Words: Paucity to Prodigious

Use some of the words below to describe amounts: “There are SO MANY ants in our yard!”  Sounds much smarter when you say, “There’s a plethora of ants in our yard!”  Say that and you’ll get all the ladies, boys.

  • Paucity; n. Smallness of number.
  • Those in charge of the election were disappointed when they saw the paucity of voters that came.
  • Scarcity of amount.
  • There was a paucity of clean water which caused some panic.
  • Petty; adj. Trivial; of little importance.
  • I am in charge of many things an I must leave the petty details to be taken care of by others.
  • Narrow-minded; shortsighted.
  • Don’t be petty and miss the big picture while being trivial over small details.
  • Mean and grudging.
  • She’s so petty that she’s still mad at me for the wrong I did to her ten years ago.
  • Pittance; n. A very small amount, often referring to an unusually meager amount of money.
  • I only earn a pittance at my current job and that is why I’m looking for new employment.
  • Scant; adj., v. Adjective: Barely sufficient; falling short of a necessary amount; inadequately supplied.
  • Because of the weather, only a scant amount of fans came to the baseball game.
  • Verb: To shortchange or deal with something inadequately or neglectfully.
  • Because of my demanding job, I scant on time with family.
  • Mammoth; n, adj.
  • noun: a great, hairy, prehistoric, elephant-like creature.
  • I have seen a replica of the remains of a prehistoric mammoth.
  • Anything if unusual size.
  • Did you see the mammoth mosquito?

 

  • Adjective: enormous; of great or unusual size or proportions.
  • Driving the enormous truck was a fun experience for me.

 

  • Monumental; adj. Resembling a monument.
  • The monumental gathering for the opening or the store was really fun.

 

  • Exceptionally large, sturdy, or enduring.
  • It may seem like a monumental undertaking but I know it will be worth it to write a book.

 

  • Plethora; n. An excessive amount; a surplus.
  • We had a plethora of jelly beans left over from Easter.

 

  • Prodigious; adj. Excessively great in size, force, or content.
  • The tornado caused such prodigious wind that many trees snapped in half.

 

  • Exceptionally talented.
  • She is a prodigious student in her school. She especially excels in theater.


			
		

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Critical Reasoning Question 6-Artistic Expression

The extent to which society is really free can be gauged by its attitude toward artistic expression.  Freedom of expression can easily be violated in even the most outwardly democratic societies.  When a government arts council withholds funding from a dance performance that its members deem “obscene,” the voices of a few bureaucrats have in fact censored the work of the choreographer, thereby committing the real obscenity of repression.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the argument above?

A.  Members of government arts councils are screened to ensure that their beliefs reflect those of the majority.

B.  The term obscenity has several different definitions that should not be used interchangeably for rhetorical effect.

C.  Failing to provide financial support for a performance is not the same as actively preventing or inhibiting it.

D.  The council’s decision could be reversed if the performance were altered to conform to public standards of appropriateness.

E.  The definition of obscenity is something on which most members of a society can agree.

Think you know the answer?

The correct answer is C.

The author equates the withholding of government funding with censorship.  (C), which denies that they’re the same thing, destroys the argument.  (A) is irrelevant.  That the council’s actions may reflect majority opinion wouldn’t justify what the author considers censorship-her definition isn’t dependent on what most people think.  (B) complains that the term obscenity is used ambiguously, but it’s the term censorship that’s the problem here.  (D) misses the whole point; in the author’s view, denial of funding amounts to censorship, and (D) simply reaffirms this.  And (E), like (A), points to majority opinion, but since the author never denies that most people can agree on what’s obscene, this is beside the point.

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