Prison Break and Similar Word Pairs.

This is the first entry written by Bồ.

I’d like to thank Đề for taking her time creating this blog and frequently updating it.

The purpose of this blog is to study lexicon. Now, one productive way, to digest new words the minute we encounter them, is to associate words we learn with contexts we know. Since Bồ and Đề are both big fans of the TV show Prison Break, today Bồ will borrow events, circumstances and assumable facts from the show to demonstrate definitions of some words. The vocab in this entry are commonly confused pairs, thus I think it’d be more efficient to put them aside for perusing.

Vindicate vs Vindictive:

Vindicate is a verb. To vindicate someone is to free the person from his previous blame and justify him as innocent. The synonyms are exonerate and exculpate. Most people are familiar with exonerate. And you probably recognize the root <culp> in exculpate. Remember culpable, meaning guilty, or culprit -the person who is responsible for a crime/wrongdoing. Now we add the prefix <ex->, meaning “out of” to <culp>, thus we just exclude the person out of his blame. Veronica tried to convince the Supreme Court to vindicate Lincoln Burrows.

Vindictive is an adjective. A vindictive person is a revengeful person, who is always seeking for revenge and looking to retaliate for a wrong that has been done.
At one point in the show, Lincoln Burrows becomes vindictive after Mahone killed his father.

Ingenuous vs Ingenious:

Ingenious means artful, adroit, resourceful and clever. Especially when the subject of speak shows creativity and inventiveness. Michael Scofield would be an exemplar of this adjective. Michael, without qualification, put together ingenious ideas to blueprint elaborate plans, and, adeptly, broke out of prisons.

Ingenuous, on the other hand, means artless, innocent, trusting, guile, or simple. It could be used as a compliment or an insult. Regarding to the show, I honestly don’t think any character would fit in the definition of this word. Perhaps those little children who haphazardly show up here and there as potential preys of Theodore Bagwell.

The only difference between Ingenuous and Ingenious is the letter ‘u’ vs ‘i’. One mnemonic I came up with is to correlate the ‘i’ with inventive, and the ‘u’ with trusting. Doesn’t sound cogent enough to serve as an adequate mnemonic. Feel free to come up with your own.

Preemptive and Peremptory:

To act before someone else does is to act preemptively. There are a number of situations in Prison Break where actions are anticipated and taken preemptively. Alexander Mahone, despite being wise and prudent, is almost always one step behind Scofield. Just as he is about to catch up with the brothers, Michael has preemptively made his way out of town.

Peremptory means arrogant, bossy and overbearing. Just to be nice, I will ascribe this word to Bradly Bellick, although I feel like this adjective sounds way too classy for his temperament. Bradley Bellick, when was in authority, exercised the little power he had, consistently put Michael in precarious situations. And of course, he was extremely peremptory, to the point of obnoxious.


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