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The Vulgar “a” Spelling

Vulgar “a” Spellings

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Common Core Language Standard: L.8.2*

Pre-teaching: Spelling and vocabulary are closely linked. Spelling is often influenced by vocabulary.

Also, remember that words have both denotative and connotative meanings and that the meaning of a word often influences the spelling of that word.

Definitions and Examples: The word vulgar simply means “common.” This definition is its denotation, or exact meaning. However, vulgar is also means “negative or evil.” This definition is its connotation, or commonly associated meaning. The vulgar “_ar,” “_al,” and “_an” spellings often appear in roots and suffixes. Examples: beggar, dismal, pagan.

Writing Style Hints: Knowing the connotative meaning of a word can help you choose when to use these vulgar spelling words with precision. Using words with a specific connotation can help you establish the mood or tone of your writing.

Practice: The Secretary of Labor’s resistance to any internal investigation made his repeated denials of wrongdoing seem like he had something to hide.

Formative Assessment Dictation: The scandal produced the usual denials and resistance to come clean with the truth.

Writing Application: Write an opening sentence to set the tone of a murder mystery using at least two forms of these vulgar a words: buzzard, blizzard, abnormal, veteran.

Related Language Standards: Ten English Accent Rules

*Suggested Grade Level

The author of this article, Mark Pennington, has written the assessment-based Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) Grades 4-8 programs to teach the
Common Core grammar, usage, mechanics, spelling, and vocabulary Standards. Diagnostic assessments and targeted worksheets help your students catch up while they keep up with rigorous grade-level direct instruction.

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