Are you ready for some "Straight Talk?"
Well, get prepared, because that is what
this quiz is all about. Businessman and author
Lee Iacocca is a straight talker who knows
how to pack a wallop with his words. He
began building his vocabulary early by
reading "Word Power" and exchanging
verbal spars with his classmates. Here
are some of Iacocca's choice words.
1. aspire (v.) - A: to animate. B: aim for. C: end.
2. meddlesome (adj.) - A: spirited. B: fretful. C: inter-
fering. D: fainthearted.
3. albatross (n.) - sea bird symbolizing A: persistent
difficulty. B: ecstasy. C: effortless achievement. D: lost
4. permeate (v.) - A: to firm up. B: rearrange. C: force an
opening into. D: spread through.
5. consortium (n.) - A: monopoly. B: partnership. C: illegal
transaction. D: rental unit.
6. laissez-faire (adj.) - A: easy come, easy go. B: at rest.
C: unregulated. D: harmonious.
7. divisive (adj.) - A: dishonest. B: roundabout. C: candid.
8. ad hoc (adj.) - A: for this purpose. B: unreal.
C: possible. D: confidential.
9. harbor (v.) - A: to encourage. B: keep in one's mind.
C: reinforce. D: lose sight of.
10. tout (v.) - A: to oppose. B: suppress. C: deceive.
11. catharsis (n.) - A: result. B: intensity. C: weakness.
12. envisage (v.) - A: to visualize. B: plan for. C: ideal-
ize. D: surround.
13. contentious (adj.) - A: relevant or pertinent.
B: controversial. C: full. D: quiet.
14. exacerbate (v.) - A: to analyze carefully. B: make
worse. C: uncover. D: argue.
15. rag (v.) - A: to humiliate. B: challenge. C: tease.
D: clean up.
16. watershed (n.) - A: fluid situation. B: protective
arrangement. C: small waterfall. D: decisive turning point.
17. reparation (n.) - A: making up for a wrongdoing.
B: severe punishment. C: a pulling apart. D: redistribution.
18. homogenize (v.) - A: to weaken. B: blend. C: adapt.
19. faze (n.) - A: to fluster. B: fade away. C: dominate.
D: gloss over.
20. temper (v.) - A: to drive to distraction. B: synchro-
nize. C: mold. D: moderate.
1. aspire - B: To aim for something important; be ambitious;
yearn for. Latin aspirare (to breathe upon).
2. meddlesome - C: Interfering; inclined to pry intrusively
into the lives of others; as, a meddlesome reporter. Old
French medler (to mix).
3. albatross - A: Persistent difficulty or burden. From
Coleridge's poem in which a ship's crew hung a dead alba-
tross around the Ancient Mariner's neck. Sailors believed
that killing this bird brought bad luck.
4. permeate - D: To spread through every part of; as, A
feeling of relief permeated the company. Latin permeare (to
5. consortium - B: Partnership of financial groups for
carrying out a large project; as, an international consor-
tium of car companies. Latin (fellowship).
6. laissez-faire - C: Unregulated; often used to describe an
economic system free of government control. French (let do).
7. divisive - D: Disruptive; causing disagreement among
people; as, their divisive statements. Latin dividere (to
8. ad hoc - A: For a specific purpose only; as, an ad hoc
investigative committee. Latin (for this).
9. harbor - B: To keep or hold in one's mind; as, to harbor
resentments. Old English herebeorg (army shelter).
10. tout - D: To praise or recommend highly; as, He believed
in the cars he touted. Old English totian (to look out for).
11. catharsis - D: Purification; a cleansing; as, Some
contend that business recessions are a necessary catharsis
for an economic system. Greek katharsis.
12. envisage - A: To visualize; imagine; as, to envisage a
new organization. French envisager (to face in).
13. contentious - B: Controversial; causing argument; as,
quarrelsome; the most contentious person imaginable. Latin
com- (with) and tendere (to strive).
14. exacerbate - B: To make worse; aggravate; as, to
exacerbate a weak financial situation. Latin ex- (thoroughly)
and acerbare (to make harsh).
15. rag - C: To tease, banter or joke in an annoyingly
persistent way; as, Our competitor ragged us. British 19th-
century university slang.
16. watershed - D: Decisive turning point affecting outlook,
actions; as, The merger was a watershed in the firm's
history. Also, area from which a river receives its water
17. reparation - A: Making up for a wrongdoing; amends; as,
to make reparations by a public apology. Also, compensation.
Latin re- (again) and parare (to get ready).
18. homogenize - B: To blend diverse elements into a smooth,
uniform mixture; as, It can be dangerous to homogenize one's
thinking. Greek homogenes (of the same kind).
19. faze - A: To fluster; disturb or intimidate; as, Nothing
fazed him. Middle English fesen.
20. temper - D: To moderate; soften effects of; as, to
temper a government regulation. Latin temperare (to keep