Semantics Concepts Quiz #3

Robert Harris
Version Date: June 15, 2000

Choose the correct answer in each case.

1. "Christian--a person whose honesty and morality strictly follow the principles of behavior set forth by Jesus Christ." This is an example of what kind of definition?

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

2. Your friend laughs at you for paying $250 for a Sony stereo receiver. "I bought a Sony stereo receiver for $99," he says. He is confused because he apparently believes that

a. the word is not the thing
b. the same word refers to the same thing
c. a word is a judgment
d. a label is a judgment
e. Sony is not a good brand

3. A man was trapped in an ice fishing shed on a lake. All he had inside were a ball of kite string, a coat hanger, some fish bait, and a pair of pliers. After he ate the fish bait, he starved to death because, as his last note said, "If only I had some fish hooks and some fishing line. . . ." The man was clearly a victim of

a. euphemism
b. amphibology
c. extrinsic thought
d. functional fixation
e. condition contrary to fact error

4. For each word there is

a. one meaning only
b. one or more absolute and unchanging meanings
c. a negative connotation
d. one or more changeable meanings
e. a systematic way to define it from its Latin or Greek roots

5. Our language pushes our thinking toward false dilemmas because

a. we are inherently irrational
b. we have so many polarizing terms
c. we know so few words
d. most dilemmas are false
e. we have low intelligence

6. "A word that sounds less harsh than the usual word for the same thing" would be a

a. synonym
b. emotive language
c. euphemism
d. denotation
e. connotation

7. When we read the newspaper, it is important to remember all of these except

a. perception is shaped by language
b. most discourse is purposeful and reflects a position
c. perception is subjective
d. newspapers are completely objective

8. A synonym is

a. a word that means the same as another word
b. a word that means the opposite of another word
c. a word that means something similar to another word
d. a deceptive linguistic trick or fallacy
e. a statement that, though true, implies something false

9. If your friend refers to your favorite restaurant as a "greasy dump," you would likely

a. use a synonym when referring to it
b. choose a label that more closely matches your perception of it
c. alter your feeling about the phrase "greasy dump," so that the term was positive
d. never eat at that restaurant again

10. For two products with identical ingredients and prices, the one packaged in the more colorful and sophisticated package is likely to

a. sell better because consumers often see the package as an (indicator of) its contents
b. sell better because it will be featured more prominently on the shelf
c. sell worse because consumers are put off by complicated-looking designs
d. sell worse because the "natural" movement has created a preference for simplicity in packaging

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About the author:
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