Tag Archives: word #13


Fortified (verb) – to strengthen and secure

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fortified

From “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” By Sherman Alexie

I came across this word while reading “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” By Sherman Alexie. It appears around the end of the reading, as the author talks about all the possible outcomes that could come with talking to that girl. It caught my interest because it’s a word that i’ve heard before but isn’t used quite often. So i’m curious as to how it ties in with the sentence and the author’s overall point.

“After about two hours of negotiating, we earned five dollars – good enough for a bottle of fortified courage from the most beautiful 7 – Eleven in the world.” (Alexie).

After reading the definition of the word I better understand the context of how the author was using it in that part of the text. As seen in the quote, the author is discribing how the girl would react with you if you do said set of steps and how u would behave depending on the situation.


Plaid (noun) : a rectangular length of tartan worn over the left shoulder as part of the Scottish national costume.

The Shawl by Louise Erdrich

“Soon, she couldn’t rise to cook or keep the cabin neat, and it was too much for the girl, who curled up each night exhausted in her red-and-brown plaid shawl, and slept and slept, until the husband had to wake her to awaken her mother, for he was afraid of his wife’s bad temper, and it was he who roused Aanakwad into anger by the sheer fact that he was himself and not the other.”

This statement explains how the wife is very tough women and has a bad temper. Therefore, she got tired of the housework and she gets covered to her plaid material shawl and tries to relax for a long time. When her husband notices it and she gets very annoyed with him.




Grisly (adjective) – inspiring disgust or distaste

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grisly

From: “The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma” by  Junot Diaz

“By the time I was eleven, I was suffering from both depression and uncontrollable rage. By thirteen, I stopped being able to look at myself in the mirror—and the few times I accidentally glimpsed my reflection I’d recoil like I’d got hit in the face by a jellyfish stinger. (What did I see? I saw the crime, my grisly debasement, and if anyone looked at me too long I would run or I would fight.)”

Here, the narrator uses the word grisly to show how depression is causing him to see a gruesome decrease in character. He fears that depression is taking away the characteristics that define him. Also, depression is making him become an introvert because he doesn’t want to communicate with anybody or get attention from anybody.