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Semantics Concepts Quiz #1

Robert Harris
Version Date: June 15, 2000

Choose the correct answer in each case.

1. A word chosen to describe some thing (as "pooch" might be chosen to describe a canine animal) is all of the following except

a. a label
b. a judgment
c. not one unalterable concept
d. not the same as the thing described
e. a meaningless term

2. Which word or phrase does NOT belong with the others in the list?

a. emotional quality
b. denotation
c. positive or negative judgment
d. connotation
e. associated feeling

3. Which tool is the most important for understanding and evaluating the non-written part of consumer product package designs?

a. syllogisms
b. fallacies
c. semantics
d. semiotics
e. compliance techniques

4. "The most important factor for gaining an accurate understanding of a statement is the ________ of the writing." The missing word or phrase is

a. language
b. context
c. style
d. grammatical precision
e. author

5. "The emotional flavor or judgment that has come to be attached to a word through the way it has been used over time" would be a definition of

a. denotation
b. connotation
c. ambiguity
d. amphibology
e. arcana

6. The part of speech most commonly used by writers to create slanted writing is the

a. verb
b. noun
c. adverb
d. pronoun
e. adjective

7. Perhaps the most important point about our study of semiotics is the often overlooked fact that

a. language is really less important than most people think
b. non-verbal communication is usually preferable to verbal communication
c. there's nothing like a good punch in the nose to get your point across
d. much communication takes place outside the channels of language
e. no one really knows what other people are saying

8. Connotation is best defined as
a. the slang meaning of a word
b. the dictionary definition of a word
c. the historically determined emotive quality of a word
d. an individual's personal meaning of a word
e. the degree to which a word tricks (cons) you

9. Which of the following is not one of the three principles of semantics discussed in the reading?

a. the word is not the thing
b. the thing is a symbol for the word
c. a label is a judgment
d. the same word used twice may refer to two different things

10. Of the following, which is the best definition of "context"?

a. the paragraph containing the sentence in question
b. the parts of a discourse surrounding a particular word or passage
c. the environment of all factors that help determine meaning or interpretation
d. a text that has been convicted of criminal activity
e. the feel of a word or its flavor


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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