Word #7

1. Disquisition

2.”I know this because last night at dinner we were treated by Hugh to a fascinating disquisition on the wonders of twenty-first-century telecommunications technology.” This is another excerpt from the book Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. This one can be found on page 205.

3. Disquisition Defined (by Mirriam-Webster.com): a formal inquiry into or discussion of a subject

Pronounced: Dis-qui-si-tion

Used as a noun

4. The Professor’s lengthy disquisition on foreign politics put the class to sleep.


Word #6

1. Soporific

2. “I discovered Emerson’s soporific qualities the hard way, by falling asleep with my face in the book, drooling all over an essay called ‘Self-Reliance’ and having the vending-machine dream for the sixth time that week.” This is another excerpt for the book Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. This one can be found on page 43.

3. Soporific Defined (by Mirriam-Webster.com): causing or tending to cause sleep; tending to dull awareness or alertness

Pronounced: Sop-o-rif-ic

Used as an adjective

4. The soporific heat was the worst part of the summer.

Mystery Character

For starters, this person is not a manly-man. This person uses their whit as opposed to their strength. The voice of this person can be head on the Los Angeles radio scene, as well as on TV. In fact, this person is the TV show host that people aspire to be. Whether it is on the show that made them famous, or on the Red Carpet where they interview celebrities, this person is always dressed to impress. Plus they have great hair. This short-y is flamboyant – you have to be when you’re in the entertainment industry. Although there have been many shows that have hired this on-air personality, this person has become most famous for saying “This is American Idol”.

Who is my mystery character?


Word #5

1. Umbrage

2. “She also took umbrage with the lingerie description as “your ticket to an exotic adventure” and the fact that none of the models for the collection were of Asian descent.” This article, which discusses a blogger’s take on the new “Geisha” outfit Victoria’s Secret released, can be found on Yahoo! Style. It is entitled “Victoria’s Secret Geisha Lingerie Sparks Controversy: How One Blogger Took on a Brand” and it is written by Piper Weiss.

Here is the article’s URL: http://shine.yahoo.com/fashion/victorias-secret-geisha-lingerie-sparks-controversy-one-blogger-201500394.html

3. Umbrage Defined (by oxforddictionaries.com): offence or annoyance

Pronounced: Um-brage

Used as a mass noun

4. She took umbrage at the sight of the German propaganda during World War II

Word #4

1. Caroming

2. “In an instant the whole magnificent structure was cascading down around us, sending a tidal wave of diapers crashing across the floor, boxes caroming off the legs of startled customers, skidding as far as the automatic door, which slid open, letting in a rush of August heat.” This sentence is located on page 21 of the book Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. It’s the new book I’m reading…check it out. It’s really good so far and it’s the #1 New York Times Best Seller.

3. Caroming Defined (by Mirriam-Webster.com): Carom: to strike and rebound

Pronounced: Car-om

Used as an intransitive verb

4. The hockey player caromed off of the glass that surrounds the arena.

Word #3

1. Defunct

2. “The Opportunity rover landed with its now-defunct sister rover Spirit in 2004, and continues to study Mars.” This article, which talks about new evidence that could potentially disprove the theory that the planet Mars once contained water, can be found on the Huffington Post website and is written by Nola Taylor Redd.

Here is the article’s URL: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/10/mars-magma-water_n_1870939.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmaing6%7Cdl14%7Csec1_lnk1%26pLid%3D203794

3. Defunct Defined (by Mirriam-Webster.com): no longer living, existing, or functioning

Pronounced: De-funct

Used as an adjective

4. She looked fondly upon her now-defunct car, and wished she had taken better care of it.

What Makes It News?

A few days ago, as I signed onto Yahoo! to check my email, I noticed a news article about Hollister models in Korea… and it was not positive. Usually I would think that male models, with no shirts on and whistles around their neck appearing to be lifeguards, would be a good thing. Sadly, it was not. The article entitled “Hollister Models Post Racist Photos from South Korea Store Opening, Get Fired” by Valerie Isakova stated that some of the models, who were there to promote the opening of a new Hollister store in Yeouido, South Korea, made rude gestures (like squinting eyes and holding up the middle finger) that offended the Korean community. Many Americans were offended and deeply embarrassed by their behavior as well.

Here is a URL to the article: http://shine.yahoo.com/fashion/hollister-models-post-racist-photos-south-korea-store-190400183.html

As for if the article is newsworthy, I say yes. For starters, it has the value of prominence. Since Hollister is a very popular American clothing brand, it has an obligation to represent the United States; when it is associated with offending another country, the image of the United States is affected too, which makes it newsworthy. Second, the story has the value of impact. It has had an impact on how Korea views the United States. It as had an impact on how American citizens view Hollister. It also has probably even impacted the way that Hollister conducts interviews for international models. The third way this article is newsworthy is because it involves conflict. There is public anger here, both in Korea and in America against the models and the Hollister brand.

In order to localize this news, a journalist could talk about the Hollister stores at Westfield Oakridge (San Jose, CA) or Westfield Valley Fair (San Jose, CA). They could look to see if their sales were affected by this piece of news, or they could interview store employees to see if they were offended or affected by their company’s actions.

A Fly On the Wall

“Hi Ma’am, how are you doing today? What can I get you?” asked the barista from behind the dark, wooden counter.  “All of the scones just came out of the oven.” “Can I have a cinnamon one and a small latte?” a woman asked quickly while on the phone. Dressed in all black and adorned with a dark-green apron, the barista went to work. Soon the swirling growl of the espresso machine filled the air. As the sound of the machine stopped, the clinking of metal mixing spoons took its place, and a lone cup could be seen on the counter, waiting to be filled.

As more people entered the café, I looked around at those who had chosen to sit for a while. I see a man sitting on the far side of the café near the entrance to Barnes & Nobel. He is flipping through a large book, his coffee is placed in front of him, but he has barely touched it. Sitting near me, is a woman and her child. She got him hot chocolate and he quietly tells her an animated story about his toy cars. After the crowd has left a young man walks into the café. He is wearing a white T-shirt and khaki shorts, and he is holding cash in his fist. He is somewhat entertaining as I watch him pace back and forth in front of the display case where the bakery items are. The man’s brow furrows as he tries to make up his mind, and the refrigerated case hums happily as it keeps the brightly lit treats cool.

As for me, I am intoxicated by the faint, wonderful smell of new books that are only steps away.

Word #2

1. Vacuous

2. “It’s vacuous, there’s no core idea there anymore.” This article, which informs us of the economic downfall that has hit the once infamous clothing store Abercrombie & Fitch, can be found on Yahoo! Finance. It is entitled “At Abercrombie & Fitch, Sex No Longer Sells” and it is written by Sapna Maheshwari.

Here is the article’s URL: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/at-abercrombie—fitch–sex-no-longer-sells.html

3. Vacuous Defined (by Mirriam-Webster.com): emptied of or lacking content; marked by lack of ideas or intelligence

Pronounced: Vac-u-ous

Used as an adjective

4. The plan was vacuous and led to the company’s downfall.

My Favorite Writing

The following is a poem written in 1916 by Robert Frost. It can be found in his book Mountain Interval on page 9.

The Road Not Taken:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


First of all, It was difficult to find a FAVORITE piece of writing since I have enjoyed so many, but this poem has always stood out to me in a way I can never put my finger on. Maybe it is the rhythm of the poem; the four stanzas are made up of five lines each with the first, third, and fourth lines rhyming and the second and fifth lines rhyming. For example, in the first stanza, Frost rhymes “wood”, “stood”, and “could” as well as “both” and “undergrowth”. It flows so easily. Perhaps I love this poem because of its relatable, yet sorrow-some message. For example, he remarks that he is “telling this with a sigh”, letting the reader wonder if he is happy with his decision. We, as humans inevitably will (or have) come to difficult decisions in life. We have to choose one path even if both seem equally as bright or as daunting. And maybe this poem captivates me because of its tone. To me, the tone seems so still: The lone traveler, the dead of fall or winter, and two empty paths; as a reader, I can’t help but have empathy for the traveler, hoping he will make the right decision. Somehow this short, old poem is able to emotionally connect with its audience and take them into the journey with the traveler. This is DEFINITELY an example of good writing!