Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I received an email the other day with a list of "actual" GED questions and the "actual" answers given.  Whether or not these were real GED questions and answers does not concern me.  What I did find interesting though is that what made these so funny was that almost every answer had misused or mis-characterized a word.  In rhetoric this is a stylistic vice called a barbarism.  It often had to do with using foreign words in an incorrect manner, really, any misuse of a word would qualify as a barbarism

Here are some of my favorite examples from the GED questions:

Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
A. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery
Q. What is the most common form of birth control?
A. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium.
Q. What does the word 'benign' mean?
A. Benign is what you will be after you be eight.
Q. What is a turbine?
A. Something an Arab or Shreik wears on his head.
Q. Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.
A. Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.

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