Thursday, November 15, 2018

What? What?

Look at this cartoon strip:

What is most likely the word that was blanked out in the last panel?

a. something profane
b. "bingo"
c. "irony"
d. no word was there, just ". . ."

Scroll down for the answer.

O.K., this shouldn't have been too hard.  Let's stop and think.  A teacher is putting this up, so chances are that he is not going to put something profane on the site.  So we can rule out A.  Irony is something unexpected and it would be unexpected that an irony detector detects everything but irony, so C. is a good answer.  While it might look as if he is repeating her last word, "Bingo" makes no sense, so we can rule out B.  D. would only work if the cartoonist was expecting you to figure out the joke, so it might could work.  So we have b, which works, and d, which might would work.  Always go with the sure thing.  C. is the correct answer.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

I'm Ready for Summer

Look at the cartoon below:

What type of irony is the above cartoon?

a. situational
b. dramatic
c. verbal
d. ironic

Scroll down for the answer.

The girl doesn't see the boy, but we do.  This is b. dramatic.  By the way, there is no such thing as ironic irony.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Polar Night

Read the following passage from "Polar Night" by Norah Burke. The story is about a female polar bear who is getting ready for winter. At this point in the story, she has just killed a seal and heard a noise. She hid and this is what happens next:

Presently she saw upright seals coming along the shore. They were rather rare creatures, these, and dangerous for all they were so weak. The places they lived had light and noise, and smelled of good food. The she-bear often drew near the places, attracted by those smells. She hunted these land-seals too, and ate them when she could. They were not like the sea-seals, though. They wore seal fur, and their skins were rubbed with seal blubber, but there was a different taste inside.

Based on this passage, the term "land-seal" probably means:

a. sea lions
b. leopard seals
c. some unknown animals
d. humans

Scroll down for the answer...


The correct answer is d. humans.  We get this because these creatures have lights and are dangerous.  The only creatures to create light that can also be a threat to polar bears are humans.  The fact that they are referred to as "seals" in any capacity comes from the fact that the perspective is from a bear who does not understand everything.  

Friday, November 9, 2018

Poseidon's Ticked - or Is It Hypnos?

Read the statement below:

What storms then shook the ocean of my sleep.

This is an example of which literary term?

a. idiom
b. simile
c. metaphor
d. personification
e. imagery
f. rhetorical device

Scroll down for the answer.

The answer here is c. metaphor.  Sleep is being compared to an ocean and whatever is troubling the narrator and keeping him/her from sleeping is being compared to storms.  Metaphors are often difficult to spot since they do not advertise the comparison, like similes do.  If you are reading on the state test and something doesn't seem to make sense, then perhaps you missed a metaphor and are trying to read the comparison literally instead of figuratively.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Vampires Don't Sparkle

Read the following passage from Twilight:

The girls were opposites.  The tall one was statuesque.  She had a beautiful figure, the kind you saw on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, the kind that make every girl around her take a hit on her self-esteem just by being in the same room.  Her hair was golden, gently waving to the middle of her back.  The short girl was pixielike, thin in the extreme, with small features.  Her hair was a deep black, cropped short and pointing in every direction.

Based on the above passage, what does the suffix -esque mean?

a. sparkling
b. beautiful
c. like
d. paranormal

Scroll down for the answer.

c. is correct.  The girl is so tall and beautiful that she is statuesque, or like a statue.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Crazy about a . . .

Watch the commercial:

Based on the allusion presented in the commercial, we can assume that a rival for Mercedes is:

a. Mercury
b. BMW
c. Lexus
d. Cadillac

Scroll down for the answer.

a. is the correct answer.  This should be pretty easy allusion to get.  The state test will often shy away from allusions because it relies on you knowing something outside of the text.  However, allusions to mythology are fair game, as it is expected that everyone is familiar with basic classical mythology.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Sweet Christmas!

Look at this panel from an early Luke Cage comic:

What literary term is Cage using to express his anger?

a. alliteration
b. metaphor
c. allusion
d. verbal irony

Scroll down for the answer.

The answer is C. Allusion.  Luke makes a reference to Pinocchio and a reference to another story is called an allusion.