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Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Would these eyes lie to you? :-)
Posted by Hello

I just took your quiz and loved it! I really find it disturbing to know that so many indivuduals have such a poor command of the English language.

Thanks for posting the key... Did you stay up that late putting it all together, or did you awake that early? Either way, that's what I call dedication.

The GG Local
I loved your quiz also...except for the fact that although I had every single "Beginner" answer correct, according to your key here, I got 0%... Perhaps I should take a math test later, but that seems very odd to me. ;-)

Nice work, though!
I'm a night owl, what can I say. :-)
I would like to point out that sometimes there is a glitch in the OKCupid system. Severla people have complained about receiving a 0% score, but no one has complained about getting a 15% or 33%. This tells me that ALL the answers are somehow erased from or not included in the final score. Unfortunately, I have no control over the score generator. :-/
I have suggested to others that have had that problem to retake the test. It's a hit and miss thing, so hopefully it will record your score accurately the second time. :-)
This is weird.. Not 'Call Ripley's' weird, but still unusual.

I found the quiz through a foreign friend's LiveJournal. Took it, scored well, came here to see the explanations, and then realized you probably live within three miles of me. ;) I'm at the western side of St. Charles.

But like I said.. effectively, I learned about someone living within a few miles of me through someone who lives on the opposite side of the planet. Ah, the internet is fun!
That's awesome Wix! The internet is a wonderful place. I live about one mile from the mall. Too funny. :-)
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Thank you.
I will submit Answer Keys to the Advanced and Beginner level questions soon.

In addition, I will include links to all of my sources. I do NOT have a PhD in English! None of the questions/answers came from the top of my head. If anyone has any problems with the answers, my resources are the problem then!

One more thing, I never intended to portray myself as a leader in the complexities of the English language. It would be really nice if everyone was a little more tactful in their criticism instead of talking to me like I'm an idiot. :-(

It was just a fun little test I created less than two weeks ago, and I think that some of the comments and emails I have been receiving are getting to be a bit extreme. However, only about 2% of them are negative. Most people appreciate the test.

I really am a fun-loving, intelligent, humble girl. Give me a chance! lol
I did your test on the livejournal - and was very intrigued by it ;-). Can't wait for you to post the "Expert" answers. Thanks for going to the trouble. Especially for non-native english speakers, things like that are valuable. Thank you, Ms. nice Redhead!
*waves from switzerland*
Thank you Saminz.
I'm glad you enjoyed it!
I'm working on the other pages. They will be completed soon.

Weird. I got all the questions you posted on the intermediate test right, yet it gave me only an 86%. on it. (I go 100% on the beginnger and advanced, and only 86% on the intermediate and I've been beating myself trying to figure out what I got wrong on the intermediate. Now I see I got nothing wrong and it mis-scored me.)
Darn. Sorry about that Earl.

Thanks for letting me know that you feel better (if I interpreted you correctly) now that you saw the answers. I'm glad I posted them. It results in fewer people yelling at me, and they can direct their disappointment elsewhere, where it is due! ;-)
I enjoyed the quiz, and not just because I came through as an English Genius (though that did help haha).

It may be that the volume of people taking the test has glitched the system somehow, at least the scoring.

I'm glad you're having such a sunny attitude about the grammar snobs and sour grapes folks, because, let's face it, this is a quiz on the internet, not the SAT.
Thanks Mizz! I wish more people thought like you! I am not perfect and never claimed to be. :-)
However, I do appreciate constructive criticism when it is tactful, and it helps when it is coupled with any amount of praise, even if the compliment's about my ass...(a picture of which can be found on my okcupid profile) ha ha ha ha ha
Ended up as a victem of ok cupid's inaccurate scoring.

Oddly Advanced
You scored 26% Beginner, 13% Intermediate, 87% Advanced, and 55% Expert!

I went back, and printed all of the question pages, so that I have proof of what I answered. Still awaiting the advanced/expert answer keys, but I scored 13/15 on beginner, and 14/15 on intermediate.
I've taken the test twice now, and both times have gotten 0% on the Beginner section, when I should have received 100%'s.

Maybe you should ask OKCupid about the possibility of people overloading the exam and confusing the accounting system?

Also, I used to live in Brighton, IL, which is just across the Mississipp' from you, apparently.
Like a few people here I took the test and scored 0% in every catagory except "expert" where I scored 77%. I took the test a second time and checked my answers carefully with sources such as I had originaly gotten all the questions right, after a fashion. I'm currently using the Mozilla Firefox browswer, if that makes a difference. Perhaps I'll try again using IE to see if it makes a difference, but in the meantime you might want to see if there's some kind of problem there somewhere.
Great test! Thank you.

My one, slightly pedantic, gripe is that I'm fairly sure "while" and "whilst" have no grammatical difference whatsoever, and are in fact interchangeable words - according to the OED, at any rate. However, I don't think "whilst" is used frequently outside the United Kingdom.

It's really not worth losing sleep over, though.
Thank you!
You'll see when you see the Answer Key to the Advanced and Expert levels that there is absolutely no reason to "gripe" because I agree with you! That's why while and whilst were allotted the exact same number of points in the test. Sorry they're not posted yet. If they were, you wouldn't have wasted your time posting that about while/whilst, and I'm sorry about that. They are coming soon....
Er, it's an interesting test, but I'd have to take issue with one or two things. Specifically, the hard/difficult dichotomy bugged me. I'd be inclined to think they are equally valid but with different meanings. Why is it neccesarily better to have a single clear meaning? Don't we often laud great authors and poets for being able to load multiple meanings into a simple seeming sentence, so it can be read in multiple ways?

Or am I just a language snob?:P
I certainly do not blame you for OKCupid's crummy coding. However, out of self-congratulatory curiosity I would like to know what my results page would have said had my results been correctly tabulated. I got "Oddly Expert" due to incorrect scoring of the beginner, intermediate, and advanced categories. My scores _should_ have been 100%, 100%, 100%, and 83%.

Yours in quixotic confusion,
Chris whY
If you correctly answered at least 75% in each category, your rating is "English Genius"....cute, huh? ;-)
I have another question: Did most people who actually followed the link to your blog leave comments like this, or did you just delete all the posts that read "OMG whyd i do bad on ur test?"

There is no such word as ur, it's your! Aaaarrrg!

Sorry for the outburst. I loved your test.
1) to say that 'hope' is somehow less subjunctive than 'wish' and less agrees with 'would' is misguided and asinine. You could easily say "I would hope for you to study." The moral to the story is that both of these verbs can play the field in the imperative or the subjunctive. Best would be "I [hope|wish] *that* you would study for your test."
2. If 'difficult' and 'hard'really are synonyms, then there may be a better answer here, but there is no "right" answer. Either they are synonyms or they aren't. Ivy League Tory wannabes notwithstanding, common usage in American English tends to defer to using less syllables.
3. 'Will' can very much be a transitive verb.
4. I suspect that by 'aspect' you mean 'case'.

-- Dave.
Hello. ^_^

I just took your quiz, someone posted it on's message boards.

I must say, it was quite educational and interesting.

You've taught me something, that me vs. I trick seems very handy. ;)

I'm hoping you will soon provide us keys to the other three categories. I would like to see what other mistakes I made. ^_^

-62 (The name I use on the site I linked you to, so it's the name I'll leave you with.)
Those eyes would melt any heart.

Excellent test, apparently I've managed to clock the score on it, 100% of people scored worse than I did on every rating?
Nice quiz, and nice eyes ;)
Kudos on the quiz. I get so irritated when people say "My such-and-such is larger then yours." And "Your so cute." Grrr! The fact that older people score better says something about our failing education system perhaps? Now if we can just stop people from saying things like "very unique" or even "really magnificent." And the cops and reporters should stop calling perps "gentlemen."

When I write a piece, I read through it after and find I can remove most or all of the "very"s and other modifiers of words that already describe what I want without the modifier. I think they are called modifiers. Okay I don't know what words are called in the grammar lingo but I know mostly how they should be used.

Re the education system, I'd like to see how the English teachers score on this test. I swear they are not teaching our kids correctly these days.
not bad. i was a bit appalled when i discovered that i had scored zero on the initial two parts but fairly well on the last two. :D the test is pretty impressive. i'm just curious as to from what linguistic region you're coming from. :D it'd help explain some of the answers and how the words themselves are used in the area.

Does anybody still say whilst?
Hanged/hung is another one of those touchy ones. Both are still permitted. (In the case of hanged this sense — by the neck until dead — is the only one still valid.)
Looking forward to seeing the answers to the rest of it. (A little shocking that you would write them after posting the quiz, not before.)
Just saw Animal House again the other day. "Vegetables are sensual, people are sensuous." Heh.
I seen your test, excuse me, I have saw it and had to take it.

Well done!
Loved your test. I think....I think I'm in love with you. One of those two previous statements is true. I would add you if you were on LJ. If you are, add me?
Enjoyed the quiz greatly. Thank you so much!
Good test..thanks for it.

And I don't think you'd lie....
A fun and interesting test.

One odd thing: I took it three times in a row, answering exactly the same each time, and got three different results. Any idea how this can happen? I wrote down the answers the first time so I know I duplicated them exactly.
Lovely test. It was a great deal of fun to take it.

For the nauseated/nauseous, I almost answered both... but restrained myself. Now I am kicking myself. I have relatives who are continually saying, "I am nauseous." I usually agree. :)

I do have one little (anachronistic) quibble: impertinent, a 1. Not appertaining or belonging (to); unconnected, unrelated; inconsonant. ? Obs. 2. Not pertaining to the subject or matter in hand; not pertinent; not to the point; irrelevant. Now rare exc. in Law. -- OED online
I loved your quiz. I just have one problem from the "Expert" Area for you: irrelevent vs. impertinent. I actually ran into this and "cheated" because I had never run into the word "impertinent" before; so, I felt the need to look it up before answering.

I picked "Both A & B" based off of the Webster's Dictionary definition I found; however, someone has already pointed this out (from OED); so, I won't bother to go into it.

I really did enjoy the test greatly. As for this Dave fellow with his "Hope vs Wish" problem, the "that" he adds in there only serves to weaken the statement. People add unnecessary thats to their sentences all the time, and it drives me crazy, but that is my issue :)

Thanks for an awesome test; I am going to forward it to all of my fellow English/grammar-nazi friends.

This is a great quiz, though there are three questions which are iffy, in my opinion.

#17, about priceless/invaluable: Priceless tends to refer to things which might normally have an actual price, such as paintings, whereas invaluable generally doesn't. For example, "His cooperation was invaluable to us. Without him, we would never have completed the contract." You wouldn't really substitute priceless for invaluable in that sentence, even if a dictionary may list the two as having the same meaning. It simply wouldn't sound right.

#38, about sensuous/sensual: As I'm sure you're well aware, both of those have taken on a different meaning than they originally had, with sensuous referring to decadence or luxuriousness and sensual being a vaguely erotic term. A better word than either of those in the sentence in #38 would have been sensory, as it doesn't have the added connotations that sensuous and sensual have.

#40, about canal/channel: There is nothing that says a canal can't flow from a river into an ocean. If the river happened to be close to the ocean but not naturally connected to it, a canal joining the two would make sense. Therefore, unless "the water from the river" was referring to the entirety of the river and not to an arbitrary amount of water from it, the correct answer should be a or b, not solely b.

Other than that, I can't complain. Don't mind my rationalizing and nit-picking. I like to do so, at times, more than I probably should.
I agree with many of the other comments in that the quiz was interesting, educational, and fun. It's too bad that OKCupid is OKStupid.

Alternatively, if you have someplace to post it, I would be interested in writing a C# internet application that functions better. Let me know if your up to it.

You're awesome. Thanks for representing well! ;)
I enjoyed the Word Puzzle. I correct everyone's English mistakes. I then fooled around with a few other tests. BUT the one I had the most fun with was the one on politics. That was hilarious and a lot of fun. It really showed me where I stood -- which is exactly where I do. I couldn't believe it!

I noticed in this list of comments that Frong (above a few from here) noted a several of the Word Test questions the he/she said were "iffy". I agree. Any comments, shortredhead78?
I noticed in this list of comments that Frong (above a few from here) noted a several of the Word Test questions the he/she said were "iffy". I agree. Any comments, shortredhead78?

Enjoyed the quiz, thanks for creating it.
Intriguing test, lots of fun. Have to admit I learned a few things even at my age (nearly 2x yours).

In the quest for customer satisfaction, I wonder if greater consistency in scoring would help: should we always pick the "better" choice (Q4, Q14) or choose both acceptable options even when one is arguably better (Q38)?

By the way, have you considered a job with ETS?
Intriguing test, lots of fun. Have to admit I learned a few things even at my age (nearly 2x yours).

In the quest for customer satisfaction, I wonder if greater consistency in scoring would help: should we always pick the "better" choice (Q4, Q14) or choose both acceptable options even when one is arguably better (Q38)?

By the way, have you considered a job with ETS?
I'm something of a grammarbitch; poor grammar and spelling are a huge pet peeve. Thanks much- i enjoyed it thoroughly!
I'm something of a grammarbitch; poor grammar and spelling are a huge pet peeve. Thanks much- i enjoyed it thoroughly!
I just scored English Genius
You scored 93% Beginner, 86% Intermediate, 93% Advanced, and 77% Expert!

What's the top score? I really enjoyed this, I'm an english geek (I was interviewed to study it at Cambridge University). 100% satisfaction!
Loved the test but on the channel/canal topic, I have two things:

According to my dictionary, the two words can be synonyms.

Also, I live on a canal that connects two bays and even though they both eventually end up in the atlantic ocean, there is a very tangible current, so obviously water can flow in a canal.
heya! thats a great quiz, well done.

..since the whole idea is to be completely anal about spelling/punctuation etc i thought i might point out that question three should read "She has an _____ appetite", as the blank word starts with an h.

also, i wish it had given me a proper score! i rated really high in advanced but poorly in the easier sections..
Thanks for the very fun test!

Just a couple quibbles though:

The Chagres River flows into the Panama Canal, which water then flows into the Pacific Ocean. The canal/channel distinction is dodgy.

For a purist on nauseous/nauseated, the most correct answer is nauseated only. Alas, incorrect use of nauseous to mean nauseated has become so widespread that dictionaries are now reporting it. On the other hand, someone who is nauseated may well be nauseous, in the sense that when I'm on a boat and see a fellow seasick passenger blow chunks over the side, it does indeed inspire me to want to follow suit. :-)
hi, i wanted to ask why in question 14 you decided to award more points for choosing the "better" (less ambiguous) choice out of two synonyms (difficult and hard), while in question 36 (nauseated/nauseous) you decided not to award more points for choosing the less ambiguous term (nauseated -- conveys the meaning intended in the sentence and no other). your definition of 'nauseated' and 'nauseous' clearly shows that one is perferable to the other, in precisely the same sense that "difficult" is preferable to "hard". if you are awarding points based on selecting the term that is most commonly accepted for use, then you should adjust question 14 to account for the fact that the use of 'hard' to mean 'difficult' is so commonly accepted that preference for one over the other is basically arbitrary. question 38 is treated similarly. it would behoove you to disclaim that your test is influenced by your own personal preferences for certain grammatical structures, rather than being objective simply because you have looked things up in dictionaries. i would caution anyone taking grammar tests that prescriptive linguistics will never come to a consensus on these things, and a knowledge of "standard english" is remarkably unappreciated these days, and really not as useful as one might like to think.
I had fun taking this test. I don't mind the slaughtering of the english language, and I'm certainly not one of these people who think I'm hot mess. However, having not been to an english class in 5 years, I gotta say, 100%/93%/87%/77% aren't too shabby.

Thanks for a good 10 minutes of fun!
Just to let all of you who have asked questions....

I have been very busy, and I really don't have time right now to answer all of them. One thing I would like to say though: I'm not saying anything about canal/channel. The link to my reference is there. If I am wrong, the British Council is wrong, which is quite possible since no one is perfect. I refuse to comment any further on that subject.

Pertaining to the other questions, I will most likely come back and answer them some time this weekend. This endeavor has proved to be quite exhausting. My eyes and ego can only handle so much at one sitting.

Thank you for your patience.
Oh, and if you see that you submitted duplicate posts, could you please delete them? (I was told it would be rude for me to delete them...which I don't understand, but whatever...)
I strongly disagree with your laxness regarding question #34. First, you should trust your collegiate dictionary over Merriam‐Webster and M‐W in particular is notorious for describing common usage, not correct English. If you are going to differentiate who/whom (as we all should) then you should also differentiate toward/towards, and while/whilst.

Second, there is a difference between while and whilst. While is contemporary. Whilst is past tense.
I'm proud of my own results, since I'm not even a native speaker! *gg* (looky here:

I don't understand the exact difference between a canal and a channel, though... and I do use ";" and ":" almost interchangeably (in some situations), at least in german, so... yeah...

I enjoyed your test, and so did all my friends.
I hate to be another person to point out something somewhat unsatisfactory about one of your questions.
The question with the choice between "nauseated" and "nausea" is not quite right. Both words did not originally have the same meaning, and the "pure" definition of the words are quite different: "feeling nausea" versus "projecting nausea". Therefore, a "purist" who chooses only "nauseated" is correct, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, which states that while "naseous" is becoming an accepted usage, it was not the original definition of the word.
Thanks for all your hard work. I'm sorry people waste your time being nasty.
It's so handy to have a real expert to consult on these difficult matters. It's useful to know that invaluable and priceless are absolute synonyms; for some reason, I'd always thought that they were quite different.

Anyway, one of the following is true.

Your quiz was invaluable.
Your quiz was priceless.
I thought your quiz was swell. I am not interested in complaining, but I thought I would point out an alternative suggestion for #7.

7. __________ impolite to stare.
a. It's
b. Its
c. Either a or b
d. Neither a nor b
The correct answer is It's.
Points: a=1, b=0, c=0, d-0
it's - contraction of it is
its - possessive pronoun
There is nothing in this sentence for it to possess. In addition, if you use the word its in this sentence, there would be no verb, which would make it an incomplete clause. "It is impolite to stare" is a complete sentence. Therefore it's is the correct choice.

The ideal choice is "it is" since contractions are not "the most correct" choice one can make in written English. I always tell my students that they should have no problem keeping the variants of its and it's straight since "it's" should never appear in their papers.
I took the test. It surprised me. Although my diary isn't always grammatically correct, I do try. I am surprised because I am evidently smarter than I knew! Lol. Thanks.
On number thirty-six -- according to two dictionaries (my 1996 Websters Unabridged Encyclopedic Dictionary and the less scholarly, nauseous in the sense of "affected with nausea" is a usage problem. I just noticed that because it's one of my pet peeves.

Ahh, yum. English. Thanks for this!! <3
#39 _ impertinent is a also synonym for irrelevant. things pertain or are relevant.
this is only the most flagrant error
I took your quiz got all of the answers in the beginner section correct and it said that I did not score well in that section and several others. I was rated as oddly advanced.

Nice quiz!

You say "Water flows naturally through channels. Water does not flow from one body of water through a canal into another body of water." I must stongly disagree on both points.

Water does need not flow through a channel. It doesn't flow through the English Channel, for instance. It is merely an arm of the Atlantic Ocean. There is no flowing to take place.

Also, here in Illinois, the Illinois and Michigan Canal not only has water *flowing* through it (Lake Michigan into the Chicago, Des Plaines, Illinois, and Mississippi Rivers), but the creation of the canal actually CHANGED the direction of flow of the Chicago River. A quick google search should verify this for you. Lake Michigan empties into the Gulf of Mexico THROUGH this manmade canal.

For teh reasons stated, I feel your answer and rationization are flawed.

I am very eager to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to reply to me at

See? I knew there had to be a real-world example for the canal/channel case to support my point. Thanks for finding one, michael.

You know, upon some further thought, I noticed that the word canal, by definition, does not specify what bodies of water it connects. It merely states that it is an artificial passageway for travel and whatnot. Therefore, what's to say that a canal couldn't connect a river and an ocean for travel or other purposes? The possibility exists, making the word a valid answer in that particular question.

I don't have the patience to go searching through the entire British Council test for the point on canal/channel, but I'm curious if anyone happens to know if there's a distinction between how the words are defined in British English as opposed to American English. That might potentially explain the disparity in opinions here.
I must confess that I was a little bit upset by my results, until I read your key and realized that I neglected to pay closer attention to the "either" options. (That is, when it was fine to use either word, and I just picked one of them.) I learned a thing or two from this test, which is more than I can say about most of what I do online! :)
That was a wonderful test!

I found it pretty easy, and I have no complaints.

Thanks for all your hard work.
I also had a problem with question 36 and agree with the above posters about it. 'Nauseous' has, for ages, strictly meant, 'causing nausea', and while many people use it to mean 'affected by nausea', it's still considered a usage problem. I don't think that both are acceptable, and none of the traditionalists I know would, either! I think if you're going to really split hairs regarding distinctions like 'hard'/'difficult', you should be equally precise regarding 'nauseated' and 'nauseous'.

Good quiz, though!
Again, as many other posters have mentioned, impertinent is a synonym for irrelevant.

If you want to check up on yourself next time (I highly recommend doing so) read any word usage book by Brian Garner first. He has published volumes of information on the subject.
The final question is not so clear in distinguishing a grammatical question.

Perhaps the reader could be thinking of some situation where the entirety of river passes through a canal (some hydro-electrical powerstations stations work this way).

Perhaps better rephrased to distinguish between hypothetical situations and intended grammatical meanings that are being explored/tested.
Hey, well done on a great quiz. I've developed formal tests and surveys myself (did a postgrad degree in psychology) and it's not easy, writing a graded test that gets steadily harder as the person progresses. Good effort! And it doesn't hurt that your test rated me an English genius either ;D
That was good fun. Thanks.

I was taught that "Nauseous" meant sickening while "Nauseated" meant sick. Either I misremembered of maybe "Nauseous" has become OK with common useage.

What about "Flout" vs. "Flaunt"?

Here's another tricky one. Which is correct? "I'll give the candy to whoever/whomever wants it."

Nice eyes. I enjoyed your test.
Just one comment: 'awhile' is NOT a word. It is TWO words: 'a while'. Please correct this question.

Other than that, good quiz!
Brilliant quiz, and congratulations on its rather abrupt popularity! As a student of linguistics I feel a little silly for being so proud of my result, as we linguists are supposed to criticize those people who make claims about grammar as it SHOULD be (That is the sort of errant pedantry up with which we shall not put!), and instead study grammar as it IS used. However, as a student of English, I've always loved the pursuit of better grammar.

But I must be amused by those comments that complain that English teachers are slacking ... after all, languages change constantly. If we were truly keeping English pure, we'd note that double negatives were a natural part of Middle English ... in fact, the more negatives were included, the more emphatic the negation was!

Just a friendly reminder to my fellow grammar geeks that nothing lasts forever, and once a grammar stops changing, you've got nothing but a dead language on your hands.
To give critique, I noticed in your answers section, you gave the idea that whilst hard and difficult are synonyms, difficult is bett because it doesn't leave any room for doubt. That, I would think should set a precidence, and other answers where one is a better choice than another, the better choice should be the correct answer instead of both. I'd change either the answer for hard/difficult, or change for invaluable/priceless and sensuous/sensual, as from your own sources, ( or from common usage, there is leaning towards one answer over the other, for the sake of precision.
thanks! that was fun.

(my wife was right. hanged IS a word.)
thanks! that was fun.

(my wife was right. hanged IS a word.)
thanks! that was fun.

(my wife was right. hanged IS a word.)
I love you for making this test. It was sooo much fun to take. Grammar and vocabulary is not stressed enough in electronic communication. People shorten words using numbers as phonetic shortcuts, and that just drives me nuts! So thank you, thank you for standing up for the english language this way.
I'm a little paranoid posting this because I don't consider myself having the best grammer but I think that if the answer for canal/channel is indeed correct than a better explaination is needed.

Based on their deffinition,
canal - n. an artificial waterway or artificially improved river used for travel, shipping, or irrigation

I would think that the following sentance is correct.

The water from the river flows through the artificial waterway into the ocean.
I enjoyed the test, but I don't like spotting errors in an English test.

Number 14:

If the sentence was (were), "It is hard.", you would not know the meaning without further explanation. It could be referring to difficulty, durability, or a number of other meaning. However, if the sentence was (were), "It is difficult.", the only meaning is not easy.

If statements use the word were, not was.

Punctuation next to quotes go inside the quotes.

For example: "I want to talk," he said, "because I've been thinking."

Don't take this the wrong way; I enjoyed the test :).
Hey, fun quiz. If you wanted to make another one, I would suggest including farther/further, sympathy/empathy, cite/sight/site, former/latter, and pendant/pendent. As an editor, these are some additional words I see misused often.
I really enjoyed this test. I had a lot of fun doing. I would like to point out, however, that the answer to question 39 is inncorrect. It should be either a or b. If you look at the definition reads:
1.Exceeding the limits of propriety or good manners; improperly forward or bold: impertinent of a child to lecture a grownup.
2.Not pertinent; irrelevant.
Based on definition number two the words can mean the same thing. If there is some controvery to this please let me know why you say only irrelevent is correct. Thank you again for putting this test together.
Your test seemed good to me, though I had a bit of a qualm with one of the last questions;

To me it seems a little too technical to lose a point for saying that you could have a canal in a river. Basically what I'm saying is you can actually have a comprehension of what a channel and a canal are, and still choose that 'both' could have water flowing through them from a river. (Especiall if, for instance, you diverted water from one parallel river to another through a canal)

It seems as though (glancing over comments) that I am definitely not the only one who disagrees with the canal question. Good job otherwise though :)
Very nice. The only thing I wish it did was show which answers you entered with the answer key. I have a short memory.

Very nice. The only thing I wish it did was show which answers you entered with the answer key. I have a short memory.

something you might find interesting....

I scored "Oddly Expert." This is so blindly obvious why I of all people got this. Of course the computer wouldn’t know why. But it is because when I was learning things in school all my life no one gave a shit about me because I am dyslexic--until I was in late high school/college. So everything I have learned goes more to the "higher" aspects of English, the things people actually took time to teach me and not so much to deal with what fucking way to put the damn letter “b/d” and when we all needed to take our calming drugs they like to give us w/o figuring out a problem. I stumble on the simple the things like which witch is witch shit. I never learned that...

just a thought of why i got this score if you cared. Oh and i didn't guess on any.

If you want to rant to me you can e-mail me at
Well, ShortRedHed78, you are just quite a kind blogger to put up a very fun test on the language that is English, and then to put the answers and explanations on your blog! I do hope that you do not leave the blog world, because I rather enjoyed the test more than anything else this morning, and I also think you are so sweet to respond to people's comments, and you are quite smart and while my English may not be perfect on the intermediate level, I am quite an expert, and that is something that I would never have known if you had not given us this test. I just really am lightend up in spirit from this exam and appreciate this language so much, so do not get rid of your blog when this test of over, because you are an asset to the blog community of friendship for a girl such as myself. love, orchard
I missed only 2 or 3 of the questions. I made a perfect score except for those "awhile" and "whilst" questions along with the "channel" as one answer as I was thinking about the Panama Canal also flowing to one or the other oceans.

My score came out 6% Beginner, 13% Intermediate, 12% Advanced and 66% Expert. However, since I'm 83 years of age, I came out in the top 99% in the 4 variables.

The scoring error may not have been your test's fault as I do have 24/7 AOL or Microsoft genealogy on-line and THIS AND THAT, TOO hackers who hate me who could be responsible for the false reading. I enjoyed taking the test so thank you anyway. A. J.
I really enjoyed your quiz. I got the "oddly expert" result (and answered all but a few questions correctly. I think the counter had some errors.) But that's not what I'm here to say. Instead, I would like to point out something about question 39. Here is another definition of impertinent: "Not pertinent; irrelevant". Because not pertinent means the same thing as not relevant and in that way means irrelevant, those two words (irrelevant and impertinent) are synonyms and amount to the same meaning. The answer should be either a or b.
Oops, sorry for second comment, I also wanted to say about question 40: "Water flows naturally through channels. Water does not flow from one body of water through a canal into another body of water." this does not make sense to me. Of course the water flows from one body of water to another. Another definition of canal: "A duct, a channel, or a tubular structure." Here it is even defined as a channel.
Re: question 11, there is an ambiguity in the sentence that can lead to both 'prinicpal' and 'principle' being good choices. In addition to intended reading, "The head of the school summoned the student," there is also a reading, "Some guiding heuristic compelled the student to go to the student's office." It really hinges on what the coreferent of "his" is.
Clearly the Canal issue is a last-ditch attempt by the British to regain the self-esteem they lost when the Suez canal was taken away from them.
Great quiz! I scored Genius.

Call me CC and come by my blog any time:

(I'm not currently signed in at the moment.)
It was a decent test overall, but I disagree on some issues:

1. On question 4, there is no "better" answer in choosing between "hope" and "wish". Without context, they result in very different meanings. The use of "wish" implies that the test is a reality. The use of "hope" with "would" implies that the test is hypothetical. An alternative phrasing for it would be: "I should hope you would study for your test."

2. Furthermore, you would *not* say, "I would look forward to you studying," because "studying" there is a gerund, not a participle.

3. Regarding question 36, you should know that prescriptivist grammarians do not accept the meaning of "having nausea" for "nauseous".

4. I would quibble about claiming "inquire" and "enquire" in 35 as synonyms--they are merely alternate spellings of the same word.

5. A perfectly valid definition of "impertinent" is "not pertinent".

6. Someone has already pointed this out, but contrary-to-fact conditions take the subjunctive even in English, at least with "was" and "were"--even I go back and forth on "is" and "be".

7. Finally, I fail to see why water cannot flow from one body to another through a canal. The last time I studied canals was in high school Academic Decathlon, but this is what I dimly recall:

On the one hand, the Panama Canal has several barricades blocking the flow of water, so that a ship enters into one section, the barricade behind it raises again, it sails to the next section where the barricade lowers, etc.

On the other hand, the ancient Egyptians dug a canal from the Nile to the Red Sea, and sailed ships through it, and I doubt they had similar technology, even granting that the Egyptians were amazing. Xerxes likewise dug a canal through which ships sailed, and given the haste in which it was constructed, I doubt that no water flowed.

Did you know? "Respect" in the sense of "aspect" was used until at least the eighteenth century.
Just wanted to tell you that I loved your test (I scored Genius, btw)! I've always endured teasing from my friends on my "nerdy" knowledge of the English language, but it does me good in my profession (I'm a teacher). They are just jealous anyway! *g* Still, I'm glad to know other people appreciate this kind of knowledge as much as me! I could go on and on about how much our language has deteriorated in the past 20 years, but I listen to myself speak enough during the day as it is. It is cool to see people with such a passion for the correct usage of my native tongue. : D

You obviously put in a lot of hard work on this test! You rock!
Hey, fun test! But I do question "canal" not being an acceptable answer for #40 because I know of rivers than run into canals which, in turn, run into the sea (in Britain, of all places!)... I also think of the Panama Canal, but maybe the trick here is "natural flow"... hmmm. thanks again--
I dispute the claim that water does not flow from one body of water to another through a canal...the Niagra canals are a counter point, as are many other canals.
Regarding the last question: there was no specification as to whether the water was flowing naturally from the river to the ocean, so I can understand why some people would feel that canal and channel are both appropriate answers.

You may also want to post the test elsewhere so it can be graded correctly. I was shocked that I scored 0% on every level except for Advanced, where I scored 66%. I was then accused of being a know-it-all and having to be right all the time by those around me while taking the test.

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