Return of the quiz


1.  Myopic and hypermetropic are two sight defects.  Which is which?

2.  What are the two main components of bronze?

3.  If the vowels are a, e, i, o and u, then what are the three other letters sometimes used to approximate the role of the vowel in a word?  North Americans might have problems with this question.

4.  What do the national letters CH represent on a European car and to which country do they refer [other than CH]?

5.  Who composed Onegin?


myopic is shortsighted and hypermetropic longsighted, copper and tin, y-ae-oe, Confederation Helvetica [Switzerland], Tchaikovsky

4 comments for “Return of the quiz

  1. October 12, 2009 at 23:49

    The first answer I know only too well. Other than that 3 out of 5.

  2. dearieme
    October 13, 2009 at 06:06

    “If the vowels are a, e, i, o and u…”: but they are not. “y” is just as much a vowel, however much the dimmer sort of primary school teacher might deny it. What’s more fun is to think of cases of the vowels you list being used as consonants. So the consonant duty that y plays in yellow is done (it occurs to me) by e in euphonium. Or not?

    By the way, I have no idea what you mean by your other two answers to this one.

  3. October 13, 2009 at 09:17

    Cherie, Dearieme – the other two are used in, for example, encylopaedia and diarrhœa. On this keyboard, I can’t join the ae and oe but they are unseparated as graphemes deriving from the Latin, which itself is derived from the Greek in many cases.

    Easy of separation on keyboards and the American ignoring of these graphemes altogether notwithstanding, they do still have a place in English. As they do the job of a vowel, are they vowels? I’ve read much on this and there is no firm conclusion.

    Ditto with “y”. There is by no means consensus on whether it’s a vowel, especially traditionally. In “Sydney”, it certainly seems one.

    Euphonium is a good point. What of university and union as well?

  4. October 13, 2009 at 12:44

    Didn’t know the music one or the vowels one. Although please note I consider the vowels answer to be a cheat. No wonder English is such a difficult language when even the non vowels have vowels in them.

    Being barely literate I consider English to be only for those who want to have all the punctuation in the right places. Luckily this seems to be a dying trend and soon we will have English we can all understand.

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