Vocabulary Lists


Vocabulary from the Third and Final Presidential Debate, October 19, 2016

The third and final presidential debate of this election took place on October 19, 2016 at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Considering the large amount of ill will between the two campaigns, it was actually a pretty substantive debate. The audience got to hear the candidates' opinions on Supreme Court nominees, abortion, and each candidate's plan for economic growth. Here are twenty words from the third presidential debate.
20 Words

Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize in Literature

Music legend Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on October 13, 2016. To celebrate, this list collects 75 vocabulary words from Dylan's lyrics from his entire catalog of songs. A wordsmith like no other, Dylan bends words to his will, like rhyming "teeth" with "breathe" in Idiot Wind, and he finds room for many words you're unlikely to encounter anywhere else in pop music, like "crestfallen," "reprobate," and "proletariat."
75 Words

Vocabulary from the Second Presidential Debate, October 9, 2016

The Second Presidential Debate took place on October 9, 2016 between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and businessman Donald Trump. It was a raucous affair, with a good amount of name-calling and accusations, but there was also some discussion of issues like the crisis in Syria and tax reform. Here are 20 words from the Second Presidential Debate.
20 Words

Vocabulary from the Vice-Presidential Debate, October 4, 2016

The first and only Vice-Presidential debate was held on October 4, 2016 in Farmville, Virginia. Both Governor Mike Pence, Republican from Indiana, and Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat from Virginia, were seated around a table for the debate, and this may have contributed to the relatively polite nature of the proceedings. There were times when both candidates went into attack mode, but they also exchanged ideas on the issues facing the country -- including immigration and foreign threats to the nation. Here are 20 vocabulary words from the Vice- Presidential debate.
20 Words

Vocabulary from the first Presidential Debate-September 26, 2016

The first presidential debate between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and businessman Donald Trump took place on September 26, 2016. Perhaps because there were only two participants, this debate was noticeably looser in format and each candidate had time for a response to the other candidate's claims. Unfortunately this looseness also led to a lot of interruptions and the candidates not staying focused on the questions at hand. Here are 20 vocabulary words from the first presidential debate.
20 Words

Edward Albee (1928-2016) Tribute List

Playwright Edward Albee died on September 16, 2016 at the age of 88. Albee was known for writing intense plays about regret and despair, and how people adapt to these emotions. A winner of multiple Tony Awards and three Pulitzer Prizes as well as the acclaim of a generation of critics and his peers alike, Albee had an adversarial relationship with critics and didn't seem to care too much about praise. His outlook can be summed up by this line from The Play About The Baby : "If you have no wounds, how can you know if you're alive?" Albee's art was about exploring these wounds. Here are twelve quotes from the work of Edward Albee and the man himself.
12 Words

Gene Wilder (1933-2016) Tribute List

Gene Wilder died on August 29 at the age of 83 from complications from Alzheimer's Disease. Wilder was an actor, director and comedian who participated in the creation of some of the funniest and most beloved movies of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, including The Producers, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Blazing Saddles, Stir Crazy, Silver Streak, Young Frankenstein and The Frisco Kid. Wilder was hilariously unusual on screen, never doing quite what was expected, yet it was very easy for audiences to relate to him and root for him. Here are eleven quotes from the films of Gene Wilder.
11 Words

Vocabulary Heard at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

The Democratic National Convention was held in Philadelphia from July 25-28, 2016. The vocabulary ranged from lofty descriptions of hope for the future and prayers for togetherness in confronting the Republican opponent with polite name calling, less-than-polite name calling, and plain name calling. A highlight was The Vice President of the United States using the word "malarkey" with a vitality not seen since people actually said "malarkey." Here are twenty words heard at the Democratic National Convention.
20 Words

Vocabulary Heard at the 2016 Republican National Convention

Here is a list of 20 words spoken at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Speakers ranged from the Presidential nominee himself, Donald J. Trump, to four of his children as well as candidates Trump defeated in the primaries. Whether they were talking about dark times for America or the bright future they hope lies ahead, these speakers used some interesting and powerful vocabulary to get their messages across. Here are 20 vocabulary words by various convention speakers.
20 Words

U.S. Government Lingo

Learning this list will prime you to better understand news articles about the daily business of the American government. Note that the sentence examples for these words were plucked from a variety of reputable news sources (The Washington Times, The LA Times, Time, etc.)
25 Words

Elie Wiesel (1928-2016) Tribute List

Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize Elie Wiesel died on July 2 at the age of 87. Wiesel was a survivor of the Holocaust, spending time in several concentration camps, including Auschwitz. He wrote movingly about his experiences in the camps in his trilogy "Night," "Dawn" and "Day." Wiesel was a tireless crusader for human dignity and freedom around the world. His work, including his many speeches, is a constant reminder that humankind should stand up for the weak and the persecuted. Here are 10 vocabulary words from quotes by Elie Wiesel.
10 Words

David Cameron's Words After the Brexit Vote

On June 23, 2016, the people of Britain voted to decide whether Britain should remain in or leave the European Union- the so-called "Brexit" or "British Exit" vote. The British people voted to leave the European Union, and although the decision does not go into effect immediately, it is an historic decision whose effects will be felt by the entire world for years to come. After the vote, British Prime Minister David Cameron, who was in favor of remaining in the E.U., delivered a speech in which he addressed the future of Britain and announced his resignation, to take effect in a few months. Below are seventeen vocabulary words from Cameron's speech. The transcript of the entire speech is available here.
17 Words

Lois Duncan (1934-2016) Tribute List

Author Lois Duncan died on June 15, 2016. She was 82 years old. Duncan wrote many novels aimed at teens that were suspenseful, spooky and often dealt with the supernatural. Her novel "I Know What You Did Last Summer... " was adapted into a movie, but Duncan wasn't very happy with the result. Like Dean Koontz or Stephen King, the novels of Lois Duncan used to be a rite of passage for girls of a certain age. The novels hold up for modern readers as well and are perfect for reading in the dark with friends or by candle or campfire light. Here are ten words from the novels of Lois Duncan.
10 Words

Muhammad Ali (1942-2016) Tribute List

Muhammad Ali died on June 3, 2016 at the age of 74 from respiratory issues. It may be hard to imagine but at one time, not too long ago, a boxer transcended sports and dominated the culture. Muhammad Ali's unmatched skill within the ring, and his charisma, humor and bravery outside of it defined an era. Ali was famous for dubbing himself "The Greatest," but in several ways that wasn't a boast, but merely the truth. Born Cassius Clay, Ali changed his name when he embraced Islam, a very controversial decision for a public figure at the time. Ali also refused to fight in Vietnam, was found guilty of draft evasion and was stripped of his title. Ali understood the obligation of being a public figure as the obligation of being true to himself. Here are 15 vocabulary words from quotes by Muhammad Ali, that are a mixture of the boastful, the witty and the reflective sides of the man and the champion.
15 Words

Morley Safer (1931-2016) Tribute List

"60 Minutes" correspondent Morley Safer died on May 19, 2016 of pneumonia at the age of 84. Safer originally gained fame for his reports from Vietnam, but he became a television personality when he joined "60 Minutes" in 1970. Safer profiled things that interested him, often taking viewers into the art world or profiling the powerful. Here are ten vocabulary words from quotes from Morley Safer, including a taste of the honest, opinionated reporting which endeared him to so many.
10 Words

Prince (1958-2016) Tribute List

Prince died on April 21, 2016 of undisclosed causes at the age of 57. Prince was a unique and immensely talented artist, often playing all the instruments on his albums. Lyrically, he was caught between searching for salvation and his very human desires, but lyrics only tell half the story. Prince's sound, from his emergence in the late 70s until his most recent record, was unlike anything else audiences had heard before. Then Prince would completely change his sound, and that would be unlike anything anyone had heard before. Here are 20 vocabulary words from Prince's lyrics.
20 Words

Vocabulary From the Ninth Democratic Debate, April 14, 2016

The Ninth Democratic Debate took place on April 14th, 2016 in Brooklyn, NY. The two candidates were determined to get their points across in this debate, whether they were criticizing each other or talking about policy, and they often ignored the moderators' signals that their time was up. The debate featured loud crowd noise, an extended discussion about the situation in Israel, a segment on climate change and heated exchanges on gun control and the banking industry. Here are twenty vocabulary words from the ninth Democratic Debate.
20 Words

Merle Haggard (1937-2016) Tribute List

Country music legend Merle Haggard died on April 6, 2016 at the age of 79. Many country songs are about drinking too much liquor and getting in trouble with the law, but for most artists, those are just songs. Merle Haggard, for better and worse, lived those songs. He was in prison as a very young man. While in prison he saw Johnny Cash perform and realized that music could give him a way to start over. Haggard went on to a hugely respected and successful career, even one year hitting the charts with 8 different number one singles. Here are twelve vocabulary words from the lyrics Merle Haggard wrote or recorded and made his own.
12 Words

Jim Harrison (1937-2016) Tribute List

Author Jim Harrison died on March 26, 2016 at the age of 78. A novelist and poet, Harrison was as comfortable covering rugged external terrain as he was the interior emotional landscape of his characters. Harrison's writing overflows with the pleasures of the senses: how things smell, feel and taste. He lived his life that way as well, as he was an avid sportsman and champion eater and drinker. He wrote extensively about both sports and food, addressing the latter in the volume The Raw and The Cooked: Adventures of a Roving Gourmand. Here are thirteen vocabulary words from the work of Jim Harrison.
13 Words

Garry Shandling (1949-2016) Tribute List

Comedian Garry Shandling died on March 24, 2016 at the age of 66. Shandling rose to fame as a stand-up and was soon the guest host for the Johnny Carson "Tonight Show." He created two sitcoms, "It's Garry Shandling's Show," which was famous for being a sitcom which was aware it was a sitcom, and "The Larry Sanders Show," which was a satire drawn from his experiences in late night television. Shandling was, above all, hysterically funny and he will be missed. Here are eleven vocabulary words drawn from Shandling's stand-up material, interviews and even a tribute from Iron Man 2 co-star Robert Downey, Jr.
11 Words

Phife Dawg (1970-2016) Tribute List

Rapper Phife Dawg died on March 23, 2016 from complications from Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 45. Phife, whose real name was Malik Taylor, was an essential part of the influential group A Tribe Called Quest, along with Q-Tip. As these vocabulary words and the quotes that contain them show, Phife Dawg's verses embraced all kinds of cultural references and inventive wordplay and weren't the usual MC boasting. Here are twelve vocabulary words from the lyrics of Phife Dawg.
12 Words

Vocabulary from the Twelfth Republican Debate, March 10, 2016

The twelfth Republican Debate took place on March 10, 2016 in Coral Gables, Florida. This debate was much calmer and more focused on issues than the last few Republican debates have been. Without name calling and interrupting. candidates engaged in a substantive discussion of issues like trade, the threat of ISIS, climate change and saving the Social Security system. Here are 25 words they used, starting with those our list builder found "most relevant."
25 Words

Vocabulary from the Eighth Democratic Debate, March 9, 2016

The Eighth Democratic Debate was held on March 9, 2016 in Miami and it focused on issues of concern to Latino voters. Immigration and education were topics of focus, but the moderators were forceful on all issues, including when they brought up scandals and candidates' previous statements, complete with videotape evidence. These tools were used to guard against what moderator Maria Elena Salinas called "Hispandering" ("Hispanic" + "pandering") - "telling Hispanics what they want to hear just so they will vote for you." Here are twenty vocabulary words from the Eighth Democratic Debate.
20 Words

Raymond Tomlinson (1941-2016) Tribute List

Raymond Tomlinson died on March 7, 2016 at the age of 74. Raymond Tomlinson was a computer programmer and one of the early pioneers of e-mail. Specifically, he was the man responsible for choosing the "@" sign to go in email addresses. Of course the sign soon became so widely used that it is now known as the "at-sign" and for some it is fast replacing that sequence of letters, "a-t", and may soon appear everywhere the letters appear together, regardless of pronounciation. It is an open question as to whether or not @ will replace "a-t" altogether, but to remember Mr. Tomlinson, here is a list of words with the "a-t" sequence in them, and how these words would look with "@" signs replacing the letters. It is no doubt an encouraging sign to those who dislike abbreviations and shortcuts in texting and email that many of these words still look quite strange with the @ in place.
13 Words

"Our America," Vocabulary from Part I

As 13-year-olds, LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman were interviewed by National Public Radio. Learn this list to better understand their award-winning and heartbreaking stories about "Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago." Here are links to our lists for the nonfiction text: Part I, Part II, Part III
30 Words

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