Lesson 16 Mystery and the Occult 1. alchemy – a method of miraculous change of one thing into another. In the Middle Ages, the chief aim of honest and dishonest experimenters was to change base metals into gold and to discover the elixir of eternal youth 2. arcane – beyond comprehension; mysterious; secret. The Latin word arcanus means “shut up” or “hidden” 3. conundrum – a riddle; any puzzling question or problem 4. demonology – the study of demons or of beliefs about them. 5. exorcise – to drive away an evil spirit by charms or incantations 6. inscrutable – mysterious; completely obscure; unfathomable 7. pallor – lack of color; unnatural paleness 8. phenomenology – the science that classifies and describes unusual happenings. 9. polygraph – an instrument that records changes in blood pressure, respiration, pulse rate, etc; a lie detector 10. purloin – to steal 11. ritual – a system of rites, religious or otherwise; a prescribed form or procedure; ceremony 12. shamus – private detective. The caretaker of a synagogue is also called a shamus 13. soothsayer – one who predicts the future. Sooth is an AngloSaxon word meaning “true,” hence, a soothsayer is a “sayer of truth” 14. thaumaturgy – magic; the supposed working of miracles 15. warlock – sorcerer; conjurer; male witch. From the AngloSaxon word for traitor or liar. A warlock was supposed to be able to cast a magic spell because of a compact he made with the Devil. Exercises I. Which Word Comes to Mind” In each of the following, read the statement, then circle the word that comes to mind 1. The last page of the murder mystery, with all the guests in the living room
(thaumaturgy, demonology, shamus) 2. “As I gaze into my crystal ball….” (warlock, soothsayer, arcane) 3. “Man, your face is as white as a ghost’s” (pallor, conundrum, inscrutable) 4. A pickpocket’s nimble fingers (purloin, alchemy, ritual) 5. “Would you be willing to take a test to prove your innocence?” (exorcise, phenomenology, polygraph) 6. A good poker player’s face (alchemy, inscrutable, thaumaturgy) 7. With the IQ of a genius, Luz can solve any mathematical puzzle (conundrum, warlock, ritual) 8. An alien warship was reported to have flown over Seattle (phenomenology, demonology, shamus) 9. We recite the Pledge of Allegiance each morning (exorcise, soothsayer, ritual) 10. At the museum we needed an expert to explain the meaning of the strange painting (arcane, purloin, alchemy) II. True or False? In the space provided, indicate whether each statement is true or false ____1. A warlock has military responsibilities.
____2. To wear your heart on your sleeve is to have an inscrutable expression. ____3. A cattle rustler is on who would purloin a sirloin. ____4. When we say, “It’s Greek to me,” we are referring to something that is arcane. ____5. Abracadabra is the start of a familiar ritual. ____6. My father’s stockbroker practiced alchemy by converting our assets into debits. ____7. I was shocked by the shutin’s pallor. ____8. After months of exorcise, Tonio was in great shape. ____9. Accused of theft, the bank teller offered to submit to a polygraph. ____10. Macbeth’s witches area subject for demonology. III. Fill in the Blank Insert one of the new words in the proper space in each sentence below. 1. Harry Houdini, the celebrated magician, was a master of ______________ 2. As part of his morning ____________, Andre shined his shows, pressed his trousers, and put a flower in his buttonhole. 3. Many employers would like their workers to take ___________tests, but the unions oppose that procedure. 4. Helen may know several ________languages, but that hasn’t helped her to earn a living in today’s society. 5. A famous mathematical ____________, which has stumped the experts for a century, recently was solved with the aid of a microcomputer. 6. Through some amazing ___________, the shy reporter became Superman. 7. The Edison Hotel hired a ___________ to deal with recent thefts. 8. A waxen ___________had come over Audra’s usually florid face.
9. Colonel Snyder’s mission was to ___________the enemy’s atomic documents. 10. Awaiting the announcement of the Academy Awards, the composed actor maintained an ___________ expression.