Posted by: episystechpubs | March 7, 2019

Editor’s Corner: Vocabulary Quiz

Today, I have a vocabulary quiz from Daily Writing Tips for you. Like previous vocabulary quizzes that I’ve shared, this one is made up of five commonly confused word pairs. All you have to do is guess the right word to complete each sentence. You have a 50/50 chance. As always, you don’t win anything if you get them all right, but it’ll put a positive spin on the rest of your day. You can’t put a price on that.

And if you don’t get them all right, there’s still a silver lining because we all learn from our mistakes, right? So, you’ll probably remember these word pairs and never make the same mistake again. You can’t put a price on that either.

The quiz questions are directly below. You have to scroll down a bit for the answers and the very helpful explanations. On your mark, get set, go!

In each sentence, choose the correct word from the pair of similar terms. (If both words possibly can be correct, choose the more plausible one.)

1. Mozart was a musical ______ who gave his first concert at the age of four.

a) prodigy
b) prodigal

2. None of the freshmen wanted to room with Felix because of his _____ manners; he piled wet towels on the floor, used anyone’s toothbrush, and left food scraps to moulder in the wastepaper basket.

a) barbaric
b) barbarous

3. Your design would probably work, but building it is not ______ because of the expense and rarity of the materials.

a) practical
b) practicable

4. His friends’ plan to vandalize the school went against the boy’s ______ , so he refused to take part.

a) conscience
b) conscious

5. Some have called this ______ life “a vale of tears.”

a) earthy
b) earthly

Answers and Explanations

1. Mozart was a musical prodigy who gave his first concert at the age of four.
a) prodigy

A prodigy is something out of the ordinary. It’s often used to refer to a child with gifts beyond his age. A prodigal is a wastrel, a person who spends his wealth foolishly, with no thought for the future.

2. None of the freshmen wanted to room with Felix because of his barbarous manners; he piled wet towels on the floor, used anyone’s toothbrush, and left food scraps to moulder in the wastepaper basket.
b) barbarous

Barbarous and barbaric are similar in meaning; many speakers use them interchangeably to mean “uncivilized.” Barbaric always refers to extreme, gruesome cruelty; barbarous can refer to behavior that is merely coarse.

3. Your design would probably work, but building it is not practicable because of the expense and rarity of the materials.
b) practicable

A practical idea is sensible and reasonable. A practicable idea, on the other hand, is one that can be done or put into practice.

4. His friends’ plan to vandalize the school went against the boy’s conscience, so he refused to take part.
a) conscience

Conscience is a noun. It is a person’s moral guide. Conscious is an adjective meaning “alert, aware.”

5. Some have called this earthly life “a vale of tears.”
b) earthly

Earthly is an adjective referring to things on or of the earth. Earthy is also an adjective. Earthy is a pleasant word for vulgar. “An earthy remark,” for example, is one that would not be spoken in polite company.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Extension: 765432

Symitar Documentation Services

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

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