Vaughan’s Vocabulary

Don Vaughan provides infrequently used words to strengthen your
vocabulary.

This past week I listened to Pink Floyd’s The Wall, a double CD set released during the final weeks of the 1970s decade. The Wall is a concept album, which means that a theme unifies the content. The Wall reflects the themes of despair and isolation. A New York Times article in 2012 pointed out that the album shows singer/songwriter Roger Waters’ own psychic struggle that some music critics say signified the end of Pink Floyd’s most fertile period. Waters, who recently turned 70, is the lead vocalist on most of the tracks.

The music and lyrics tell the fictional story of the protagonist Pink, born during the last days of the Second World War in which his father was killed. Pink attempted to erect a wall between him and the world.

Bret Urick’s “A Complete Analysis of The Wall” says one of the meanings of this work of art is that communication is important. I like to think of clear, encouraging communication as tearing down walls between two or more persons. This week’s words pertain to Waters and The Wall.

1. treacle (TREE-cul)

A. backstabber

B. contrived or unrestrained sentimentality

C. hostile environment

D. a thin, slow or intermittent stream or movement

Waters used this word when he was asked why it became hard for him to collaborate with the other PF members after the 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon. “It became more and more like trying to wade through treacle, as is well known.”

2. The term “dark side of the moon” is

A. from the Old Testament.

B. from Hamlet.

C. a misnomer.

D. a euphemism.

E. a symbol of sin.

The term “dark side of the moon” is a misnomer. The side we see is dark, too. Saying “the far or other side of the moon” is better.

3. Which name is a title of a song on The Wall?

A. Vera

B. Ophelia

C. Desdemona

D. Emilia

4. metaphorically (MET-uh-fawr-uh-klee):

A. reprovingly

B. the process of telling a story

C. the process of using something to represent something else

D. the process of putting someone or something in the spotlight

5. Which one was not a member of Pink Floyd?

A. David Gilmore

B. Nick Mason

C. Richard Wright|

D. Toni Tennille

No. 3 is A. The song is about Vera Lynn, a singer during the Second World War. Vera was popular for her song “We’ll Meet Again.” Sadly, Pink did not get to meet his father again. No. 4 is C. The “wall” is used metaphorically for several serious themes. As for No. 5, Toni Tennille was not a member of PF, but she did background vocals on The Wall.

Last week’s mystery word is bourgeois.

This week’s mystery word to solve is in “The Happiest Days of our Lives,” a song on The Wall. Waters described wives with this word.