Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Vocabulary Quiz

(I'm sure my former students are groaning at that headline. As a teacher, I was BIG on vocabulary lessons.) :-)

A couple of weeks ago Jack Rosenthal had a column in the New York Times Sunday magazine. He offered words that are often used incorrectly--and he called them phantonyms.

His list reminded me of my own mental list of words I often see misused. So I've combined his list and my list and come up with a little quiz for you to test your knowledge.

Ready to play? For each word, choose the best definition.

1. Fulsome: a) brimming full, overflowing.
b) disgusting, excessive, insincere
c) smelly

2. noisome: a) aggravating
b) noisy
c) smelly, unhealthful

3. Enormity: a) great wickedness, a monstrous act
b) enormous, gigantic
c) not normal

4. disinterested: a) removed from a grave, exhumed
b) uninterested
c) unbiased or impartial

5. enervated: a) exhausted
b) energized
c) lifted above the ordinary

6. fortuitous: a) lucky
b) unfortunate
c) happening by chance

7. penultimate: a) next to last
b) the ultra-ultimate, the top or best
c) literally, the level top of a mountain peak

8. presently: a) now, in this moment
b) in a little while
c) bestowing a gift

9. restive: a) restless
b) restful
c) stubborn, balky

10. notorious: a) famous
b) well-known for doing wrong
c) the actions of a notary public

11. inflammable: a) able to catch fire
b) unable to catch fire
c) flammable

Ready to score your answers? Correct answers are: 1-B, 2-C, 3-a, 4-c, 5-a, 6-c, 7-a, 8-b, 9-c, 10-b, 11: A and C. Flammable and inflammable mean the same thing. :-)

How'd you do?



John said...

Hmmm. Not as well as I expected. I thought I was smarter than that...

Kathy said...

Yay! I got 2 right! ;-)

Mocha with Linda said...

I got about half. The one that I shouldn't have missed but did was presently.

I love words!

Joyce H said...


Accidental Poet said...

7 right.

Anonymous said...

Whew! Missed more than I thought I would! But, now that I know what Fulsome and Noisome mean, I can hardly wait to use them!!! Clyde

Anonymous said...

Missed two -- but I took #2 "noisome" a. "aggravating" as a malapropism for "annoying," which everyone knows it means -- and more applicably broader than "smelly, unhealthful," so I'm counting that one right. (Missed "restive" as well; learn something every day -- good days, at least.)
~~ Paul H.

Anonymous said...

Oh, come now!!! Anonymous