Concretely, effluvium is something nasty-smelling that comes out from somewhere and is usually a gas (not a solid or liquid).
Abstractly, effluvium is waste, by-products, or any unneeded nasty junk.
if FLU vee um
Part of speech:
Sometimes a countable noun ("an effluvium," "many effluvia")
and other times an uncountable noun ("the effluvium," "this effluvium," "much effluvium," "such effluvium").
Other forms: The adjective is "effluvial."
Use either "effluvia" or "effluviums" for the plural.
(I prefer "effluvia" since it matches "data," "media," etc.)
How to use it:
Call something effluvium when you mean that it's gross and it flows out in large quantities. You might be literal ("the effluvium of burnt-meat smell from the fast food joint") or figurative ("the effluvium of issues," "an effluvium of complaints," "these unrealistic images in the media that hit us from every angle: an unavoidable effluvium").
You can extend the metaphor and talk about "inhaling an effluvium (of something)." "As standardized test graders, we were forced to inhale the effluvium of terrible essays."
Opening the classroom window helped clear out the effluvium of thirteen different Bath and Body Works products liberally applied.
Parents concerned about their kids' exposure to violent games and movies probably don't think the kids will turn into actual violent criminals--they just don't want them breathing in all that immoral and frightening effluvium.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "effluvium" means when you can explain it without saying “noxious fumes" or "icky outpouring."
Think of something you dislike that seems to be everywhere, and fill in the blank: "I do what I can to avoid exposure to the effluvium of _____."
Example: "I do what I can to avoid exposure to the effluvium of reality TV stars."
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:
Last month, we reviewed recently featured words with some activities created with my favorite vocabulary software: Vocabulary Worksheet Factory, made by Schoolhouse Technologies. It's a simple, flexible program that lets you input word lists and definitions, then create customized, fun worksheets for review. Here was our last puzzle of the month:
We’ll start off with easy questions, then work our way toward some whoppers at the end of the month, all the while focusing on funny, unusual words; surprising word histories; and cool tidbits about the language.
Here’s a sample question; it should be fairly easy:
Who is a “slobberchops?”
And the answer:
A slobberchops is a messy eater.
Try this one today:
What word is the plural of both “axis” and “ax”?
A Point Well Made:
Leonard Bernstein: “One person fighting for the truth can disqualify for me the platitudes of centuries. And one human being who meets with injustice can render invalid the entire system which has dispensed it.”
1. The opposite of EFFLUVIUM is
2. If you're interviewing an entire team about their successful project, the discussion may become _____ effluvium.
A. an inspiring
B. a self-congratulatory
C. a surprisingly insightful
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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