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GRE Articles of the Month – February/March 2014

Cheap Words
By George Packer for The New Yorker

The Writer, Seducer, Aviator, Proto-Fascist, Megalomaniac Prince Who Shaped Modern Italy
By Jonathan Galassi for


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Note: Two Vocab Wednesday posts, Words from the Article of the Month and Words from the Article of the Month Part II refer to the articles in this post. For challenging vocabulary, read on … and let me know if you have any questions or comments!

In the past, I’ve had requests to include two “Article of the Months”: one on the easier side and one on the tougher side. It’s a great idea but one that is a little trickier to execute, since it is tough finding an article that meets the criteria I set out for the “Article of the Month”.

This month, however, a Clemmonsdogpark blog reader made a recommendation on a difficult article, which I’ve included at the bottom. The other article—the one on Amazon—I stumbled across while reading the New Yorker.

The Easier Article

The article, Cheap Words, is much easier than the tough article; it is, perhaps not that surprisingly, also more interesting. That doesn’t mean that the article is easy to get through: the sentence structures can be pretty advanced and there are a few vocab words along the way that may make you stumble.

Vocabulary that pops up in Cheap Words:

  • Rubric
  • Mortified
  • Antediluvian
  • Cloistered
  • Incipient
  • Defunct
  • Impasse
  • Capitulated


The More Challenging Article

The challenging article for this month, The Writer, Seducer, Aviator, Proto-Fascist, Megalomaniac Prince Who Shaped Modern Italy, is a sprawling, tortuous take on the life of a early 20th century intellectual bon vivant. I should warn you that it’s not light reading or even that enjoyable. It’s tough and dense, so if you need a good reading workout this is one for you. Indeed, I’d only recommend this article for those who are in the 160+ verbal territory (though that doesn’t mean you can’t take a hack at it).

Here are just some of the words that pop up in this article:

  • Unbridled
  • Espousing
  • Cataclysm
  • Misappropriation
  • Effervescent
  • Astute
  • Unflagging
  • Canny
  • Overweening
  • Egregious
  • Stultifying
  • Profligacy
  • Voluptuary
  • Solipsism
  • Malleable
  • Bowdlerized


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