Thursday, March 30, 2006

Think of England’s English Grammar, Comprehension and Literacy Examination (Advanced)

So you think you can speak English? Then try my fiendish test, and think again. The questions are in order of difficulty, and a link to the answers is at the bottom.

NB. No googling, you’d only be cheating yourself




1. How should the word ‘ghoti’ be pronounced?

2. What do the words ‘cleave’, ‘sanction’ and ‘fix’ have in common?

3. What is unusual about this conspiracy theory: ‘Neil A, NASA’s pet, steps as an alien’?

4. When the Americans built a missile, the Russians built an anti missile. So the Americans built a missile to counteract that missile, and the Russians built a missile to counteract the counteracting missile. This happened ten more times. What did the Russians end up with?

5. Correct the punctuation of this sentence:
Woman, without her man, is useless.

6. Correct the punctuation of this letter:
Dear Tony Blair,
I would like to compliment you. I can't stop thinking that you are one of the best Prime Ministers we have had. So many leaders go ahead and propose policies and then botch the job. We expect it. From you, in years to come, I know we will have better results.

7. Punctuate the following sentences so that they make sense:

a) She told her friends were pointless.
b) The horse rode past the barn fell.
c) Dogs dogs dogs bite bite bite.
d) Badgers badgers badgers badger badger badger badgers badgers badger.


8) Write a sentence with five consecutive uses of the word ‘and’ that makes grammatical sense.

9) Write a sentence with eleven consecutive uses of the word ‘had’ that makes grammatical sense.





For the feeble-minded, the answers are here.

10 comments:

Oroborous said...

Despite my feeble-mindedness, I haven't checked the answers, but what #'s 5 & 6 must be are hilarious.

Duck said...

1. Like "goat eye".

2. They are all French in origin.

3. It is true.

4. anti anti anti anti anti anti anti anti anti anti anti anti missile missile missile missile missile missile missile missile missile missile missile missile

5. Woman without. Her man is useless.

6. Dear Tony Blair,
I would like to compliment you. I can't stop thinking that you are one of the best Prime Ministers we have had. So many leaders go ahead and propose policies and then botch the job. We expect it from you. In years to come, I know we will have better results.

7.
a) She told. Her friends were pointless.
b) The horse rode past, the barn fell.
c) Dogs! Dogs! Dogs! Bite! Bite! Bite!
d) Badgers badgers Badgers badger. "Badger Badger", badgers Badger's badger.

I won't attempt 8 or 9.

Brit said...

A good effort, Duck. Well, not really: you only got number 4 right.

I suggest you examine the answers.

Duck said...

I didn't even get 4 right, I'm missing one missile.

Actually, I believe that I got many more right, but not the right answers that the test was looking for. I think that 6 is grammatically correct, as are 7a, b and c and d. I'm not sure about 5, but I think it is correct.

Hey Skipper said...

1. Fish.

I promise I haven't looked at the answers.

I'm still looking at the rest, but I wanted to be the first with at least one right answer.

Hey Skipper said...

2. Each has self-contradicting meanings.

Hey Skipper said...

4. ["Anti" & {2(n-1) + 1}] & "missile"

& is the cantenation function.

5. Woman; without her, man is useless.

Darn. Out of time.

Brit said...

Going well, Skipper, although your answer to number 4 has out-clevered my clever-clogness, which I find a bit unfair.

Hey Skipper said...

Considering the thread, I expect it is bad form to have misspelled the wrong word.

I meant "concatenation."

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