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(Reason Magazine)   22 question grammar, courtesy of WSJ. Your in for a treat   (reason.com) divider line 159
    More: Amusing, Wall Street Journal, Ridley Scott  
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9166 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Jun 2012 at 1:33 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-25 03:15:28 PM
22 correct. Easy.

• As

cenobyte40k said, it was essentially orthography, not grammar.

palladiate: I counted over 6 grammar mistakes in the article on the Wall Street Journal. That woman abuses those poor commas.



Such considerations are often ones of style, and I didn't detect much, if any, abuse.

• Q21: between is acceptable for use in reference to more than two entities (though it was obvious that among was the intended "correct" answer.


Why the hell does subby's link go to fringy libertarian Reason instead of the original URL of the mainstream albeit conservative WSJ??

/ decompressing from the Politics tab
 
2012-06-25 03:15:31 PM

hornblowerfan: 19/22

Got screwed on "that/which" questions, as well as "among/between." Oops. Guess I can't call myself a grammar nazi anymore :(


Among/between has a pretty solid rule attached to it but I must confess it took me a moment to remember it.
 
2012-06-25 03:17:37 PM
Any reason subby couldn't just link to the quiz? I mean, that extra click damn near killed me.
 
2012-06-25 03:18:24 PM
pls. mentally insert close-parenthesis (after" ...'correct' answer.") in my post, above.
 
2012-06-25 03:19:21 PM
21/22

Meh. The grammar I see in professional emails has gotten ridiculous. I don't care so much about IM conversations, but my emails stay professional. The number of people that fail to use any punctuation, capitalization, or basic formatting boggles my mind.
 
2012-06-25 03:19:23 PM

runcible spork: • Q21: between is acceptable for use in reference to more than two entities (though it was obvious that among was the intended "correct" answer.


Is it? I've heard it used both ways but always assumed it was being used incorrectly.

I agree with you on the use of the comma being a matter of style. The comma is a versatile tool. It can certainly be abused but it isn't a hard and fast rule like, say, a semicolon.
 
2012-06-25 03:22:28 PM
19/22

Also got nailed on That vs. Which.
 
2012-06-25 03:22:38 PM
0/22 - me was told their would be no math
 
2012-06-25 03:23:24 PM

Treygreen13: runcible spork: • Q21: between is acceptable for use in reference to more than two entities (though it was obvious that among was the intended "correct" answer.

Is it? I've heard it used both ways but always assumed it was being used incorrectly.

I agree with you on the use of the comma being a matter of style. The comma is a versatile tool. It can certainly be abused but it isn't a hard and fast rule like, say, a semicolon.



Yup. Merriam-Webster has a concise discussion of it.
 
2012-06-25 03:35:00 PM

runcible spork: Treygreen13: runcible spork: • Q21: between is acceptable for use in reference to more than two entities (though it was obvious that among was the intended "correct" answer.

Is it? I've heard it used both ways but always assumed it was being used incorrectly.

I agree with you on the use of the comma being a matter of style. The comma is a versatile tool. It can certainly be abused but it isn't a hard and fast rule like, say, a semicolon.

Yup. Merriam-Webster has a concise discussion of it.


I see. That link really elaborates on why I knew when to use each one. I was using it properly in each case, but it was just because it "sounded" better, not because I was recalling that rule, heh.
 
2012-06-25 03:44:06 PM
Is this where I post 22/22?

\English major
\\♣♣ pip pip
 
2012-06-25 03:47:17 PM
That/which questions got me. And the collective agreement.

"Our team of compliance experts deliver/delivers excellent service". I picked the former, which (correct me if I'm overgeneralizing) is acceptable UK practice. I blame Economist reading and soccer watching for my instincts on that one.
 
2012-06-25 03:47:24 PM
3.bp.blogspot.com

Don't tell me you've heard it both ways, Shawn.
 
2012-06-25 03:48:37 PM
Doh! I missed all the that and which questions... whoopsie
 
2012-06-25 03:50:52 PM
The trick, especially when dealing with unsettled issues like the Oxford comma or proper use of the word "deceptively," is to be consistent!
 
2012-06-25 03:51:22 PM

Lawnchair: That/which questions got me. And the collective agreement.

"Our team of compliance experts deliver/delivers excellent service". I picked the former, which (correct me if I'm overgeneralizing) is acceptable UK practice. I blame Economist reading and soccer watching for my instincts on that one.


I believe the stricken text in the sentence above is the key to confusion, and without it the answer is clearly "delivers".
 
2012-06-25 04:08:39 PM

Fabric_Man: The trick, especially when dealing with unsettled issues like the Oxford comma or proper use of the word "deceptively," is to be consistent!



I disagree. Sometimes it's nice to have a bit of variation to change up the pace and flow. I appreciate how it might be critical for legal writing, where everything must (or, rather, should--those tricky bastards!) be as absolutely clear as possible. Example: in an earlier comment, I separated the phrase "if any" with commas, but deliberately did not do so later on, where "albeit conservative" describes the WSJ. In both cases the meaning is clear, in the latter instance it was intended to reflect the breathlessness and urgency of a complaint. I don't know whether it was effective (perhaps only subconsciously?), but that was the intent. The enlarged text also helped. Or should have,
 
2012-06-25 04:16:20 PM
w00t! 19/22! That's like (counts on fingers, squints, ponders gozintas) 98.6% !! Genius!
 
2012-06-25 04:17:07 PM
FAT: "I cringe every time I hear" people misuse "is" for "are," Mr. Silver says."

Get ready to cringe, Grammar Nazi!
 
2012-06-25 04:21:13 PM

cman: 17/22

D:


Same. Apparently I use "which" and "that" in a manner exactly opposite to that which I should.
 
2012-06-25 04:25:58 PM

Treygreen13: Lawnchair: That/which questions got me. And the collective agreement.

"Our team of compliance experts deliver/delivers excellent service". I picked the former, which (correct me if I'm overgeneralizing) is acceptable UK practice. I blame Economist reading and soccer watching for my instincts on that one.

I believe the stricken text in the sentence above is the key to confusion, and without it the answer is clearly "delivers".



"Struckthrough"? ~smile~

Seriously, though, I know where Lawnchair is coming from; it's common in UK usage for some collective entities that take a singular verb form in American English to take a plural one. Companies and sports teams are notable examples. A little web-searching suggests that a generic "the team are" phrasing is similarly employed.

There are a lot of minor differences between the two flavors, especially with prepositions.
 
2012-06-25 04:28:40 PM
ProfessorOhki:
Same. Apparently I use "which" and "that" in a manner exactly opposite to that which which that I should.


Heywaitasec...
 
2012-06-25 04:35:44 PM

Treygreen13: I believe the stricken text in the sentence above is the key to confusion, and without it the answer is clearly "delivers".


Again, not so clearly. A common UK headline would be "Manchester City deliver...".

More than anything, it might depend on your relation to "Our team". If you expect everyone on their team of compliance experts to deliver a single report, you'd go with "our team delivers". If you expect one-on-one service from certain members of a larger team, the UK style would have "our team deliver".

See also Wikipedia's take
 
2012-06-25 04:42:16 PM

TheDumbBlonde: Me three. I used to know these things.


That reminds me of...
1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-06-25 04:45:47 PM
www.discordia19.com
 
2012-06-25 04:46:05 PM

Lawnchair: That/which questions got me. And the collective agreement.

"Our team of compliance experts deliver/delivers excellent service". I picked the former, which (correct me if I'm overgeneralizing) is acceptable UK practice. I blame Economist reading and soccer watching for my instincts on that one.


Yeah. In the UK, corps are considered plurals (I guess they don't do that whole "personhood" thing like we do).

Also, the one about the managers: couldn't that be manager's (sing.) if you took the "their" to be the gender-neutral singular abomination?
 
2012-06-25 04:59:17 PM
22/22. Good thing, since I do a lot of writing (legal research and translation) for a living. English isn't my first written language, but I had a fantastic English teacher in high school. We also used to lose 5% per grammar or spelling error, which was a strong incentive to get things right.

That said, although I know the that/which distinction, it's kind of an academic rule. They get used interchangeably even by good writers, and only the most pedantic nitpickers would notice an error.
 
2012-06-25 04:59:21 PM

Treygreen13: 20/22. Missed two "which or that" questions. I need to review that rule.

 
2012-06-25 04:59:33 PM

ArcadianRefugee: Also, the one about the managers: couldn't that be manager's (sing.) if you took the "their" to be the gender-neutral singular abomination?


Indeed it could have been. Avoiding this kind of ambiguity that is why companies like ETS (SAT/GRE/LSAT) make their big bucks.

If you're up for more grammatical debate, though, vernacular English on both sides of the pond has used the singular gender-neutral 'they' since before Shakespeare, and the Bard used it repeatedly. It's only really been considered an abomination (and only by some) in the last 150 years.
 
2012-06-25 05:04:51 PM

Lawnchair: ArcadianRefugee: Also, the one about the managers: couldn't that be manager's (sing.) if you took the "their" to be the gender-neutral singular abomination?

Indeed it could have been. Avoiding this kind of ambiguity that is why companies like ETS (SAT/GRE/LSAT) make their big bucks.

If you're up for more grammatical debate, though, vernacular English on both sides of the pond has used the singular gender-neutral 'they' since before Shakespeare, and the Bard used it repeatedly. It's only really been considered an abomination (and only by some) in the last 150 years.


Oh, I know its use is older than the current PC generation. I just hate it (as, I am guessing, others do) because of the ambiguity; I really like clarity.

And I like seeing people freak when I use "it". :)
 
2012-06-25 05:12:56 PM

runcible spork: "Struckthrough"? ~smile~


I was going with the legal use, "stricken" as "removed". Not as in "stricken with the flu".

English be hards.
 
2012-06-25 05:18:57 PM
Remember kids, if you can replace the subjects in the sentence with "us", then us "me". If you can replace them with "we", then us "I"
 
2012-06-25 05:40:49 PM

Hikeeba: If you managed to complete elementary school, you should be able to get a 100%.


Passing school doesn't mean you learned anything. Maybe it did when your Grandfather went to school.
 
2012-06-25 05:45:57 PM

Treygreen13: runcible spork: "Struckthrough"? ~smile~

I was going with the legal use, "stricken" as "removed". Not as in "stricken with the flu".

English be hards.



I know, was just nudging a bit. Couldn't help picturing those words languishing near a reef at low tide, though. Infested with woodworms shipworms ...wordworms!

/ Oh, I slay me.
// If if didn't, who would do the job?
 
2012-06-25 05:47:55 PM
My Grammar can ask far more than 22 questions. You should have been there when I brought home my first laptop, it was just question after question. If your Grammar can hold it to 22 that's great.
 
2012-06-25 05:49:04 PM
Ridley Scott?
 
2012-06-25 05:55:15 PM

staplermofo: Woooo! 20/22
The @#$%ing that or which questions screwed me.


Ditto, which surprises me. Or is it that?
 
2012-06-25 05:59:37 PM
Am I the only one that thinks the test is somewhat rigged?

I stopped at "XYZ Corp" which wanted buildings' versus building's...how are we to verify that XYZ owns more than one. There was no indication that the company had many buildings or just one from the sentence. Or am I just stupid?

Serious question.

/BA in English Studies, should I be questioning my education from UNLV?
 
2012-06-25 06:02:52 PM
There's a difference between correct style for the sake of clarity and ease of reading, and bloody-minded pedantry. Who on Earth cares about the which/that distinctions any more? Or, for that matter, "correct" pronoun case in all but formal written English.

/ 22/22, but only because I remembered about that Americans think of groups as grammatically singular.
 
2012-06-25 06:03:40 PM

Cookbook's Anarchist: Am I the only one that thinks the test is somewhat rigged?

I stopped at "XYZ Corp" which wanted buildings' versus building's...how are we to verify that XYZ owns more than one. There was no indication that the company had many buildings or just one from the sentence. Or am I just stupid?

Serious question.

/BA in English Studies, should I be questioning my education from UNLV?


Never mind, I am a victim of not adhering to the MLA handbook.

/dammit!
 
2012-06-25 06:04:43 PM

Cookbook's Anarchist: Am I the only one that thinks the test is somewhat rigged?

I stopped at "XYZ Corp" which wanted buildings' versus building's...how are we to verify that XYZ owns more than one. There was no indication that the company had many buildings or just one from the sentence. Or am I just stupid?

Serious question.

/BA in English Studies, should I be questioning my education from UNLV?


This one?

Q6: The fire at XY Corp. damaged three buildings, and all the buildings' records were lost.
 
2012-06-25 06:05:06 PM

Parthenogenetic: Treygreen13: 20/22. Missed two "which or that" questions. I need to review that rule.

From the New York Times stylebook:

that, which. Use that, not which, in a restrictive clause - a clause necessary to the reader's understanding of the sentence: The town that the pitcher calls home is tiny Hawley, Pa. (The sentence serves no purpose without that the pitcher calls home.) Note that there are no commas around the clause.

In a nonrestrictive clause - one providing added information, not essential to understand the sentence - use which, preceded by a comma: Hawley, Pa., which the pitcher calls home, is tiny. (The sentence is understandable without which the pitcher calls home.)


Thanks for the explanation. It's a stylistic thing, and probably American in origin; perhaps even specific to the New York Times. I got all three of the that/which questions wrong, and I suspect that it's because I was educated in the UK.
 
2012-06-25 06:06:55 PM

Jekylman: Is this where I post 22/22?

\English major
\\♣♣ pip pip


English major! Hilarious - like there's even such a thing. Would be pretty funny if there were though...
 
2012-06-25 06:07:15 PM
Oh, if anybody really, really dug the quiz, why not try this amusing Flash game: First Person Tutor?
 
2012-06-25 06:07:42 PM
19/22... but its a BS quiz. It really only covers like 4 or 5 things, and just repeats them.

Seriously? 3 questions based on they're, their, there?
 
2012-06-25 06:08:46 PM

runcible spork: Cookbook's Anarchist: Am I the only one that thinks the test is somewhat rigged?

I stopped at "XYZ Corp" which wanted buildings' versus building's...how are we to verify that XYZ owns more than one. There was no indication that the company had many buildings or just one from the sentence. Or am I just stupid?

Serious question.

/BA in English Studies, should I be questioning my education from UNLV?

This one?

Q6: The fire at XY Corp. damaged three buildings, and all the buildings' records were lost.


I read it too quickly. I checked the test again, and I got 19/22. A couple of them threw me for loops. But I admit that I just read it too quickly each time I got it wrong.

Apologies to all. Feel free to call me stupid and impulsive.
 
2012-06-25 06:10:16 PM

Cookbook's Anarchist: runcible spork: Cookbook's Anarchist: Am I the only one that thinks the test is somewhat rigged?

I stopped at "XYZ Corp" which wanted buildings' versus building's...how are we to verify that XYZ owns more than one. There was no indication that the company had many buildings or just one from the sentence. Or am I just stupid?

Serious question.

/BA in English Studies, should I be questioning my education from UNLV?

This one?

Q6: The fire at XY Corp. damaged three buildings, and all the buildings' records were lost.

I read it too quickly. I checked the test again, and I got 19/22. A couple of them threw me for loops. But I admit that I just read it too quickly each time I got it wrong.

Apologies to all. Feel free to call me stupid and impulsive.


Your stupid and impulsive.
 
2012-06-25 06:13:28 PM

Rising Ape: There's a difference between correct style for the sake of clarity and ease of reading, and bloody-minded pedantry. Who on Earth cares about the which/that distinctions any more? Or, for that matter, "correct" pronoun case in all but formal written English.

/ 22/22, but only because I remembered about that Americans think of groups as grammatically singular.



The pedant of less-formal writing in me would prefer it if in that context you spelled "anymore" as one word.

/ ooh, lookit that mashup! ifitinthat
 
2012-06-25 06:13:31 PM

downstairs: 19/22... but its a BS quiz. It really only covers like 4 or 5 things, and just repeats them.

Seriously? 3 questions based on they're, their, there?


Schaffer the Darklord would be proud.

"When typing an e-mail
Please be aware that there are
Three different words with the form pronounced 'there'
I can use all three in a sentence, for example
"They're in there with their bear, there I said it."
 
2012-06-25 06:13:44 PM

Cookbook's Anarchist: runcible spork: Cookbook's Anarchist: Am I the only one that thinks the test is somewhat rigged?

I stopped at "XYZ Corp" which wanted buildings' versus building's...how are we to verify that XYZ owns more than one. There was no indication that the company had many buildings or just one from the sentence. Or am I just stupid?

Serious question.

/BA in English Studies, should I be questioning my education from UNLV?

This one?

Q6: The fire at XY Corp. damaged three buildings, and all the buildings' records were lost.

I read it too quickly. I checked the test again, and I got 19/22. A couple of them threw me through I for loops. But I admit that I just read it too to quickly each time I me got it wrongly.

Apologies to all. Feel free to call me stupid and impulsive.


/FTFY
 
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