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Word Play: 21 Must Know Vocabulary Words

Brittany Dawson, the CampusRiot Campus Representative for the University of South Carolina, is a junior studying English at the University of South Carolina.

I have an announcement: books are incredible.

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 Wait, better yet, words in general are amazing. As an English major, it is my duty to save the world from grammatical errors, misspelled words, and fallacious arguments.

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Honestly, I know what you’re thinking: Umm, eww! Words are for geeks and dweebs. I’m sorry to disappoint you, I really am, but in actuality vocabulary words are more important than you think.

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Consider this: you are applying for an internship and submit a cover letter that says:


 My name is Susie and I’d love to be an intern. I am a hard worker and I persevere through tough times.

 Now, this sentence isn’t terrible, however, with the addition of a few enhanced vocabulary words, the sentence POPS! Let’s give this another go, shall we?


 My name is Susie and I am interested in the Blah Blah Blah internship position. As my resume illustrates, I am emblematic of hard work and perseverance. I am confident that I will make a great addition to your team.

 See? Words are life changing and powerful! Go ahead, cry it out.  I’ll wait.

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If you’re looking for ways to spruce up your vocabulary, check out these 21 vocabulary words!

1. Candid (adj.)

Definition: Blunt

2. Idyllic (adj.)

Definition: Peaceful, romanticized, unrealistic, and not practical

3.Elucidate (verb)

Definition: To clarify

4. Salubrious (adj.)

Definition:  Healthy, beneficial

5. Multifaceted (adj.)

Definition:  Multiple features or components

6. Mores (noun)

Definition:  A set of customs, beliefs, and practices

7. Dogma (noun)

Definition:  A principle believed to be true—especially in reference to religion

8. Deity (noun)

Definition:  A god or goddess

9. Comestible (noun)

Definition:  A food item, (ex. A lunchbox full of comestibles)

10. Fallacious (adj.)

Definition:  False, untrue, erroneous

11. Ostensible (adj.)

Definition:  Something that appears to be true but in essence, is not entirely true

12. Irrefutable (adj.)

Definition:  Not able to be disapproved or refuted

13. Indubitable (adj.)

Definition:  Unequivocal, unquestionable

14. Propagate (verb)

Definition:  To bring forth or assert, to spread

15. Enrapture (verb)

Definition:  Overpowering happiness, joy

16. Austere (adj.)

Definition:  Stern, reserved

17. Belie (verb)

Definition:  To contradict

18. Marginalize (verb)

Definition:  To alienate, disenfranchise

19. Posit (verb)

Definition:  To assert or assume as fact

20. Unequivocal (adj.)

Definition:  Clear, straightforward

21. Equivocal (adj.)

Definition:  Vague, unclear

What is your favorite vocabulary word?

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