Today's "Vesuvian" is a reference to a famous volcano that you're probably familiar with. Could you recall some of our other mountain-inspired words?
- Something that you can't escape, something that seems to loom toward you like a scary mountain, is __min___.
- Something majestic or godlike, something that reminds you of a particular Greek mountain, is __mpi__.
make your point with...
Something Vesuvian is so violent or powerful that it reminds you of Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed Pompeii in AD 79.
viss OO vee un
Part of speech:
Proper adjective, so always capitalize it.
(Adjectives are describing words, like "large" or "late."
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in "Vesuvian explosion."
2. After a linking verb, as in "The explosion was Vesuvian.")
How to use it:
It's best to use this word playfully, in my opinion. You could just say that something is "violent," "powerful," or even "volcanic," but "Vesuvian" dials up the drama to a ridiculous level and throws in a reference to ancient history. Sure, it's a reference that most people will understand with no problem, but there's still a risk of sounding pedantic when you use it. So let's reserve "Vesuvian" for lighthearted exaggeration.
Talk about Vesuvian eruptions and explosions, Vesuvian shouting and Vesuvian accusations, Vesuvian anger and fear and outrage, and so on.
When I walked in, she was having some sort of Vesuvian aneurysm. Apparently someone had put her music collection in disarray.
His fanboy fervor reached a Vesuvian intensity when the band actually took the stage.
study it now:
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "Vesuvian" means when you can explain it without saying "explosive" or "volcanic."
try it out:
Think of a time you noticed someone getting really, really angry, and fill in the blanks: "(Person's) anger over _____ wasn't just explosive. It was Vesuvian."
Example: "The director's anger over the interruptions wasn't just explosive. It was Vesuvian. Also, awkward to watch."
before you review:
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:
We're playing with clichés this month, examining the origins of some colorful ones. I’ll give you a cliché (some of which you might also call a proverb and/or an idiom) and pose a multiple-choice question about its origin. (I used this nifty book as a reference!)
Yesterday's question: When something “hits the spot,” it totally satisfies you. Was this cliché originally a reference to archery, map-making, or pin the tail on the donkey?
Answer: Archery. (Or possibly firearms. Tracing a cliché to its true origins is not always possible.)
Try this one today: A “captain of industry” is an important person in the world of business. Was this cliché created by an American investor, a Scottish writer, or a Swedish psychologist?
A Point Well Made:
Mother Theresa: “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
review today's word:
1. The opposite of VESUVIAN is
2. If nobody interferes, he might _____ in a Vesuvian _____.
A. get lost .. lack of information B. rage quit .. fit
C. lose .. bet
Answers are below.
a final word:
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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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