Quiz created: 110917

Vocabulary Quiz 15

Instructions: Answer the multiple choice questions, guessing if necessary; then click on the "Process Questions" button at the end of the quiz to see your score in the adjacent message box. The program will not reveal which questions you got wrong, only how many points you have. Go back and change your answers until you get them all right. (The message box will rejoice at that point and the page will change color to show it is tickled pink.)

Points to note: (1) Questions with only one possible answer are one point each. (2) Questions with one or more possible answers (represented by check boxes) give a point for each correct answer, but also subtract a point for each wrong answer! (3) The program will not attempt to score your efforts at all if you have not tried at least half of the questions. (4) This quiz is for your own use only. No record of your progress is kept or reported to anyone.


1. “Courage is a virtue in a president, but so are cool calculation and risk-aversion. If these are [President Obama’s] dominant traits, some will say that they are a welcome corrective after the martial IMPETUOSITY of his predecessor.” (The Economist 110319: 42) Impetuosity refers to a tendency
to act impulsively 
to vacillate ineffectively 
to spend too much money 
to be strongly partisan 
to enjoy war and violence 
No Answer
2. “Free-roaming rebels in west Africa have a habit of poking their noses into each others’ wars, STOKING them UP. As tension rises in Côte d’Ivoire, where Laurent Gbago is still refusing to step down after losing his bid for re-election at the end of November, a two-way traffic, involving gunmen going in and refugees coming out, is buzzing on the western border with Liberia.” (The Economist 110118:44) Most commonly one refers to “stoking up” not a war or a rebel, but rather
a wall 
a stairway 
a price 
a fire 
a pot of stew 
No Answer
3. [In Tunisia] “… police have killed dozens. Next door, meanwhile, Algerians began rioting last week over a sharp rise in food prices. And the unrest could easily spread even farther. Tunisia and Algeria aren’t the only countries with SCLEROTIC, authoritarian political systems and a plethora of young people with no job prospects. Morocco and Egypt share those elements, too, and social explosions in those countries are now possible, even probable.” (The Week 110121:16) “Sclerotic” is a term borrowed from medicine and used metaphorically for a political system. It means
bleeding 
festering and rotting 
foul-smelling 
becoming unnaturally rigid 
extremely limp 
extremely elderly 
No Answer
4. “There is not one drop of provincial, teatime baggage with this all new flagship sedan. It is all about power, passion, and prestige made so very sexy by the veteran Brit designer Ian Callum. And the top-line XJ Supersport is the paragon of PULCHRITUDE.” (Wheels Advertising Supplement to the San Diego Union-Tribune, 110115, p. 1) Being “a paragon of pulchritude” means that the car is
beautiful 
efficient 
inexpensive 
extremely fast 
a sign of its owners high social standing 
No Answer
5. “Promoting Confucianism is not part of their remit. Party officials use Confucius as a Father-Christmas-like symbol of AVUNCULAR Chineseness rather than as the proponent of a philosophical outlook.” (The Economist 110122:52) Chineseness is “avuncular” when it is
harmless 
triumphant 
hard-working 
concerned with who is good and who is bad 
uncle-like 
No Answer
6. “Mr Obama is right that America’s infrastructure is creaking. But the solution there has as much to do with reforming Neanderthal funding systems as it does with greater public spending he advocates. Too much of the ‘competitiveness’ talk is a CANARD one that justifies misguided policies, such as subsidies for green technology, and diverts attention from the country’s real to-do list.” (The Economist 110430 p. 11) The word “canard” is French for duck. But in English it is used to refer to
distracting irrelevant issues 
intellectual errors 
excuses to spend money 
a costly mistake 
an act of rank stupidity 
cowardice 
No Answer
7. “Despite some tepid reforms, most of [Syria’s] economy remains stuck in a DIRIGISTE impasse. It’s army, though crucial to Mr Assad’s survival, is not powerful in global terms, having been serially swatted over the years by its Israeli neighbour.” (The Economist 110430 p. 12) The word dirigiste, borrowed into English from French, refers to a political-economic system that is
right-wing 
corrupt 
centrally managed 
inefficient 
nepotistic 
No Answer
8. “But the biggest worry about Mr Harper is his contempt for the rules of Canadian democracy. Since the previous election he has twice PROROGUED parliament for disgracefully lengthy periods, the second time to avoid awkward questions about whether his officials lied to the house about the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan.” (The Economist 110430 p. 15) A prime minister who “prorogues” parliament
deceives it 
avoids its sessions 
deceives it 
seeks to “stack” it with people of the MP’s own party 
temporarily suspends it 
No Answer
9. “After al-Qaeda slaughtered Shia and Sunni Muslims in their thousands in Iraq, even fellow jihadis began to condemn [bin-Laden’s] doctrine of takfir, under which radicals took it upon themselves to declare other Muslims APOSTATE and kill them.” (The Economist 110507, p. 9) The word “apostate” means
having left a religion 
ineffective 
obstructive 
heretical 
really ugly 
friendly to one’s enemies 
No Answer

      Points out of 9:

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This consummately cool, pedagogically compelling, self-correcting,
multiple-choice quiz was produced automatically from
a simple text file of questions using D.K. Jordan's
dubiously original, but publicly accessible
Think Again Quiz Maker
of April 25, 2010.