Vocabulary Lists


Chris Cornell (1964 - 2017) Tribute List

Rocker Chris Cornell died on May 18, 2017 at the age of 52. Cornell was the lead singer and lyricist of Soundgarden, a band that achieved mainstream success in the 1990s on the backs of their hard rocking sound and the disturbing video for their biggest hit, "Black Hole Sun," off of their album "Superunknown." Prior to Soundgarden, Cornell also sang for Temple of the Dog along with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, and after Soundgarden, Cornell fronted the supergroup Audioslave. For his fans,Cornell's stage presence transcended pop culture fads and MTV airplay, and his lyrics were brimming with a pain his soulful voice seemed specifically designed to express.
10 Words

Yevgeny Yevtushenko ( 1933-2017) Tribute List

Poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko died on April 1, 2017 at the age of 83. Yevtushenko was a very important poet in Russia in the period after the death of Stalin, writing about anti-Semitism and injustice at time when it was still dangerous to do so. Yevtushenko was immensely popular, even giving poetry readings in sports stadiums on occasion to crowds hanging on his every word. Yevtushenko's keen eye for detail and sense of humor enliven his work on all kinds of subjects, not just the political poems. Here are 10 vocabulary words from the work and wisdom of Yevgeny Yevtushenko.
10 Words

Jimmy Breslin (1929-2017) Tribute List

Newspaper Columnist Jimmy Breslin died on March 19, 2017 at the age of 88. Jimmy Breslin was the last of New York's powerful newspaper columnists, a heavy drinking, cigar-chomping writer who championed the little guy and took down the corrupt who were in power. Breslin was so well known that in 1977, the Son of Sam killer, David Berkowitz, sent taunting notes to him, knowing that all would be made aware of Berkowitz's spree because everyone read Breslin's column. As the quotes below show, Breslin's voice was uniquely colorful. Here are eleven vocabulary words from quotes from Jimmy Breslin.
11 Words

Chuck Berry (1926-2017) Tribute List

Musician Chuck Berry died on March 18, 2017 at the age of 90. If anyone can legitimately lay claim to inventing rock n' roll music, it might be Chuck Berry. His amazing blues-inflected guitar work, catchy melodies and humorous lyrics inspired countless musicians after him. Here are ten vocabulary words from the lyrics of Chuck Berry.
10 Words

Mary Tyler Moore (1936-2017) Tribute List

Actress, comedian and advocate Mary Tyler Moore died at the age of 80 on January 25, 2017. Moore starred in two ground-breaking television series, The Dick Van Dyke show and The Mary Tyler Moore show. The latter was the first popular television show which revolved around a single career woman. Moore's self-titled show wasn't primarily an issue-oriented program, however; it was concerned with being laugh-out-loud funny. The episode where Mary gets the giggles at the funeral of Chuckles the Clown is a classic. Moore was a Tony and Emmy Award winner, and she was nominated for an Oscar for "Ordinary People." She became a spokeswoman for diabetes research when she was diagnosed with the disease. Here are 10 quotes from Mary Tyler Moore.
10 Words

Debbie Reynolds (1932-2016) Tribute List

Just one day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher, Hollywood icon Debbie Reynolds died of a stroke at the age of 84 on December 28, 2016. Reynolds will be remembered for her role in one of the greatest movie musicals of all time, "Singin' in the Rain," and her Oscar-nominated performance in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." She was also the voice of the title spider in the animated musical "Charlotte's Web," which was full of its own vocabulary lessons. Here are twelve vocabulary words from quotes by Debbie Reynolds both in and out of character.
12 Words

Carrie Fisher (1956-2016) Tribute List

Actress and author Carrie Fisher died on December 27 at the age of 60 of a heart attack. Best known for her role as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, Fisher was also an accomplished author, writing novels and memoirs about her struggles with substance abuse and mental illness, and her life growing up as the daughter of Hollywood icons Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Here are 11 vocabulary words from the witty and insightful quotes of Carrie Fisher.
11 Words

Richard Adams (1920-2016) Tribute List

Author Richard Adams died on December 24, 2016. He was 96 years old. "Watership Down," the tale of rabbits who must find a new home after a prophecy that their old warren will be destroyed, is Adams most famous work, and it has influenced generations of young readers with its lessons about courage and survival. Here are 12 vocabulary words drawn from quotes from "Watership Down" which illustrate Adams's sensitivity and the freedom of his imagination.
12 Words

John Glenn (1921-2016) Tribute List

Astronaut and Senator John Glenn died on December 8, 2016 at the age of 95. Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth, in 1962 at a time when the space program was young and feats like that seemed impossible. He returned to space 36 years later aboard the shuttle Discovery. Widely recognized as an American hero for his accomplishments as an astronaut, Glenn later became a senator from Ohio. Here are 10 vocabulary words from quotes by Senator John Glenn.
10 Words

Fidel Castro (1926-2016) Memorial List

Here are twelve quotes from Fidel Castro, Cuba's leader for over 50 years, who died on November 25, 2016 at the age of 90. Because Castro led a Communist country, and that country was only ninety miles away from the United States, Castro's Cuba was at one time a dire enemy of the United States, resulting in frightening standoffs like the Cuban Missle Crisis, when both countries were at the brink of nuclear war. In recent years, with the collapse of the global Communist threat, tensions between the U.S. and Cuba have eased, with the ban on travel to and the import of goods from Cuba slowly being lifted.
12 Words

Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) Tribute List

Leonard Cohen, the hugely influential singer-songwriter, died on November 10 at the age of 82. Cohen was known for the poetry of his lyrics and his deep voice that, if not traditionally beautiful or melodic, fit his songs well, whether he was being charming or foretelling doom. Like only a handful of others, but in a way that was completely his own, Cohen opened up the possibilities for the subject matter of popular songs and the perspectives they could take. Here are fifteen vocabulary words from the lyrics of Leonard Cohen.
15 Words

Vocabulary from Hillary Clinton's Concession Speech, November 9, 2016

Hillary Clinton, who was defeated in the presidential election by Donald Trump, delivered her concession speech on November 9, 2016. The speech touched on Secretary Clinton's values and the things she has held dear for her thirty years in public life. The speech was also full of gratitude and words of encouragement for those who supported her throughout her campaign and her life. Here are eleven words from Hillary Clinton's concession speech.
11 Words

Vocabulary from Donald Trump's Victory Speech, November 9, 2016

Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States. He gave a victory speech in the early morning of November 9, 2016. After a bitter and brutal campaign, Trump's speech was clearly intended to demonstrate his softer, more statesman-like side and to assure the American people, and the world, that he is fit for the job. Here are twelve vocabulary words from the President-elect's victory speech.
12 Words

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

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