Periodic: a monthly blog feature

Periodic: a monthly blog feature

An occasional review of items that caught our eye in BPL’s magazine subscriptions.

As you might expect, we’re all pretty fond of language around here and delight in sharing the clever turns of phrase and excruciatingly bad grammar we encounter. The other day a book crossed our path [clever book!)] entitled F in Exams: Pop Quiz by Richard Benson. Unlike those lists of really dumb answers that have circulated for years, we found most of these reveal a kind of innate wit and near-logic all their own.  Either that, or they were meant to infuriate the teacher.

Q:   What is one of the key themes running through Anne Frank’s Diary?
A:   Anne Frank’s Diary had lots of cows running through it.  

Q:   What does the law of gravity refer to?
A:   I don’t know, but it sounds very serious.

Q:  What is the purpose of amylase?
A:  It lets people named Amy relax.  [For those of us who didn’t know…it is an enzyme found in saliva that converts starch into simple sugars.]

Q:  Why is methane a gas at 20 degrees Celsius?
A:  Because that’s the temperature of a fart.  [Again, there’s logic at work here.]

Q:  Lord of the Flies is often described as “terrifying”.  Describe an incident in the book that is terrifying.
A:   The bit where all the flies come out at once, but it’s hardly The Evil Dead.  [Everybody’s a critic.]

Q:   Many believe that Piggy suffers the most in Lord of the Flies.  Do you agree?  Give reasons.
A;:  Yes. It’s because they make him into an escape goat, because he’s named after a farm animal.

Q:  What advice would you give to an actor playing Piggy (from Lord of the Flies)?
A:   Remember that Kermit loves you.  [Cheeky Monkey!]

Q:  Explain the meaning of the word “dystopia”.
A:  I had dystopia once after eating a bad burger.

Q:  Explain what a colon is.  Demonstrate how it should be applied in a sentence.
A:  It’s a kind of perfume for men.  You spray it on your neck to make you smell nice.  [French class was last period.]

Q: What does Antonym mean?
A:  I don’t know what it means, but I think you spelled it wrong.  [“Antony, my best man among men.” Cleopatra, Antony and Cleopatra by Wm. Shakespeare]

Q:  Write the longest sentence you can, using appropriate punctuation.
A:  Fifty years to life.

Q:  Define and give an example of an oxymoron.
A:  An idiot who looks like a bull…my Uncle Manny.