There are many terrible books, but only one “Worst Novelist in the English Language.” Meet Robert Burrows, the man who bore that moniker

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Important GRE Words in this article:

Personable Save


Meaning: pleasing in appearance; attractive


Sentences:
This person must be personable, friendly and approachable. One personable young man crawls around on the floor searching for bottle caps that can be redeemed for neat prizes.


Parades Save


Meaning: walk ostentatiously


Culmination Save


Meaning: the highest or climactic point of something, especially as attained after a long time


Sentences:
It is the logical culmination of more and more media saturation with an emphasis on television. Matthew wants to achieve a fitting culmination to the night, but he is unable to do so.


Synonyms:
climax, pinnacle, peak, high point, highest point,


Antonyms:
nadir,


Episodic Save


Meaning: loosely connected; not flowing logically


Sentences:
The variables coded included the dateline, main subject, story length and whether the story was episodic or thematic. However, due to the episodic nature of thrombosis, interaction with components is required before onset of the clinical disorder.


Synonyms:
intermittent, irregular, sporadic, periodic, fitful,


Antonyms:
continuous,


Recalcitrant Save


Meaning: obstinately defiant of authority; difficult to manage


Sentences:
There is only so long the recalcitrant can stay. He rushes to say that he knows that there is money out there waiting to be collected at several homes because he has spoken with those persons but there are still some obdurate recalcitrants withholding the annual E65.


Cultured Save


Meaning: possessing education, refinement and taste; polished


Sentences:
I thought I was open-minded, thoughtful, yet I really just believed what every other liberal, educated, cultured person I knew believed. Both couples were educated, cultured, and well liked by those who knew them.


Synonyms:
cultivated, artistically aware, intellectually aware, artistic, enlightened,


Antonyms:
ignorant, unrefined, unsophisticated,


Proximal Save


Meaning: situated nearer to the centre of the body or the point of attachment


Sentences:
Such sediments and ichnofacies suggest lag deposits winnowed in proximal storm-generated beds. In all patients, the injection was administered proximal to the carpal tunnel.


Replete Save


Meaning: completely stocked or furnished with something


Sentences:
Her works are replete with objects teeming with personal histories and memories that also act as media to convey universal ideas. Certainly, the overall demeanor of the exhibit resembled an ornate baroque cathedral, large and magnificent, replete with technological splendors.


Synonyms:
well fed, sated, satiated, full, full up,


Speculate Save


Meaning: to believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds


Delusive Save


Meaning: giving a false or misleading impression


Sentences:
Fredric Jameson's 1981 lecture, ‘Postmodernism and Consumer Society,’ sheds some light on Wideman's portrayal of ghetto experience as delusive. The process is delusive and insufficient, exactly in proportion as the subject-matter of the observation is special and limited in extent.


Synonyms:
misleading, deceptive,


Antonyms:
well founded, genuine,


Bereft Save


Meaning: deprived of or lacking (something)


Sentences:
Of all the bereft women presented in this section, the servant-girl struck me as the most crushed. The channel at best is purely vague and bereft of any creative leanings.


Synonyms:
deprived of, robbed of, stripped of, denuded of,


Lampoon Save


Meaning: ridicule with satire


Sentences:
Ted's first cartoon, a lampoon of the Lawrence of Arabia craze, appeared in the July 16, 1927, issue of the Saturday Evening Post. America's Sweethearts is first and foremost a lampoon of today's Hollywood, and its targets are as diverse as the cast.


Synonyms:
satirize, mock, ridicule, make fun of, poke fun at,


Banal Save


Meaning: lacking originality; commonplace


Sentences:
I find most New Age spiritual music to be boring and banal but I've met a lot of people that find great use for it. People are always trotting out banal statistics and clichés to placate those who appear to be in a spot of bother.


Synonyms:
trite, hackneyed, clichéd, platitudinous, vapid,


Antonyms:
original,


Taxing Save


Meaning: use to the limit; exhaust


Sentences:
‘Doing everything on your own had been quite taxing but without the car I would have felt quite stranded’, she says. The flight-training program that normally took three years was condensed to a physically and emotionally taxing six months.


Synonyms:
demanding, exacting, challenging, burdensome, arduous,


Antonyms:
easy, gentle,


Delusion Save


Meaning: an idiosyncratic belief or impression maintained despite being contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder


Sentences:
LSD can induce a psychotic state with paranoid delusions that can last for months. Many are filled with hate and delusions of superiority; some are actually psychotic.


Synonyms:
misapprehension, mistaken impression, false impression, mistaken belief, misconception,


Ensue Save


Meaning: happen or occur afterwards or as a result


Sentences:
A chase ensued and the men eventually abandoned the car and escaped into a forested area. Excited discussion ensued, the result of which was that we decided to dive again the next day.


Synonyms:
result, follow, develop, stem, spring,


Hierarchy Save


Meaning: a system in which individuals or things are ranked in a particular order


Sentences:
Although his ideas were initially frowned on by the church hierarchy, Catholic leaders later embraced the organisation and Escriva was made a saint in 2002. For far too long in this country we've had institutions that have been bound by class, by hierarchy.


Synonyms:
pecking order, ranking, grading, ladder, social order,


Hubris Save


Meaning: overbearing pride or presumption


Sentences:
The first is professional hubris: doctors were arrogant and unaccountable. I should have known that such hubris would rebound.


Synonyms:
arrogance, conceit, conceitedness, haughtiness, pride,


Antonyms:
modesty,


Compute Save


Meaning: reckon or calculate (a figure or amount)


Sentences:
We computed the weighted average values for the above variables for the 20 Hungarian counties. For each participant, we computed a gamma coefficient specific to items that participants had failed in the first recall test.


Synonyms:
calculate, work out, reckon, figure, enumerate,


Garner Save


Meaning: to gather and save; to store up


Sentences:
He said information garnered by the expert would be used to help police complete a full facial reconstruction. Some palm readers might go through a client's purse or have an accomplice do so, in order to garner information about the client.


Synonyms:
gather, collect, accumulate, amass, assemble,


Secrete Save


Meaning: to ensconce, conceal, or stow


Sentences:
Hardly had we secreted ourselves when we spied a flotilla of a Roman expeditionary force sailing hard upstream. The glands secrete parathyroid hormone, which is the primary regulator of calcium homeostasis.


Synonyms:
produce, discharge, emit, excrete, exude,


Antonyms:
absorb, reveal, show,


Expansive Save


Meaning: communicative, and prone to talking in a sociable manner


Sentences:
I'm a talker and an expansive extrovert, yet in my poetry, particularly my lyrical poetry, I like to have things as distilled as possible. The reason it worked as a film - even if it didn't do any business - is that the characters were always expansive.


Synonyms:
extensive, sweeping, rolling, wide-ranging, extensive,


Antonyms:
limited, restricted, uncommunicative, reserved, taciturn,


Banality Save


Meaning: a trite or obvious remark


Sentences:
Distant echoes of stories of the sea mingle with the banality of today's touristy beach life. The 44-page glossy booklet contains the usual banalities designed to mean all things to all men.


Synonyms:
triteness, platitudinousness, vapidity, pedestrianism, conventionality,


Antonyms:
originality, epigram, witticism,


Wanting Save


Meaning: lacking


Sentences:
It was from a sense of wanting to extend the way imagination can reveal the necessary knowledge. In this area, Morrison was found wanting time and time again.


Synonyms:
deficient, inadequate, lacking, insufficient, imperfect,


Antonyms:
sufficient, acceptable, present,


Verisimilitude Save


Meaning: the appearance of being true or real


Sentences:
In other words, Clarissa's language mirrors the novel's verisimilitude, while Lovelace's repeats the figures of fiction's past. They situate and reassure the reader by promoting verisimilitude, the quality of appearing to be real.


Dexterous Save


Meaning: showing or having skill, especially with the hands


Sentences:
They shoved us off scrums, stole our ball at the tackle, carried the ball powerfully into our defence, and showed dextrous handling skills in the open spaces. Well done to the senior citizen who trimmed back some choice specimens by dextrous use of his walking stick and to the two young lads who provided a welcome action replay with their hurleys.


Synonyms:
deft, adept, adroit, agile, nimble,


Antonyms:
clumsy, stupid,


Culminate Save


Meaning: reach the highest or most decisive point


Sentences:
It is this collection of seven factors and their supporting details that culminate this research. Saturn culminated on the midheaven as Beethoven passed away.


Synonyms:
come to a climax, come to a crescendo, come to a head, reach a finale, peak,


Antonyms:
start, begin, peter out,


Sever Save


Meaning: to remove or separate by cutting off


Sentences:
When the bullet goes through the temple in a certain way, it just severs the optic nerve. I would effectively be severing my connection with them too.


Synonyms:
cut off, chop off, lop off, hack off, cleave,


Antonyms:
join, attach, maintain, establish, initiate,


Corporeal Save


Meaning: relating to a person's body, especially as opposed to their spirit


Sentences:
They also believed that there were two Gods: a Good God, who created the spirit, and a Bad God who created all corporeal matter. In its exploration of the corporeal body the play insists on the integral relationship between love, food and sex for the maintenance of a healthy body and a healthy body politic.


Synonyms:
bodily, fleshly, carnal, corporal, human,


Antonyms:
incorporeal,


Garish Save


Meaning: obtrusively bright and showy; lurid


Sentences:
The men wore their hair longer and both genders wore bright, almost garish colors. In this increasingly garish context, there can be no denying the reassuring twinkle of a traditional fairy light.


Synonyms:
gaudy, lurid, loud, over-bright, harsh,


Antonyms:
drab, tasteful,


There are many terrible books, but only one “Worst Novelist in the English Language.” Meet Robert Burrows, the man who bore that moniker

Read full article on newrepublic.com