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Semantics Concepts Quiz #2

Robert Harris
Version Date: June 15, 2000

Choose the correct answer in each case.

1. Which statement is true?

a. sometimes events or actions surrounding a statement must be known before the statement can be understood correctly
b. with a proper knowledge of English and a good dictionary, a reader does not really need to know the context of a statement in order to understand it
c. Elvis Presley is gathering an army of space aliens behind the moon and plans to invade earth
d. in English, at least, our words always speak for themselves

2. One problem with euphemisms is that

a. they can create ambiguity
b. few people understand them
c. educated people shouldn't use them
d. they are too expensive and don't taste good anyway

3. If you wished your newborn daughter ultimately to succeed as a college professor, of the following the best choice would be

a. Candy
b. Prissy
c. Katherine
d. Trixy
e. Hermanette

4. Based on their names, which product is better?

a. Regal Chef XL 2300
b. Banquet Server Deluxe
c. Monarch's Feast Ultima
d. Super Deluxe Kingmaster
e. products cannot be judged by their names

5. An example of a trapping metaphor would be
a. This ice cream tastes like chocolate.
b. The plan is simplistic.
c. The Nova is not a car: it's an experience.
d. The question we face is, How tight should the chains of discipline be?

6. Of the four main kinds of definition, which is the kind you would normally find in the dictionary?

a. descriptive
b. stipulative
c. normative
d. persuasive
e. interpretative

7. Which statement does not contain a common "hit" adjective, used to depreciate the noun?

a. Jones gave his little speech under the green tree on the sunny day.
b. Smith joined the business club, which met in the so-called main office of Axis, Inc.
c. Brown chose the easy argument that offers a simple solution to pollution.
d. Green decided to join the noisy card players when they met at the old Cotton Club.

8. The way to overcome either/or thinking is to think in terms of

a. polarizing terms
b. a single term only
c. trapping metaphors
d. degrees or continuums
e. subjective belief

9. The paralinguistic context would include all of the following except

a. the speaker's life
b. the events surrounding the speech
c. gestures and body language of the speaker
d. the culture and values out of which the speech came
e. the words of the speech itself

10. Abstract language is often difficult to understand because abstract words are most often

a. general words
b. meaningless
c. used only for effect, not communication
d. more than three syllables
e. too concrete to apply to a wider situation


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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