“Hell, n. The residence of the late Noah Webster, dictionary-maker.”
Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. David E. Schultz and S.J. Joshi, eds. The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2000.
“A collection of stories (1931) by the US writer Damon Runyon (1884-1946), comprising amusing tales of gangster life, told in Runyon’s colorful version of New York underworld patois. The first collection was followed by several others, and the stories feature characters such as Joe the Joker, Nicely-Nicely, Apple Annie, and Regret the Horseplayer. The musical comedy entitled Guys and Dolls (1950), based on Runyon’s stories and with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser (1910-69) and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, focuses on the romance that develops between a Salvation Army worker (representing the ‘dolls’) and gambler Sky Masterson (representing the ‘guys’). It was filmed in 1955 starring Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, and Jean Simmons.”
Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.
It’s a word that I didn’t learn until a professor of mine at Hampshire College wrote it in an evaluation of my Division II work (which was very gratifying), so maybe high schoolers need not learn it. If you think they should, though, then here is a context clues worksheet on the adjective perspicacious. It means “of acute mental vision or discernment.”
If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.