languageevery year elwood concocted new inflections H u m a n i t i e s

languageevery year elwood concocted new inflections H u m a n i t i e s

I’ve providing some of the vocabulary words they use in the first few chapters of the book and provided the definitions in the book’s context.

Please take 5 of these words and write at least one full sentence using each word. The assignment should look like a minimum of 5 sentences each using a word from this vocabulary list.

This is an exercise in immersion so have fun with it. No one is going to read these but me, and I’m pretty chill so be fun, be creative, but be accurate.


  1. earmark (Links to an external site.)

    give or assign a resource to a particular person or causeThe developers of the office park had earmarked the field for a lunch plaza, with four water features and a concrete bandstand for the occasional event.

  2. inscrutable (Links to an external site.)

    difficult or impossible to understandAfter sifting the soil, bones and belt buckles and soda bottles lay scattered on their trays in an inscrutable exhibit.

  3. haphazard (Links to an external site.)

    marked by great carelessnessThe school records, though incomplete and haphazard, narrowed down who WILLIE 1954 had been.

  4. crotchety (Links to an external site.)

    having a difficult and contrary dispositionThe boys reminded them of crotchety uncles and flinty characters from their old neighborhoods, men who might soften once you got to know them but never lost that hard center.

  5. apprise (Links to an external site.)

    inform somebody of somethingHe kept the others apprised on the petition for another investigation and how the statement of apology from the government was coming along.

  6. licentious (Links to an external site.)

    lacking moral disciplineHis grandmother Harriet had a few gospel records, which she only played when the world discovered a new mean way to work on her, and Elwood wasn’t allowed to listen to the Motown groups or popular songs like that on account of their licentious nature.

  7. threadbare (Links to an external site.)

    thin and tattered with age“I’ll get in free every day for a month, easy,” he told his grandmother, lying on the front-room rug and tracing a threadbare patch with his thumb.

  8. gamely (Links to an external site.)

    in a plucky or sporting mannerElwood didn’t understand what the older men talked about most of the time, but he nodded gamely before returning to his adventure stories.

  9. impart (Links to an external site.)

    transmit, as knowledge or a skillThe new men in the kitchen had different kinds of lessons to impart to a young mind.

  10. bravado (Links to an external site.)

    a swaggering show of courageWhile not prone to bravado, Elwood had never lost a dish-drying contest in four years, and wore his confidence on his face.

  11. dapper (Links to an external site.)

    marked by up-to-dateness in dress and mannersSooner or later, though, the door would swing wide to reveal a brown face—a dapper businessman in Tallahassee for business or a fancy lady in town to see the sights—enjoying the fine-smelling fare the cooks put out.

  12. fare (Links to an external site.)

    the food and drink regularly served or consumedSooner or later, though, the door would swing wide to reveal a brown face—a dapper businessman in Tallahassee for business or a fancy lady in town to see the sights—enjoying the fine-smelling fare the cooks put out.

  13. mulish (Links to an external site.)

    unreasonably stubborn or rigidWhether his opponent in this game was his own foolishness or the mulish constancy of the world was unclear.

  14. pompadour (Links to an external site.)

    a hair style in which the hair is swept up from the foreheadSquat and perspiring, with a low pompadour and a thin black mustache, he was inevitably disheveled by evening.

  15. genteel (Links to an external site.)

    marked by refinement in taste and mannersHe didn’t need an employee, but his wife liked telling people that he had an employee, and he imagined it made the store more approachable to a genteel segment of black Frenchtown.

  16. inkling (Links to an external site.)

    a slight suggestion or vague understandingHe’d mentioned going to college the summer prior, casually, with no inkling of the momentousness of his words.

  17. misgiving (Links to an external site.)

    painful expectationAny misgivings over the tobacco shop collapsed before such a notion.

  18. convey (Links to an external site.)

    take something or somebody with oneself somewhereLife’s photo essays conveyed him to the front lines, to bus boycotts in Baton Rouge, to counter sit-ins in Greensboro, where young people not much older than him took up the movement.

  19. tableau (Links to an external site.)

    any dramatic sceneThey were beaten with metal bars, blasted by fire hoses, spat on by white housewives with angry faces, and frozen by the camera in tableaus of noble resistance.

  20. shiftless (Links to an external site.)

    lacking ambition or initiativeHis grandmother had long steered him from hanging out with the local kids, whom she regarded as shiftless, clambering into rambunction.

  21. insolent (Links to an external site.)

    marked by casual disrespectBefore he worked at Marconi’s, his friends gloated over their candy heists, cackling and blowing insolent pink bubbles of Bazooka once they got a good distance from the store.

  22. livid (Links to an external site.)

    discolored by coagulation of blood beneath the skinBy morning the livid bump underneath was a bubble of blood.

  23. inalienable (Links to an external site.)

    incapable of being repudiated or transferred to anotherThe way the man said it, crackle and all: an inalienable strength.

  24. transgression (Links to an external site.)

    the violation of a law or a duty or moral principleHow to tell them that their transgressions against Mr. Marconi were insults to Elwood himself, whether it was a sucker candy or a comic book?

  25. epithet (Links to an external site.)

    a defamatory or abusive word or phraseSeptember was a tutorial in the latest epithets of Tallahassee’s white youth, which, like hemlines and haircuts, varied year to year.

  26. wily (Links to an external site.)

    marked by skill in deception“You know those white kids are wily.”

  27. wry (Links to an external site.)

    humorously sarcastic or mockingMr. Hill caught on that Elwood had a fascination with the rights struggle and gave the boy a wry smile when he chimed in.

  28. inflection (Links to an external site.)

    the patterns of stress and intonation in a languageEvery year Elwood concocted new inflections and gestures, the speeches losing their stiffness as his own convictions enlivened the portrait.

  29. yoke (Links to an external site.)

    an oppressive power“It is my pleasure to inform you fine gentlemen and ladies that the time has come to throw off the yoke of slavery and take our places as true Americans—at long last!”

  30. marquee (Links to an external site.)

    a structure, often with a signboard, over an entranceThe A&M students marched in snaky loops in front of the Florida, hoisting signs and rotating slogans under the marquee.

  31. resiliency (Links to an external site.)

    an occurrence of rebounding or springing backShe instituted a ban on the record player and, recognizing the resiliency of this younger generation of colored youth, moved it into her bedroom and weighed it down with bricks.

  32. bashful (Links to an external site.)

    self-consciously timidBashful, he didn’t tell anyone and wrote under a pseudonym: Archer Montgomery.

  33. facet (Links to an external site.)

    a distinct feature or element in a problemIn June Mr. Marconi became a grandfather, a milestone that exposed new facets in the Italian.

  34. avuncular (Links to an external site.)

    resembling an uncle in kindness or indulgenceHe turned the shop into a showcase for avuncular enthusiasm.

  35. rivet (Links to an external site.)

    a heavy metal pin used to fasten two pieces of metalTwo rivets in his bike chain broke the night he got that black eye, and ever since it tended to snap when he took it out for long rides.