Word of the Day #3

People’s Top 10 Favorite Words

#6: Serendipity


luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for


“Old-time print journalists bemoan the absence of serendipity – the accidental discovery of stories that readers didn’t know they were interested in reading.” – L. Gordon Crovitz, Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2010

About the word:

In the mid-18th century, Sir Horace Walpole stumbled upon a Persian fairy tale called The Three Princes of Serendip (Serendip was the Persian name for the island now called Sri Lanka). The heroes of the story traveled about, making happy (and chance) discoveries. Walpole added the term to English in 1754.
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It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a STUDENT??!!

Have you ever wanted to have super powers??  Well now is your chance!  Pick one of the super powers from the list and go to town! Use some gumption and write a story – not just a paragraph!!  Make sure you use a plethora of details so as not to discombobulate your readers. (Don’t you just love ♥how I used some of our new SAT vocabulary words? 🙂 )

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I’m Watching….

courtesy of artandtravel.com

Write from the point of view of the man standing in the door.  You should write in 1st person and talk about what you see, feel, hear, etc.  Be creative!

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Merriam-Webster Word of the Day

#2 Kerfuffle


disturbance; fuss


“‘Glee’ Cast Members React to GQ Kerfuffle” – Headline on WashingtonPost.com, October 21, 2010

About the word:

Kerfuffle is the most recent coinage on this list, dating to 1946. It may be an alteration of the Scottish carfuffle, from the Scottish Gaelic cearr (“wrong; awkward”) plus fuffle (“to become disheveled”).

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Merriam-Websters Top 10 Most “Liked” Words of the Day #1

Merriam-Webster has a Top 10 List.  I thought I would give you a new word every day to add to your already growing repertoire (look that up) of good strong words we have learned.  I will give you 5 points extra credit for every new word you use in a sentence, so by the end of our 10 new words, you could have 50 points extra credit.  The sentence must demonstrate an understanding of the word and be unique.  In your sentence, you should use references unique to our school, so I know you didn’t copy the sentence from the internet.

Ex. The smell that emanates from the sixth grade boys’ bathroom makes my stomach sick.

With that sentence, I have used an example unique to our school since we all KNOW how horrible that bathroom smells.  🙂  Now you try it with the new words I give you over the next few days.

#1: Gumption


common sense, horse sense; enterprise, initiative


“Plans for the relocation and expansion of Vacaville’s homeless shelter have hit a snag, but it looks like a little gumption and the city’s support could keep the project from derailing.” – Kimberly K. Fu, Contra Costa (California) Times, July 10, 2011

About the Word:

English speakers have had gumption (the word, that is) since the early 1700s. The term’s exact origins aren’t known, but its earliest known uses are found in British and especially Scottish dialects (which also include the forms rumblegumption and rumgumption).

In its earliest uses, gumption referred to intelligence or common sense, especially when those qualities were combined with high levels of energy. By the 1860s, American English speakers were also using gumption to imply ambition or tenacity, but it wasn’t until the early 1900s that gumption began to appear in English texts as a direct synonym of courage or get-up-and-go.

American showman P.T. Barnum also claimed that gumption named a particular kind of hard cider, but that sense is far from common today.

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Save a Life – Use a Comma!

You know how I’m always on you about your punctuation?  Well guess what could happen if you DON’T use a comma!  A Zombie Apocalypse!  Check it out!

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Is Ignorance Bliss?

Flowers for Algernon/Charly

We have now read Flowers for Algernon and seen the movie Charly.  We watched Charlie’s transformation through some phenomenal acting by Cliff Robertson.  I wonder now how you feel about the surgery Charlie underwent.  Knowing what you know about the final outcome, would you have had the surgery only to go back to your former self?  Would it have been worth it for those brief few months to experience everything Charlie did?  Think for a moment of all the good and bad Charlie was subjected to during his months of transformation.  Decide whether or not you would have went through with the surgery knowing you would eventually regress to your former self.  Provide specific examples from the story to support your decision.

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November 8, 2011 – A New Name?

Do you ever wish you could just change your name?  Be someone else?  Check out this journal topic!


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October 28, 2011 – What is Happiness?

Happiness means different things to different people.  I want to know what happiness is to YOU.  What does it look like?  What does it smell like?  Taste, feel, and sound like?  Yes, I asked about your five senses because I bet you can tell me what happiness is to you by using your five senses.

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October 24, 2011 – The Story Behind the….

There’s a story to this picture.  What do you think it is?

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