Welcome to the 20 Words for GRE series



Volume One: Game of Thrones


Disclaimer: all readers will be subject to my acerbic wit, and I take no responsibility for being injured by its sharpness. I encourage all readers to try to infer what a word means from context, before referring to the dictionary below.

The concept behind this series is the use of GRE vocabulary to create a story that will both help me prepare for the verbal section of the exam, express my didacticism by having some fun and sharing it with you to learn along with me, and perhaps dispell any diffidence regarding doing well in the exam.

I’m also trying to regain a little of the wonder and magic that taciturn 12-year-old Aniket was perpetually lost in, his nose so deep in an alternate universe he once crashed headfirst into a mailbox on his way home from school.

A Polemical Essay on Trite Storytelling


Prosaic stories are not my cup of tea. The overuse of the hackneyed concepts of good vs. evil, boy meets girl and saves the world, are things that are a frivolous mockery of good literary practices. Too often, the fastidiousness of an author in their world building and plot pellucidity is sacrificed to add extraneous themes to drive the plot forward (refer Game of Thrones Season 8, where the creators’ powers over writing should have been circumscribed).

In the case of Game of Thrones, by season 8 the show was characterized by regular bouts of capriciousness: the tone would sway unpredictably from attempting to significantly develop a character in very ephemeral periods of time to logically perplexing plot devices. The creators when called out seemed to prevaricate, and eagerly switch topics. These practices gave a show which was once replete with the complexity of real world politics, wonderfully consistent grey character arcs, and shocking twists that were not written just to shock the audience an ending that was borderline egregious.

At the close, I apologize to the reader for the prolixity of this post, and hope this concept has not left you too apathetic to return!

If you liked this series, please let me know in the comments or through one of my social media channels and I’ll get to work on another one!

Vocabulary Guide:


  1. acerbic: sharp and forthright
  2. didacticism: act of excessively schooling someone
  3. diffidence: shyness, lack of self confidence
  4. taciturnity: quiet, reserved
  5. polemical: very critical, disputacious writing/speech
  6. trite: lacking originality/freshness
  7. prosaic: prose and not poetry, unromantic
  8. hackneyed: unimaginative
  9. frivolity: mockery of something, no seriousness
  10. fastidiousness: attention to details
  11. pellucidity: very clear
  12. extraneous: irrelevant
  13. circumscribed: restrict power within limits
  14. capricious: sudden changes in mood
  15. ephemeral: small amount of time
  16. prevaricate: speak or act evasively
  17. replete: completely filled or supplied with
  18. egregious: shockingly bad
  19. prolixity: tediously long
  20. apathetic: showing no interest or enthusiasm
Written on July 12, 2019