Wordcraft Home Page    Wordcraft Community Home Page    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Links for Linguaphiles    Online Grammar Quiz
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Online Grammar Quiz Login/Join
 
Member
Picture of Caterwauller
posted
I thought you all might enjoy this online grammar quiz.


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
Posts: 5149 | Location: Columbus, OhioReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
Pretty straightforward - though I did make one mistake by spotting one error and not spotting the other.


Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of arnie
posted Hide Post
Yet another example of the misuse of the word "grammar". There were questions on spelling and punctuation mixed in. Mad

Still, I got 20/20! Big Grin


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
Posts: 10930 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Pretty much what I would expect from the Plain English Campaign.
 
Posts: 2370Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<Asa Lovejoy>
posted
How does one know if # ten's "correct" answer is correct? What if the person had only two daughters?
 
Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Well all the other choices have errors.
 
Posts: 2370Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
What if the person had only two daughters?

Well, the peevologist would say that if the father only had two daughters, he would speak of the younger of the two, but if he had three or more, he would speak of the youngest of them. At least, that's what they tried to drill into me at grammar school.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
quote:
Well, the peevologist would say that if the father only had two daughters, he would speak of the younger of the two, but if he had three or more, he would speak of the youngest of them. At least, that's what they tried to drill into me at grammar school.

I would agree and spotted this myself. However, that answer was the only one that could have been correct given the right circumstances; all the others had clear errors.


Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by zmježd:
Well, the peevologist would say that if the father only had two daughters, he would speak of the younger of the two, but if he had three or more, he would speak of the youngest of them. At least, that's what they tried to drill into me at grammar school.


Using the superlative with only 2 things is called the superlative of two. The prescription is that the superlative should be used with more than two things, but that the comparative should be used with two. The superlative of two has been used by Shakespeare, Milton, Austen, Byron, Scott, Thackeray, Emerson, Fielding, Fowler, and Hemingway. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage says the prescription against it "has a dubious basis in theory and no basis in practice, and it serves no useful communicative purpose whatsoever. Because it does have a fair number of devoted adherents, however, you may well want to follow it in your most dignified or elevated writing."

This message has been edited. Last edited by: goofy,
 
Posts: 2370Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
Using the comparative rather than the superlative does have the advantage of making a statement slightly clearer.

"This is my older daughter" needs no further explanation. "This is my oldest daughter" needs additional qualification if the total number of daughters needs to be known.

I agree, though, that it is a very minor point.


Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Richard English:
Using the comparative rather than the superlative does have the advantage of making a statement slightly clearer.


Yes, that's true Richard. However every complaint about the superlative of two I've seen concerns a usage where it only two things are concerned. So clarity has nothing to do with the complaint.
 
Posts: 2370Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
I have a question. Why isn't yo-yo an onomatopoeic word?
 
Posts: 23298 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
<Asa Lovejoy>
posted
It is. Yo Yo onoMatopoeia.
 
Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
quote:
Yes, that's true Richard. However every complaint about the superlative of two I've seen concerns a usage where it only two things are concerned. So clarity has nothing to do with the complaint.

Of course; if the topic involved more than two people then the use of the superlative wouldn't be wrong! And even those with a limited grasp of comparatives would be unlikely to say, "This is the older of my three daughters".


Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
the OED on yo-yo:
[Origin uncertain, but prob. from one of the Philippines languages.]
 
Posts: 2370Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
But why isn't it onomatopoeic? That was the wrong choice in the quiz. Does the letter have to sound hard (for lack of a good descriptor!), like the "c" in "click?" In looking it up it says, "the formation of a word, as cuckoo or boom, by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its referent." How are the two "c"s in "click" any different that the two "yo" sounds? I am sure I am missing something.

[We talked about the "dolt" scale on the the chat today so perhaps this question will have a "dolt" rating.]
 
Posts: 23298 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
<Asa Lovejoy>
posted
quote:


[We talked about the "dolt" scale on the the chat today so perhaps this question will have a "dolt" rating.]

Hey, Proofreaer, there's a bad pun here! If an unmarried dolt has sex with a married dolt... Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
 
Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
But why isn't it onomatopoeic? That was the wrong choice in the quiz. Does the letter have to sound hard (for lack of a good descriptor!), like the "c" in "click?" In looking it up it says, "the formation of a word, as cuckoo or boom, by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its referent." How are the two "c"s in "click" any different that the two "yo" sounds? I am sure I am missing something.

From Fun With Words: Glossary of Linguistics and Rhetoric (previously posted by Kalleh on September 09, 2005):
quote:
onomatopoeia
a word that refers to a specific sound and whose pronunciation mimics the sound. "Bang! Zoom!" -- Jackie Gleason.

An onomatopoeic sounds like what it is describing. Click sounds like a click. Say click and you'll see what I mean. Yoyo doesn't sound like a yoyo.

Here's one I just read:
quote:
smooch - Wayyy better than kissing. Smooches, smooching, smoochable, smoochfest, smoochy, smoocherific. Delightfully onomatopoeiac word. If you're sayin' it, you're practically doin' it.

e.g., Go on, say smooch slowly and see if you don't close your eyes and pucker.


What about smooth? The word sounds like its meaning, especially if you draw it out (smoooth), but it doesn't sound like it, so that can't properly be called an onomatopoeic, can it? What would you call it?
 
Posts: 2770 | Location: Shoreline, WA, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by tinman:
What about smooth? The word sounds like its meaning, especially if you draw it out (smoooth), but it doesn't sound like it, so that can't properly be called an onomatopoeic, can it? What would you call it?


Ideophones are a larger class than onomatopoeic words. While onomatopeic words represent sounds, ideophones represent ideas like colour, sound, manner, intensity. For instance "glimmer, glisten, gleam" all represent light-related concepts. The sound-meaning relationship in words like these is somehow not completely arbitrary.

"Yo-yo" is not an ideophone; it was borrowed from a Polynesian language. Of course it might have originated as an ideophone in that language, who knows.
 
Posts: 2370Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of BobHale
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by goofy:

"Yo-yo" is not an ideophone; it was borrowed from a Polynesian language.


I don't agree with your logic here. I can't see what the language the word is borrowed from has to do with whether or not it's an ideophone. The word "yo-yo" seems to me to be perfectly descriptive of the motion of a yo-yo and is therefore a de facto ideophone. It may even have been borrowed because people thought it sounded like the motion.
Out of curiosity, which languages did glimmer, glisten and gleam originate in.
 
Posts: 7864 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by BobHale:
I don't agree with your logic here. I can't see what the language the word is borrowed from has to do with whether or not it's an ideophone.


You're right. But ideophones are language-specific. Just because "yo-yo" seems perfectly descriptive of something in English doesn't mean it was perfectly descriptive of that thing in Polynesian. What I meant was that "yo-yo" wasn't created as an ideophone, it's just a borrowed word.

quote:
The word "yo-yo" seems to me to be perfectly descriptive of the motion of a yo-yo and is therefore a de facto ideophone.


I don't agree that it is perfectly descriptive of the motion of a yo-yo, but if you think it is, then it's an ideophone, I guess.

Most of the Germanic languages seem to have gl- words.
 
Posts: 2370Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by goofy:

Ideophones are a larger class than onomatopoeic words.

Thanks, goofy. A look at the posted article led me to such things as sound symbolism or phonosemantics (I had heard of sound symbolism before, but not of phonosemantics). I read about Japanese sound symbolism, phonesthemes, blending, ... and on and on. Some of it I understood, though most of it was over my head.
 
Posts: 2770 | Location: Shoreline, WA, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Ah, yes. Thank you all for not being too hard for me. I asked Shu about it and realized that I had meant "alliteration," which he also said is wrong. He called it "reduplication." I am not sure he is correct, though. When I look it up, it says, "reduplicating as a grammatical pattern." This is just a word.

It does sound like "ideophone" might be the correct term, but of course "onomatopoeia" is completely wrong. On a "dolt scale" I think it would rate about a 9 (with 1 - being "tiny misundertanding" to 10 - being "What were you thinking?")
 
Posts: 23298 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
M-W says "probably from Ilocano yóyo, or a cognate word in a language of the Philippines". It might be a reduplicated form in Ilocano.
 
Posts: 2370Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
I bet even the quiz developers don't know that. Wink
 
Posts: 23298 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

Wordcraft Home Page    Wordcraft Community Home Page    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Links for Linguaphiles    Online Grammar Quiz

Copyright © 2002-12