English Vocabulary with Examples | Consternation | Elation | Perturbation

October 28, 2013

English vocabulary with examples

Read the following excerpt from a short story “Keeping it from Harold” by PG Wodehouse, a brilliant humorous writer.

“The four adults surveyed the innocent child in silence.  On the faces of three of them, consternation was written.”

The underlined word consternation means a state of paralyzing dismay.  Read the excerpt once again.  Can you now picture the scene with the expressions on the faces of the three adults and imagine what they were feeling?  Without the use of the appropriate word “consternation,” the writer will not be able to describe the scene so vividly and enable the reader to paint the picture of the scene in his/her mind in such vivid detail.

While writing a story, human characters and the feelings they are going through and the expressions on their faces are a vital component to engross readers and help readers immerse themselves in the writing.

Read the following lines.

“Little Tina beamed and quickly sped towards her father and hugged him.  He was elated to see his little daughter after the long and tiring business trip.”

Do you know what “elation” means?  It means a feeling of great joy.

Now, replace “elated” with “very happy” or “delighted?”  Does it have the same effect?  A writer needs to thoughtfully weave in appropriate words which can help the reader imagine a scene in vivid detail.  The feelings and the expressions on the faces of the characters need to be described with apt vocabulary.

Now, read the following lines.

“Richard briskly strode towards the lift.  He quickly glanced at his watch as the lift steadily made its way to the fourth floor.  The quiet confidence in Richard’s face gave way to perturbation when he realized that the lift was stuck midway to the fourth floor.”

You may have come across “perturbed.”  Yes, “perturbation” means a state of anxiety or uneasiness.

Now, that you have seen examples of the words “consternation, elation and perturbation” in action in sentences, write a small paragraph using all three words to practice their usage.  Also, try to use them more often in your writing and speech.   Also, observe people more closely and reflect on the feelings of consternation, elation or perturbation expressed by the people around you or in a movie you watch.

photo credit: kelvin_luffs via photopin cc

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