Jan 11, 2009

November Reading: How Do the Candidates Communicate?



mesmerize/ˋmɛsmǝˏraɪz/ [transitive usually in passive]

►if you are mesmerized by someone or something, you cannot stop watching them or listening to them because they are so attractive or have such a powerful effect [= captivate]

--The first time I saw Diana I was mesmerized by her beauty.


verdict /ˋvɝdɪkt / [countable]

►an official decision made in a court of law, especially about whether someone is guilty of a crime or how a death happened

--The jury has retired to consider its verdict.

►an official decision made by a person or group with authority

--The players anxiously awaited the verdict of the umpire.

verdict on

--What's your verdict on the movie?


cadence /ˋkedns/ [countable]

►the way someone's voice rises and falls, especially when reading out loud:

--the cadence of my mother's voice


scrutinize /ˋskrutnˏaɪz / [transitive]

►to examine someone or something very carefully:

He scrutinized the document.


primary season / primary election

"Primary election" is the term used in America for the elections which will select the two parties’ presidential nomination. The primary elections start in January of election year in what is called the "primary season".

pork barrel [singular, uncountable]

►a government plan to increase the amount of money spent in a particular area, done in order to gain a political advantage -- used to show disapproval

--pork-barrel spending


cliché /kliˋʃed/ [countable]

clichéd [adjective]

►an idea or phrase that has been used so much that it is not effective or does not have any meaning any longer

--There is plenty of truth in the cliché that a trouble shared is a trouble halved.


►able to express your ideas and opinions well, especially in a way that influences people

--an eloquent appeal for support

►showing a feeling or meaning without using words

--The photographs are an eloquent reminder of the horrors of war.


chant /tʃænt/ [intransitive and transitive]

►to repeat a word or phrase again and again:

--The crowd chanted their demand in front of the city hall.


fumble /ˋfʌmbl/ [intransitive and transitive]

►if you fumble with your words when you are speaking, you have difficulty saying something

fumble for

--Asked for an explanation, Mike had fumbled for words.

►(also fumble around) to try to hold, move, or find something with your hands in an awkward way

--She reached round to fumble the light on.

fumble at/in/with

--She dressed, her cold fingers fumbling with the buttons.

fumble for

--I fumbled around in my bag for a cigarette.

►to drop a ball after catching it

--Quarterback Rattay was hit and fumbled the ball.


project /prəˋdʒekt/ project your voice

►to speak clearly and loudly so that you can be heard by everyone in a big room

tune out [phrasal verb]

►to ignore or stop listening to someone or something

--A bored child may simply tune out.


mandatory /ˋmændəˏtorɪ/

►if something is mandatory, the law says it must be done [= compulsory, obligatory; discretionary]

--Crash helmets are mandatory for motorcyclists.


vie /vaɪ/ past tense and past participle vied, present participle vying, third person singular vies [intransitive]

►to compete very hard with someone in order to get something

vie for

--Simon and Julian were vying for her attention all through dinner.

vie with

--There are at least twenty restaurants vying with each other for custom.

vie to do something

--All the photographers vied to get the best pictures.


off-the-cuff [adj./adv.]

►an off-the-cuff remark, reply etc is one that you make without thinking about it first [= spontaneous]


ill at ease

►nervous, uncomfortable, or embarrassed

--He always felt shy and ill at ease at parties.



►intending to be helpful, but not succeeding

--A lot of problems can be caused by well-meaning friends.


constituent /kǝnˋstɪtʃuǝnt/ [countable]

►someone who votes in a particular area

►one of the substances or things that combine to form something

constituent of

--Sodium is one of the constituents of salt.


pick-up truck

vehicle [countable]

►a small truck with low sides that is used for carrying goods



op-ed page/article

►a page in a newspaper that has articles containing opinions on various subjects, or one of these articles


bamboozle /bæmˋbuzl/ [transitive]

►to deceive, trick, or confuse someone


charlatan /ˋʃɑlətn/ [countable]

►someone who pretends to have special skills or knowledge -- used to show disapproval


bona fide

►real, true, and not intended to deceive anyone

-- Only bona fide members are allowed to use the club pool.

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