Part of speech:
(Countable nouns, like "bottle," "piece," and "decision," are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about "a bottle," "three pieces," and "many decisions."
Likewise, talk about one gaffe or multiple gaffes.)
A gaffe is a mistake made in a social situation. The person who makes a gaffe is being dumb, unaware, and/or careless.
How to use it:
Talk about someone making a gaffe, regretting a gaffe, pointing out a gaffe, and so on. You can say "Janet's gaffe," "his gaffe," "their gaffe," etc.
Kanye West once interrupted and insulted Taylor Swift during her award acceptance speech, and years later, fans of both performers still cringe when they recall this gaffe.
George W. Bush may have been our most gaffe-prone president; he often got befuddled and said things like "I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You'll know you understand what "gaffe" means when you can explain it without saying "embarrassing" or "error."
Think of a truly awkward person, either someone famous or someone you know personally, and fill in the blanks: "(Person's) latest gaffe is _____."
Example: "Biden's latest gaffe is telling a guy in a wheelchair to stand up."
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.
"completely" + "catch hold of" = ?
Try this one today:
"to/toward" + "fold" = ?
A Point Well Made:
"When we fell, we got up
And crawled out of the cracks
Excuse me if I take some comfort in that."
1. The opposite of GAFFES is
2. The gaffe might not be directly mentioned to you, but people will certainly remember it if you _____.
A. include a well-written cover letter with your job application
B. cash a check given as a gift without sending a thank-you note
C. make charitable donations anonymously
Answers are below.
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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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