Sunday, May 27, 2012

Be Not *Dismighted

A note from the publisher:

I will no longer send out email notification for each new Vocabulogic post. If you wish to be notified when a new post is published, enter your email address into Feedburner. After you do so, Feedburner will send you a verification email; you will need to confirm to activate your subscription. To subscribe, click the Feedburner link.


I am on holiday, so I did not write a post. 

But be not dismayed!

(A curious word--dismayed--composed of dis- + may. With the prefix dis- denoting 'not, opposite of, away' and the forerunner to one sense of may historically denoting 'might, power, ability' (Ayto, 1990) we see that dismayed indicated far more than mere "disappointment" or "shock and surprise" as sometimes used today. For one example, a Google search yielded, "I was dismayed when the TV show was cut." 

The Oxford English Dictionary defines dismay:
 1. trans (verb). To deprive of moral courage at the prospect of peril or trouble; to appal [sic] or paralyze with fear or the feeling of being undone; utterly to discourage, daunt, or dishearten. refl. †To be filled with dismay; to lose courage entirely.

Be not *dismighted.  

Ahem. But maybe a look at dismay is fitting for Memorial Day.)

Instead of writing a post, I offer two treats:

#1 : How Students Approach New Words (podcast)

Click this hyperlink to visit the Voice of Literacy podcast page, where Dr. Betsy Baker (University of Missouri ) interviews Dr. Jocelyn Folk (Kent State University). The run time is just over 13 minutes.

Dr. Jocelyn Folk is a cognitive psychologist. She investigates incidental vocabulary learning among skilled readers. In the podcast, Dr. Folk explains:
"I have always been interested in the processes skilled readers use when they encounter a word that is unfamiliar to them--so it's a new vocabulary word--but that is not your task--your task isn't about learning new vocabulary words, you are just reading a book. So the question is this: How do skilled readers deal with words they do not know?"

 #2: The Humorous Option

View a fast and furious video outlining the convoluted history of the English language. This clever video is courtesy of The Open University. If the video does not open in the player below, click one of the links beneath the video.


View the entire video, nonstop, on YouTube 
View the video in ten one-minute segments, at The Open University




Ayto, John. (1990). Dictionary of word origins. New York: Arcade Publishing.

Baker, E. A. & Folk, J. (2012, April 2). Vocabulary instruction: How students approach new words. Voice of Literacy. Podcast retrieved from


  1. Michelle Anderson5/27/2012

    Be not dismighted, because I immediately signed up on Feedburner. :-)

    The video is a PERFECT fit with my curriculum! Will totally use it.

    Thanks. Have a good Memorial Day weekend.


    1. I loved that video, too, Shelly.

      Glad you were able to sign onto Feedburner. Must have been via the link I sent in the group email, because the link above did not work at first.


  2. The link to feedburner didn't work for me. I don't want to miss the posts. Please help!

    1. Thanks for pointing it out, Sarah. The Feedburner link has been repaired and seems to work now.


    2. Thank you! I'm good to go.


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