CULP Guilt, Blame
Culpable (adj) – Blameworthy, At fault
Synonyms: Guilty, Punishable, Indictable
Antonyms: Blameless, Innocent
You May Remember: From unit 8, the -ABLE suffix means “able to” so someone culpable is literally “able to be blamed”
Sample Sentence: Even though Vanessa technically didn’t break the lamp, she was still culpable, as she was the one who told her sister to do it.
Culprit (n) – The guilty person or party
Synonyms: Transgressor, Convict, Wrongdoer
Sample Sentence: After the break-in, the store owner was thrilled to see how quickly the police had located and arrested the culprit.
Emancipate (v) – To free from restraint
Synonyms: Liberate, Loose (v), Unchain
Antonyms: Enslave, Entrap, Incarcerate
Helpful Hints: The Emancipation Proclamation was the law that freed the slaves after the American Civil War
You May Remember: The E/EX prefix from unit 4 means “OUT FROM” and the -ATE suffix from unit 9 means “TO BECOME” – so someone emancipated has “Become out from the hand” or more simply, is no longer being held.
Sample Sentence: In September, the college freshman felt overjoyed to be emancipated from her parents and their rules. By November, she began to miss how much they had provided for her.
Manipulative (adj) – Attempting to influence someone’s behavior or attitude for one’s own personal benefit
Synonyms: Scheming, Devious, Crafty
Helpful Hints: You may hear people use “manipulative” as a noun – the root is still the same. A manipulative is an object that can be used with the hand, and does not carry the same negative connotation as the adjective form.
Sample Sentence: Ultimately, he lost his job because his superiors didn’t condone how manipulative he had been in falsely inflating his performance scores.
-ESQUE Similar To
Grotesque (adj) – Fantastically ugly or odd; Bizarre (n) – Any phenomenally bizarre person or thing
Synonyms: Deformed, Monstrous
Antonyms: Beautiful, Pretty
Helpful Hints: The slang usage of “gross” – as in describing a kid picking his nose – might be a way of remembering what something grotesque is
Sample Sentence: (adj) His roommates politely asked him to take down the grotesque paintings of automobile accidents that he had put up in the living room.
Sample Sentence: (n) By manipulating the photograph in Photoshop, he turned his brother into a grotesque of his actual self.
Picturesque (adj) – Visually charming, as if resembling a painting
Synonyms: Photographic, Artistic
Antonyms: Hideous, Unsightly
Sample Sentence: The lighting and the background was so picturesque for the couple’s wedding photographs that friends honestly thought the pictures were taken inside a studio, in front of a backdrop.
MAGN- / MAGNA- Large
Magnanimous (adj) – Generousness in forgiving a wrong or a fault
Synonyms: Charitable, Forgiving
Antonyms: Skeptical, Suspicious, Petty
Sample Sentence: The principal was known for being magnanimous and would give students a chance to redeem themselves when they had broken the rules.
Magnate (n) – A person of great influence or power in a particular field
Synonyms: VIP, Mogul, Tycoon, High Muckamuck
Helpful Hints: This word is a homophone of “magnet” – maybe you can remember that people are drawn to a magnate the way that iron fillings are drawn to a magnet – because of its power.
Sample Sentence: Even decades after the oil boom had dried up, the oil magnate was still able to lead an extravagant, privileged life.
LOG / LOGUE Word
Prologue (n) – An introductory part of a novel or play
Helpful Hints: You might remember the prologues from the Shakespearean plays that you have read
You May Remember: From unit 3, we learned that the prefix PRO- means “FORWARD” – so the prologue, the introductory section, are the words that advance the play forward.
Sample Sentence: In the prologue of the novel, the author writes about the difficult economic times in Central America in the 1970s.
Monologue (n) – A long dramatic speech given by a single speaker
Helpful Hints: Your Poetry Out Loud performance was a sort of monologue – you were speaking alone to your audience
Sample Sentence: While most of the movie was forgettable, the warrior’s monologue before the battle was impressive, and people quoted memorized portions of it for months.
Mutable (adj) – Able to change forms; Inconsistent
Synonyms: Fluctuating, Changeable, Unstable
Antonyms: Constant, Steady, Invariable
You May Remember: If you break this word down, you find “MUT” + “ABLE” – “ABLE” (from unit 8), which means “able to” – Something mutable is able to change.
Sample Sentence: The boy’s opinions were so mutable that nearly anyone could talk him into changing his mind on almost any issue.
Mutation (n) – A deviation from the norm; The act of changing
Synonyms: Anomaly, Deviation, Evolution
Antonyms: Inaction, Normalcy
Helpful Hints: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, because of their mutation, are unlike most turtles, who only have meager ninja skills and cannot speak English.
Sample Sentence: The waste that was being dumped into the lake caused mutations in the fish population, with many fisherman reporting seeing fish unlike any they had ever encountered.
SCRIB / SCRIPT Write
Proscribe (v) – To condemn as harmful, to prohibit
Synonyms: Ban, Forbid
Antonyms: Allow, Encourage, Welcome
Helpful Hints: Do NOT confuse this with “prescribe” – if a doctor prescribes exercise, he wants you to go jogging. If he proscribes exercise, he wants you to stay inside. Listen carefully to your doctor. It could save your life.
You May Remember: PRO (unit 3) means “FORWARD” – which doesn’t make sense at first: Why does proscribe mean “to write forward?”. Historically, however, a proscription was a written condemnation that would be posted in public – the words would be written in front of everyone, so the WRITING went FORWARD.
Sample Sentence: When she was diagnosed with being lactose intolerant, the doctor proscribed eating ice cream and cheese.
Nondescript (adj) – Undistinguished or uninteresting
Synonyms: Unremarkable, Uninteresting
Antonyms: Distinguished, Exceptional
You May Remember: NON is a prefix from 4 that means “NOT” and “DE” is a prefix from unit 6 that means “DOWN”. So something nondescript is something “not written down” because it is not worth it, or because it cannot be described easily.
Sample Sentence: The criminal easily slipped into the crowd unnoticed, because his features were so ordinary and nondescript.
METRI / METER Measure
Parameters (n) – Guidelines
Synonyms: Criteria, Specifications, Framework
Sample Sentence: The increased mischief in the old-age home forced a change in the parameters of what behaviors would be tolerated and what ones wouldn’t.
Pentameter (n) – A line in poetry that contains five “feet” or five stressed syllables
Helpful Hints: You may already know “iambic pentameter” from Shakespeare. While “iambic” describes the pattern of the syllable stresses, “pentameter” explains the length of the line.
Sample Sentence: The sentence “I wish my cat would leave my face alone” is written in iambic pentameter.