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Chapter 4
1. Whether retailers such as Walmart and Target use the phrase “Merry Christmas” or “Happy
Holidays” is a decision about what form of communication?
a. Nonverbal
b. Paralanguage
c. Language
d. Proxemics
Answer: c
Rationale:
This question pertains to the choice of words used by retailers, which falls under the domain
of language. "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" are verbal expressions, making the
decision about which phrase to use a matter of language choice.
2. Using the right words in a job interview or marriage proposal may make the difference
between failure and success, because being a competent communicator requires us to use
______________ in a deliberate and informed way.
a. language
b. nonverbal communication
c. paralanguage
d. identity
Answer: a
Rationale:
The question emphasizes the importance of language in effective communication, particularly
in situations like job interviews or marriage proposals. The ability to use language effectively
is crucial for conveying intentions, ideas, and emotions accurately.
3. Which of the following could be described as a structured system of symbols used for
communicating meaning?
a. Communication

b. Nonverbal communication
c. Paralanguage
d. Language
Answer: d
Rationale:
Language is a structured system of symbols that humans use to communicate meaning.
Unlike nonverbal communication and paralanguage, which also convey meaning but not
through structured symbols, language involves the use of words and grammar to convey
specific meanings.
4. Language is characterized by the use of words, which represent ideas, observations,
feelings, and thoughts. This means that words are a type of
a. language.
b. symbol.
c. rule.
d. idea.
Answer: b
Rationale:
Words are symbols that represent ideas, observations, feelings, and thoughts. In the context of
language, words serve as symbols to convey meaning, making option b the correct choice.
5. The word five is a(n) ____________ because it represents an idea of quantity but does not
constitute the quantity itself.
a. idea
b. number
c. symbol
d. denotation
Answer: c

Rationale:
In this question, the word "five" represents the concept of a specific quantity but is not the
quantity itself. This characteristic aligns with the definition of a symbol, making option c the
correct choice.
6. Talking to her grandmother about her new computer, Reina uses such words as “web” and
“tweet.” Reina’s grandmother wonders what spiders and birds have to do with Reina’s
computer. What can we conclude about the nature of language based on Reina’s
grandmother’s confusion?
a. Words are fickle.
b. All language is symbolic.
c. Computer language is static.
d. Misunderstandings are humorous.
Answer: b
Rationale:
Reina's grandmother's confusion highlights that language relies on agreed-upon symbols for
communication. While "web" and "tweet" may have different meanings in different contexts,
in the context of computers, they represent specific concepts agreed upon by users,
demonstrating the symbolic nature of language.
7. English speakers use the word dog, even though that word actually look or sound like a
dog, because they have agreed to give the word dog that particular meaning, thus showing the
_______________ nature of language.
a. static
b. fixed
c. rule-governed
d. arbitrary
Answer: d
Rationale:

The question addresses the arbitrary nature of language, where the relationship between a
word and its meaning is based on social agreement rather than any inherent connection. The
word "dog" signifies the animal not because of any inherent resemblance but because English
speakers have collectively assigned that meaning to the word.
8. Which of the following is NOT a rule that governs language?
a. Syntactic
b. Symbolic
c. Phonological
d. Semantic
Answer: b
Rationale:
This question tests understanding of the rules governing language. Syntactic, phonological,
and semantic rules are all fundamental aspects of language structure and usage. However,
"symbolic" does not represent a specific rule but rather refers to the nature of language itself
as a system of symbols for communication.
9. The character of Yoda is a favorite of many Star Wars fans, both for his odd looks and his
unique use of the English language. Changing the conventional order of words in a sentence,
Yoda might say, “Help you I can, yes” instead of “Yes, I can help you.” The uniqueness of
Yoda’s speech is an example of what type of deviation from English language rules?
a. Syntactic
b. Phonological
c. Semantic
d. Symbolic
Answer: a
Rationale:

Yoda's unconventional word order deviates from typical English language syntax, making it
an example of a syntactic deviation. Syntactic rules govern the order and structure of words
in a sentence, and Yoda's speech demonstrates a departure from these conventional rules.
10. When you learn a new language, you must also learn new ____________ rules, so you
know the correct pronunciation of words.
a. semantic
b. syntactic
c. phonological
d. pragmatic
Answer: c
Rationale:
Learning the correct pronunciation of words in a new language involves understanding its
phonological rules, which govern how sounds are organized and pronounced. Semantic rules
relate to the meanings of words, syntactic rules involve sentence structure, and pragmatic
rules govern language use in context, none of which specifically pertain to pronunciation.
Therefore, option c, phonological rules, is the correct choice.
11. When you hear the word doctor, you either might think of a physician or a person with a
PhD. Which linguistic rules pertain to the context by which doctor might be more precisely
understood?
a. Syntactic
b. Pragmatic
c. Phonological
d. Semantic
Answer: d
Rationale:

Semantic rules deal with the meaning of words and how they are interpreted in different
contexts. In this case, the interpretation of "doctor" relies on understanding its meaning
within the context, whether it refers to a medical doctor or someone with a PhD.
12. ___________ rules deal with the implication or interpretation of statements.
a. Semantic
b. Pragmatic
c. Syntactic
d. Phonological
Answer: b
Rationale:
Pragmatic rules govern the implied meanings or interpretations of statements based on
context, social conventions, and speaker intentions.
13. In the hallway at school, Felipe’s girlfriend says to him, “I’d like to see you later.” Soon
after, Felipe’s economics professor also says, “I’d like to see you later.” Although Felipe is
looking forward to the meeting with his girlfriend, he is not as excited about the meeting with
his professor, whose subject he’s failing. Which rules allow Felipe to draw a conclusion about
the two different meanings of the same statement?
a. Phonological
b. Syntactic
c. Pragmatic
d. Semantic
Answer: c
Rationale:
Pragmatic rules enable Felipe to infer the different intentions behind the identical statements
made by his girlfriend and his professor, based on the context and social cues.
14. Ross and Emma have been dating for a few months. One evening, Ross tells Emma he
loves her, by which he means he likes spending time with her and enjoys her company. Emma

understands this word to mean Ross is going to stay with her forever and she can plan on a
long-term commitment. Which term refers to a difference in meaning, like that of the word
love?
a. Definition
b. Arbitrary
c. Denotative
d. Connotative
Answer: d
Rationale:
Connotative meaning refers to the additional or implied meanings associated with a word
beyond its literal definition, such as the emotional or personal interpretations of the word
"love" in this scenario.
15. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word persuasion as “an opinion held with
complete assurance.” This is the _____________ meaning of the word.
a. arbitrary
b. denotative
c. connotative
d. fixed
Answer: b
Rationale:
The denotative meaning of a word is its literal definition or primary sense as found in
dictionaries. In this case, the given definition represents the denotative meaning of
"persuasion."
16. Which of the following is NOT an element of the semantic triangle?
a. Referent
b. Symbol

c. Word
d. Reference
Answer: c
Rationale:
The elements of the semantic triangle are the symbol (word), referent, and reference. The
"word" itself is not an element of the triangle; rather, it represents one corner of the triangle.
17. Which statement does not apply to the semantic triangle?
a. The semantic triangle illustrates the relationship between words and their denotative and
connotative meanings.
b. If several listeners hear the same word, they might attribute the same denotative meaning
to it, but also different connotative meanings.
c. In its three corners, the semantic triangle portrays three necessary elements for identifying
the meaning in language.
d. The differences in interpretation lie in a word’s denotative, not connotative, meaning.
Answer: d
Rationale:
Statement d does not apply because the semantic triangle recognizes that differences in
interpretation can arise from both denotative and connotative meanings of words.
18. Marek tells his friend Alicia that his dog bit him over the weekend. Horrified, Alicia
pictures a large, aggressive dog. At the same time, she is surprised Marek has no visible
injuries. Marek is amused by the misunderstanding, as he was referring to his three-pound
Pomeranian. According to the semantic triangle, which element led to the
miscommunication?
a. Reference
b. Referent
c. Symbol
d. Denotation

Answer: a
Rationale:
The miscommunication in this scenario arises from the referent, as Alicia interprets "dog"
based on her understanding of larger, potentially aggressive breeds, rather than the specific
referent intended by Marek.
19. Because of its negative historical connotation, the word Nazi is an example of which of
the following?
a. Ambiguous language
b. Loaded language
c. Semantics
d. Misunderstanding
Answer: b
Rationale:
Loaded language refers to words or phrases that carry strong emotional or cultural
associations, often beyond their literal meanings. The word "Nazi" carries a significant
negative historical connotation, making it an example of loaded language.
20. Even if the denotative meanings of the words family and values are emotionally neutral,
when put together, the connotation of the phrase family values becomes _______________ in
U.S. politics.
a. semantic
b. ambiguous
c. loaded language
d. emotionally charged
Answer: c
Rationale:

The phrase "family values" has acquired a specific cultural and political connotation in the
context of U.S. politics, representing a set of beliefs and ideals. This connotation makes it an
example of loaded language.
21. Kelly asks her mother for “some” money before she goes on a trip with friends. Kelly is
disappointed when her mother gives her twenty dollars, because by “some” money she was
expecting about five times as much. Kelly’s language lacked clarity, and was therefore
a. ambiguous.
b. concrete.
c. loaded.
d. semantic.
Answer: a
Rationale:
Ambiguity refers to language that can be interpreted in more than one way. In this scenario,
Kelly's request for "some" money is unclear and open to interpretation, leading to
disappointment when her expectations differ from what her mother provides.
22. According to English professor Samuel Hayakawa, words can be arrayed along a ladder
of ___________ that shows their progression from more abstract to more concrete.
a. ambiguity
b. semantics
c. abstraction
d. language
Answer: c
Rationale:
The ladder of abstraction, as proposed by Samuel Hayakawa, describes the hierarchy of
language from abstract concepts to concrete terms. It highlights the progression of language
from broad, conceptual terms to specific, tangible ones.

23. If you can trace the progression of an idea from living creatures, to animals, to mammals,
to canines, to cocker spaniels, to your pet named Lucy, what are you following?
a. Semantics
b. Ambiguity
c. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
d. The ladder of abstraction
Answer: d
Rationale:
The ladder of abstraction concept illustrates the process of moving from abstract concepts to
specific instances or examples. In this scenario, tracing the idea from broad categories (living
creatures) to specific instances (Lucy the pet) demonstrates the progression along this ladder.
24. The Ashanti tribe in Africa has a proverb that says, “The poor man and the rich man do
not play together.” This proverb not only influences the ways tribal members see the world,
but also reflects the attitudes and behaviors of the tribe’s people. This example illustrates
what concept?
a. Ladder of abstraction
b. Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
c. Ambiguity of language
d. Complexity of language
Answer: b
Rationale:
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis posits that language shapes the way individuals perceive and
think about the world. In this example, the proverb reflects not just linguistic expression but
also influences attitudes and behaviors, showcasing the impact of language on worldview.
25. Peter Gordon, a psycholinguist at Columbia University, studied Brazil’s Pirahas tribe and
their use of language. He found they had very few words for time and no words for numbers
or numerical ideas. His study, published in the journal Science, found that the Pirahas were

incapable of doing basic math, and in fact, they were incapable of learning even the concept
of numbers, despite eight months of tutoring. The fact that this tribe of people could not
conceive of something for which they had no vocabulary reflects what principle?
a. Linguistic relativity
b. Ambiguous language
c. Ladder of abstraction
d. Linguistic determinism
Answer: d
Rationale:
Linguistic determinism, a concept associated with the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, suggests that
language determines the way individuals perceive and think about the world. In this case, the
Pirahas' lack of numerical vocabulary hindered their ability to comprehend numerical
concepts, demonstrating linguistic determinism in action.
26. Linguistic _____________ suggests that because language determines our perceptions of
reality, people see the world differently depending on what language they speak.
a. ambiguity
b. abstraction
c. relativity
d. determinism
Answer: c
Rationale:
Linguistic relativity, also known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, proposes that the structure
and content of language influence thought and perception. It implies that different languages
shape the way individuals perceive reality, leading to diverse worldviews.
27. You might think Rocky is stronger than Percy simply based on his name because
a. a person’s name represents a sense of self.
b. a person’s name can suggest information about a person’s characteristics.

c. language expresses who we are.
d. names can provide clues about someone’s ethnicity.
Answer: b
Rationale:
The choice of a person's name can often convey information about their characteristics or
attributes. This reflects the notion that names can influence perceptions based on associated
qualities or stereotypes.
28. Although William’s parents name him William, he grows up being called Billy. When he
goes away to college, he introduces himself to his new friends as Will. He becomes frustrated
when, returning home for the holidays, his family continues to call him Billy. Which
statement about language best applies to his frustration?
a. Language connects us to others.
b. Language motivates action.
c. Language expresses who we are.
d. Language controls our relationships.
Answer: c
Rationale:
William's frustration arises from the discrepancy between his chosen identity ("Will") and the
name his family continues to use ("Billy"). This situation highlights how language, in this
case, the use of names, is intertwined with personal identity and self-expression.
29. _____________ is the extent to which others perceive us to be competent and
trustworthy.
a. Relativity
b. Likability
c. Ambiguity
d. Credibility
Answer: d

Rationale:
Credibility refers to the degree to which others perceive an individual as competent and
trustworthy. It is essential in establishing trust and reliability in communication and
interactions.
30. “Money doesn’t grow on trees” is an example of what?
a. Cliché
b. Dialect
c. Weasel word
d. Slang phrase
Answer: a
Rationale:
A cliché is a phrase or expression that has become overused to the point of losing its
originality or effectiveness. "Money doesn’t grow on trees" is a common saying used to
convey the idea that money is not readily available and must be earned.
31. Which of the following uses of language is least likely to diminish your credibility?
a. Clichés
b. Concrete words
c. Weasel words
d. Equivocation
Answer: b
Rationale:
Concrete words are specific and clear, enhancing understanding and credibility. They provide
precise details and avoid ambiguity, unlike clichés, weasel words, and equivocation, which
can obscure meaning and undermine credibility.
32. Marissa is from New York. She is sent to Georgia by her company to supervise a new
division. While there Marissa notices a difference in the way language is used. For example,
she uses words like “schlep” when describing her commute, while they use “y’all” frequently.

Marissa tries to be friendly with her new employees and coworkers, but they seem to question
her credibility. What might be contributing to their lack of confidence in her?
a. Her use of a dialect different from theirs.
b. Her New Yorker clichés.
c. Her use of weasel words.
d. Her frequent equivocation.
Answer: a
Rationale:
Marissa's use of a dialect different from her coworkers' may lead to miscommunication or
difficulty in understanding, contributing to a perception of lower credibility. Different dialects
can create barriers to effective communication and mutual understanding in a professional
environment.
33. If you speak in a dialect familiar to your audience because you know it enhances your
credibility, you are practicing ________________ theory.
a. equivocation
b. communication enactment
c. enhancement
d. communication accommodation
Answer: d
Rationale:
Communication accommodation theory suggests that speakers adjust their language,
including dialect, to match that of their audience, thereby enhancing credibility and rapport
by demonstrating understanding and connection.
34. _____________ is language that disguises a speaker’s true intentions.
a. Dialect
b. Equivocation

c. Weasel language
d. Ambiguity
Answer: b
Rationale:
Equivocation involves using ambiguous or vague language to conceal one's true intentions or
to avoid committing to a specific stance. It can lead to confusion and undermine trust in the
speaker's message.
35. Your mother asks you if she looks good in a particular outfit and you know it is not a
flattering dress on her. You don’t want to hurt her feelings, so you use _______________ by
saying, “I like the cut of the dress, but isn’t that a color you don’t like wearing?”
a. weasel words
b. concrete words
c. equivocation
d. equalization
Answer: c
Rationale:
By providing a vague compliment while subtly expressing concern about the color, the
speaker is using equivocation to avoid directly stating their true opinion and potentially
hurting their mother's feelings.
36. Kareem interviews five students about his persuasive speech topic on the legalization of
marijuana. Of the five, three support his topic. During his speech, Kareem states, “Three out
of five college students believe that marijuana should be legalized.” Kareem’s dubious
research skills led him to state the misleading data that sixty percent of students support the
legalization of marijuana. Kareem is using what type of language?
a. Weasel words
b. Abstract words
c. Clichés

d. Equivocation
Answer: a
Rationale:
Kareem is using weasel words by presenting misleading information that distorts the truth.
By selectively choosing data and misrepresenting it, he undermines the credibility of his
argument.
37. Many people use social networking sites such as Facebook to meet new people and stay
in contact with those they already know. Which of the following is true of the social and
linguistic functions of sites like Facebook?
a. Connect us to others
b. Motivate action
c. Express who we are
d. Control contact with others
Answer: a
Rationale:
Social networking sites like Facebook primarily serve to connect individuals with others,
facilitating communication and interaction across distances.
38. Juan likes to say to his girlfriend things like “I hope to marry you one day” and “You are
the most important person in the world to me.” What is Juan using language to express?
a. Credibility
b. Affection
c. Inclusion
d. Comfort
Answer: b
Rationale:

Juan is expressing affection through his language, conveying his feelings of love and
commitment to his girlfriend.
39. There are web sites and organizations that organize card drives, sending thousands of
cards are sent to American troops overseas. Besides the support these cards express, what else
do they provide through the power of language?
a. Inclusion
b. Identity
c. Comfort
d. Credibility
Answer: c
Rationale:
In addition to expressing support, cards sent to troops overseas provide comfort through the
power of language, offering emotional reassurance and connection to home.
40. ____________ is a common communication behavior in social group settings because we
frequently talk about people who are not present.
a. Conversation
b. Talking
c. Equivocation
d. Gossip
Answer: d
Rationale:
Gossip involves discussing individuals who are not present and is a common social behavior
in group settings. It serves various functions, including bonding within the group and sharing
information about others.
41. Although we sometimes ______________ about people’s positive qualities, research
shows that we are far more likely to talk with others about a person’s negative features or
behaviors.

a. talk
b. use language
c. gossip
d. connect
Answer: c
Rationale:
Gossip refers to discussing others' negative features or behaviors, which aligns with the
context provided in the question.
42. When you say what you dislike about your brother’s new girlfriend, you are expressing
a. criticism.
b. gossip.
c. threats.
d. jargon.
Answer: a
Rationale:
Expressing dislike about someone's qualities or behavior falls under the category of criticism,
which is the most suitable option provided.
43. When an instructor writes comments on an assignment to help us improve, it is
considered _______________ criticism.
a. verbal
b. constructive
c. destructive
d. normal
Answer: b
Rationale:

Constructive criticism involves providing feedback aimed at improvement, which is the
instructor's intention in this scenario.
44. A declaration of the intention to harm someone is called a
a. criticism.
b. cliché.
c. weasel word.
d. threat.
Answer: d
Rationale:
A threat is a statement expressing the intention to cause harm, fitting the description provided
in the question.
45. A parent saying to a child, “If you want to cry, I’ll give you something to cry about” is an
example of a
a. threat.
b. fact.
c. cliché.
d. criticism.
Answer: a
Rationale:
This statement represents a threat because it implies a consequence for the child's behavior.
46. “Subway—Eat Fresh” is an example of
a. persuasion.
b. a slogan.
c. a commercial.
d. a cliché.

Answer: b
Rationale:
"Subway—Eat Fresh" is a succinct and memorable phrase used to identify the brand, making
it a slogan.
47. Every time we watch a television commercial, read a pop-up ad on the Internet, or listen
to a political speech, someone is trying to influence what we believe or how we will behave
through what method?
a. Coercion
b. Slogans
c. Persuasion
d. Gossip
Answer: c
Rationale:
Persuasion is the deliberate attempt to influence attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors, as described
in the question.
48. A booster club at a local high school needs to raise money for the football team’s trip to
the state championships. They mail out a flyer offering potential sponsors different levels of
sponsorship: $1,000 (diamond); $500 (platinum); $250 (gold); $100 (silver); $50 (bronze).
The boosters were afraid that if they asked for $50 outright, many supporters would balk at
the cost. But they hope that by using the __________ approach, the sponsors will think $50 is
reasonable.
a. anchor and contrast
b. reciprocity
c. scarcity
d. cause and effect
Answer: a
Rationale:

By providing higher sponsorship levels first, the $50 option seems more reasonable in
comparison, which aligns with the anchor and contrast principle.
49. According to the _________________, we should feel a sense of duty to help individuals
who have helped us in the past.
a. anchor and contrast theory
b. payback theory
c. norm of reciprocity
d. norm of scarcity
Answer: c
Rationale:
The norm of reciprocity suggests that individuals feel obliged to return favors or help
received from others.
50. When McDonald’s puts on its roadside signs “99 billion served,” the company is hoping
you will want to eat where so many other consumers have because of what principle?
a. Cause and effect
b. Social validation
c. Scarcity
d. Reciprocity
Answer: b
Rationale:
The statement "99 billion served" serves as social proof or validation, indicating to potential
customers that many others have chosen McDonald's, making it a more appealing option.
51. The ____________ principle maintains that people will comply with requests if they
believe that others are also complying.
a. reciprocity
b. cause and effect

c. anchor and contrast
d. social validation
Answer: d
Rationale:
The correct answer is d. Social validation. Social validation principle suggests that people are
more likely to comply with requests if they believe others are also complying. This principle
leverages social proof, where individuals look to others' behavior to determine their own
actions.
52. What is a way humor does NOT enhance our communication and associations with
others?
a. It can bring us closer to people.
b. It can undermine feelings of intimacy.
c. It can make social interaction more pleasant and enjoyable.
d. It can defuse stress.
Answer: b
Rationale:
The correct answer is b. It can undermine feelings of intimacy. While humor can enhance
communication and associations in various ways, it may not undermine feelings of intimacy;
instead, it often fosters intimacy by creating shared laughter and bonding experiences.
53. Celine asks her professor if she can give a speech on “friends with benefits.” The
professor agrees, thinking the topic will be on the benefits of friendship. Much to the
professor’s surprise, the speech is about friends who have sex with one another. Celine’s
professor did not realize that Celine was using a ______________ to make the topic sounds
less explicit.
a. euphemism
b. slang word
c. jargon term

d. metaphor
Answer: a
Rationale:
The correct answer is a. euphemism. Celine used a euphemism by using the term "friends
with benefits" to refer to a sensitive or potentially explicit topic (sexual relationships between
friends) in a more socially acceptable or softened manner.
54. Some topics are difficult or impolite to talk about directly, such as death or using the
bathroom, so people tend to use ______________ instead.
a. jargon
b. slang
c. euphemisms
d. profanity
Answer: c
Rationale:
The correct answer is c. euphemisms. When discussing sensitive or impolite topics, people
often use euphemisms to soften the language or make it more socially acceptable.
55. Seth works in computers for a large company. He is asked to give a presentation to the top
executives on current issues in technology. Halfway through his speech that includes issues
such as adware, biometrics, and dongles, Seth realizes he has lost his audience due to his
excessive use of
a. jargon.
b. slang.
c. profanity.
d. euphemisms.
Answer: a
Rationale:

The correct answer is a. jargon. Seth lost his audience due to his excessive use of technical or
specialized terminology (jargon) that the executives might not be familiar with or find
difficult to understand.
56. Excessive use of ______________ can make someone feel like an outsider.
a. profanity
b. defamation
c. jargon
d. euphemisms
Answer: c
Rationale:
The correct answer is c. jargon. Excessive use of jargon, especially in a social setting where
others may not understand the specialized terminology, can alienate individuals and make
them feel like outsiders.
57. Libel and slander are two types of what misuse of language?
a. Jargon
b. Defamation
c. Hate speech
d. Profanity
Answer: b
Rationale:
The correct answer is b. Defamation. Libel and slander are both forms of defamation, which
involves making false statements that harm someone's reputation.
58. Celebrity Kim Kardashian was recently sued by the Cookie Diet when she wrote negative
comments about the diet and its founder on a Twitter post. The company claimed Kardashian
caused tens of millions of dollars’ worth of damage to their business and harm to their
reputation because of her negative comments. The Cookie Diet company is accusing
Kardashian of what misuse of language?

a. Profanity
b. Hate speech
c. Jargon
d. Defamation
Answer: d
Rationale:
The correct answer is d. Defamation. The Cookie Diet company is accusing Kim Kardashian
of defamation, as they allege that her negative comments caused harm to their business and
reputation.
59. What is a term for language that is considered vulgar, rude, or obscene in the context of
which it is used?
a. Hate speech
b. Profanity
c. Jargon
d. Defamation
Answer: b
Rationale:
The correct answer is b. Profanity. Profanity refers to language that is considered vulgar,
rude, or obscene in a particular context or cultural setting.
60. To call a female dog a “bitch” is considered appropriate, but to call your math professor
the same word would be considered ___________ because of the context.
a. profanity
b. jargon
c. hate speech
d. defamation
Answer: a

Rationale:
The correct answer is a. profanity. The appropriateness of language is highly contextdependent. While calling a female dog a "bitch" may be acceptable in certain contexts, using
the same term to refer to a person, such as a math professor, would likely be considered
profanity due to the derogatory nature of the word when applied to humans.
61. Calling people derogatory names, intimidating them, and advocating violence against
groups of individuals all qualify as what type of language?
a. Defamation
b. Hate speech
c. Profanity
d. Hurtful
Answer: b
Rationale:
Hate speech refers to language that denigrates, intimidates, or incites violence or prejudice
against individuals or groups based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion, sexual
orientation, disability, or gender. This type of language goes beyond merely being hurtful or
offensive and can have serious consequences for individuals and society as a whole.
62. In 2010, high school student Phoebe Prince hanged herself after weeks of bullying during
which classmates allegedly called her “Irish whore” and used Facebook posts to encourage
Phoebe to kill herself. Phoebe is a tragic example of a person victimized by what kind of
language?
a. Hate speech
b. Profanity
c. Language
d. Jargon
Answer: a
Rationale:

Phoebe Prince's experience exemplifies the devastating effects of hate speech, which targets
individuals based on their nationality, ethnicity, or other characteristics, leading to severe
emotional distress and, in tragic cases, suicide.
63. Which term expresses a personal judgment or preference that we can agree or disagree
with, but that is not true or false in an absolute sense?
a. Factual claim
b. Implication
c. Opinion
d. Inference
Answer: c
Rationale:
An opinion is a subjective expression of a personal belief or preference that may vary among
individuals and cannot be definitively proven true or false. It is based on personal perspective
rather than objective evidence.
64. Saying, “The governor has been ineffective in this crisis” is what type of statement?
a. Factual
b. Inference
c. Opinion
d. Profane
Answer: c
Rationale:
This statement expresses an opinion about the effectiveness of the governor in handling a
crisis. It reflects the speaker's judgment rather than an objective fact that can be definitively
proven.
65. In a discussion with classmates, Helen proclaims, “Abortion should be illegal in the
United States.” A classmate points out that her statement is not a fact, which angers Helen.
She is convinced that it is a fact that abortion should be illegal and says she can prove it.

Having expressed an evaluation of what “should be,” Helen is unable to see that she has
made what kind of statement?
a. Opinion
b. Inference
c. Identity
d. Value
Answer: a
Rationale:
Helen's statement reflects her opinion or personal belief about the legality of abortion rather
than an objective fact. It represents her evaluation of what she believes should be the case.
66. An instructor who simplifies his or her language when teaching an introductory level
course as opposed to an advanced course is doing what?
a. Owning his or her thoughts and feelings.
b. Separating opinions from factual claims.
c. Avoiding hate speech.
d. Speaking at an appropriate level.
Answer: d
Rationale:
Simplifying language to match the comprehension level of the audience is an example of
speaking at an appropriate level. It enhances understanding and engagement, particularly in
educational settings.
67. Which type of statement claims ownership of what a communicator is feeling or
thinking?
a. You-statement
b. We-statement
c. They-statement

d. I-statement
Answer: d
Rationale:
An I-statement asserts ownership of the speaker's feelings or thoughts, typically beginning
with "I feel" or "I think." It promotes effective communication by expressing personal
perspective without attributing blame or making assumptions about others.
68. You are arguing with your cousin and getting frustrated because she does not seem to
understand what you are saying. Instead of saying, “You are not listening to me,” you state, “I
don’t think I’m being clear.” You have used what principle of effectively using language?
a. Separating fact from opinion
b. Owning your own thoughts or feelings
c. Speaking at an appropriate level
d. Avoiding hate speech
Answer: b
Rationale:
By stating "I don't think I'm being clear," the speaker takes ownership of their own perception
rather than blaming the cousin. This reflects the principle of owning one's thoughts or
feelings, which fosters constructive dialogue and prevents defensiveness.
69. “My feelings are hurt” is an example of what kind of statement?
a. I-statement
b. We-statement
c. You-statement
d. They-statement
Answer: a
Rationale:

"My feelings are hurt" is an example of an I-statement because it explicitly expresses the
speaker's own emotions without attributing blame or making assumptions about others. It
promotes clear and respectful communication.

Test Bank for Communication Matters
Kory Floyd
9780078036866, 9781259707766

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