Mastering English Vocabulary 9: The Cask of Amontillado

by Jakub Marian
Tip: Did you know that “iron” is pronounced as “I earn”, not as “I Ron”? Learn more about the most common pronunci­ation mistakes in English (PDF version).

I use LingQ to expand my vocabulary in many languages, including English. Today, we shall concentrate on some peculiar vocabulary in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado (which is also available with an audio recording in LingQ). Beware: Only one meaning of every word is included (the one intended in the text), and the pronunciation is based mostly on American English.

utterance /ˈʌtərəns/ – the action of saying or expressing something aloud.
… my soul will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat …
to preclude /prɪˈkluːd/ – prevent from happening; make impossible.
… the very definitiveness with which it was resolved, precluded the idea of risk …
unredressed /ʌnrɪˈdrest/ – not redressed, i.e. not set right.
… a wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser …
retribution /ˌretrɪˈbjuːʃən/ – punishment that is considered to be morally right and fully deserved.
… a wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser …
wont /woʊnt/ – one’s customary behavior in a particular situation.
… I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face …
immolation /ˌɪməˈleɪʃən/ – killing or offering as a sacrifice.
… he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation …
imposture /ɪmˈpɑːstjər/ – an instance of pretending to be someone else in order to deceive others.
… the time and opportunity – to practice imposture upon the British and Austrian millionaires …
gemmary /ˈdʒɛməri/ – the art of crafting gems.
… In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen , was a quack …
quack /kwæk/ – a charlatan, an untrained person pretending to be knowledgable.
… In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen , was a quack …
vintage /ˈvɪntɪdʒ/ – the year or place in which wine, esp. wine of high quality, was produced.
… I was skillful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could …
to accost /əˈkɑːst/ – approach and address (someone) boldly or aggressively.
… he accosted me with excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much …
motley /ˈmɑːtli/ – the particolored costume of a jester.
… the man wore motley …

Definitions are usually taken from the dictionary in Google Search.

By the way, are you not a native English speaker? Then you should check out my book about the most common mistakes in English. There’s also a downloadable PDF version.

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