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GRE Article of the Month – March 2013: Chillaxin

Please Do Not Chillax: Adjoinages and the death of the American pun
By Simon Akam for Slate

The articles of the month we’ve offered thus far have been anything but light reading. They are somewhat dense and definitely long.

This month’s article—Please Do Not Chillax, by Simon Akam—is light and irreverent, as the title suggests. The article clocks in at a little over 1,000 words (that’s still over twice as long as the longest GRE passage). But the article is definitely dense with vocab and wordplay, and is a good challenge for those who struggle to determine the general Reading Comprehension questions, such as tone and main idea.

Essentially, Akam takes issue with the proliferation of words born out of a combination of two words, but which lack any punning. For example, ‘bridezilla’ is a combination of ‘bride’ and ‘Godzilla’, the latter term being a massive dinosaur from Japanese movies. But there really isn’t much rhyming between ‘God’ and ‘bride’, thus no punning. ‘Bromance’, on the other hand, is fine in the author’s eyes (and ears). Since ‘bro’ clearly rhymes with ‘ro’, pun equilibrium has been restored.

Of course I do scant justice to this linguistic phenomenon that Akam cleverly brands ‘adjoining’. So I encourage you to read Simon Akam’s scathing and scintillating article—or should I say ‘scathillating’—while paying attention to the following GRE words.

Word List:

  • Malaise
  • Coinage
  • Proffer
  • Liminal
  • Erudite
  • Exposition
  • Unperturbed
  • Proliferation
  • Base (2nd definition)
  • Lieu


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