GRE prep
August 7, 2008 7:33 AM   Subscribe

What's your favorite "word of the day" site? I'd like to sign up for some as part of my GRE prep.
posted by anonymous78 to Education (13 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
While not precisely a "word of the day" site, Grammar Girl is both informative and entertaining. Her podcasts are short, concise, and a nice little diversion during the day.
posted by wfrgms at 7:41 AM on August 7, 2008

OSX 10.5 comes with a beautiful word-of-the-day screensaver, which is possibly my favorite.

I was on the Merriam Webster email list for awhile, but I eventually just stopped reading it. With the screensaver, you always can read it, and it comes and goes at opportune times.
posted by plexi at 7:48 AM on August 7, 2008 has does a term of the day e-mail, which includes links in the definition to any other words that might need definition.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:51 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite] has a word of the day feature. I get it in my google reader every morning. It's always got a decent word.
posted by deezil at 7:55 AM on August 7, 2008

I'm fond of A Word A Day from Wordsmith.
posted by cmonkey at 8:00 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

None but the mighty O.E.D..
posted by omnidrew at 8:09 AM on August 7, 2008

I'm not a big fan of e-mail feeds because I'm a lazy mofo and end up with a big stinkin' pile of unread e-mails. However, the learnawordtoday twitter feed is awesome because it randomly appears on my twitter page, and I only ever visit twitter when I'm actively seeking a distraction.

Protip: you can recommend words to be included in the list, too.
posted by Menomena at 8:30 AM on August 7, 2008

oops, just realized it hasn't been updated in 2 weeks. no wonder i feel less vocabulous than usual. never mind.
posted by Menomena at 8:32 AM on August 7, 2008

Since you'd be well served to focus on words likely to be used on the GRE (and frankly, after busting my hump on GRE vocab, seeing no words I learned in the process on the actual test was a disappointment), I would go with a GRE-specific list. This one looks good! I keep a folder in my firefox bookmarks toolbar called "dailies" and I just open them all at the start of the day.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:09 AM on August 7, 2008

Oh, for the love of pete. This link, not that one.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:12 AM on August 7, 2008

A Word A Day was great when it was a few lines of plaintext, but now I get a big pile of HTML in each message, with the actual definition & etymology a good couple of screens down. After several years, I'm thinking of dropping it despite the good content.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:18 AM on August 7, 2008

Seconding Ambrosia Voyeur -- from my experience doing GRE prep, the tests tend to draw from a specific pool of words (that will never come in handy in your actual life). So while word-a-day e-mail things may improve your vocabulary, they won't necessarily help with the GRE. I found a really long list of frequently-used GRE words online, then made up flashcards and went through them every day with a friend who was also preparing for the GRE; I believe it raised my score from the first prep tests I took by about 50 or 60 points. Which reflects how ridiculous the verbal section of the GRE is in the first place, because it's all about memorizing useless words and not actually about verbal skill.

This looks like a pretty thorough list. I know it looks daunting, but it's definitely doable (and it's helpful even just to go over them once, because I know when I was doing this there were common words whose definitions I thought I knew, but it turned out I was off in weird ways). Plus, you'll totally impress your friends when you start throwing words like "insouciant" into everyday conversation.
posted by pluckemin at 9:33 AM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Not a word-of-the-day site, but the best tool I found when worrying about vocab for my GREs.: I really liked that I had to get a word right *more than once* for the system to count it as 'learned'. I also liked that the word list felt just about right in difficulty - a lot of words I knew, and a lot I kindofsortof read in an article or somewhere but couldn't quite define. And of course a good bunch of really obscure ones! It was really easy for me to log on when I had a few minutes at a time free, go through a handful of words, then check back in a couple days to 'learn' the ones I had gotten right and re-attempt the ones I had gotten wrong. Good luck!
posted by pants at 2:15 PM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

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