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Use the Correct Word

It tries your patience to listen to someone who knows their topic but who is not using certain words correctly as they speak. Have you ever heard an intelligent person use the word pacific when they should be saying specific? Sometimes doing it over and over again? It’s embarrassing for them, for you, for everyone. Worse yet, it undermines their point(s), creating doubt about everything they say.

When we do that sort of thing it is either because we are not paying attention or we have not learned the needed facts about the words we use. The following quiz on misused words can be either a learning experience or a refresher course. If we want to be good communicators it’s a good thing to check ourselves every so often to see if we’ve slipped up, overlapped, or doubled-up our definitions as we’ve processed massive amounts of information.

Use this quiz to probe your brain by making a best choice between two words for filling in the blanks (some differences in definitions are subtle so wear your thinking cap). Let us know in the comments below whether you’ve benefited from the exercise.

  • Question of

    _____, the most important task was not completed.

    • Pacifically
    • Specifically
  • Question of

    He was _____ to the contract’s terms.

    • Adverse
    • Averse
  • Question of

    The _____ of new protruding rock was daunting.

    • Enormity
    • Enormousness
  • Question of

    The vehicle had quickly _____ in value.

    • Depreciated
    • Deprecated
  • Question of

    The children were playing happily, but they were too _____.

    • Noisy
    • Noisome
  • Question of

    _____ foods were unwise to eat.

    • Proscribed
    • Prescribed
  • Question of

    She was _____ to accept the report about his integrity.

    • Reticent
    • Reluctant
  • Question of

    The _____ way to say it is the clearest.

    • Simplest
    • Simplistic
  • Question of

    Their boss was _____ so they trusted him.

    • Credulous
    • Credible
  • Question of

    Both wanted to prevent rioting with a(n) _____ resolution.

    • Amiable
    • Pacific


What do you think?

22 Points

Written by robertatalloni

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  1. Nicely made quiz, Roberta 🙂 I got 9/10. In the last question, ‘pacific’ seems an odd fit; I’d have thought ‘amicable’ (with a c!) would have fitted better – and would have made a closer choice with ‘amiable’.

    • Thanks kindly! Admittedly, that last one was a bit of a lark. Pacific has a peacemaking/placating definition but that connotation is not commonly employed. Amicable’s good-natured, easygoing definition is pleasant :- ), and very close to amiable’s amicable warmhearted, charmingly cooperative, sociable definition, yet not the same as being a maker of peace. Most would certainly understand the intent if the sentence contained amicable. Choosing to highlight pacific’s peaceful definition was just my way of putting the spotlight on a not so commonly used word that fit with the quiz’s introduction. So appreciate your feedback here. Thinking about words is a neat exercise that enhances all of life!


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