Part of speech:
Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “an ill-contrived plan.”
2. After a linking verb, as in “The plan was ill contrived.”
(Notice how you drop the hyphen
and write two separate words after a linking verb.)
Something contrived seems fake or forced because it was planned out.
So, something ill-contrived is poorly faked or poorly planned out.
When you notice anything that makes you think, "Wow, that was really poorly done... actually, it shouldn't have been done at all," you can call it ill-contrived.
How to use it:
Talk about an ill-contrived comment (such as an ill-contrived apology or an ill-contrived tweet), an ill-contrived move or step, an ill-contrived choice or decision, an ill-contrived attempt or effort, an ill-contrived project or product, and so on.
Here's one of history's oddities: a man once attempted to kill President Reagan in an ill-contrived attempt to impress Jodie Foster, an actress he was obsessed with.
Spoken in an airport, an ill-contrived joke about terrorism might get you arrested.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "ill-contrived” means when you can explain it without saying “awkward” or “badly done."
Think of something you bought that disappointed you, and fill in the blanks: "I can't understand why (thing) had an ill-contrived (something) that (was/were) supposed to (do something) and didn't."
Example: "My manual miter saw got me through my first trim project, but I can't understand why it had such ill-contrived plastic little braces that were supposed to keep the blade in place and didn't."
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 content is protected by a copyright, so I can't reprint the trivia questions here--but check out the challenging, endlessly entertaining game; it's called Moot!
A Point Well Made:
Dan Lowe: "Make one change at a time, judge whether it works, then keep it or dump it."
1. The opposite of ILL-CONTRIVED is
2. In an ill-contrived prank, she _____.
A. completely covered her friend's car in tiny Post-it notes--all in different orientations to stymie the cleanup.
B. drew mustaches on her coworker's framed photos--the only copies that existed.
C. slowly altered her speech habits until she was speaking in a foreign accent--an entire year later.
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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