Thursday, August 18, 2005

Word Snobs, Unite for Quiz 1

This first one is easy. Look up the pronunciations for: coif, err, ersatz, forte, memento, mischievous, nuclear, quixotic, short-lived.

These are words we all often hear mispronounced, even by smart people who ought to know better. And yes, I know that some pronunciations that used to be wrong are now listed in dictionaries as acceptable (see: Err). Look them up anyway, just for fun.

And here’s Part 2 of today’s writing exercise:

Choose the correct word in these commonly confused pairs.

1. Marrying Tom Cruise will have a negative (affect, effect) on Katie Holmes’ career and credibility.

2. The catatonic patient displayed a flat (effect, affect) that brought to mind the acting style of Christopher Walken.

3. She waited with (baited, bated) breath to find out if she would star in the Lavoris commercial.

4. The pollster’s job was to (canvas, canvass) Plano, Texas, looking for liberals.

5. The young actor chose to (flaunt, flout) the rules of common decency as he punched Dakota Fanning for stealing another scene.

6. Rob Schneider’s next career move will be (pedaling, peddling) Deuce Bigalow movies door to door.

7. Teri Hatcher (poured, pored) over the menu for 15 minutes before ordering one edamame bean and a glass of water.

8. Britney Spears should give up any (allusions, illusions) of making a comeback after giving birth to Baby Federline.

9. The new Werner Herzog film spares the audience any visuals of the (grizzly, grisly) evidence found in the aftermath of the fatal attack by the Alaskan bear.

10. That blue shirt (complimented, complemented) Peter Falk’s glass eye beautifully.

(Do you have favorite confused-word-pair bloopers or examples of commonly mispronounced words you’d like to share for our edification? Answers to this list will be posted by Tuesday, Aug. 23. ... Later: Had to close "comments" for this entry as too many were posting quiz answers! You do the quizzes -- and grade them -- on your own.)

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