Words My Kindle Taught Me: The Quiz

Words My Kindle Taught Me: The Quiz

I’ve talked about this before, but I thought it would be fun to set it up as a little quiz.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised that I use the Kindle’s onboard dictionary as much as I do.

After all, at one point I’d read a dictionary cover to cover.  Just for fun, when I was younger…I think it was an unabridged Random House, as I recall.

However, I certainly haven’t retained it all over time.  :)

So, I actually enjoy it when the Kindle can define a word for me that I can’t define.  I sometimes recognize the word, but it’s always been a rule in my house that you can’t use a word in a word game (like Scrabble or Boggle) if you can’t define it.

It tends to happen when I’m either reading some older (pre-1930s, I’d say) or something translated.  It may also be specialized vocabulary…I’m running into quite a few sailing terms while reading Riddle of the Sands by Robert Erskine Childers.

A lot of regular readers know I used to manage a bookstore.  I also used to manage a game store (I’ve mentioned that before, I think).

Let’s make this a game.  I’m going to give you a word I looked up in the Kindle dictionary, and give you three definitions…one true, three false.  Pick which one you think it is.  I’m also going to rewrite the definition, so they are all in a similar style.  I’ll update the post later with the answers.

How do you think you did?

You can check the post in a few days for the answers (please don’t look them up before answering the polls).  If you are reading this on your Kindle, you’ll get the updated version…that happens with Kindle blogs.

For more information on using the Kindle’s dictionary, see this previous post.

UPDATE: The answers.  I’ve had at least one challenge that I wrote a definition imprecisely, and now that the answers can be seen, I’m happy to discuss that.  :)  If you want to play the game, please answer the questions above before you read this.  Verst=2; Tufa=1; Jezail=1; Dado=3; Coppice=1; Serried=3; Behoof = 3; Burgee = 3; Dottle = 2; Casuistry = 2.  I had deliberately used some words that might evoke other words.  I used a “piece of medieval clothing” for coppice, for example, thinking it might suggest “codpiece”.  :)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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4 Responses to “Words My Kindle Taught Me: The Quiz”

  1. tuxgirl Says:

    i love balderdash!

  2. K L Myers Says:

    I enjoyed the quiz very much. I encountered most of the words initially through reading for pleasure. I learned their definitions either by looking them up in a reference or tried to determine their definitions from context.
    As I previously commented, while taking the quiz directly on my Kindle, regarding “coppice”, I respectfully challenge Bufo’s definition choices. I first learned the word in context and was uncertain of the definition until a few years ago, when I looked it up in a dictionary. It was not difficult to choose a definition closest to the correct one, because it was very close to the definition I had assumed for many years. Honored Bufo, I hope you agree that you should have included a more correct definition for coppice.
    I had as much fun reading definitions that I was certain were not correct; I found much material to appreciate as “punnishment” for the careless or carefree ear.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, K.L.!

      You’re right, I was pretty imprecise with that one. You can take credit for knowing that, definitely. ;)

      As I always used to tell my offspring, great test-takers have good empathy…they know what the test-writer wants as an answer, even if that answer is technically incorrect. I would tell my kid to answer what the test-writer wants…and then feel free to annotate. I’m probably going to post the answers soon, then we can discuss more. :)

      Yes, I deliberately wrote definitions that might evoke other, similar sounding words. That does appear that it might have misled some people…

    • bufocalvin Says:

      K.L., since I’ve posted the answer…

      My understanding is that a coppice will have small trees and shrubs in it, for some kind of harvesting. It’s a partial clearing, in my mind…it’s just that the partial is vertical rather than horizontal. :) I think “partial clearing” might have been even more misleading, though. Flying over a woods, I suspect a coppice would look like a clearing. But I’m perfectly willing to agree that one wasn’t as precise as it could have been.

      Is that your general understanding of it?

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