Why use characters in example sentences?

As we’ve all experienced, our ability to learn and remember is significantly enhanced when we learn about something that arouses our emotions, rather than learning content that is cut and dry. For this reason, Knowji, unlike other vocabulary apps or books, uses a persistent set of interesting, complex characters in our example sentences to help the learner foster a deeper, more emotional context around the words they are learning.


Zoe is friendly and affable, and is frequently invited to parties. Zoe allured Philippe with her beautiful eyes and captivating smile. Despite Mom’s strong disapproval of Philippe, Zoe and Philippe dated for some time. Some people consider Zoe to be superficial because she spends a great deal of time on her hair and makeup, but she is in fact quite thoughtful. She is a fervent animal rights activist. One of Zoe’s friends from childhood is Lena. Unlike Zoe who is a mediocre student, Lena is arguably the smartest student in school, and Zoe is sometimes jealous of Lena’s accomplishments. Their relationship runs hot and cold. They are the best of friends at times, but at other times they are not on speaking terms. Tensions between them were most acute when they both vied for Philippe’s attention.
Philippe is suave and women find him hard to resist.  Thanks to his musical talent, Philippe has achieved national renown and is one of the most eminent classical musicians in the world.  Besides being an accomplished musician, Philippe is also a wonderful poet.  Zoe often falls asleep to the euphony of Philippe’s poetry.  Besides their physical attraction towards each other, they have little in common.  Philippe is apathetic to Zoe’s animal rights activism and Zoe knows little about music and poetry.
Lena has an agile mind and body. She is both smart and athletic. Lena is an overachiever in everything she does. She is the class president of her school and has the highest grades in all subjects. She is an adroit debater who can effectively argue both sides of an argument. As for sports, Lena allots two hours every morning for her triathlon training. Through hard work and determination, Lena has attained many gold medals in her sports competitions. Lena is a staunch supporter of the environment. She feels like a hypocrite when driving a gas-guzzling car that she inherited from her grandfather. Lena aspires to be a doctor one day and Dr. Chen is her favorite mentor. She respects Dr. Chen for her wisdom and sound advice. Lena became Dr. Chen’s protégé when she volunteered to help in an AIDS research project. Lena has been friends with Zoe since childhood. Lena admires Zoe’s affability while Zoe admires Lena for her diligence and accomplishments.
Julie is a sybarite, someone who enjoys indulging themselves in luxury. Julie often treats herself to sumptuous meals, and only purchases the most expensive clothing. She lives a decadent life. She is only concerned with fulfilling her own desires and has no care for anyone else. Julie enjoys making other people around her feel small, and her imperious manner makes her an unpopular person among her servants. Julie’s confident air belies her insecurities. She actually has very low self-esteem. She frequently throws large parties to aggrandize herself in local society. While she is haughty and insolent to those whom she considers to be beneath her, she is shamelessly obsequious to people who possess power and money, like Mr. Misselwig. Julie has also been known to grovel in the presence of celebrities. Julie has a strong attraction towards younger men, and is secretly in love with Philippe. She is jealous of Zoe and covets Zoe’s beauty. Julie enjoys disparaging Zoe’s animal rights activism.
Mom is an amiable person and has many good friends. She is the mother of Zoe and Brad. Her husband works for the military so she and her children don’t get to see him much. The day that Mom and Dad met, they knew they were yoked for life. Mom has been a housewife throughout most of her married life. She idealizes a traditional family structure in which all women are housewives and all men are single income earners. However, Mom took on a part time job recently to augment their income. They need to save extra money to pay for the children’s college tuition. Mom advises her kids against the profligate consumption of things they don’t need. She says it’s important to save money for a rainy day. Zoe accuses Mom of favoring Brad because Mom tends to be more lenient with Brad.
Brad is Zoe’s little brother. Because of the disparity in age between them, Brad is not particularly close to his sister. Brad is loquacious, and is often the most talkative kid in class. Brad’s best friend is Katie. They are highly compatible because of their common interests in stories about knights and dragons. Brad and Katie have invented their own cryptic language to prevent others from understanding them. Aside from Katie, Brad’s other best friend is his dog, Betsy. Brad exudes warmth and affection when hugging his dog. When they go camping together, his dog keeps a vigilant watch for intruders while Brad sleeps. Brad became despondent when he lost his dog. Watching other children play with their dogs exacerbated Brad’s longing for his lost dog. Brad was replete with joy when his dog was found after having been lost for weeks. Since his father is often away from home for work, Brad turns to his school teacher, Mr. Powell, as his male role model. Brad admires Mr. Powell and tries to emulate everything he does.
Marvin is the most notorious criminal in town. Some people believe that Marvin is amoral because he doesn’t appear to know right from wrong. While Marvin may appear bad and tough on the outside, he actually has a strong desire to do good. Marvin considers himself the bane of his father’s life. He believes that if he hadn’t been born, his father might have been happier. A large conflagration in the neighborhood has destroyed Marvin’s parents’ home.  The fire left Marvin and his family destitute. Marvin’s father had an ignominious past. He lost his family’s entire savings through his gambling addiction.  From an early age, Marvin was ostracized from society because everyone in town was wary of his family’s troubled background. Marvin never finished school and was illiterate until Mr. Powell taught him how to read and write.
Mr. Misselwig is a powerful business magnate and a surly man with an explosive temper. His corporate empire was, at its inception, merely a small store that he inherited from his uncle. Over the course of his life, Mr. Misselwig has accrued the largest personal fortune in the region. Mr. Misselwig likes to flaunt his wealth with an enormous house and a fabulously expensive car. The newspaper condemns Mr. Misselwig for laying off thousands of workers during a recession, and said he was “cruel and heartless.” He abhors regulations because they prevent him from building factories wherever he likes. He is cognizant of the need to keep the company’s poor environmental record hidden from public. His factory disgorged nearly a million gallons of toxic material in a nearby lake. People sometimes accuse him of avarice, but that doesn’t seem to bother him much. While Mr. Misselwig may engage in many unethical activities, there is another side to Mr. Misselwig that seems to be at odds with his business practices. He engages in philanthropy. For example, the Misselwig Foundation disbursed a $1 million scholarship fund to a local college. When he dies, Mr. Misselwig plans to bequeath half of his fortune to his son and the other half to charity.
Mr. Lowery works for the powerful business magnate, Arthur A. Misselwig. The servile Mr. Lowery always does as Mr. Misselwig commands. Mr. Lowery earns a modest salary for his work. He cannot afford anything fancy but he pays for everything he needs. He is timid in nature and often acquiesces when his boss asks him to put in extra hours at work with no additional pay. Mr. Misselwig promises to promote Mr. Lowery after five years of service, but then reneges on his promise. After an abortive attempt at starting his own business, Mr. Lowery returns to work at the Misselwig Corporation. His excitement about his work is contrived. He fools no one at the office. All of his troubles hang over him like a dark foreboding cloud. He ruminates on the meaning of life, and considers entering the monastic life. The idea of secluding himself from the world appeals to him. Mr. Lowery eventually joins an order of mendicants. He now lives on alms collected from people passing by on the street. He hopes that, in time, his new life as a monk will efface the painful memory of his time spent at the Misselwig Corporation.
Mrs. Harpley is an autocrat at work and at home. She demands complete obedience from her staff and her husband. She has disdain for Mr. Lowery and resents the fact that she has to work with him. Mrs. Harpley is a dogmatic person who thinks that her opinions are facts. Her vituperative comments always leave her husband feeling depressed. She is fastidious about the cleanliness of her workspace. She doesn’t even let the janitor clean her desk. It vexes Mrs. Harpley that people at work make a mess of her bookshelf when they return her books. Mrs. Harpley’s view on life has ossified over the years. She was once a carefree girl who viewed life as one great adventure. She now worries that all-night parties will bring hedonism to her town. Mrs. Harpley is stern and harsh with people, but she coddles her cat, Snuffles. Mrs. Harpley deplores all cruelty towards animals. Thanks to Mrs. Harpley’s miserliness, she is a very wealthy woman.
Billy is Mrs. Harpley’s son. Like his mother, Billy is a bully. Brad and Katie are Billy’s classmates. Billy was sent to the principal’s office for violent behavior and other opprobrious conduct. Billy often becomes fractious whenever he is tired and hungry. His mom’s invidious comparison of his grades and Katie’s grades really upsets him. Billy often pretends that he is sick. He is apt to malinger whenever he feels stress from school. His mom worries that his sloth will make him fat and lazy.
Katie has an exemplary student record. Mr. Powell encourages other students to be more like her. Every morning Katie wakes up in an exuberant mood. She is gregarious and has lots of friends at school. While most students are happy to be out of school for the summer, Katie, on the contrary, wishes to stay in school. She will miss her classmates and teacher. Katie and Brad’s favorite movie genre is Action and Adventure. Katie aspires to become a pilot one day.
Ramesh is an identical twin. His brother’s name is Rajeev and many people have a hard time differentiating them. Ramesh is a good friend of Brad, Katie and Mei. Ramesh considers Billy a friend, though he doesn’t like Billy’s aggressiveness. Ramesh is an excellent chess player and receives approbation from his teacher for winning a chess tournament on behalf of the school.
Mei is classmates and friends with Katie, Brad and Ramesh. Mei is jocular and fun-loving. People tend to like her very much. Mei ran for class president, and thanks to her memorable oration, she became president. Mei is innocent and straightforward, and Mrs. Harpley is taken aback by what she considers an impertinent question from Mei, “is your husband cheating on you?”
Mr. Powell is an elementary school teacher. He loves his job and goes to work with alacrity every day. The students at school are deferential to Mr. Powell. Even though he is not a parent, many say that he embodies the qualities of a patient father. Mr. Powell tells his students the best way to engender trust from others is to be trustworthy yourself. Mr. Powell has a great deal of integrity. He does not lie or compromise his values for money, power or fame. He is a benevolent person and works to make the world a better place for everyone. For many people, Mr. Powell is the epitome of kindness. Mr. Powell volunteers at a non-profit organization that helps indigent people start small businesses. Mr. Powell is convinced that Marvin is strong enough to abandon his errant ways. Mr. Powell’s kindness towards Marvin is disinterested. He tutors him out of generosity, not because he wants to benefit from Marvin’s growing business. Mr. Powell is concerned that government parsimony in the area of education will leave the country with an under-educated workforce. Like Lena, Mr. Powell is a stalwart of environmental causes.