Archives For GRE Strategies

Indemnity is “protection or security against damage or loss.” According to the Wikipedia entry for the 1944 film Double Indemnity:

double indemnityThe story was based on a 1927 crime perpetrated by a married Queens woman and her lover. Ruth Snyder persuaded her boyfriend, Judd Gray, to kill her husband Albert after having her spouse take out a big insurance policy”with a double-indemnity clause. The murderers were quickly identified and arrested.

The term double indemnity refers to a clause in certain life insurance policies where the insuring company agrees to pay twice the standard amount in cases of accidental death.

Some other GRE words related to money include:

Let’s try some example sentences:

Benicio’s recent securities acquisition more than doubled his portfolio; his boss liked to say that, while his portfolio accrued value, Benicio himself was also accruing acclaim.

According to the IRS, “a taxpayer may elect to amortize start-up expenditures (as defined in section 195(c)(1)). A taxpayer who elects to amortize start-up expenditures must, at the time of the election, select an amortization period of not less than 60 months.”

If the bank has a lien against your house, your mortgage agreement may require you to indemnify the property against damage.

While virtually all accounting is now done on computers, accountants can still go to jail for falsifying ledgers, especially to cover up their own or executives’ sybaritic lifestyles, as funded by stockholders: no one adds your company’s stock to his portfolio in order to pay for your massage-and-bourbon habit.

ingenuous ≠ ingenious

The GRE loves to use words that people tend to mistake for other words. Ingenuous means candid, open, unrestrained, naive. A good synonym is artless (another confusing word — artless means lacking artifice, not lacking works of art).

Ingenious, of course, means characterized by cleverness or ingenuity. A person is a genius; his or her work is ingenious.

The quack made a career out of bilking vulnerable seniors by setting up tables at the mall and performing fake medical tests, thus convincing people to pay for his “cures.” You could say he was ingeniously disingenuous.

Arrid is a deodorant. Nexxus is a line of hair-care products. What they have in common is that each of them has added an extra letter to a GRE vocabulary word, probably to make the name easier to legally protect.

Arid means dry, barren, sterile. Arrid will make your armpits arid.

A nexus is a core, center, or means of connection.
Nexxus will make your hair pretty.

Next time I start a product line, I’m going to call it Granddddiloquent.

Spells in Harry Potter

Jen Dziura —  August 10, 2010 — 6 Comments

The Harry Potter series mentions sundry magic spells to perform such multifarious tasks as disarming one’s opponent, enlarging teeth, splitting seams, and turning small objects into birds. These spells also contain Latin roots that are reminiscent of myriad GRE vocabulary words!

Duro makes an object hard. You probably already know durable, but how about obdurate and duress?

Evanesco is a vanishing spell. Something that is evanescent doesn’t last long.

Expecto patronum creates a “patronus,” or protector. This comes from the Latin word for father, which gives us patriotic, as well as patronize, patronage, and patrician.

Fidelius is a secret-keeping spell, related to fidelity and infidel.

Wingardium leviosa is related to levitate and leaven, but also levity, a more metaphorical sense of lightness.

Incendio produces fire. Incendiary can be a noun (something that causes fire, such as a stick of dynamite or the person using it) or an adjective, and as an adjective it can mean either literally causing fire or metaphorically heating things up, as in, “Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense was viewed as incendiary by British Loyalists.”

Torrid means burningly, scorchingly hot, like the Sahara, or like a summer trip to Israel that your parents send you on as a teenager. The word also means ardent or passionate.

Torrid is a line of young, hip clothing for plus-size women.

The company’s name means “really hot.” Makes sense!

The word “torrid” is often used in expressions such as “a torrid romance” or “a torrid affair.”

A quick Google search brought up several companies that also use the word “torrid” in their names: Torrid Marine (“the most trusted name in marine water heaters”),
Torrid Oven (yep, they sell ovens, all right), and Torrid Romance, where, by sending in “nearly thirty personalized details,” you can obtain a personalized romance novel “that features you and your lover as the hero and heroine.”

Torrid indeed!