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Fallacies of Language Quiz #1

Robert Harris
Version Date: June 15, 2000

Choose the correct answer in each case.

1. "If we can't find anyone better, and if we absolutely must fill the position, I guess Jones would be almost tolerable--just to keep Smith out." --Ted
"Ted recommends Jones for the position." --Bill

a. weasel words
b. composition
c. division
d. vicious abstraction
e. suppressed quantification

2. We know that citrus, oatmeal, avocado, milk, apricot, baking soda, and lanolin are all used in natural-remedy health and beauty products. So we're going to put them all into our new soap, "Nature's Whammy." It will therefore be the best of the natural-remedy soaps.

a. weasel words
b. composition
c. division
d. vicious abstraction
e. suppressed quantification

3. The headline, "Rescue Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim" would be an accidental

a. emotive language
b. accent
c. equivocation
d. amphibology
e. division

4. "Buy new Risque, the warm, soft, comfortable fragrance."

a. emotive language
b. accent
c. equivocation
d. amphibology
e. division

5. "This new long distance plan can help you save money over your current plan." The fallacy in the previous quotation is

a. equivocation
b. division
c. composition
d. weasel words
e. accent

6. "Ive got an idea for the perfect pain medicine: well combine the ingredients of Bayer Aspirin, Tylenol, Motrin, and Alleve. Four different chemicals in one ought to work better than any one by itself." The fallacy committed here is

a. equivocation
b. division
c. composition
d. weasel words
e. accent

7. "Freen Shampoo: a touch of elegance in every bottle." This advertisement uses which fallacy?

a. equivocation
b. suppressed quantification
c. composition
d. accent
e. emotive language

8. "Environmentalists Oppose Proposition 99." This headline commits which fallacy?

a. equivocation
b. suppressed quantification
c. composition
d. accent
e. emotive language

9. Our examination has found that corporations do not value their employees as much as stock holder dividends and the price of the stock itself.

a. individualism
b. transference
c. suppressed quantification
d. misplaced authority
e. hypostatization

10. Come to Purity Spring drinking water, the all natural water with the crisp, crystal fresh taste.

a. composition
b. false analogy
c. accident
d. amphibology
e. emotive language


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Robert Harris is a writer and educator with more than 25 years of teaching experience at the college and university level. RHarris at virtualsalt.com