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Choose Your Words

Monitor quiz

Words have meanings and nuances of meaning. Which words would you use?

1. If you're playing tennis on a summer evening, do you have a better chance of seeing the ball at dusk or at twilight?

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2. Why wasn't the movie called "Meadow of Dreams"?

3. Is sailing the same as yachting?

4. Which is used to make chair seats and mats: reeds or rushes?

5. If you were climbing a tree trunk, which one would offer you more support - a branch or a bough?

6. Which is preferable to have in your home: dampness or moisture?


(1) At twilight, which is a half-hour to an hour after sunset. Dusk is a darker stage of twilight when things are less easily seen.

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(2) "Field" is wider in meaning. You can have a hayfield, cornfield, coal field, or oil field. A meadow is specifically a piece of grassland for hay or pasture, and is often low and near water.

(3) Sort of. Both use sailboats. Sailing implies a leisure activity. Yachting, with its clubs and expensive craft, is a professional sport and promotes racing contests.

(4) A rush. A reed is a tall, slender grass growing in marshy areas. Its thin, hollow stalks are used to make reeds for woodwind instruments. Rushes have cylindrical stems that are pithy and hollow. They're used for making chair seats, baskets, and floor mats.

(5) The bough. A branch can be almost any secondary limb of a tree; a bough is one of the main ones and has its own branches. A twig is a very small branch.

(6) Moisture. Both mean slight wetness, but dampness is more pernicious. Moisture implies a healthy and natural water content, as in the soil or air. Dampness in a house can lead to undesirable conditions like mold and decay.

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