Tag Archives: word #7


  • Maligned (adjective):  having or showing an evil disposition; malevolent; malicious.
    • Source: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/maligned 
    • Taken From: I Always Write About My Mother When I Start to Write by Bia Lowe
      • “Like the prince trapped inside the body of the frog, that humble white cup, so maligned by the everyday, so misrepresented as a mere vessel, was a work of art waiting to occur.”
    • When the author uses the word maligned, it’s meant to be associated with maliciousness. However, something to remember is that the story is written from a child’s point of view. Therefore, by using the word maligned, the reader is able to understand the intensity of what the child feels. In the story, we have a child so in love and determined to please the mother, that when the word is used to compare their condition to a frog’s, we’re able to grasp the child feeling tortured by not being able to express their love to their mother.


Formality, noun: an established form or procedure that is required or conventional.

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

We first read this word in The Hunger Artist by Franz Kafka. Its used in reference to an unnecessary action that is performed at each of the artists productions, which in this case was a volunteer making sure that the artist was not sneaking food.

“Apart from the changing groups of spectators there were also constant observers chosen by the public—strangely enough they were usually butchers—who, always three at a time, were given the task of observing the hunger artist day and night, so that he didn’t get something to eat in some secret manner. It was, however, merely a formality, introduced to reassure the masses, for those who understood knew well enough that during the period of fasting the hunger artist would never, under any circumstances, have eaten the slightest thing, not even if compelled by force. The honour of his art forbade it.”



Skirmish (noun) – a minor fight in war usually incidental to larger movements.

Source – https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/skirmish

From “The Complete Fiction of Nella Larson” by Nella Larsen, “Quicksand” Chapter 13 Page 100

“She came away from the coffee feeling that she had acquitted herself well in the first skirmish.”

In this statement, the word skirmish is used to describe how Helga was able to please the crowd that came to see her. She was worried about disappointing her aunt and uncle, so after successfully meeting with the people she felt lightened.


Apprehension (noun): anticipation of adversity or misfortune; suspicion or fear of future trouble or evil.


From: Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen; Quicksand “She woke in the morning unrefreshed and with that feeling of half-terrified apprehension peculiar to Christmas and birthday morning.” Helga Crane is always sad and depressed. she doesn’t really enjoy the holidays which brings happiness. She feels terrified when festivals or any holidays come and her personality is not really exciting.


Habitual (adjective) – done or doing constantly or as a habit.

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

From “A Hunger Artist” by Franz Kafka

I came across this word while reading “A Hunger Artist” by Franz Kafka. It appears at the end of the reading on the eighth paragraph on the second sentence when the author is discussing how the people have become accustomed to seeing the hunger artist a certain way. It caught my interest because it’s a word I hear quite often but didn’t know it’s meaning, and i’m curious as to how it ties in with the sentence and the author’s overall point.

“People became accustomed to thinking it strange that in these times they would want to pay attention to a hunger artist, and with this habitual awareness the judgement on him was pronounced.”(Kafka).

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 the consistency of said awareness and how it had soldified a certain judgement on him.