The Meaning of “Existential”: An Empirical Study of the Pragmatic Use of Big Words in English Language Arts, aka ELA.

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Students, try to use big words to sound smart.  One of my favorite big words is existential.  I can write or say stuff like, “The existential purpose of blah blah is blah blah,” and people will nod their heads in serious agreement, or squint their eyes in serious disagreement. Using words like existential in conversations makes people feel flattered that you have shared deep thoughts with them.

I do not know what “existential” means. This is a minor point.

My real concern is that there might be a list out there of “Teachers Whose Students Do Not Know the Word, Existential.” These days, you just never know!

Therefore,  all students who will be taking the College Board SAT’s ,  ACT’s,  KAT’s (Kindergarten Assessment Tests)and PNVEE Tests,  (Pre-Natal Vocabulary Enrichment Exams), please thank me in advance for giving you one of the  definitions of existential.

Courtesy of dictionary.com, one of the definitions of existential is:

  • Logic: denoting or relating to a formula or proposition asserting the existence of at least one object fulfilling a given condition: containing an existential quantifier.

Why are you cranky?

Here’s another dictionary.com definition of existential:

  • Of or related to existence, esp. human existence

I made up this sentence for you to clarify the definition of existential:

  • I eat because I am existential, and I need Rum Raisin ice cream to continue existing.

Now, my loyal readers, as an added bonus, I am going to share two new words that have always been problematic for me.  Common Core Standards expect you to use high level academic language. These two words qualify. According to dictionary.com, both of these words are synonyms for existential! Who knew?

The two new words are empirical and pragmatic.

Students, try substituting the word, empirical for the word, factual.

  • Example: If I write the word empirical in my essays instead of the word factual, my test scores may jump from a score of one to a score of five!

Now students, let’s take the word, pragmatic. Use pragmatic, students, every time you are tempted to use the word, practical. This is easy to remember because both words start with the letters, pr.

  • It was pragmatic for me to use the word, existential, because I had read many empirical essays about humans who existed.

Comments? Questions?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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