Are you a high school graduate? If so, the American Heritage Dictionary has compiled a list of 100 words you should know. Check it out. Since I am a total nerd, I spent hours looking up every one I didn't know, or wasn't sure about. I have to say that I think a lot of this list is pure bullshit. For instance, take the word: HYPOTENUSE - the side of a right triangle opposite the right angle.
Why would I need to know that? What possible relevance could that have to my daily life now that I have graduated from high school? I'll never run across it, except possibly as an answer to a crossword puzzle clue, and that's the sort of thing that's easily looked up. And judging from my grades, I doubt I even knew what it meant while I was taking Geometry in tenth grade. But who cares? This word is not necessary.
Here are a few more from the list that I think are stupid:
ZIGGURAT: a temple of Sumerian origin in the form of a pyramidal tower blah, blah.... Please.
YEOMAN: 1. a petty officer in the navy. 2. a farmer who cultivates his own land. pfffft.
MOIETY: one of two units into which a tribe or a community is divided on the basis of unilineal descent. Okay.
This is the kind of stuff that makes me crazy. I'd love to know who chose these words. It was some snot-nosed academic idiot, I'm sure. No one needs to know any of these.
My list of words every high school graduate should know:
DELINQUENT: as in, "Your payment on your student loan account is more than 30 days delinquent."
DEFAULT: failure to meet financial obligations.
TL;DR : too long; didn't read
OBESOGENIC: likely to cause someone to become excessively fat. As in, "Don't eat that delicious hydrogenated peanut butter, it's very obesogenic."
NETIZEN: a person who spends excessive amounts of time on the internet.
MEANDERTHAL: a person who is slow as molasses. As in, "Get the fuck out of my way, you stupid meanderthal!" Commonly used (by me) while driving. A handy combination of meander and neanderthal.
PASSWORD FATIGUE: the mental exhaustion that comes with trying to remember all of your various passwords to different sites.
ADEQUITE: Lindsay Lohan's highest compliment.
What words would you add to this list?