Part of speech:
Proper adjective. You always capitalize proper adjectives, like “Korean,” “Shakespearean,” and “Christian.”
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “a Kafkaesque ordeal”
2. After a linking verb, as in “The ordeal was Kafkaesque.”)
Something Kafkaesque is scary, bizarre, and dreamlike. Kafkaesque things remind you of stories by Franz Kafka, which include weird and terrifying events like a guy turning into a giant cockroach and another guy getting arrested and killed by the government for no particular reason.
How to use it:
Talk about a Kafkaesque experience, a Kafkaesque situation, a Kafkaesque government, and so on. Anything that is nightmarishly strange can be called Kafkaesque.
When a man was suddenly banned from seeing his children or even entering his own house, journalists described it as a Kafkaesque injustice.
It may disturb you to know that Kafka himself died in a Kafkaesque ordeal: he starved to death because his throat had closed up.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You'll know you understand what "Kafkaesque" means when you can explain it without saying "bizarre" or "terrifying."
Think of something that upsets you because it’s scary and cruel, and fill in the blanks: “In the Kafkaesque world of ____, _____.”
Example: “In the Kafkaesque world of for-profit colleges and trade schools, students are lured into debt and then trained for jobs that will never exist.”
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don't go straight to the review now; let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month's game is "guess the common word based on the given literal root meanings." Try it out each day and see the right answer the next day. It can be fun and illuminating to see the literal meanings of words when they came into the language! More than one right answer might be possible in some cases, just so you know. Also, it's okay if you can't come up with most or even any of the answers on your own; just check out the solutions and you'll learn the roots as you go along this month.
"to" + "fall" = ?
Try this one today:
"hand" + "hold" = ?
A Point Well Made:
Mark Twain: "Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see."
1. The opposite of KAFKAESQUE is
2. My day took a Kafkaesque turn when _____.
A. my alarm didn’t go off and I was two hours late.
B. I found a pile of beautiful, mysterious coins on the ground.
C. I was kicked out of class and forbidden to eat lunch for no reason.
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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