The following words are drawn from the Observational Essay Unit in Reading Critically, Writing Well.
Each entry contains the following seven parts: Word, pronunciation (sound link or phonetic spelling), full definition(s) + samples, sentence from passage, image and memory tip.

Abattoir: [ab-uh-twahr,ab-uh-twahr
A slaughterhouse
These pigs died long ago at some Midwestern abattoir

external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR84N1UMzYEaFJ2Vko3krGf0xtx05IbCeS9QbeKHQda6D43MmOK0g

The “batt” in abattoir sounds like “bait”, which is food. Food comes from a slaughterhouse. Abattoir means slaughterhouse.
mike decremer

Word: Concoctions
Part of Speech: noun
1. any foodstuff made by combining different ingredients
2. an occurrence of an unusual mixture
3. the invention of a scheme or story to suit some purpose
Sentence from “Soup”:
His concoctions are so popular that a wait of half an hour at the lunchtime peak is not uncommon, although there are strict rules for conduct in line.
external image soup.jpg
Memory Tip: The witch brewed a concoction of carrots, corn, and cuticles for her companions (om nom nom).
By Katherine Hepler
Rachel Gocker
Word: Encroach
Pronunciation: en-krohch
Part of Speech: Verb
All Definitions:
  1. to advance beyond proper, established, or usual limits; make gradual inroads: A dictatorship of the majority is encroaching on the rights of the individual.
  2. to trespass upon the property, domain, or rights of another, especially stealthily or by gradual advances.
Sentence from passage:
“Sometimes people encroach on your space, and you got to kind of help them get in their correct spot, if you know what I mean,” said Johnnie Wade, class of ’80, on Saturday at 10 a.m., with a grin as friendly as a fried egg.”
Memory Tip:
En is Spanish means in so encroach means to be in someone or something’s space.

Catherine Holland
[yoo-fuh-miz-tik-lee]nounThe act or an example of substituting a mild, indirect, or vague term for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive:Example: “To pass away” is a euphemism for “to die.”Example from Passage: "Unlike most offal - euphemistically called "variety meats" - lips belie their provenance.
Memory Tip: the mis in euphemism reminds me of someone possibly missing the seriousness of a situation when a euphemism is used during harsh conditions like when someone refers to murder as thinning out the herd.

Caila Brander
Offal [aw-fuhl, of-uhl]
1.the parts of a butchered animal that are considered inedibleby human beings; carrion.
2. the parts of a butchered animal removed in dressing;viscera.
3. refuse; rubbish; garbage.
Sentance from Passage: “Unlike most offal – euphemistically called “variety meats” – lips belie their provenance.”

Memory Tip: Offal is pronounded awful and most of the parts of an animal that are considered offal would be awful to eat!

Deanna Olson

Networking [net-wur-king]


1: the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically : the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business

2: the establishment or use of a computer network


It is every kind of party you can describe, at once: cocktail party, dinner party, tailgate picnic party, fraternity and sorority rush, family reunion, political handgrab, gala and networking party-hearty—what might have inspired Willie Morris, one of Mississippi’s favorite sons, to declare Mississippi not state, but a club.



Memory Tip

Networking forms a net of information between people.


Pronunciation: buh-rahzh
1.a heavy barrier of artillery fire to protect one's own advancing or retreating troops or to stop the advance of enemy troops. overwhelming quantity or explosion,as of words,blows,or criticisms artificial obstruction in a water course t oincrease the depth of the water,facilitate irrigation,etc.
4.aversion response of sexually in compatible fungus cultures that are growing in proximity,revealed by a persistent growth gap between them.
Sentence from Passage: Mr. Yeganeh spoke to two young helpers in a twisted Armenian-Spanish barrage, then said to us, "i have no overhead, no trained waitresses, and I have the cashier here."

(exploding word!)
Memory Tip: For the military definition you can thing of the first couple letters of barrage being "barr" which are also the first letters of barrier-barrage is a barrier. For the definition used in the passage, think of the first letter of barrage-B- and think of bomb. Barrage is an explosion, as a bomb, of words.

rev·el·ry /ˈrevəlrē/
  1. noisy partying or : noisy partying or merrymaking
  2. Lively and noisy festivities, esp. when these involve drinking a large amount of alcohol.
On the great American calendar of revelry and seasonal rites, fall equals football.
Memory Tip: The revelry is played by a trumpet, and is very noisy, like lively festivities.

Stac·ca·to [stuh-kah-toh]
1. shortened and detached when played or sung: staccato notes.
2. characterized by performance in which the notes are abruptly disconnected: a staccato style of playing.
3. composed of or characterized by abruptly disconnected elements; disjointed: rapid-fire, staccato speech.

Sentence: “I am psychologically kind of a health freak,” Mr. Yeganeh said the other day, in a lisping staccato of Armenian origin

Images: the notes below are played in staccato, the writing is staccato
external image staccato.jpg

external image Staccato222.gif
Memory tip: Staccato is like stick (tapping of a stick)