Part of speech:
(Countable nouns, like “bottle,” “piece,” and “decision,” are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about “a bottle,” “three pieces,” and “many decisions.”
Likewise, talk about one cacophony or multiple cacophonies, but we usually use it in the singular: "cacophony.")
A cacophony is a bunch of sounds heard together that are ugly and harsh.
(The roots of this word mean "ugly" and "sound.")
How to use it:
Talk about "a cacophony of something" or "the cacophony of something," as in "a cacophony of voices in the school cafeteria," "a cacophony of singers all warming up their voices separately outside the audition room," and "the cacophony of shouts and boos from the audience." You can just say "a cacophony" or "the cacophony" without saying "of something" if the meaning is clear, as in "The cacophony in the library was wildly inappropriate."
You've got endless possibilities for using "cacophony" abstractly. Try talking about a cacophony of colors, a cacophony of demands or complaints, a cacophony of sports coverage, the cacophony surrounding the latest political scandal, that cacophony of inner voices telling you what you ought to do, this cacophony of both raw talent and utter nonsense on YouTube, and so on.
A cacophony of indignant shouts and dramatic wails rose up when the principal announced that the field trip had been cancelled.
His resume, a cacophony of skills, experiences, and meaningless business jargon, earned him very few interviews and no job offers.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You'll know you understand what "cacophony" means when you can explain it without saying "harsh sounds" or "mishmash."
Think of something in your life that's messy, loud, and chaotic-- current or past, concrete or abstract-- and fill in the blanks: "The best way for me to escape the cacophony of _____ is/was to _____.”
Concrete example: “The best way for me to escape the cacophony of an airport terminal was to put on headphones.”
Abstract example: "The best way for him to escape the cacophony of the workaholic culture of the big city was to take a job in Hawaii."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don't go straight to the review now; let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month's game is "Guess the real pop song title when I give you a long-winded, highfalutin version of it." All the answers this month will be titles of popular songs released no earlier than 2012. Try it out each day and see the right answer the next day. We're playing this in order to appreciate the simple, precise vocabulary of pop song titles, despite how often they are criticized for being sappy, trite, and simplistic.
Yesterday’s answer: “Vessels for Fluids” is really “Cups” by Anna Kendrick.
Try this one today: “Depression in the Estival Period”
A Point Well Made:
Khaled Hosseini: “Beauty is an enormous, unmerited gift given randomly, stupidly.”
1. The opposite of CACOPHONOUS is
A. GOOD-LOOKING or SEXY
B. MISUNDERSTOOD or MISREPRESENTED
C. SILENT or DULCET
2. It might be cool to _____, but after awhile there would just be a cacophony of _____.
A. read minds .. annoying, random thoughts.
B. fly .. painful, itchy windburn.
C. predict the future ..hope.
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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