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Word of the day

This week I've been playing around on the Free Rice website ( as recommended by pickwick). Basically, it's a vocabulary test, with added charity; for every word you get right, 10 grains of rice are donated (via corporate sponsors) to feed the hungry.

There are fifty levels, with fifty being the highest. In the FAQ, they say 48 is the highest achieved - though they must mean as a working vocabulary. If you get three right in a row at one level, you go up a level (after 3-4 questions to establish your starting level). If you get one wrong, you drop a level. I average around 45, but have reached 50 (briefly). Most games I expect to reach 48, though I generally won't stay there very long.

The format is very simple: colobus is a type of monkey, for example, the word itself doesn't mean 'monkey' but that's the answer you have to choose. It's also an American site, so you may be given the American word for something and expected to know the English equivalent. A knowledge of medieval clothing, armour and weapons seems to help too.

All in all, well worth bookmarking and playing, to see if you're as smart as you like to think you are.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
26th Oct, 2007 16:51 (UTC)
I've played a couple of times myself, but haven't gotten past 48 (and didn't stay there long). I seem to spend most of my time around 44 or 45.

Did you have the same chuckle I did when "Panjandrum" came up?
26th Oct, 2007 17:21 (UTC)
Haven't seen 'Panjandrum' yet. Do you think they know it's a nonsense word ?

Though if enough people use it to mean the same thing, then I guess it becomes a 'real' word.
26th Oct, 2007 17:43 (UTC)
IIRC the correct choice was something along the lines of "self important dignitary".

From the online etymology dictionary:
mock name for a pompous personage, 1755, invented by Samuel Foote (1720-77) to test the memory of actor old Macklin (who said he could repeat anything after hearing it once) in a long passage full of nonsense.
26th Oct, 2007 16:52 (UTC)
I do it every day, and I reckon to spend most of my time in the 48-49 zone, but I do get quite a lot of words at 50. I'm not quite sure how they classify them, because some words at 50 are easier to work out than others lower down the scale.

It helps to be well up on Latin and Greek roots!
26th Oct, 2007 17:23 (UTC)
That's how I figured out a few I'd never seen before.

The American bias shows in some of the higher level words, that must be more common in British speech. 'Tarn', for example.
26th Oct, 2007 17:45 (UTC)
Yes, I've never heard that word spoken, but know it because I read a lot of British stuff.
26th Oct, 2007 23:38 (UTC)
This is oddly addicting. *Adds to bookmarks*

27th Oct, 2007 03:38 (UTC)
I got to 50 several times, but didn't stay there long. :-P
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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