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#153129 01/04/06 07:31 PM
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So they musta been blank versifiers, since they apparently saw neither rhyme nor reason.

And that, dear Faldo, is a great pun.


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 Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
I knew all these in HS, but I did poorly on the SAT, scoring a scant 580 on the verbal portion. However, much later, I considered going on for my doctorate and thought it would be good to take a practice GRE. At that time, I got a 790 on the verbal. I'm not sure if I was aware of AWAD at the time. I think studying vocabulary for it's own sake is a worthwhile thing or else I wouldn't be here - but I suspect most people will the same problem I have which is that I don't remember words unless I use them or I see them used over and over.

The big difference between me at 18 and me at 30-something was not studying lists of words (which I'm not knocking, btw), but the fact that I'd expanded my reading. I used to only read comic books, science books, and sf. It turns out that a crap load of those GRE words are words that you see time and again in classic and modern literature.

I think I might have done even worse on my SAT had I not had two years of Latin and a pretty good HS etymology course behind me.

Anyway, I think the very best way to prepare for the GRE is to take a sample (real)test first. Other than that, the best way to practice for the verbal portion is to have a program reading widely - well before you take the actual test.

If, otoh, someone is reduced to memorizing lists of words, a few hints:

1. Have practical goals.
Don't say "I'm going to do 100 new words a day" or even 20 because you wont keep to that schedule.

2. Take practice tests - one a week, if you can manage it.
There are books that contain actual tests from which, if you are scrupulous, you can derive a very good sense of what the real test will entail.

3. Find authoritative lists of these words and try to prioritize the list.

4. Use the words that you are learning.
Understand them and make a habit of using them in your conversations. It will seem pretentious to the people around you, but you have to get into that habit, if you want to expand your vocabulary.

5. Don't just memorize a word and never look at it again.
Each time you practice, make it a cumulative practice.

6. Make flash cards. (Using the available wordlists, it would be an extremely trivial program to write a text based program that would take a dictionary and then test you - assuming the dictionary were in a format that was readily consumable.)


You have mentioned very good tips! Here's a website http://www.grevocabulary.org which also has very useful tips and info to get a good verbal score in GRE

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 Originally Posted By: maverick
> Whether sifted or not, a pound of flour is always a pound of flour.

yeahbut it cooks differently if sifted and fluffed with air, at least in some cases...

True that, but in cooking, flour is not measured by weight (normally), but by volume. A cup of unsifted flour does not equal a cup of sifted flour. The cup of sifted flour will weigh less. I'm not sure any of the "air" actually survives the mixing process ;\) , but starting off with the molecules farther apart makes for less mixing time, which can be crucial for some recipes. Not all mixtures should be beaten to death, or even to a draw... :0)

 Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
I think I might have done even worse on my SAT had I not had two years of Latin and a pretty good HS etymology course behind me.

You're darn tootin'! Studies have shown that second language study increases SAT/GRE scores by up to 50 points or so, with Latin leading the charge. No big surprise, to me.

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Actually, in US flour is measured by volume (cups)

but in UK and many parts of europe, flour and other ingredients are measured by weight... (250 gm of flour is the weight of the flour, not the volume) and its a much more accurate way to cook.

Kitchen scales are common in most of europe (and in my kitchen) Ikea has not 1 but a selection!

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 Originally Posted By: of troy
Actually, in US flour is measured by volume (cups)

I sit corrected... sorry, but I've been sick for a week or so, and not at the top of my game... :0) Where weight may be more accurate in theory, it is dependent upon the accuracy of the scale, so in practice the two methods are probably roughly equivalent, although somehow the US seems to have more calories, based on visual observation of the consumers ;0)

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I do a little cooking (most of the cooking in our house). As with most things, I've just figured out what what I can make work without learning the right way. Usually when I measure flour, I pour it out of the bag and tamp it down into the measuring cup. When the recipe calls for sifted, I then pour the measured flour into the sifter. It never occurred to me to do otherwise.

Probably the answer is obvious, but I don't know. If a recipe calls for a cup of sifted flour, should I measure before or after sifting? Does it matter?

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It means "sifted flour", that is, flour that has been sifted. So measure after you sift. I wouldn't worry about for most recipes, but I would stop tamping it down, though. If you have a fussy recipe, you'll end up with too much flour, and for most recipes it's not good to have packed down flour. The only thing that requires tamping is brown sugar because it's so affluous (made that up...) you want to eliminate air pockets. If you want to approximate the sifted flour needed, just start with slightly less than the required amount, and see if that works. I don't sift always when it calls for it, and nobody dies! :0)

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I don't think our vocabulary has much to do with what we were or were not taught at school, but with personal reading habits. If you look up the meaning of every word you don't know when you come across it you will increase your vocabulary.

The Pook #179388 10/02/08 03:16 AM
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The online version of the New York Times has a great feature that allows you to double click any word as you are reading and get a dictionary definition. Very handy.

olly #179399 10/02/08 04:09 PM
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Gee, do you ever reach the end of an article that way? I wouldn't

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