Monday, March 21, 2016

Vocabulary Trivia Quiz

The "new SAT" made its debut earlier this month. Part of the redesign included a de-emphasis on obscure vocabulary words, since it is well-known that college students no longer need to read multisyllabic words.

I am sure that this loss was deeply felt by many of us, so to make up for it, I am offering a one-question vocabulary quiz for today.  Here's the question:

Which of these words is not like the other?  One of these words just doesn't belong. Which one is it? (Extra credit if you can define all of the words).

A.  Jacobite
B.  Jacobin
C.  Jacobian
D.  Jacobean

Answer after the break...

The answer is C.  All of the other words refer to history, while Jacobian is a term from mathematics.

A.  Jacobite is a follower of James II, who was the last Catholic king to reign in England.

B.  Jacobin refers to the radicals in the French revolution, of the head-chopping-off variety.

C.  Jacobian is a term from multivariable calculus.  Roughly speaking, it quantifies the ratio in "volume" as you change from one set of variables to another.

D.  Jacobean refers to anything having to do with the reign of James I, also king of England.

Update:  OK, there is another plausible answer here:
A.  Jacobite is the only one of these words that does not end in the letter "n".  So it's different from all of the others.

Update:  I see another possibility.
B.  Jacobin has 7 letters.  All of the other answers have 8 letters.  So it's clearly Jacobin that's different.

Update:  All right, there is one other possible answer:
D.  Jacobean -- it's the only one that has an "e" following "Jacob".  All of the others have "i".

Good thing I'm not making up questions for the SAT....

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