party, we’d better get some boring, mundane stuff out of the way.
  3. bizarre
    conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual
    Well, for the verbal part, the most important thing you need to know is those bizarre words they’re always sticking into the test.
  4. charlatan
    a flamboyant deceiver
    Do you know what a charlatan is?
  5. discerning
    having or revealing keen insight and good judgment
    Anyway, Axel is a very discerning guy.
  6. deleterious
    harmful to living things
    He told me that my weak vocabulary would be deleterious to my academic future; in other words, it would hurt my chances of getting into a decent college.
  7. morose
    showing a brooding ill humor
    I became kind of morose when I realized that I would have to study long lists of words.
  8. aberration
    a state or condition markedly different from the norm
    It was no aberration.
  9. chicanery
    the use of tricks to deceive someone
    There was no chicanery involved.
  10. cognition
    the psychological result of perception and reasoning
    Since I find cognition a somewhat tedious process, I figured other people might too.
  11. tedious
    so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness
    Since I find cognition a somewhat tedious process, I figured other people might too.
  12. unadulterated
    without qualification; used informally as intensifiers
    I said to myself, “Why not give the students coming up a break? Why should they have to go through one month of unadulterated misery as I did?”
  13. sporadic
    recurring in scattered or unpredictable instances
    (It’s rare, but it happens sporadically.)
  14. didactic
    instructive, especially excessively
    I thought, why not fire up the word processor and crank out a little didactic tale to help people like you learn the words without having to give up all your fun?
  15. prodigious
    great in size, force, extent, or degree
    Together, we have a prodigious vocabulary.
  16. denotation
    the most direct or specific meaning of a word or expression
    This gives you the denotation of the word as it is used in the episode.
  17. lexicon
    a language user's knowledge of words
    All of these words are the ones the guys in Princeton, New Jersey who dream up the SAT assume to be part of a good student’s lexicon.
  18. ignominy
    a state of dishonor
    There’s no ignominy in forgetting the meanings of words.
  19. arcane
    requiring secret or mysterious knowledge
    That’s because he’s also picking up new words every day—really arcane words like “maki-mono.”
  20. gargantuan
    of great mass; huge and bulky
    My roommates and I keep a gargantuan one on our kitchen table in the house so we can look up words we meet in our travels.
  21. eccentric
    conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual
    Pretty eccentric, right?
  22. pedestrian
    lacking wit or imagination
    It would be great if you could get this pedestrian stuff out of the way so we can get to know each other better.
  23. daunting
    discouraging through fear
    Hey, I know the thing looks a little daunting, but I think the meanings are quite explicit.
  24. explicit
    in accordance with fact or the primary meaning of a term
    Hey, I know the thing looks a little daunting, but I think the meanings are quite explicit.
  25. saga
    a narrative telling the adventures of a hero or a family
    See, I use many of the words I’ve taught you in each episode later in the saga so that you learn how they’re used in different ways and to help you remember them.

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