"Will Grayson, Will Grayson," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-4

In alternating chapters, John Green and David Levithan develop two different characters whose teenage identities and lives intertwine in humorous, heartbreaking, and transformative ways. Try to figure out which Will Grayson connects to the words and example sentences in this list.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-4, Chapters 5-8, Chapters 9-12, Chapters 13-16, Chapters 17-20

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. transgression
    the violation of a law or a duty or moral principle
    Tiny has been my best friend since fifth grade, except for all last semester, when he was busy discovering the sheer scope of his own gayness, and I was busy having an actual honest-to-God Group of Friends for the first time in my life, who ended up Never Talking to Me Again due to two slight transgressions
  2. bereft
    sorrowful through loss or deprivation
    And now they aren't around, leaving me utterly bereft of social peers.
  3. cynical
    believing the worst of human nature and motives
    "I'm not cynical, Tiny," I answer. "I'm practical."
  4. incapable
    lacking ability
    Tiny thinks that I am incapable of what humans call emotion because I have not cried since my seventh birthday, when I saw the movie All Dogs Go to Heaven.
  5. stoic
    seeming unaffected by pleasure or pain; impassive
    Apparently, class has started without our knowing, because Mr. Applebaum, who is ostensibly teaching us precalculus but is mostly teaching me that pain and suffering must be endured stoically, says, "You feel what, Tiny?"
  6. proximity
    the property of being close together
    And, of course, due to sheer proximity, this means the world craps on me, too.
  7. quell
    suppress or crush completely
    I look way up at Tiny and say, "Can we quell the rumors of our love? It hurts my chances with the ladies."
  8. perpetually
    without interruption
    My face seems too square and my eyes too big, like I'm perpetually surprised, but there's nothing wrong with me that I can fix.
  9. summit
    the highest level or degree attainable
    They assume I am one of them, which feels like the very summit of my high school career.
  10. massive
    imposing in scale or scope or degree or power
    I start the car, and my date with massive aural disappointment comes to an end.
  11. unbearable
    incapable of being put up with
    Not that I'm asexual—I just find Romance Drama unbearable.
  12. theorem
    an idea accepted as a demonstrable truth
    And shortly thereafter, with Jane looking on, I disprove the theorem entirely when I reach down and clear Tiny's airways of snot.
  13. tragic
    very sad, especially involving grief or death or destruction
    every morning i pray that the school bus will crash and we'll all die in a fiery wreck, then my mom will be able to sue the school bus company for never making school buses with seat belts, and she'll be able to get more money for my tragic death than i would've ever made in my tragic life
  14. ritual
    any customary observance or practice
    i have this ritual, that when it hits two o'clock i allow myself to get excited about leaving, it's like if i reach that point i can take the rest of the day off.
  15. loll
    hang loosely or laxly
    if anyone ever uses lol with me, i rip my computer right out of the wall and smash it over the nearest head, i mean, it's not like anyone is laughing out loud about the things they lol. i think it should be spelled loll, like what a lobotomized person's tongue does, loll. loll, i can't think any more. loll, loll!
  16. resurrect
    cause to become alive again
    so i killed my screenname and resurrected myself under another, isaac's the only person who knows it, and it's going to stay that way.
  17. profile
    biographical sketch
    i have a friend request from some stranger on facebook and i delete it without looking at the profile because that doesn't seem natural, 'cause friendship should not be as easy as that, it's like people believe all you need to do is like the same bands in order to be soulmates
  18. ironic
    displaying incongruity between what is expected and what is
    soon we were swapping pictures and mp3s and telling each other about how everything pretty much sucked, but of course the ironic part was that while we were talking about it the world didn't suck as much, except, of course, for the part at the end when we had to return to the real world.
  19. conflict
    a state of opposition between persons or ideas or interests
    if i had actual friends that i felt i could talk to, this might cause some conflict, but since right now there'd only need to be one car to take people to my funeral, i think it's okay.
  20. despair
    a state in which all hope is lost or absent
    instead i head to the computer and it's like i turn into a little girl who's just seen her first rainbow, i get all giddy and nervous and hopeful and despairing and i tell myself not to look obsessively at my buddy list, but it might as well be projected onto the insides of my eyelids
  21. indifference
    the trait of remaining calm and seeming not to care
    i could spend hours setting up a particular wish — and every single time, i'd be met with a resounding wall of complete indifference, whether it was for a pet hamster or for my mom to stop crying
  22. stasis
    inactivity resulting from a balance between opposing forces
    Nothing happens for a week. I don't mean this figuratively, like there is a shortage of significant events. I mean that no things occur. Total stasis.
  23. plaintive
    expressing sorrow
    There's the getting up, and the showering, and the school, and the miracle of Tiny Cooper and the desk, and the plaintive glancing at my Burger King Kids Meal Magic School Bus watch during each class, and the relief of the eighth period bell, and the bus home, and the homework, and the dinner, and the parents, and the locking the door
  24. bipolar
    of or relating to manic depressive illness
    As lives go, I'll take the quietly desperate over the radically bipolar.
  25. suitable
    worthy of being chosen
    I'm trying to figure out who, precisely, is in the Gay-Straight Alliance, and whether they could develop into a suitably nonannoying Group of Friends.
  26. asunder
    into parts or pieces
    I enjoy flirting as much as the next guy, provided the next guy has repeatedly seen his best friend torn asunder by love.
  27. violate
    act in disregard of laws, rules, contracts, or promises
    But nothing violates the rules of shutting up and not caring so much as flirting—except possibly for that enchantingly horrible moment when you act upon the flirting, that moment where you seal your heartbreak with a kiss.
  28. unrequited
    not returned in kind
    The question is rhetorical, but if I wasn't trying to shut up, I'd answer it: You like someone who can't like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once-requited love cannot.
  29. elucidate
    make clear and comprehensible
    Which is of course idiotic in the kind of profound and multivalent way that only an English teacher could fully elucidate.
  30. leviathan
    the largest or most massive thing of its kind
    I thought about stepping over the fallen giant and kissing her and my hand on her face and her improbably warm breath, and having a girlfriend who gets mad at me for being so quiet and then only getting quieter because the thing I liked was one smile with a sleeping leviathan between us, and then I feel like crap for a while until finally we break up, at which point I reaffirm my vow to live by the rules.
  31. compliment
    a remark expressing praise and admiration
    It's true that I want to smother her with compliments and true that I want to keep my distance.
  32. mystified
    totally perplexed and mixed up
    I'm mystified as to how someone so pot-addled could be such a genius in the field of false identification.
  33. scenario
    a postulated sequence of possible events
    maura is the kind of friend i enjoy swapping doomsday scenarios with, she's not, however, someone who makes me want to prevent doomsday from happening
  34. sacrifice
    kill or destroy
    anyway, i really need this job, which means i can't do things like yell or pin my stupid name tag upside down or wear jeans that have rips in them or sacrifice puppies in the toy aisle
  35. maneuver
    a move made to gain a tactical end
    this is a classic maura maneuver, if she doesn't get an answer she wants, she will create a corner to back you into, like the time she went through my bag when i was in the bathroom and found my pills
  36. inflict
    impose something unpleasant
    because i really don't want to hurt her, not when i just managed to bring her back from the brink of the last hurt i allegedly inflicted
  37. bliss
    a state of extreme happiness
    still, i can't help thinking that 'getting a life' is something only a complete idiot could believe, like you can just drive to a store and get a life, see it in its shiny box and look inside the plastic window and catch a glimpse of yourself in a new life and say, 'wow, i look much happier — i think this is the life i need to get!' take it to the counter, ring it up, put it on your credit card, if getting a life was that easy, we'd be one blissed-out race, but we're not.
  38. sanity
    normal or sound powers of mind
    grayscale: please be the one voice of sanity left in the world
  39. forlorn
    marked by or showing hopelessness
    grayscale: **sighs forlornly** i wish i could've been there.
  40. source
    someone who originates or causes or initiates something
    he is both the source of my happiness and the one i want to share it with, i have to believe that's a sign.

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