ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 20
Front Page Mirror

More than words

By Smriti Daniel

Bewildering and baffling

Words… Aren't they simply luverly? Of course, they're also puzzling and perplexing, bewildering and baffling, confounding and complex and yes, difficult to spell. Think you know enough about natty, nifty words to do well on this quiz? Consider this a friendly challenge – take the word quiz if you dare.

1. In which sentence is the word 'factitious' correctly used?
a) Ravi tends to be factitious. Just don't get him started on common infections, you might never gather up the courage to visit a public toilet again.
b) Ravi and PR buddies created a factitious demand for tickets to that The Octogenarians Return concert.
c) Ravi is in trouble with Mrs. Ratnayake again. He was being factitious about her deadline.

2. Mr. Perera had a proclivity for money. Which is why:
a) He's currently sitting in a million dollar mansion.
b) He's currently sitting on the pavement with that begging bowl.
c) He's sitting trying to give it away as fast as he makes it. Stop shoving! Get in line!

3. Your friend walks up to you and asks 'quid fit?' You know this is Latin for:
a) 'What's happening?'
b) 'Finished exercising?'
c) 'Another epileptic fit?'

4. Written in the secret language of Opish, 'Moparopyop hopadop a lopi toptoplope lopamopbop' means:
a) The Moppets had a lovely luncheon
b) Mopes heaved a lollipop lover overboard
c) Mary had a little lamb

5. A.M stands for Ante Meridiem. It also stands for:
a) Artium Magister (Master of Arts)
b) Anthrax Mayhem (terrorist plot)
c) Assault and Murder (life sentence)

6. Marie Antoinette recommended cake to the ____ _____
a) mot juste
b) hoi polloi
c) ecce homo

7. The word 'frangible,' can be used to describe someone who is
a) deeply disturbed
c) embroiled in a franchise war
c) fragile

8. 'Cheaters' is an anagram of
a) Creaters
b) Teachers
c) Bleaters

9. Which of the following is a Palindrome?
a) Never odd or even
b) Madam I’m Adam
c) Nurses run screaming

10. His refusal to _______ the line, must be incredibly frustrating for her.
a) tow
b) toe

11. Match these words to their meanings. 1. Adage, 2. Adherent, 3. Affliction
a) A follower of a leader, party or profession
b) An old saying expressing folk wisdom
c) A condition of pain, suffering or distress

12. If the word querulous means 'showing a complaining attitude,' what would be the correct continuation of this Somerset Maugham quote? "It was not that he was exacting and querulous;
a) ". . . but his constant complaints were driving his unfortunate sister nearly to distraction . . ."
b) ". . . rather, nothing could be done to stop his whining, which was like that of a spoiled child used to getting his way . . ."
c) ". . .on the contrary, he never complained, he asked for nothing, he was perfectly silent . . ."

Vocabulary increases with age

To qualify as a word wiz, you're looking at getting at least 10 out of these 12 questions correct, and that's final. (No, we don't care if you got one part right in Q.11 but mucked up the other two, it still doesn't count.) If you've managed to score between 6 and 9 points, then feel free to pat yourself on the back. While you're obviously not a wiz, you've got a lot of company. Wiz's are few and far between and hence won't have much of a social life. If you've scored below 6… well, try again next year. They do say that one’s vocabulary increases with age. And now without further ado, here are the correct answers!

Scoring Table:

1. b) Factitious, meaning produced artificially rather than by a natural process; lacking authenticity or genuineness; a sham.

2. a) Proclivity: natural or habitual inclination or tendency; propensity; predisposition: a proclivity to meticulousness.

3. a) Pronounced 'kweed feet', this is best translated as 'what's happening?'

4. c) To speak Opish all you need do is add an 'op' between the first letter, the second and third together, and then another 'op'… oh figure it out yourself!

5. a)

6. b) 'hoi polloi' meaning 'the com mon people'

7. c) Fragile

8. b) An anagram is a word, phrase or sentence formed by rearranging another word or group of words, in this case the word 'Cheaters' can be formed out of the word 'Teachers.'

9. c) A palindrome is a word, phrase, or sentence that reads the same forward and backward. In this case, 'Nurses Run' is a palindrome, but when they run screaming, the sentence fails to qualify.

10. b) This refers to a specific sport known as foot-racing, where the competitors must keep their feet behind a "line" at the start of the race; So one who "toes the line" is one who does not allow his foot to stray over the line. In other words, one who follows the rules.

11. 1 - b), 2 - a) and 3 - c)

12. c) Don't be deceived into thinking that this patient was any fun though. The rest of Maugham's sentence reveals the truth ". . . he was perfectly silent; but he seemed to resent the care that was taken of him; he received all inquiries about his feelings or his needs with a jibe, a sneer, or an oath."

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.