Luxembourg in the Olympics and GRE Vocabulary

Now that the Olympics in foggy London town have come to a close, as a wanna-be Luxembourger, I must reflect on my future dual-nation’s medal count from these wonderful, joyous, triumphant 2012 games.

Gold: 0

Silver: 0

Bronze: 0


Who cares! Luxembourg has all the gold it needs in its fiscally sound, world-renowned banks. If Mitt Romney hoards part of his income — of which we know nothing because of his suspicious reluctance to release his tax returns — in Luxembourg banking and financial assets, then you know Luxembourgers got all the gold they need.

Speaking of Luxembourg, my project is going as successfully as the Luxembourg medal count. Waiting for these records requests irritates me. As such, I have very little new information upon which to elaborate for this blog. So instead, I’ll write about something completely different.

Earlier today, I started flipping through a deck of GRE Exam cards my sister used when she was studying for the test. It’s a box of 500 of the “essential” and “hardest” GRE words. To bide my time — I have no clue for what I was biding my time — I looked through the Ls, which were at the front of the box. I should spend more time learning German, French and Luxembourgish, but I love using, revisiting and learning rarely heard English words. Here are some of my favorites from the GRE cards:

Lugubrious – Although it sounds like a rank-smelling bodily fluid or the scientific name of the gooey pink plasma of New York negativity from Ghostbusters II, it really means “sorrowful; mournful; dismal.”

Sentence: Irish wakes are a rousing departure from the lugubrious funeral services to which most people are accustomed.

Well, DUH. Most wakes don’t include downing a liver-murdering number of whiskey shots over the deceased’s casket. Thus, why Irish wakes can be such “rousing departures” from the same old sober sob fest.

Lachrymose – Sound familiar, fans of The Series of Unfortunate Events? In The Wide Window, Aunt Josephine lives on Lake Lachrymose, the body of water in which the Lachrymose Leeches devoured Josephine’s husband Isaac. She fears everything, including common household appliances, and her greatest joy is grammar. The books in this series, which were morbid, absurd, dark, replete with dysfunctional legal guardians and full of wonderful vocabulary, were some of my favorites.

Lachrymose means “tearful.”

Sentence: Marcella became lachrymose when it was time to bid her daughter good-bye … because she knew her daughter, a sophomore at ASU, was heading back to school for another semester of intoxicated lady-of-the-night-ing.

Oh, if only that were a real verb.

Legerdemain – No, this is not a realm in Middle Earth. But it is an English noun for “trickery.”

Sentence: The little boy thought his legerdemain was working on his mother, but she in fact knew about every hidden toy and stolen cookie.

Of course the little boy’s mother knew. She’s letting him steal and eat all the cookies until he develops Type 2 diabetes as punishment for his cookie-pilfering and toy-hiding habits. Tough love, little boy.

Lionize – This is the act of transforming oneself into a lion.

Sorry if I’ve scarred you. She scarred me when I foolishly decided to watch an E! special on botched plastic surgeries and the crazy people who crave constant nips and tucks.

I’ve also blatantly lied to you about this verb’s definition. To “lionize” means “to treat as a celebrity.”

Sentence: After the success of his novel, the author was lionized by the press.

Laconic – Ron Swanson is someone who is laconic. The definition: using few words.

Sentence: He was the classic laconic native of Maine; he talked as if he were being charged for each word.

RT ≠ endorsement

To preserve their objectivity, journalists will type this in their Twitter “about me” sections. I, in no way, wish to accuse the fine people of Maine of being frugal with words, even though the employees at Kaplan Publishing suggest that these citizens of Maine, also called Mainers — what an odd demonym — prefer word conservation. Perhaps some Mainers are …

Loquacious – This is the opposite of the laconic … talkative.

Sentence: She is naturally loquacious, which is a problem in situations where listening is more important than talking.

It’s also a problem if the “she” from the example sentence is being loquacious or its synonyms, effusive, garrulous and verbose, in front of Batman’s super-villain Bane.


I hope I’ve tortured whoever expected me to list these L-words alphabetically.

Wait, I’ve forgotten one of my favorite L-words.


Definition: the country in which I will hopefully obtain dual-citizenship in the near future.

Sentence: Luxembourg will be Gotham’s reckoning.

That is all for today, folks.



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