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Vocabulary from An American Childhood By Annie Dillard.

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1 Vocabulary from An American Childhood By Annie Dillard

2 Improvise e Create and perform without preparation eExample: When the actor forgot his lines he had to improvise. “We kept running, block after block: we kept improvising, backyard after backyard, running a frantic course” (Dillard 56).

3 Translucent eAllowing light, but not images, through eExample: Frosted window glass is translucent but not transparent. “I started making an iceball—a perfect iceball, from perfectly white snow, perfectly spherical, and squeezed perfectly translucent so no snow remained all the way through” (Dillard 54).

4 Simultaneous e Existing or occurring at the same time  Examples: e 1. The two gunshots were simultaneous. e 2. There was a simultaneous release of the movie and its soundtrack on CD. “We kept improvising, backyard after backyard, running a frantic course and choosing it simultaneously, failing always to find small places or hard places to slow him down” (Dillard 56).

5 Labyrinth e A maze (in a garden) formed by paths separated by high hedges. eExample: He got lost in a complex labyrinth of tunnels and chambers. “He chased us through the backyard labyrinths of ten blocks” (Dillard 56)

6 Embark e To start or begin something important. eExamples: eMillions of Europeans embarked for America in the late 19th century. eHe embarked on a new career. “I had just embarked on the iceball project when we heard tire chains come clanking from afar” (Dillard 54).

7 Redundant e No longer needed or useful eExample: He edited the paper and removed any redundant information or statements. “If we listened at all, for the chewing out was redundant, a mere formality, and beside the point” (Dillard 56).

8 Righteous eRight or moral eExample: A righteous man can be trusted to act honorably regardless of the circumstances. “He could only begin, ‘You stupid kids,’ and continue in his ordinary Pittsburg accent with his normal righteous anger and the usual common sense” (Dillard 57).

9 Perfunctory e Done routinely with little interest or care eExample: The violinist delivered a perfunctory performance that displayed none of the passion and warmth he was once known for. “‘You stupid kids,’ he began perfunctorily” (Dillard 56).

10 Crenellated e Having rows of squares like notches along a castle wall eExample: The archers used the crenellated walls to shoot at the enemy. “The cars’ tires laid behind them on the snowy street a complex trail of beige chunks like crenellated castle walls” (Dillard 54).


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