Words Matter - Chapter 10
Exercise 1

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

Directions: Below are the ten words from Chapter 10. 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 Matter.

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In a Manner of Speaking



Johnny Depp is a demagogue for me—he's not only gorgeous, but also smart and witty.

Demagogues try to stir up people's passions with incendiary* speeches.

Personally, I prefer the demagoguery of Chris Rock over tamer comedy acts.



The speaker clearly went for bombast, never using a short word when he could use a long one and never using one word when he could use two or more.

When asked if he would accept the assignment without extra pay, he answered bombastically "yes."

One could hear the bombast of the explosion in places miles away.



I read in the Sunday paper a pleasant and amusing rant by someone who had enjoyed Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

We jokingly call our youngest sister the "rant of the litter" because she loves to launch into tirades at the slightest provocation.

At the beginning of service, the congregation was asked to spend a minute in ranting silence.



Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of the 32th president, was a heroine to some and a harangue to others.

I no longer visit Herb because I cannot sit through another harangue against his ex-wife.

He not only thanked me profusely, but also delivered a harangue of good wishes.



Cell phones are a gift of heaven for the garrulous, but not for those who have to listen to their users talking endlessly about nothing.

Gina's garrulousness has now reached a point where she barely utters a word when you try to talk to her.

Chico is able to imitate the garrulous sounds of chicken so well—he could fool a real chicken.



True, I don't like idle chatter, but Leo is too laconic even for me.

Laconic Lara starts to blubber even at the smallest mishap, for example, when anyone says a harsh word.

It's laconic that Luis, who loves his children, had to see them all move away.



"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose" is a colloquialism that goes back to a song written by Kris Kristofferson.

With each glass of wine, he became more colloquial until in the end, no one could understand him any more.

"Ain't" is fine in colloquial speech, but it has no place in a State of the Union address.



After Peggy's pontification, she seemed more self-assured and able to handle unpleasant experiences.

Getting kicked off the team for mouthing off in the presence of the coach is the latest pontification in Pete's life.

I do not like commentators who pontificate about issues they do not understand.



It's frustrating to have Nick in a conversation because all he ever comes up with are platitudes like "There's always a first time" or "Isn't that something?"

Sarah is in trouble again because of her platitude problem.

The singer became a super-star when her third album went platitude.



In common parlance, "motor vehicles" are called "cars."

The author's opening parlance spelled out his intentions.

In games of parlance, contestants compete in physical tasks like climbing a pole or splitting a tree trunk.

Last change made to this page: November 12, 2004

Words Matter: Additional Exercises