Attrition and Exodus

“Attrition?”, the last alphabet in the word trailed for an eternity when he repeated the word questioningly. The rest of us – comprising of me and 2 other friends – were shocked to find out the absence of this word in his vocabulary. Under normal circumstances, we would have forgiven and forgotten his malnourished repository of words as the word “attrition” was not related to two of his favorite subjects in the world namely food and girls.

But, recently, this friend had appeared and scored high for GMAT and TOEFL. “You really do not know the meaning?”, we teased him reminding him of the high scores in the exams and his disdainful treatment towards us during the time of exams. He defended himself, “This word might be too simple for those exams”.  The retort was also a veiled attack on our command of the medium. “Okay”, I said recovering from his verbal assault, “Let me make it a bit easier for you. The word is similar to exodus”.

“Exodus”, he repeated and the last character trailed while he continued to stare at us puzzled. This time, I was not ready to forgive his ignorance. “Aren’t you a Christian? Don’t you read Bible? Haven’t you come across this word?”, I demanded answers.

“My Sunday schools were interrupted because of the dinosaur program on the TV”, he defended. He explained, “Sunday school started at 10 am and lasted for 2 hours. The dinosaur cartoon started at 11:30 am on Sundays. So, I never went to Sunday school preferring to see the dinosaur cartoon on the TV”.

Meanwhile, another friend who also possessed a frighteningly undernourished vocabulary came to his rescue. The birds of the same feather indeed flock together. Their approach to the solution was different from normal people. When the normal people take up a dictionary to find more about the word, these birds of the same feather referred to the Microsoft Word and the synonyms feature associated with it.

The synonyms of attrition were displayed as abrasion, slow destruction, erosion, wear and tear, eating away, gnawing away, wearing away and grinding down. The synonyms of exodus were mass departure, migration, emigration and evacuation.

After staring at these words for a long time, my friend replied with a beaming smile, “Yes! I got it! Attrition means the rate at which new employees join the firm!”.


Later the friend defended his mistake, “I mistook synonyms for anonyms!” Now should I explain what he really meant by anonyms?

Picture Courtesy:

Tags: Musings,Attrition,Exodus


  1. Now that had induced some kind of courage in me, to approach the GMAT prep book ... hee hee ... :)

  2. ah, its taken me back to those IELTS coaching days...nothing much to do with vocabulary and spelling though. It was all about listening and reading passages. :)

  3. @Laks - Good luck! :)

    @ScorpioGenius - You had experiences like this? If you did, may be you should blog about those!

  4. no one ll believe me if i said am prep for GMAT and TOEFL :(

  5. 'Last alphabet in the word' should be changed to 'last letter in the word'. There is only one alphabet in the english language :-)

  6. @Ajeesh - Thanks for pointing it out. I will change it as I soon as I can rephrase it better!


Post a Comment