THE GRE DICTIONARY

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Dictionary, Shmictionary.”

Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect).


My brother downloaded an app. I am not aware of the exact name but it was a educational app for GRE aspirants. And he was onto this section where your proficiency over the English vocabulary is tested.

This was the deal with this section. One set has fifty words. A word pops into the screen and you have to guess the meaning of the word. Then you press the tab “Meaning”, the meaning pops onto the screen with two options. One, I knew the meaning. Two, I didn’t know the meaning. You have to be true to yourself here. So when the app is done flipping over the first fifty words, it loops over the words to which you didn’t know the meaning. This cycle repeats until you remember the meaning of all the words in that set.

All of us were into our own phone dimensional world, when one of my brothers announced to us that he downloaded this app, and that we should have a look at that particular section.

We huddled over the screen and launched ourselves into craziness. The first word appeared on the screen.We grinned at eachother (I am sorry i don’t remember hat it was but i remember none of us knew the meaning). After each one of us pronounced that their respective selves didn’t know the meaning, he pressed the tab “Show the meaning” and voila all of us suddenly knew the word. Each one of us was going.. “Oooh. This word.. Damn I knew it i knew it”… “I read this word here”… “This guy used this word”… and the likes.

After maybe two or three words we made this rule.. guess the meaning of the word, make a sentence and then go on and verify the meaning of the word. This is where the fun started. We started make bizarre guesses and respective sentences. When we actually saw he meaning on screen we just couldnt stop ourselves form laughing. It was hilarious.  We were in a public gathering so suppressed controlled laughter made it even more enjoyable. The vagueness of it was absolute.

One of the words that came up was involved”. By the looks of it its a very commonly used term. None the less we gave the word the meaning we had learnt it had (thanks to its casual reference).i.e. “Being engaged in an activity”. Surprisingly thats not what the word means..  What it actually means is this… difficult to understand; complicated. Casual references robs the word of its designated meaning.

A boring afternoon well spent and made memorable. It happened today.. seeing this prompt was like Deja vu.


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2 thoughts on “THE GRE DICTIONARY

  1. I’ve used that app, but you have to remember that words have several meanings so involved can mean both. It hasn’t been robbed of the first meaning, but enriched with a different meaning as well.

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