10.24.2006

Worksheet!

I want my speech students to know that, when they are preparing their speeches, they need to use simple, precise language.

"Save the big words for your English teachers," I told them. "In this class, we ride the short bus."

(That statement became the basis for a spontaneous mini-lesson on denotation and connotation.) (And I--ONCE AGAIN)--made a solemn promise to myself that I would think before I speak.)

To show them just how annoying confusing flowery adjectival language can be, I made this worksheet.

Each of the following statements is familiar to you, but its language here is slightly more complex. Use a dictionary (if necessary) to identify these common sayings.

Example: A government's chief means of currency in no way derives itself from a deciduous growth.
Answer: Money doesn't grow on trees.

How many can you answer?

You seem to have found yourself in a predicament akin to having no means of purpulsion while in the midst of a small stream.

You maintain the condition of being a shard extracted from a large wooden cube that is rather advanced in years.

It is possible for one to compel a large, hoofed, herbivorous quadruped toward a body of liquid; however, it is less than likely that one will find success in coercing the aforementioned mammal to indulge itself in the libation of said fluid compound.

That person is scrambling in a capricious manner, much like a decapitated domesticated farm fowl.

It is advisable not to situate oneself in a manner correspondent to a protuberance resting on a felled tree. [This one's for you, Joon!]

Those who are in a position requiring dependence upon others' kindness are decidedly unable to request a variety of options.

Upon the occurrence of a downpour of aqueous vapor, you will experience, simultaneously, a copious deluge of the same.

It is a universal truth that one will always encounter a visible vapor in the vicinity of a burning mass of material.

There is no discernable benefit to emitting a watery fluid as an emotional reaction to a deluge of mammalian-secreted liquid.

The ovoid fruit of the oak tends to, when disengaged, remain in the immediate area of its place of origin.

I am not in the practice of capriciously warbling the reverberation of the unofficial anthem of the now defunct Confederate States of America.

5 comments:

lorinda said...

These are hilarious!

Waterfall said...

What an awesome worksheet. If I were still teaching comp, I'd ask you if I could borrow it!

--Deb said...

Fun! And I got them all. (I'd list them to prove it, but why spoil it for anyone else who comes along?) It's always a pleasure giving my vocabulary a workout.

And . . . purpulsion? Or propulsion?

Dreamy said...

I wish my college teacher would assign this to our writing class. Sometimes I wish I could walk around braining people with Strunk and White's Elements of Style and see if it sinks in... This was awesome

Mei said...

Thanks, guys! I had fun making them up.
Deb: propulsion/purpulsion (sigh) Another case of my fingers getting ahead of my brain.
Dreamy: I'm reading Stephen King's On Writing, and he references Strunk&White quite a bit. It's a fascinating book, and I do wish I could force some of my kids to read (and learn from) it.

 

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