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Vocabulary Tricks Part 4: Describing Advantages and Disadvantages

Published on Friday, January 27, 2017

Surveillance cameras are ubiquitous these days. These cameras have obvious benefits. They have the potential to reduce crime as they can deter young offenders and petty criminals. A temptation of such criminals to commit a crime is curbed as they have fear of being recorded. Cameras are also economical and unobtrusive.
However, there are associated threats. Many people feel cameras invade their privacy. Information can also be twisted to victimize certain groups.

Words with Meaning and Additional Examples 


Meaning: Close observation, especially of a suspected spy or criminal
  • Terrorism has to be fought with knowledge, with surveillance and intelligence. 
  • He is under surveillance by the FBI. 
Synonyms: Observations, scrutiny, watch, spying


Meaning: Present, appearing, or found everywhere
  • Smartphones are ubiquitous these days. 
  • He is very famous and his work is ubiquitous. 
Synonyms: omnipresent, ever-present, rife


Meaning: Easily perceived or understood; clear, self-evident, or apparent.
  • Unemployment has been the most obvious cost of the recession. 
  • I think this will appear obvious to the audience. 
Synonyms: clear, plain, detectable, observable


Meaning: Having or showing the capacity
  • The team has a potential to win the match. 
  • He has the potential to clear an exam. 
Synonyms: possible, likely, prospective, future


Meaning: Discourage (someone) from doing something
  • The death penalty deters people from committing murder. 
  • A health problem would deter him from seeking re-election. 
Synonyms: put off, discourage, dissuade, scare off


Meaning: A person who commits an illegal act.
  • This is an institution for young offenders. 
  • He has an experience of dealing with child offenders. 
Synonyms: wrongdoer, criminal, lawbreaker


Meaning: Of little importance
  • These petty issues can easily be solved. 
  • You should not worry about these petty matters. 
Synonyms: trivial, trifling, minor, small, slight, unimportant


Meaning: The desire to do something
  • Resist your temptation of eating fast food. 
  • It is difficult to resist the temptation of using a mobile phone during office hours. 
Synonyms: desire, urge, itch, impulse, inclination


Meaning: A check or control on something
  • There is a need to curb negative effects of technology. 
  • The government has introduced strict curbs on the industry. 
Synonyms: control


Meaning: Giving good return
  • This car is economical. 
  • Homemade food is economical as compared to outside food 
Synonyms: cheap, inexpensive, low-cost, low-price, low-budget.


Meaning: Not attracting attention.
  • The government should function in an unobtrusive manner. 
  • Their service was efficient and unobtrusive. 
Synonyms: inconspicuous, unnoticeable, unshowy


Meaning: danger, or a statement of an intention to cause pain, injury or damage
  • He has received death threats. 
  • There is a threat to tiger population. 
Synonyms: Warning


Meaning: Encroach or intrude on (intrude - cause to enter as if by force)
  • He felt his privacy was being invaded. 
  • We should not invade others privacy. 
Synonyms: occupy, conquer, capture, seize


Meaning: Distort or misrepresent the meaning of (words)
  • He has twisted my words. 
  • She has habit of twisting words said by others. 
Synonyms: distort, misrepresent, change, alter, pervert, falsify


Meaning: cruel or unjust treatment
  • They are victimized by racism 
  • Women are the most victimized people in our society. 
Synonyms: exploit, prey on, take advantage of
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