THE LANGUAGE OF IDEAS: VOCABULARY FOR SAT EVIDENCE-BASED READING
9 THE LANGUAGE OF FREEDOM
anarchist (n) an- without + arkhos ruler
one who believes in freedom from government : The anarchists wanted to protest the summit but had difficulty organizing themselves.
Forms: anarchy = absence of governmental rule, anarchism = the belief in freedom from government, anarchic = lacking systematic government
Root family: [arch] monarchy (government ruled by a king or queen), autarchy (government ruled by an individual with absolute power), matriarchy (social order in which the female line of descent is predominant), hierarchy (a ranked system of organization)
Don’t confuse anarchic (lacking government) with archaic (old and outdated)
Usage: Don’t use anarchy to mean chaos unless it refers to chaos that results directly from a rejection of authority.
prone to unpredictable behavior : Her decisions seemed more capricious than reasoned.
Forms: capriciousness = unpredictability of mood or behavior, caprice = a sudden and unaccountable change of behavior
Synonyms: fickle, volatile, whimsical, arbitrary
Don’t confuse with: capris (close-fitting calf-length pants), capiche ((from Italian capisci) slang for “do you understand?”)
to free from bondage : The prisoners of war were finally emancipated by the liberating army.
Form: emancipation = the act of freeing those in bondage, emancipator = one who sets prisoners free
Synonyms: unfetter, liberate
Don’t confuse with: emaciate (to make abnormally thin and weak)
extemporaneous (adj) ex- out of + tempor time
improvised; performed without preparation : The senator’s extemporaneous speech was surprisingly coherent and very well received.
Form: extemporize (v) = to improvise
Root family: [tempor] temporize (to delay making a decision), contemporary ((adj) modern; (n) one who lives during the same time period as another)
Don’t confuse with: temporize (to delay making a decision), contemporaneous (occurring or existing at the same time)
Mnemonic: If you must make a speech but you are out of time (ex tempor) to plan it, you must extemporize.
extricate (v) ex- out + tricae perplexities
to free from a constraint or difficult situation : We found it difficult to extricate ourselves from our duties.
Synonyms: disentangle, extract
Root family: [tric] intricate (complex), trick
Don’t confuse with: explicate (to analyze and develop (an idea) in detail)
impetuous (adj) im- toward + petere to drive
done without careful thought or planning; spontaneous : David’s jocular and impetuous nature made him the most popular player in the locker room, but it often caused problems on the field.
Form: impetuousness = tendency to be impetuous
Synonyms: whimsical, impulsive, capricious
Root family: [im-] impugn (to call into question), impetus (energizing force), impute (to attribute something to someone)
Root family: [pet] impetus (driving force), perpetuate (to help continue for an extended period), petulant (childishly ill-tempered)
Don’t confuse with: impetus (driving force), petulant (childishly ill-tempered)
inclined to unpredictable mood swings : He was a brilliant but mercurial composer, susceptible to manic bouts of productivity and debilitating depression.
Synonyms: volatile, capricious, temperamental
Mnemonic: A mercurial personality runs hot and cold, up and down, like the mercury in a thermometer.
unfettered (adj) feter foot (< ped foot)
freed from harsh restraints : Shawn finally felt unfettered from her oppressive relationship.
Forms: fetter = (n) chain or manacle used to restrain a prisoner; (v) to restrain the feet with manacles, unfetter = to free from restraint
Synonyms: liberated, uninhibited, rampant, unbridled, emancipated
Mnemonic: Someone who is fettered has his feet tied up in chains.