Thursday, October 31, 2019

Vocabulary Test #5 (Ten words beginning with the letter "S")



Number 16 Vocabulary Quiz #5 
Ten words beginning with the letter "S"

Number 16 presents a multiple choice vocabulary quiz.  Choose the correct definition of each word listed.  There are ten words for you to define.  Ready, set, go!


1.  scintilla (noun)
'
A.   A spicy Mexican dish

B.  A Spanish coin

C.  Dust

D.  Spark, trace

E.  A South American cocktail



2.  septuagenarian (noun)
'
A.   A person who was born in July, the seventh month of the year

B.  A person whose age is in the seventies

C.  A person who believes the number seven is lucky

D.  A person who dies  at 70 to 79 years of age

E.   The seventh child born into a family



3.  soporific (adjective)
'
A.  Causing or tending to cause sleep; tending to dull alertness or lethargy

B.  Causing or tending to prevent sleep, such as drinking caffeine at night

C.  Not professional, amateurish

D.  Quiet and soft-spoken

E.   Very talkative and garrulous



4.  solipsism (noun)
'
A.  A witty remark; a quip

B.  A theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing; extreme egocentrism

C.  A kind of poem with an unusual rhyming scheme

D.  A deep scar

E.   A word that is commonly mispronounced



5.  serpentine (adjective)

A.  Fast-moving and nimble

B.   Of or resembling an insect (as in form or movement)

C.  Of or resembling a serpent (as in form or movement)

D.  Magical and mysterious

E.   Thin and gaunt



6.  sycophant (noun)
'
A.  One who is cunning and devious 

B.  A fruit merchant

C.   A devoted friend

D.   One who is poverty-striken

E.  A servile self--seeking flatterer



7.  supplicate (verb)

A.  To replace one employee with another

B.   To delegate responsibility

C.   To delay intentionally in order to prevent something from occurring 

D.  To make a humble entreaty: especially to pray to God

E.   To actively hide the truth



8.  serendipity (noun)

A.   The quality of having a wild or creative imagination

B.  The feeling of having a beautiful thought

C.  The faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for

D.   A loud and disturbing sound

E.    The feeling of triumph after overcoming a difficulty



9.  supine (adjective)

A.  Having an arrogant and dismissive manner

B.  Something that is delightful and pleasing to the senses

C.   Supple, not stiff; easy to bend

D.   Standing in an upright manner


E.  Lying on the back with the face upward



10.  sashay (verb)

A.  To strut or move about in an ostentatious or conspicuous manner

B.  To do needlework

C.  To run back and forth

D.  To deliberately attempt to attract the attention of a celebrity or a dignitary


E.   To leave a room quickly and quietly






ANSWERS 
(Note:  The definitions for the correct answers have been taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary or thesaurus)

1.  D
scintilla (noun): Spark, trace, as in not a scintilla of doubt.


2.  B.
septuagenarian (noun): A  person whose age is in the seventies, as in The septuagenarian is fit and healthy.


3.  A
soporific (adjective): Causing or tending to cause sleep; tending to dull alertness or lethargy as in This medication is soporific, so do not drive after taking it.


4.  B
solipsism (noun): A theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing; extreme egocentrism


5.  C
serpentine (adjective): Of or resembling a serpent (as in form or movement). as in The restaurant had a large sepentine-shaped bar.

6. E
sycophant (noun):  A servile self--seeking flatterer, as in The sycophant paid his manager compliment after compliment, trying to win his favour and gain access to his social circle.


7.  D.
supplicate (verb): To make a humble entreaty: especially to pray to God; to ask humbly and earnestly of, as in The homeless man was not too proud to supplicate for change to buy foodThe ill woman uses her nightly prayer to supplicate for strength.


8.  C.
serendipity (noun): The faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for, as in We have all experienced the serendipity of relevant information arriving just when we were least expecting it.  


9.  E
supine (adjective):
Lying on the back with the face upward, as in Not all abdominal exercises need to be performed in the supine position.


10.  A
sashay (verb): To strut or move about in an ostentatious or conspicuous manner, as in She sashayed around the room as if she were a queen.



-  Joanne

Friday, October 18, 2019

16 Riddles: What do you get when you cross . . .?


Do you need a bit of humorous wordplay in these troubled times.  Well, you've come to the right website.  Here are 16  "What do you get when you cross . . ."  riddles  from Number 16.


WHAT DO YOU GET WHEN YOU CROSS . . . ?


1.  What do you get when you cross a fish with an elephant?

ANSWER:

 A swimming trunk



2.  What do you get when you cross a lawyer and a skunk?

ANSWER:

Law and odour



3.  What do you get when you cross a shark with a snowball or a vampire with a snowman?

ANSWER:

Frostbite



4.  What do you get when you cross a sheep and a bee?

ANSWER:

A bah-humbug



5.  What do you get when you cross a dyslexic, an insomniac, and an agnostic?

ANSWER:

Someone who lays awake at night wondering if there is a dog



6.  What do you get when you cross a kangaroo with a skyscraper?

ANSWER:

A high jumper



7.  What do you get when you cross a clown with a goat?

ANSWER:

A Silly Billy



8.  What do you get when you cross a vampire with a mosquito?

ANSWER:

A very itchy neck



9.  What do you get when you cross a cow with a trampoline?

ANSWER:

A milkshake



10.  What do get when you cross a lemon and a cat?

ANSWER:

A sourpuss



11.  What do you get when you cross a chicken and a chihuahua?

ANSWER:

Pooched eggs



12.  What do you can when you cross a monster and a pig?

ANSWER:

Frankenswine



13.  What do you get when you cross a hula dancer with a boxer?

ANSWER

Hawaiian Punch



14.  What do you get when you cross a chicken with a ghost?

ANSWER:

Poachergeist



15.  What do you get when you cross Bambi and a ghost?

ANSWER:

Bamboo



16.  What do you get when you cross a chicken with a centipede?

ANSWER:

Extra drumsticks



- Compiled by Joanne

Great first lines from great novels



"All great authors know that a killer first line is almost more important than the first few pages, and authors put in hours of work just to get the right sentence on paper."

- Mary Jane Hathaway
Huff Post, December 18, 2015

Not all great novels have memorable opening lines but most do.  Opening lines are like a fishing rod.  They hook the reader and reel him in.  I have pondered the first words of many great works of literature and they have inspired me, intrigued me and delighted me.  Here are some of the best opening lines from some of my favourite novels.  There are many more, of course, and this is just a small sample.

Some of the Best Opening Lines in Literature

lt was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all gong direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.



- Charles Dickens (1812-1870), English writer and social critic

From A Tale of Two Cities [1859]






It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.



- George Orwell (1903-1950), English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic
From Nineteen Eighty-Four {1949}






All happy families are alike but an unhappy family is unhappy after its own fashion.



- Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Russian writer
From Anna Karenina [1877]





It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.




- Jane Austen (1775-1817), English novelist 
From Pride and Prejudice [1813]







It was a pleasure to burn.



- Ray Bradbury (1920-2012), American writer of science fiction, horror and mystery
From Fahrenheit 451 [1953]






In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.  "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."


- F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), American author
From The Great Gatsby [1925]




- Joanne

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Oxymoron: Meaning and Examples



OXYMORON (noun) : a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (such as cruel kindness)
broadly : something (such as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements

- Merriam-Webster Dictionary

* The plural of oxymoron is oxymorons or oxymora.


An oxymoron is a figure of speech.  It is used as a rhetorical or a literary device to create humour or satire or irony.  It usually consists of one or two words which seemingly contradict each other, yet appear next to each other.  It is interesting to note that the word "oxymoron" is in itself contradictory.  The word is derived from two ancient Greek words, oxys, meaning "sharp" and moronos, meaning "dull" or "stupid."

There is a difference between an "oxymoron" and a "paradox."  A paradox consists of a statement or a group of statements, while an oxymoron consists of two contradictory terms.  Merriam-Webster defines a paradox as "something (such as a situation) that is made up of two opposite things and that seems impossible but is actually true or possible." - Example:  In a paradox, he has discovered that stepping back from his job has increased the rewards he gleans from it.


List of oxymorons

absolutely unsure
accidentally on purpuse
agree to disagree
almost exactly
alone in a crowd
alone together
awfully nice
bittersweet
civil war
clearly confused
confirmed rumour
cruel kindness
deafening silence
found missing
growing smaller
jumbo shrimp
lead balloon
liquid gas
minor crisis
new classic
old news
only choice
open secret
original copy
plastic silverware
pretty ugly
small crowd
working vacation


List of satirical oxymorons

Satirical oxymorons are composed of words that are not inherently contradictory but express the opinion that the two do not go together.

airline schedules
American culture
business ethics
just war
maternity fashion
military intelligence
political leadership



QUOTES OF THE DAY

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king."





















- J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973), English writer, poet and academic
From The Lord of the Rings



MARK TWAIN ON COURAGE



Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.  Except a creature be part coward, it is not a compliment to say he is brave; it is a loose misapplication of the word.

- Mark Twain (1835-1910), American writer, humorist and lecturer
From Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar


It is curious - curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.

Mark Twain (1835-1910), American writer, humorist and lecturer
From Eruption; Hitherto Unpublished Pages About Men and Events (1940) edited by Bernard DeVoto



- Joanne