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Give it a go

This quiz is about widening words with a variety of meanings – give it a go!

'Go' is one of many, often quite short, English words that can serve a number of different functions and purposes ~ in this case, as a noun or a verb, and each with several shades of meaning.

This Quiz will explore a range of such words.

  1. Which is the 'odd one out' here, containing an apparent confusion of two common words that sound the same?
    'Meat' (the substance of animal flesh) sounds like 'meet' ( = to encounter ), but they need to be spelt the right way round!
  2. In this group of sentences, which is the only one WITHOUT a mis-spelling?
    The mis-spellings and corrections were:
    Answer 2 : should be 'roar', then 'raw'
    Answer 3 : should be 'wood', then 'would'
    Answer 4 : both uses of 'go' were acceptable (see Introduction), but 'there' should be 'their'.
  3. In which of these sentences is there NOT a successful double use of the same word?
    Despite the sound-similarity, 'he has tried' and 'found his stride' do not contain any of the same words, although they have many letters in common. The other, actual double uses are all acceptable.
  4. In only ONE of these 'punning pairs' there is a mis-spelling; which one?
    The first 'ball' in Answer 2 should read 'bawl' ( = to shout in a loud, rough, arrogant manner).
  5. In only ONE of these 'punning pairs' there is a mis-spelling; which one?
    In Answer 2, 'hair' should read 'hare' ( to hare = 'to run as fast as a hare' [the 'rabbit's cousin']).
  6. Each of these 'Answers' contains a pun, but one of them doesn't really work; which one?
    'Lift' = 'the chance to travel as a passenger in a car'; 'lift' = 'raise' ; so Answer 1 is all right.
    'Spot' = ' see / recognise / identify ' ; 'spot' = place, location; Answer 2 is good.
    'Ground' = (1) soil, earth, the stuff of which the land surface of the planet is made; (2), past participle of the verb 'to grind'.
    ... which leaves Answer 4, where 'bean' may sound like 'been' but does not do an equivalent job in the sentence.
  7. Here again there are double uses of words, but ONE of them 'isn't quite right'.
    (Some people are discussing the potential decoration of a bedroom for an elderly relative who is coming to live there.)
    Answer 1 : 'light' (adj.) = 'pale' ; 'light' (noun) = 'lamp'
    Answer 2 : 'shade' = (1) 'version of a colour (darker or lighter)' ; (2) 'protected from strong light by a solid obstacle'.
    Answer 3 : 'blind' = (1; noun) 'a shading layer (e.g. of fabric) that can be used to mask strong light' ; (2; adj.) 'unable to see'.
    Answer 4 : 'curtain' begins with a 'hard' C while 'certain' begins with a 'soft' C (sounding like an S); you can hear these words correctly pronounced in the classic song 'My Way'!
  8. In this passage about a lion ~ him, again! ~ there are no fewer than five words containing virtually identical sounds; ONE of them may have been placed, or spelt, wrongly. Pick the Answer which offers the correct correction!
    'By the time the poor lion takes a pause from its hunting, the sweat probably comes pouring from the pores in its paws.'
    No changes are needed!
    There is one further potential confusion: we have a verb 'to pore' (= to study something long, hard and closely, e.g. 'poring over someone's study books'), which many well-meaning but ignorant English writers sometimes mis-spell as 'pouring'. 'Pouring over ...' is what cooks typically do with custard or other sauces onto a plate of solid food; however similar the sound, they are NOT the same action!
  9. In which of these sentences is the (attempted) use of a noun as a verb, or vice-versa, NOT normal or understandable English?
    'To ditch' ( = to dump, these days more likely for recycling) in Answer 1; in Answer 2, 'think' can be used (somewhat informally and idiomatically) as a noun, as in 'If he thinks that, he's got another think coming'. 'Branching out' (Answer 4) is a well-established metaphor.
    This brings us to Answer 3, where we can't (normally, at least) 'suitcase' anything, though the meaning seems reasonably clearly to be equivalent for 'to pack'. One can, however, 'showcase' things (e.g. samples; but more usually, 'talent', as in 'This performance will showcase our new cohort of singers and dancers').
  10. A 'final round' of puns (or attempted puns), one of which is decidedly weaker than the rest; which one?
    'Chews'/'choose' (Answer 1) is a technically acceptable pun, albeit 'corny' (as we would say); likewise 'heels'/'heals' in Answer 3.
    Meanwhile in Answer 2, the apparent writer probably misunderstood the phrase 'wholly inappropriate' ( = 100% unsuitable) as meaning 'not suitable in a 'holy' (i.e., solemnly 'churchy') context'.
    The twin uses of 'state' in Answer 4 are probably fair (leaving the person's apparent politics entirely to one side, for now); though if this is an attempt at political rhetoric, the 'pun' ~ such as it is ~ is both weak and worn. 'State' can mean 'organised by the national government', or it can mean 'the condition of something, e.g. whether it is presentable and/or in adequate repair'. (Meanwhile, of course, 'state' can also be a verb, as in 'please state the purpose of your visit to our country'.)

Author: Ian Miles

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