Important Words to Know: Spelling Review Study Guide (page 3)

Updated on Aug 25, 2011


If something has "buzz," it means that a lot of people are talking about it. A movie with good buzz is a movie that a lot of people enjoy. A buzzword, on the other hand, is a new word that suddenly leaps into popular usage. Interestingly, the term buzz started life as a buzzword itself, having originally been used by advertisers to describe the beelike excitement generated by a popular fad or product. Often, buzzwords are related to technology or business. They either get adopted into the language as regular vocabulary or quickly die from overuse…so use these words as much as you can right now, before they disappear!

blog n. or v. short for "weblog," an online diary or collection of frequently updated information; or the process of updating that information. I read all about your Thanksgiving dinner on your blog.

blogosphere n. a collective term for the community of weblogs and bloggers. The blogosphere can't stop talking about the latest celebrity scandal.

branding n. a marketing term, the definition of a company for advertising purposes. The local grocery chain is in the process of updating its branding to seem more modern.

compatible adj. able to work together, often used to describe software or computer devices. Is this monitor compatible with my operating system?

content n. substantive information. I enjoy this website because it always has new content.

diversity n. a state consisting of a variety of different elements; often used in referring to race or ethnicity. My new employer encourages diversity in the workplace.

globalization n. the state of extending to all parts of the globe, often used in reference to economic matters. Some people believe that the globalization of companies and services is bad for local culture.

grassroots adj. involving the common people. The presidential campaign is a grassroots effort.

green adj. environmentally friendly. Green building materials are all the rage right now.

newbie n. someone who is doing something for the first time. I have to help Marcus out with his online profile because he's a newbie.

outsource v. to contract jobs to outside workers. The automobile manufacturer outsources much of its work to China.

social networking v. the use of a website to connect with people who share common interests or qualities. MySpace is one of the most popular sites for social networking.

sustainable adj. capable of being continued with minimal long-term environmental effects. Transportation is becoming more sustainable with the invention of such devices as the hybrid engine.

sticky adj. attracting viewers or readers. We have to create a sticky website that people will want to return to often.

tipping point n. the moment from which there is no return. Our country is nearing a tipping point in the availability of oil.

transparent adj. open about operating procedures. The government is taking steps to become more transparent to enhance their trustworthiness among average citizens.

user-friendly adj. computer software or hardware that easily used by someone with limited knowledge. This website gets more hits than other, similar websites because it is more user-friendly.

vegan n. or adj. someone who does not eat any animal-derived foods or use any animal byproducts; description of a food item or product containing no animal-derived ingredients or byproducts. Sarah became a vegan after learning more about how meat is processed.

viral adj. an online phenomenon that duplicates like a virus, getting passed around between through e-mail or word-of-mouth. Five different people sent me the latest viral video.

virtual adj. carried on through a computer. Our class held a virtual discussion today in a chat room.


MANY OF THE words in this chapter are more difficult than the words we've studied in previous chapters. However, if you've been following the book closely and doing the exercises, the knowledge you've gained can be put to use in remembering how to spell words of any length or difficulty.

Take a word like globalization, for instance. Upon first sight, it might appear to be a difficult word to remember. But look closely at its parts. Start by breaking the word down into syllables: glob-al-iz-a-tion. You know that this word is related to the earth, and the earth is a globe, so you can guess that the base word of globalization is globe. The other parts of the word are all suffixes: -al, -ize, -ation. In this case, you have to drop the silent e on the end of globe and -ize. Put all of the parts together, and you get globalization.


In this lesson, we looked at five different categories of words that are useful to know: foreign words, literary words, business words, technology words, and buzzwords.

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at:

Important Words to Know: Spelling Review Practice Exercises

View Full Article
Add your own comment