KA WORDCAST Passages Lesson 2, Part ONE

KA WORDCAST Passages Lesson 2, Part ONE

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Passages Lesson Two Reading Passage

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 KA WORDCAST Passages Lesson 2, Part ONE

The nine key words in today’s lesson were taken from a reading passage from a novel for young readers by Sharon Creech called Walk Two Moons.  The title comes from an old Indian saying, “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins.”  “Two moons” means two months, and moccasins are a kind of shoe.  You can get lots more interesting information like this by going to Sharon Creech’s website, where she gives a summary of all of her books and also tells us what real-life experiences went into the making of each story.  Much of Walk Two Moons is based on her own childhood and her lifelong interest in Native-American culture.  In today’s passage, which comes near the end of the novel, Sal and her grandparents have reached Idaho after their long cross-country trip.  Gram is in the hospital and Gramps has to stay with her.  So Sal gets in the family car and drives (remember: she is only thirteen!) up into the mountains to the site of an accident that she has heard happened over a year and a half before.  A bus had slid off the road and plunged down a hill. Everyone on board was killed, except for one person.

To listen to a recording of the passage, please tune in to the KA VOICECAST website. 

 

1. APPROACH

In the east, the sky was smoky gray, and I was glad for the APPROACHING dawn.

In this sentence, APPROACHING is used as an adjective.  But first, let’s look at the verb it is based on, APPROACH.  APPROACH has several meanings, the most common of which is to come near or nearer to someone or something in distance or time.

Billy heard the sound of his father’s car APPROACHING up the long driveway and quickly ran outside to greet him.

Have you seen the video clips of the tsunami APPROACHING the shoreline after the massive earthquake in northern Japan in March 2011?

As we APPROACHED the frontier, we became increasingly nervous, not knowing how the border guards would treat freelance journalists like us.

The end of the summer holidays is APPROACHING, which means we’ll have to buy new school clothes and school supplies for the children soon.

APPROACH also means to go up to and speak to someone, especially when you want to ask him/her a favor or offer to do something for him/her.  Synonyms include ask, propose, request, volunteer, and come forward.

Callum nervously APPROACHED his favorite football player, Lionel Messi, and asked him to sign his autograph book.

We have been APPROACHED by several academies that are interested in having our daughter Lindsay enroll in their youth golf programs.

Courtney and Dylan APPROACHED the bank for a loan to buy their first house.

APPROACH also means to come close to something in amount, level, or quality.  Synonyms include border on, verge, and come near to.

There’s no denying that John’s start-up is doing well, with profits now APPROACHING three million dollars a year.

Demographers predict that India’s population will APPROACH the 1.6 billion mark by 2050.

Few directors have APPROACHED Akira Kurosawa’s “hands on” style of passionate involvement in every aspect of the filmmaking process.

And finally, APPROACH can mean to start dealing with or working on a problem or task.  Synonyms include tackle, set about, solve, go about, and embark on.

“Do you have any suggestions on how we can APPROACH the issue of workers’ using office computers for personal business?” Mr. Hanks asked his management staff.

Now let’s go back to the adjective APPROACHING.  APPROACHING describes something that is coming nearer in distance or time.

Migraine sufferers are generally quick to recognize an APPROACHING migraine, enabling them to take the necessary precautions to keep it developing into a full-blown headache.

We heard the siren of an APPROACHING ambulance and quickly pulled over to the side of the road to allow it to pass.

As a noun, APPROACH has several meanings.  Most commonly, it means movement towards someone or something in distance or time.

I hadn’t heard my husband’s APPROACH from behind me and nearly had a heart attack when he said hello.

A loud growl warned us of the mountain lion’s APPROACH, and we had just enough time to dash into the cabin and close and lock all the doors and windows. 

With the APPROACH of winter came colder and shorter days.

APPROACH also means a way of dealing with something or a way of doing or thinking about something such as a problem.  Synonyms include method, technique, strategy, procedure, and modus operandi.

Spanking as an APPROACH to child discipline merely teaches a child that violence is the way to deal with his/her problems.

Mr. Bridgewater takes a varied and often innovative APPROACH to teaching math to his fourth grade students.

APPROACH is also the act of speaking to someone about something, especially about an offer or request.

Several parents got together and made an APPROACH to several local businesses to ask them to sponsor our kids’ Little League team.

In transport, APPROACH can also be (1) a path or road such as a driveway or access road that leads to a place, or (2) the time immediately before an aircraft lands.

Following the terrorist threat, armed soldiers guarded all the APPROACHES to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

About fifty miles from the airport, an air-traffic controller directs the pilot to adjust the plane’s settings to prepare for APPROACH and landing.

And finally, an APPROACH is one thing that is similar or close to another thing that is mentioned.

A quick nod is the nearest APPROACH to a “thank you” you’ll ever get out of Mr. Loomis.  He’s not really rude; he just doesn’t know how to handle the people under him.

The adjective APPROACHABLE describes a person who is easy to talk to.  Synonyms include friendly, welcoming, agreeable, and affable.

Megan hasn’t let her overnight stardom go to her head.   She is still personable and APPROACHABLE.

The new economics professor, Dr. Wilkinson, is not as APPROACHABLE as his predecessor, Dr. Lambert, whose office was always open for consultation.

APPROACHABLE also refers to a place that can be reached from a particular direction or through a particular means.  Synonyms include accessible and reachable.

The summit of Mount Fuji is APPROACHABLE during July and August, when the mountain is free of snow. 

The opposite of APPROACHABLE is UNAPPROACHABLE.

At first, Ms. Jenkins comes across as distant and UNAPPROACHABLE, but once you get to know her, she is kind and helpful.

The fishing village was rendered UNAPPROACHABLE after heavy rains and flooding washed away the only bridge leading to it. 

 

2. ENORMOUS

I climbed up onto the bus’s side, hoping to make my way down to an open window, but there were two ENORMOUS gashes torn into the side, and the jagged metal was peeled back like a sardine tin.

ENORMOUS is an adjective that means extremely large in size, quantity, or degree.  Synonyms include huge, vast, immense, colossal, and gigantic.

At three times the size of the average cat, Rupert is the world’s most ENORMOUS feline, weighing in at nearly nine kilograms!

With over 1,000 pages, this new fantasy novel is ENORMOUS, but if you have the time, and the patience, it is well worth reading.

In Mexico, as in many developing countries, the gulf between the extremely wealthy and abjectly poor is ENORMOUS.

George spent an ENORMOUS amount of time turning the extra bedroom into a nursery for his newborn son.

The problems facing the newly elected prime minister are numerous and ENORMOUS.

ENORMOUSLY is the adverb form of ENORMOUS and means very, very much.

All the hotels near the theme park are ENORMOUSLY popular, so if you are planning to go next summer, you’d better book a room now.

The price of a three-bedroom house in Seattle varies ENORMOUSLY depending on the neighborhood in which the house is located.

Nick was ENORMOUSLY looking forward to his trip to Vietnam, his first time ever abroad.

“Thank you so much for your hospitality.  I am ENORMOUSLY grateful to you and your family,” Maria said to her host parents in the airport departure lounge.

There are two noun forms of ENORMOUS. The noun ENORMITY means great seriousness, outrageousness, hideousness, or ghastliness.

The families of those who lost their lives in the train crash in Spain last week are still coming to terms with the ENORMITY of the disaster.

A thorough investigation revealed the full ENORMITY of the drug syndicate’s involvement in the dumping of defective medicines in poor African countries.

The other noun form is ENORMOUSNESS, which means hugeness, immensity, or magnitude.

I hadn’t realized the ENORMOUSNESS of the task when I volunteered to act as my friend’s city council campaign manager.

The sheer ENORMOUSNESS of the Grand Canyon can take your breath away.

These two noun forms are often used interchangeably in everyday speech, but most grammar experts (purists!) say that their meanings should be kept separate.  So remember: in formal writing, ENORMITY means great seriousness or terribleness.  ENORMOUSNESS means great size, amount, or degree.

 

3. GROTESQUELY

Most of the huge rubber tires were punctured and GROTESQUELY twisted on their axles.

In the sample sentence above, GROTESQUELY is the adverb form of the adjective GROTESQUE.  GROTESQUE means extremely ugly in a way that is either frightening or oddly amusing.  Synonyms include deformed, twisted, gnarled, hideous, freakish, and monstrous.

Although I enjoy watching the television series Bones, I often find the images of the decomposing bodies GROTESQUE and have to look away.

In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Hyde is described as strangely disfigured and GROTESQUE.

Some deep-sea creatures, including the Fangtooth Fish and Vampire Squid, are possibly the most GROTESQUE-looking organisms found in nature.

GROTESQUE also means very inappropriate or offensive.  Synonyms for this usage include outrageous, preposterous, appalling, gross, and unbelievable.

After her mother’s unexpected death, Laura fell into a deep depression and gained a GROTESQUE amount of weight.

The recent story in the Daily Mirror revealing “new evidence” that disproves Lee Harvey Oswald as President Kennedy’s assassin is a GROTESQUE fabrication.

Now let’s take a look at the various ways in which the adverb GROTESQUELY is used.

John Merrick was GROTESQUELY disfigured by a rare disease and, during the nineteenth century, was exhibited as a human curiosity known as the “Elephant Man.”

Before he consulted a speech therapist, King George IV of England stammered GROTESQUELY, and was often rendered speechless by the impediment.

“Senator Williams, don’t you agree that defense spending is GROTESQUELY disproportionate to what the government spends on education?” the ambitious young journalist asked.

GROTESQUE is also a noun that means a person, especially a character in a book or a figure in a painting, who is very ugly or comically distorted in a strange way.

The stones were carved in the form of gargoyle faces and other GROTESQUES.

Victor Hugo’s Quasimodo, from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, is one of the most celebrated GROTESQUES in literature.

The other noun form, GROTESQUENESS, describes something that is extremely ugly in a strange way or something that is truly inappropriate or offensive.

One day, the GROTESQUENESS of the custom of bathing in a tub full of soapy, dirty water dawned on me, and I vowed to only take showers from then on.

 

4. MOURNFULLY

The bus lay on its side like an old sick horse, its broken headlights staring out MOURNFULLY into the surrounding trees.

Before we look at the adverb MOURNFULLY, let’s first look at the adjective MOURNFUL.  MOURNFUL is used to describe a person who is feeling or expressing grief or sorrow.  It is also used to talk about something that looks or sounds deeply sad.

I could hardly bear the MOURNFUL look on my mother’s face when I told her I would be emigrating to Australia to be with my fiancé.

There’s something about the MOURNFUL sound of pipe organ music that really tugs at my heartstrings.

The adverb MOURNFULLY means in a MOURNFUL manner.

Unable to hold back her tears after a long goodbye, Bridget stared out the window of the train MOURNFULLY, wondering if she would ever see her grandparents again.

The Hell Fire Caves in England’s Chilterns are said to be haunted by the ghost of the “White Lady,” who wanders through the dark, damp caves crying MOURNFULLY for her lost love.  

The noun MOURNING means a feeling of great sadness caused by the death or loss of someone or something.  It also means the actions or expressions of someone who has suffered such a loss.  Synonyms include grief, despair, and lamentation.

Movie buffs everywhere are in MOURNING after the death of the great, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, Roger Ebert, who came up with the simple “thumbs-up-thumbs-down” movie rating system.

Sally insisted that she had no time for MOURNING, and returned to work the day after her husband’s funeral.

Alexis had died over a year before, but Joseph still wore MOURNING clothes in memory of his beautiful wife.  (Here, the noun MOURNING is used as an adjective.)

The verb MOURN means to feel or express grief or deep sadness for something lost.  Synonyms include grieve, lament, and despair.

Paula wanted to be left alone to MOURN the death of her father in her own time and way, and wished that all these good-intentioned well-wishers would just go home.

Many French linguists MOURN what they regard as the decline in standards of the French language.

The aging actress MOURNED the loss of her beauty and became a recluse in her Beverly Hills mansion.

 For more examples of MOURN, please refer to KA WORDCAST Taskmaster Lesson 9. 

 

5. SURROUNDING

The bus lay on its side like an old sick horse, its broken headlights staring out mournfully into the SURROUNDING trees.

In the sentence above, SURROUNDING is an adjective that means all around a particular place or thing.  It is similar in meaning to encircling, neighboring, bordering, and adjoining.

It’s a long trek to the top, but when you reach the summit of Ivinghoe Beacon, you can see all of the magnificent SURROUNDING countryside.

The Dominoes Pizza on Roosevelt Avenue delivers to the University District and SURROUNDING areas.

The surgery successfully removed Nadine’s brain tumor without any injury to SURROUNDING brain tissue.

The noun SURROUNDINGS refer to everything that is around or near someone or something.  Synonyms include environment, setting, conditions, and circumstances.

Two new homes built into a hillside plot in Paraguay by Bauen Architects have sweeping arched roofs that integrate beautifully with the homes’ SURROUNDINGS.

Animals that are color-matched to their SURROUNDINGS have a higher chance of survival than those that do not camouflage well.

Both the adjective SURROUNDING and the noun SURROUNDINGS come from the verb SURROUND, which means to encircle or be all around something.

The Tokyo SkyTree is already SURROUNDED by hundreds of shops and restaurants that cater to the tens of thousands of tourists who visit the site each day.

Thankfully, my son Jake was sensible enough to SURROUND himself with nice, studious friends when he went away to college.

To slow down the growth of weeds, SURROUND your rose bushes with several inches of loose mulch. 

SURROUND also means to put in position all around someone or something, especially to prevent escape.   Synonyms include hem in, confine, encircle, fence in, and trap.

The police SURROUNDED the abandoned building, but the drug dealers who had been doing business there had already escaped through a basement passage.

Screaming fans SURROUNDED the young pop star as she was escorted from her car to the concert hall.

And finally, SURROUND also means to be associated or connected with.

The rumors SURROUNDING the death of “Glee” actor Cory Monteith were put to rest when the coroner announced that he had died from an accidental drug overdose.

Controversy SURROUNDED the court’s decision to return the adopted girl to her natural parents.

SURROUND can also be used as a modifier, as in SURROUND SOUND, which is a kind of high-tech music listening system.

Brock insisted that we buy a home theater system, complete with SURROUND SOUND, Blu-Ray projector, and huge pull-down screen.

 

6. FAMILIAR

I had wanted to scour every inch of the bus, looking for something—anything—that might be FAMILIAR.

FAMILIAR is an adjective with several uses.  First of all, it means well known either through experience, previous encounter, or long or close association.

I’m always relieved when I arrive at a party and can spot a few FAMILIAR faces in the crowd.

“Crazy Norman,” who hands out dog biscuits to anyone he passes whether that person is walking a dog or not, is a FAMILIAR figure in our neighborhood.

The actor who played the FBI agent in the movie Now You See Me looks FAMILIAR, but I just can’t place him.

FAMILIAR also means having a good knowledge of something.  Synonyms for this usage include knowledgeable, proficient in, well informed in, or skilled in.  It is usually used with “with” or “to.”

Applicants for the bilingual receptionist position must be proficient in PowerPoint and Excel, as well as be FAMILIAR with Japanese popular culture.

“Are you FAMILIAR with Chinese legal matters?” Lin asked her new associate.  “I’m afraid not,” he answered.

The name Jane Gardam should be FAMILIAR to all lovers of quality contemporary fiction.

Finally, FAMILIAR can also refer to friendships or relationships that are close or intimate.  It also describes a person’s behavior towards someone or something that may be too friendly or close.

Until they came to stay with her for a few days, Hazel hadn’t realized that her sister Becky and boyfriend Colin were on such FAMILIAR terms.

My boss has started to get a little too FAMILIAR for my liking; in fact, I’m thinking of filing a sexual harassment suit against him.

The opposite of FAMILIAR is UNFAMILIAR.

Like most people, I always feel a little tense whenever I find myself in UNFAMILIAR surroundings.

When reading something new, if you come across words that are UNFAMILIAR to you, try to figure out their meaning from the context before stopping to look them up in a dictionary.

Uncertified taxi drivers target tourists who are UNFAMILIAR with routes and purposely take the long way around to jack up the fares.

FAMILIARLY is the adverb form of FAMILIAR and means in an informal or friendly manner, sometimes too friendly.

Zach FAMILIARLY wiped the tears from Mina’s cheeks.

Miyuki knew several people at the college’s gathering for exchange students and waved FAMILIARLY to them.

FAMILIARLY also means in a way that is well known.

Marshall Bruce Mathers III, FAMILIARLY known as Eminem, is set to perform at Tokyo Dome in the near future.

Although not commonly used in everyday speech, FAMILIAR is also a noun that means (1) a close friend or associate or (2) a demon in the form of an animal that attends to or obeys a witch.

Had it not been for the opportune arrival of some FAMILIARS from back home, Charlene might have fallen victim to the crime syndicate that preys on young women traveling alone.

The witch’s FAMILIAR was a scruffy, one-eyed cat.

The more commonly used noun form is FAMILIARITY, which means (1) the state of knowing about someone or something well, (2) the state of recognizing something, or (3) a friendly informal manner.

Johnny’s FAMILIARITY with tribal customs impressed the chief, and he was welcomed into the village and allowed to take photographs for his travel blog.

I knew for certain that I’d never been in the house before, but a strong sense of FAMILIARITY overtook me, like a lucid déjà vu.

Everyone in the family greeted Daniel with a warm FAMILIARITY that made him feel right at home right away.

The verb FAMILIARIZE means to teach yourself or someone else about something.  Synonyms include acquaint with, educate in, accustom to, and introduce to.

Please FAMILIARIZE yourself with the highlighted vocabulary words in this lesson, as you will be tested on them tomorrow.

The aim of the four-hour course was to FAMILIARIZE senior citizens with the Internet and its various uses.

The noun FAMILIARIZATION means the experience or process of becoming FAMILIAR with something.

The latest free night-school course offered by the Portland Police Department aims at the FAMILIARIZATION of participants with the various tricks local con artists use to deceive residents.

 

7.  NOTICE

It wasn’t until I had crawled beneath the railing that I NOTICED the car parked behind Gramp’s red Chevrolet.

The verb NOTICE means to see or hear or to become aware of someone or something.  Synonyms include perceive, observe, note, detect, and discern.

The first things I NOTICED about the rental room the real estate agent showed me were the badly stained carpet and the peculiar odor.

All the guys at the office make fun of Leon and laugh at him behind his back, but he never seems to NOTICE.

There are mornings when I’m too sleepy to NOTICE that I’ve put my school cardigan on inside out, until I get on the bus and someone makes fun of me for it.

Did you NOTICE the way William spoke to Miranda at the party last night?  Do you think they had had an argument before they arrived?

NOTICE also means to pay or attract attention.

Lizzie only colors her hair pink and wears those outrageous clothes to get herself NOTICED by the members of that band she follows.

“What do we have to do to get NOTICED around here?” my dad complained angrily to the restaurant manager.  “We’ve been here half an hour and still haven’t gotten our drinks!”

Pam’s conscientiousness and ability to get things done have been NOTICED by management and put her in line for a big promotion.

NOTICE is also a noun with several uses. For one, it means the fact of paying attention to someone or something or knowing about something.

I’ve often told my mother not to take any NOTICE of what she reads in the tabloids, but she insists on regaling me with the latest celebrity gossip anyway.

It has come to our NOTICE that your son Kyle has been absent from school seven of the last fifteen days.  Were you aware of this?

Student protests held across the country demanding a lower limit on university fees have really made the Department of Education sit up and take NOTICE.

NOTICE also means giving information or announcing something, either verbally or in writing.

A NOTICE was posted on the door saying that class was cancelled due to “unforeseen circumstances.”

A public NOTICE about the proposed housing development project was put up on the NOTICE board outside town hall.

Jacob hadn’t seen the NOTICE saying “Wet Paint” on the park bench and sat down, ruining his brand new designer jeans.

NOTICE can also be a warning given in advance of something that is going to happen.

Prices listed in this catalogue are subject to change without NOTICE.

I wish my dad had given me a bit more NOTICE about his visit.  He only called to tell me he was coming as he was pulling up in front of our house!

We apologize for the inconvenience, but the swimming pool will be closed until further NOTICE.

A NOTICE is also a statement or formal letter saying that you will leave your job or vacate a rented house at the end of a particular period of time.

Our lease requires that we submit a two-month NOTICE in writing if we plan to vacate the property at the end of our contract agreement.

Toby walked off his job without submitting the mandatory two-week NOTICE and consequently didn’t receive his vacation pay payout.

The common useful phrases AT SHORT NOTICE and AT A MOMENT’S NOTICE mean without warning or without sufficient time for preparation.

These balcony seats were the best we could get AT such SHORT NOTICE.  We’ll barely be able to see the actors’ faces from here!

As a new emergency-room intern, you will be on call several days a week, during which time you will have to make yourself available AT A MOMENT’S NOTICE.

The adjective NOTICEABLE means easy to see or NOTICE.  Synonyms include distinct, plain, obvious, evident, observable, and visible.

The general shift in people’s attitude towards fitness and sports was very NOTICEABLE in the first few weeks following the London 2012 Olympics.

Gordon’s cut required twelve stitches, but the triage doctor did such a good job of stitching it up that the scar is hardly NOTICEABLE now.

You will experience a NOTICEABLE difference in your energy levels within three days of cutting refined sugar out of your diet.

NOTICEABLY is the adverb form of NOTICEABLE.  Synonyms include visible and obviously.

Kenzie was so nervous before her first piano recital that her hands were shaking NOTICEABLY.

After the accident left him paralyzed from the waist down, Donald stopped smiling altogether and grew NOTICEABLY more dour and distant every day.

The related verb NOTIFY means to formally or officially inform someone of something.  Synonyms include let someone know, alert, and, sometimes, warn.

NOTIFY your bank or credit card company the moment you suspect you have been a victim of fraud.

Winners of this year’s Arts Council scholarships will be NOTIFIED by e-mail as soon as the final determination has been made.

If you are in a car accident, even if it is only a minor “fender bender,” you must NOTIFY the police and your insurance company straight away.

The noun form, NOTIFICATION, means the act of giving or receiving official information about something.  It can also refer to the information itself.

If you wish to stop receiving our weekly recommended-reading NOTIFICATION texts, simply text STOP NOW.

Applicants who are selected for follow-up job interviews will receive written NOTIFICATION by the end of this week.

How about your application?  Have you received NOTIFICATION yet?

 

8. STEEP

By now the sky was pale pink, and it was easier to find the uphill trail, but harder going as it was a STEEP incline.

STEEP is an adjective with several uses.  First, when referring to a hill or slope, as in the sentence above, STEEP means rising or falling quickly.  Synonyms include precipitous, abrupt, sharp, and vertical.

The path from the private beach to our holiday cottage grew STEEPER and STEEPER the higher we climbed.

Many Japanese temples sit on top of high hills and require visitors to climb hundreds of STEEP steps to reach them.

Changing gears on your bicycle while pedaling up a STEEP incline can be quite challenging even for an experienced cyclist.

When referring to a price or other increase, STEEP means large or rapid.

Decline in student enrollment and STEEP government support cuts have forced many universities to cut programs and raise tuition fees.

While some states have seen prosperous growth during the current administration, others have experienced a STEEP rise in unemployment and welfare recipients.

Finally, STEEP is used informally to mean either excessive or exaggerated, especially when talking about prices.

Fourteen dollars to see a kids’ 3D movie seems a little STEEP to me.

I’d thought about making a quick trip over to Seattle for my high school reunion next month, but the airplane ticket prices were too STEEP.

STEEPLY is the adverb form of STEEP.

The trail leads through the forest and ascends STEEPLY for about 500 meters before leveling off near the summit.

Economists suggest that inflation rates may rise STEEPLY if the government approves the new First Time Home Buyer program and a lot of people take advantage of the scheme.

STEEPNESS is the noun form.

Professional rock climbers do not shy away from STEEP ravines but embrace the STEEPNESS and look forward to the challenge of conquering it.

The verb STEEPEN means to become or make something STEEPER.

The path STEEPENED after the first half of the five-mile cross-country race and many runners, including me, felt like giving up.

With prices STEEPENING and unemployment climbing rapidly, the president was forced to appoint an emergency panel of economists to come up with ways to deal with the crisis.

There is another usage for STEEP that is unrelated to the adjective form.  STEEP is a verb that means to extract flavor or soften by soaking food or tealeaves or bags in water or other liquid.

To make a classic fruitcake, the first step is to STEEP dried fruits such as raisins, apricots, and currants in brandy or rum overnight.

If you prefer a weaker tea, don’t allow your tea bag to STEEP in boiled water for too long.

The phrase STEEPED IN SOMETHING means to have a lot of a particular quality or kind of knowledge.

It was only after I started reading historical novels that I realized that we live in an area of the English countryside that is STEEPED IN British history.

Another commonly used phrase is STEEP YOURSELF IN SOMETHING, which means to spend a lot of time thinking or learning about something.

My cousin Jenna spent nearly six months in South America, STEEPING HERSELF IN Peruvian and Argentinian culture.

 

9.  CRAWL

I CRAWLED beneath the railing and made my way down the hill toward the bus.

It wasn’t until I CRAWLED beneath the railing that I noticed the car parked behind Gramp’s red Chevrolet.

The verb CRAWL means to move forward on your hands and knees like an infant.  Synonyms include go on all fours and creep.

My daughter only learned to CRAWL when she was ten months old but she was already walking before her first birthday.

Jayden CRAWLED under the fence to retrieve his Frisbee from the field adjacent to our house.

I was surprised to learn that CRAWLING positively affects a baby’s speech development and reading ability as well as his or her physical strength and coordination.

CRAWL can also mean to move very slowly.

The traffic on Interstate 5 was CRAWLING along due to a stalled bus in the carpool lane on the Lake Washington Floating Bridge.

At times, like when we are waiting in line or in a doctor’s office, time seems to CRAWL, but at other times, especially when we are having fun, time seems to fly by.

The noun CRAWL is often used metaphorically to refer to the act of moving at a very slow speed.

It started pouring down rain right at five o’clock, and rush-hour traffic slowed to a CRAWL.

In swimming, the CRAWL is a fast-moving swimming stroke that you do face down in the water, alternately reaching out in front of you with each arm and pulling the water behind you while flutter kicking with both feet.

I’ve never managed to master the breathing technique required to do the CRAWL.

The phrase BE CRAWLING WITH means to be full of or completely covered with people, insects, or animals, often in a way that is unpleasant.

Nigel came home after a weeklong business trip and found the kitchen in his flat literally CRAWLING WITH cockroaches.

The courthouse was CRAWLING WITH journalists hoping to be the first to report the outcome of the highly publicized murder case.

The idiom to MAKE YOUR SKIN CRAWL means to make you feel afraid or full of disgust.

Reading about how in the old days surgeons performed operations without using any anesthesia MADE MY SKIN CRAWL.

 

 Tune in next week for more words from Passages, Lesson 2.