foolish or untrue words or ideas

(SOURCE- http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hokum)

While reading the ‘City Limits’ the word caught my attention. “History books and public television documentaries are always trying to tell you all sort of ‘facts’ about New York….It’s all hokum.”

By the word the writer meant that all the facts are made up. They are not what represents this city.



a small book or magazine containing pictures and information about a product or service.

(SOURCE- Google Translator)

I found this word while reading “City Limits” in second paragraph, “Maybe you saw the brochure.” Now I understand brochure is a book that have images and information that write about some stuff or services.




: something that makes it difficult to do or complete something : something that interferes with movement or progress

: a condition that makes it difficult to speak normally

Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impediments

I found this word while reading the tenth paragraph on page 9 in “City Limits”. I found it in the sentence, “It saw you steeling yourself for the job interview, slowly walking home after the late date, tripping over nonexistent impediments on the sidewalk.” When I seen the word in the sentence, I remember hearing that word before but never knew what it exactly meant. From this word in the sentence, I’m guessing the author is trying to say is that something is interfering with the person’s movement.





  • : foolish or untrue words or ideas.
  • : writing, music, etc., that is too dramatic or sentimental and not very original.


I’ve come across this word in the reading excerpt “City Limits”. This word can be found in the sentence “That Canal Street used to be a canal. That Bryant Park used to be a reservoir. It’s all hokum”. The following sentence says “I’ve been to Canal Street before and the only time I ever saw a river flow through it was during the last water-main explosion”. In this context the word hokum means untrue words or ideas. From learning what hokum means, I understand that statements about Canal Street and Bryant Park are untrue. The author, Colson Whitehead, mentioned before that “History books and public television documentaries are always trying to tell you all sorts of “facts” about New York”. Whitehead mentions later on in the text “Never listen to what people tell you about old New York, because if you didn’t witness it, it is not a part of your New York and might as well be Jersey”.




– to talk, think, or write about things that happened in the past

(Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

I found this word on page 9 of “City Limits”, in the context “We see ourselves in this city every day when we walk down the sidewalk and catch our reflections in store windows, seek ourselves in this city each time we reminisce about what was there 5, 10, 40 years ago, because all our old places are proof that we were here.” The author means to express the idea of nostalgia, or reflection about the past. He describes the memories he indulges in “reminiscence” with. The author even gives examples of how long in the past one might reflect on as well (5,10,40 years ago), and uses the word in context of that example.



: very dirty

: very offensive or disgusting and usually about sex

: very evil : morally wrong

Source: Merriam-Webster

I encountered this word from the reading “City Limits” by Colson Whitehead. “It’s the early seventies, so everything is filthy. Which means everything is still filthy, because that is my city and I’m sticking to it.” I never heard this word before. After I find out the definitions I finally understand why. Because mostly I use word dirty, so I never tried to see another way of saying it or in a more specific way to describe something dirty.



Person who brags a lot

Source: Merriam-Webster

I encountered this word at the end of the sample from the reading expert “City Limits” by Colson Whitehead. “Except for that bit about the Dutch buying Manhattan for twenty-four bucks there are and always will be braggarts who “got in at the right time.”” I never heard of this word this before nor I read it somewhere else. The reason what caught my attention was the pronunciation of the word. I believe this word fits the upper class, because of how much money they make compared to the lower class. This sentence shows that the Dutch were braggarts, because they bought Manhattan for twenty-four bucks. Compared to the time back than, the money became less value than it used to be.



The fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect.

Source – Google Definitions

I encountered this word while reading the description for project #2

“On your walk, look for sites of different New Yorks overlapping—such juxtapositions include old and new,”

Now that I know the meaning of Juxtaposition, I know understand that I will be looking for two things in New York that are close together that looks different.

[Glossary Entry 2]


noun per·mu·ta·tion

one of the many different ways or forms in which something exists or can be arranged.

” Design is a visual language whose endless permutations result from the particularities of individuals, institutions, and locales that are increasingly connected to one another by acts of communication and exchange.”

I have heard this word in math class back in high school. It was the same meaning just to a different purpose.

source: Merriam-webster.com