You may recall that our inaugural spelling challenge last winter included all right, which as we said at the time “has warded off alright for countless decades [and] remains unacceptable across the board in serious writing.”
Since then we’ve discovered yet another adversary gunning for all right: films with subtitles. For whatever reason, subtitled films
invariably insist on alright. We don’t know where films go to be subtitled, but apparently Subtitle Central has decided that alright’s time has arrived. We’ll see about that.
Meanwhile, here is the next in our occasional series of spelling tests. You’ll find the answers below—after you take the quiz, if you
1. The differences between them are ___, so take your pick.
2. Many nutritionists claim honey mixed with ___ can help with weight loss.
3. Living in that place was like being in a ___.
C) strait jacket
4. A backyard ___ is what summer is all about.
D) A, B, and C are all correct.
5. The fire ___ is investigating a suspicious blaze.
6. The ___ choir sang like a band of angels.
A) a capella
B) a cappella
C) a capela
D) a cappela
7. These chemicals will help ___ the solution to the required purity.
8. He handed me a metal ___ with a loose lid.
9. Bobby strummed his ___ as if his hand were on fire.
10. There’s a lot more to do in ___ than many New Yorkers suspect.
1: A) minuscule. Note that first u. A lot of people think the word is “miniscule.” And it makes sense that a word for tiny would have a mini in it. In this case, don’t think mini, think minus.
2: D) cinnamon
3: A) straitjacket. It’s commonly spelled with a straight, which is understandable. Wouldn’t a “straightjacket” be just the thing to straighten you up and straighten you out?
4: C) barbecue. People want to put a q where the c should be. The popular abbreviation, BBQ, doesn’t help matters.
5: B) marshal
6: B) a cappella. Most have no problem with the two l’s, but the double p’s are another matter.
7: D) rarefy
8: C) canister
9: A) ukulele. This word creates a lot of bother for such an elfin instrument.
10: B) Cincinnati