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Language usage questionnaire

There have been requests for me to post more about linguistics (no, seriously; there have), so, here are my usage-questions for you. There are no right answers in usage questions; I'm just curious. And, please, in order for this to be scientific (hah), let me know what variety of English you speak (i.e., where you learned to speak English - and try to be more specific than "America" if you wish to be useful).

1. The past tense of "dive" is:
a. dived
b. dove

2. Splitting an infinitive is:
a. Wrong wrong wrong! Bad bad bad!
b. Fine, if it makes the sentence flow better.
c. What the hell does "splitting an infinitive" mean?

3. For me (i.e., you) there is a difference in pronunciation between "which" and "witch"; and between "Wales" and "whales": True or False?

4. I sometimes pronounce the word "address" with the accent on the first syllable (AD-dress): True or False?

5. Pepsi, 7-Up, Orange Crush, root beer: collectively these are all called:
a. soda
b. pop
c. Coke
d. other (write-in)

6. Just for fun: the shibboleth question: give me the name of a town/locality near you that no outsiders can pronounce right, and try to tell us how it's really pronounced. My example: Willamette, in Oregon (name of a river among other things), is pronounced with the stress on the LAM, not the WILL. Saying WILL-a-met is the sure mark of an outsider.


Mar. 23rd, 2003 06:25 pm (UTC)
Oooh... quiz = not doing biology reading...

I grew up in Massachusetts, altho I do go to school in Oregon now, and learned about the WilLAMette River when I moved here.

1) dove

2) b

3) no difference

4) Verb usage (she addressed the crowd and he addressed the letter) has the second syllable accented. Noun form (my address is...) has it on the first syllable.

5) soda

6) Town in Massachusetts, which I admittedly have never been to, Scituate, is pronounced SITCH-you-it. First syllable is SITCH as in "snitch" minus the N. Second syllable is "you" like the pronoun, and third syllable is "it" like the other pronoun. The second two syllables are short and kind of clipped. Yeah.