Test Your Vocabulary



“Words have a longer life than deeds.”
—Pindar

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.”
—Confucius

“Proper words in proper places make the true definition of a style.”
—Jonathan Swift

“The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have words for.”
—Ludwig Wittgenstein

Here is another of our intermittent vocabulary tests. The answers directly follow the quiz.

1droll

A) sad
B) unaffected
C) humorous
D) agile

2mitigate

A) inspire
B) reduce
C) resist
D) contradict

3. laconic

A) defiant
B) devious
C) lacking energy
D) using few words

4. respite

A) depression
B) constant anger
C) a short period of rest
D) a loud noise

5. ubiquitous

A) everywhere
B) enormous
C) swerving
D) weakened

6. ruminate

A) think deeply about
B) minimize
C) make space for
D) copy

7. demagogue

A) madman
B) outlaw
C) great leader
D) agitator

8. brusque

A) brilliant
B) cheerful
C) abrupt
D) easily offended

9. obfuscate

A) complain
B) clarify
C) confuse
D) mumble

10. ad hominem

A) a tactic used to wear down an opponent through constant repetition
B) a tactic used to win an argument through personal attack
C) a tactic used to distract an opponent by introducing another topic
D) an argument that assumes the truth of a statement that is unproven

ANSWERS

1: C) humorous. Her droll observations had me laughing all evening.

2: B) reduce. The panel submitted a plan to mitigateand manage the causes and consequences of violent conflict.

3: D) using few words. His laconic young friend rarely said more than two words at a time.

4: C) a short period of rest. The treaty gave the country a respite from twenty years of war.

5: A) everywhere. Computers have become ubiquitous in everyday life.

6: A) think deeply about. They spent long hours ruminating on what needed to be done.

7: D) agitator. He’s just a power-hungry demagogue with no coherent plan.

8: C) abrupt. I gave him a brusque reply because I was too busy to chat.

9: C) confuse. This is an effort by the agency to obfuscate, misdirect, and conceal.

10: B) a tactic used to win an argument through personal attack. The mayor ignored the issue and launched a ten-minute ad hominem assault on Wilson.

Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2016, at 4:26 pm

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3 Comments on Test Your Vocabulary

3 responses to “Test Your Vocabulary”

  1. Jack Falik says:

    10: B) a tactic used to win an argument through personal attack. The mayor ignored the issue and launched a ten-minute ad hominem assault on Wilson.

    The objection to using an ad hominem argument is that it is a logical fallacy.

    If, like the mayor, you ignore the issue or the argument then the assault on Wilson is nothing more than, say, insults or besmirchment.

    For the atatck to be ad hominem, it must be used for the purpose of undermining the opponent’s argument.

    It is not a logical fallacy to attack someone; the fallacy comes from assuming that a personal attack is also necessarily an attack on that person’s arguments.

    If you can’t make the case that your opponent is trying to defeat your argument by attacking you, you can’t rightfully claim that he is resorting to ad hominem.

    Now that I’ve said that, who really cares anyway?

  2. Charlene says:

    Which of these statements is correct, and why…..or maybe either is ok.

    Hearts are trumps.
    Hearts is trumps.

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