Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Vocabulary Quiz Derived From Five Pages of "Blood Meridian"


Here are eleven words you'll need to know in order to understand pages 60-65 of Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."
-William Faulkner, on Ernest Hemingway

"Poor Faulkner.  Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"
-Ernest Hemingway, on William Faulkner


Below are some words that come from the first half of chapter 5 of Blood Meridian, in which the kid and Sproule regroup after the brutal Comanche scalping raid.  How many of these words do you know? Can you beat my score of 0/11?



1. vadose

A.  a conical heap of stones built as a monument or a landmark
2. tenon

B. a projecting part cut on the end of a piece of wood for insertion into a corresponding hole to make a joint
3. talus

C. a short timber placed lengthwise under a beam or girder
4. squail

D. a spiny desert candlewood
5. spectra

E. designating water that clings to solid matter
6. slag

F. dipping in one direction: said of strata, or rock layers
7. ocotillo

G. sloped
8. monoclinal

H. the fused refuse or dross separated from a metal in the process of smelting; lava resembling this
9. hove

I. to throw anything about awkwardly or irregularly
10. corbel

J. (alt pt. & pp. of heave) to raise or lift with effort
11. cairn

K. (plural of spectrum) afterimages

(Words not in my dictionary: carreta, slear)


Answers:
1: E,   2: B,   3: G,   4: I,   5: K,   6: H,   7:D,   8: F,   9: J,   10: C,   11: A


2 comments:

  1. Ugh! you read that? That book made me feel hopeless. I had to quit it after the "tree" scene.

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    1. I'm only about 75 pages in. You've got to gird your loins when you're reading McCarthy. This is my fourth book by him, so I know that feeling you're talking about.

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