A Millennial Pop Quiz


I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than

diagramming sentences.

                                                                        Gertrude Stein   

Stein might have been writing with her tongue in her cheek, of course, but diagramming sentences was and still is taken very seriously by a lot of people.

Investor's Business Daily, for example, reported the experience of Joseph R. Mallon, Jr., when he was chairman and CEO of Measurement Specialties, Inc.

Whenever he was faced with a complex problem, he harkened back to the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, who taught him the art of diagramming a sentence when he was in high school. It's an analytical process he applied to tackling tough business issues.

Take (the issue) apart into its component parts. Make sure all the components fit together well. They've got to be well chosen, fit together and make sense. There are few problems that can't be solved that way.

Things that once were very important to us fall into insignificance and obsolescence with the passage of generations.

I was reminded of this when my grandson, a smart-as-a-whip university student who's not shy with the ladies, stumbled over this sentence from my latest book, Fat Guy in a Fat Boat:

… like the lacey hem of a pretty girl’s slip.

He actually had to ask his mother, “Mom, what’s a girl’s slip?”

The next time I see him, I’ll ask him if he knows Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings.

He probably doesn’t even know there was a band named Wings.

Then there’s my California amiga, Fawn, who told me she has a 30-year-old woman friend who’s never heard of Gloria Steinem.

All this sounded like it would make a good game for Millennials—and anyone else who doesn’t know what to do with an S&H Green Stamp.

So here is my "Pop Quiz for Millennials." It features multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blanks questions, and even a sentence diagramming question for extra credit:

1. Windsor can mean:

  • A member of the British royal family
  • A style of necktie knot
  • The name of a hybrid rose
  • None of the above
  • All of the above

2. Spaldeen is:

  • A brand of soccer ball
  • An alloy of aluminum and bauxite
  • A town in Wyoming
  • None of the above
  • All of the above

3. A slide rule can be used for:

  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Logarithms
  • None of the above
  • All of the above

4. A siren is:

  • A figure in Greek mythology
  • A dangerously enticing woman
  • A device used in surgical procedures
  • None of the above
  • All of the above

5. A Peep Show might be:

  • Erotic images viewed from a coin-operated booth
  • A diorama composed of Marshmallow Peeps
  • A Viennese children’s toy
  • None of the above
  • All of the above

6. Old-timers used to say, "A rolling stone gathers no ____."

7. In the Fifties, a good secretary was able to take dictation in _________.

8. ___ _____ was a manufacturing process developed in the Eighties to show that products were defect-free.

9. A ____-__-____ salesman might sell anything from brushes to vacuums to encyclopedias.

10. Under a dress, a girl wore a slip; under a skirt, she wore a _________.

For extra credit, diagram this sentence: 

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Quiz answers are at the bottom of the post.

In my next blog, "For Better, For Worse"


Read my newest book, Fat Guy in a Fat Boat, in print or Kindle from Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Guy-Boat-Peter-Yaremko/dp/0990905012/

Also available is my e-book, A Light from Within, about the small moments of our lives that seem commonplace until they are examined under a creative lens.


Answers: 1. A style of necktie knot; 2. None of the above; 3. All of the above; 4. A dangerously enticing woman; 5. All of the above; 6. moss; 7. shorthand; 8. Six Sigma; 9. door-to-door; 10. crinoline.

Extra Credit Question:


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  • John Roman
    followed this page 2015-08-01 21:57:43 -0400