Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Like Words? Have Lots of Time?

I've discovered a spot where I can spend even more online time than at Ravelry, I think. It's the vocabulary game at the Free Rice website. I made it to level 50! (and promptly fell back, but eventually made it again, and fell back). Oh, and advertising revenue from the site all goes to support the United Nations World Food Program. I checked that claim out on Snopes, and it seems to be perfectly legitimate. And it is supposed to improve your vocabulary. So play without guilt. (Except for all that time not accomplishing anything here at the home front.) Forget all the altruistic motivations, though. I just want bragging rights.

Edited to add: Here's how it works. A word is posted with four possible words that mean the same thing. You pick, and if you are right you move up. The words keep getting harder. It's a pretty quick trip to about level 45. After that it gets dicier. You can tell that it originates in the UK: bosky, fen, copse, furze, gorse. It also helps if you have read Tennyson or Mallory or other medieval-y things: samite, oubliette, surtout, demesne, salver. There are also many words taken from the French. And Italian. And those scientific ones that at least you can sometimes get a clue from the Latin root.

Of course, you have a one in four chance by just guessing, and even better if you can do process of elimination. A stated purpose of the site is to help people improve their vocabularies. I guess it works. I just learned that "thrasonical" means "bragging". I'm not sure when I'll be able to work that into a sentence, but I'll be ready when the occasion comes up.

Oh, and credit where credit is due: I found this on Cheryl's blog.


YarnThrower said...

WOW -- That sounds like an impressive score, though I'm too afraid that I'd get sucked into the site, so I'm going to abstain... Plus, I took the GRE within the past five months, and that was about all of the vocabulary I want to think about for a while..... I'm more of a math geek...

Anonymous said...

Look! Look! That's me! I'm Cheryl. I was just checking in and there I am. Thanks for the link.
And I'm glad to know a 50...48 is probably going to remain my personal best.

Cindy G said...

Laura: Aversion is probably wise. (and notice that I'm not playing any math games. I think I'm numerically dyslexic.)

Cheryl: I won't tell you how long it took me to get to 50 or how quickly I fell back from it. Let's just say there are a lot of rice grains in my bowl.