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Cultural Literacy Test - Quotes & Phrases II

Take your time with the following cultural literacy test. If you select the correct answer it will be highlighted in green and the related information will be shown. If the first answer selected is incorrect, it will be highlighted in yellow, indicating try again. If the second answer selected is incorrect, the correct answer will be displayed. See the Bibliography to learn more about this test.

Wrong Answer Try Again Correct
1. If you "bury the hatchet," you
ignore an insult
spend too much money
hide the evidence of a crime
make peace
2. When you claim that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions," what do you mean?
Good intentions do not guarantee a good deed.
Good men as well as bad go to hell.
Sin can mask itself as good.
The devil tempts us to forget our good intentions.
3. When someone works or plays too hard, you say he or she
makes hay while the sun shines
takes the bitter with the sweet
burns the candle at both ends
can't make a silk purse out of sow's ear
4. What does "an eye for an eye" mean?
An act of violence should be punished with equal violence.
Sight is the most precious of man's senses.
People must strive to look at life in the same way.
Any part of you that is not pleasing in God's eyes should be struck off.
5. Those who separate the wheat from the chaff
use advanced methods in farming
separate people by race or religion
pick the winners in horse races
decide what is important or valuable
6. The incident or thing that finally causes you to lose control is
"the lunatic fringe"
"the last straw"
"the most unkindest cut of all"
"Pandora's box"
7. Who are the hoi polloi?
the news media
the common masses
the aristocracy
royalty
8. Who originally advised men to "turn the other cheek"?
Moses
Jesus
Mahatma Gandhi
Martin Luther King, Jr.
9. Who said, "Give me liberty or give me death," and under what circumstances?
Patrick Henry, addressing the Virginia Convention
Nathan Hale, before his execution for spying
George Washington, addressing troops at Valley Forge
Thomas Jefferson, after the reading of the Decla­ration of Independence
10. What is "the American Dream"?
returning to the land of one's ancestors
the possibility of bettering oneself through individ­ual enterprise
spreading democracy throughout the world
being the first country to put a station in space
11. People who injure themselves trying to wreak revenge on another are said to
grin like a Cheshire cat
be guilty by association
speak softly and carry a big stick
cut off their noses to spite their faces
12. Who is "the Grim Reaper"?
Jesus
Death
Satan
God
13. The phrase "Fourscore and seven years ago" is the opening to what speech?
Franklin D. Roosevelt's address to Congress asking for a declaration of war
Winston Churchill's "Blood, Sweat, and Tears" speech
Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
King Edward VIII's abdication speech
14. What is a vicious circle?
the symbol of something precious and valuable
a chain of events in which the solution to a problem creates a worse problem
the solution to a problem found in one brilliant move
a spectacular display made without effort
15. A person who is warned, "Caveat emptor!" should be aware that
there is a vicious dog on the premises
he or she should seize the opportunity to enjoy life
the goods or services purchased are not guaranteed by the seller
he or she should be careful of what is said and to whom
16. Who claimed that "no man is an island"?
John Donne, in "Devotions upon Emergent Occa­sions"
William Shakespeare, in Sonnet 97
Andrew Marvell, in "A Dialogue between the Soul and Body"
John Milton, in "How Soon Hath Time"
17. What is the difference between the abbreviations e.g. and i.e.?
After using e.g. you quote; after using i.e. you paraphrase.
E.g. refers to years before the birth of Christ; i.e. refers to years after the birth of Christ.
E.g. is used in footnotes; i.e. is used in bibliographies.
After using e.g. you list examples; after using i.e. you explain or expand.
18. When you see the handwriting on the wall, you
are the means of your own defeat
are warned of your approaching ruin or defeat
leave potential problems undisturbed
ignore an act of vandalism or violence
19. If you are convicted of a crime in absentia, you
were sick at the time of the conviction
were innocent of the crime
were not present at the conviction
fought against the conviction
20. When you are advised not to look a gift horse in the mouth, you
take what is offered with gratitude and without question
try to brighten a gloomy situation
acknowledge the positive features of someone you dislike
leave troublesome issues undisturbed
21. Who advised Americans to "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country"?
Franklin D. Roosevelt
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ronald Reagan
22. What is a wolf in sheep's clothing doing?
pretending to love animals
masking ill will with an outward show of good nature
showing a liking for parties and fun
running away from danger
23. If you play the devil's advocate, what are you doing?
finding fault with an idea or person supported by someone else
going along with the crowd
arguing against organized religion
blaming someone for the wrongdoing of others
24. A man with a chip on his shoulder is
confused about a situation
suffering from a crippling disease
entirely with hope
angry for no apparent reason and ready to fight
25. If a family has a nasty secret that they keep hidden, you say they
are on the horns of a dilemma
are riding for a fall
have a skeleton in their closet
have a fly in the ointment
SCORING KEY
90-100%
Excellent. You are on your way to true cultural literacy.
80-89%
Good. You have more than a passing knowledge of this subject.
70-79%
Fair. You have a competent grasp of many aspects of this subject.
60-69%
Poor. You could use some improvement in this area.
Below 60%
Time for literacy training.
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