Words Count - Chapter 17
Exercise 1

Copyright © 2003 Laraine Flemming.
General distribution outside the classroom and redistribution are strictly prohibited.

Directions: Below are the ten words from Chapter 17. Each of the ten words is accompanied by three sentences that use a form of the word. Only one of these sentences uses the word correctly, the other two use it incorrectly. Read all three sentences. Then click the button to the left of the sentence that uses the word correctly.

You may change your answers as you see fit. When you are satisfied that all answers are correct, click the "Submit" button at the end of the exercise. You cannot resubmit the exercise after that point.

If a word in a sentence is marked by *, the word is introduced in Words Count.

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Words on Words



A synopsis is a powerful counterargument.

A synopsis is a paraphrase—there's no need to read the work being synopsized.

A synopsis summarizes a more lengthy work, be it a written text or a movie.



Abstract is a synonym for "complicated."

If it's abstract, it cannot be valid.

World is a concept that is more abstract than "earth."



If your statement seems too abstract,* use concrete examples to illustrate what you mean.

Everything she said was too concrete for me—I couldn't picture anything.

Concrete is a synonym for simple.



When reporters asked tough questions, the answers were much too glib for my taste.

A glib response is a swift response.

In a very glib response, the attorneys went through the accusations point by point and countered them with a wealth of data.



Succinct is a synonym for glib.

The reviewer managed to summarize the author's lengthy argument in a succinct synopsis.*

The witness was useless because her answers were too succinct.



Some instructors think that papers written for school should never include any colloquial language.

The brothers who own the company used to fight all of the time, but they have become very colloquial.

Having grown up in a small town, her view of the world was very colloquial.



The student's plagiarism was so obvious because she had included verbatim passages in her paper without proper reference.

Verbatim records typically leave out unimportant details.

When asked about his whereabouts at the time of the accident, the witness gave a verbatim answer.



The syntax of every sentence was hard to untangle, making the entire paper difficult to read.

The speaker tried to syntax the three different points of view, but she did it so poorly that no one understood her point.

Whatever he said had an underlying syntax that was mean-spirted and self-serving.



A metaphor is an overused expression.

"It's as American as apple pie" is a metaphor.

"She is right now the brightest star on Broadway" is a metaphor.



The Gettysburg Address starts with the famous cliché "Four score and seven years ago..."

A cliché is always a compliment in disguise.

Clichéd expression are the hallmark of writers who lack imagination.

Last change made to this page: Oct. 20, 2014

Words Count: Additional Exercises