English Questions Suck

I have always hated English tests- especially the ones made not by your teacher but by someone at a desk somewhere. Here is an example of a question:

Ten thousand thousand fruit to touch.”

Is that alliteration or hyperbole? I examined it thoroughly. “Ten” and “fruit to touch” have an alliterative sound to them. “Thousand thousand” does not. So it is a little alliterative (no pun intended), but not completely. So, hyperbole? Well, I don’t know approximately how apples can be picked in a season. On an apple-picking farm (assuming it’s a modern one) I can be pretty sure that there will be several people doing the harvest, and they will have a large farm because all farms are now, due to the fewer number of farmers but the remaining demand for food. Could they pick about 1,000,000 apples in a harvest? I think so- when you consider of how small an apple is, and how many are shipped to various grocery stores, and the sheer size of an orchard, that seems reasonable (to me). So it might be hyperbole, but I am guessing* it’s not.

*This is the problem- if I know what the term is, then it should not be a guessing contest between two answers. Hyperbole means extreme exaggeration, and alliteration is repeating ion of consonants (Sally sells seashells by the seashore). I really, really hate when there is doubt in what an answer is. This one of the reasons I would rather take a math test than an English test, because of the ambiguity of the questions. I do sympathize with the people creating the tests, because there is almost no way to truly test someone’s aptitude at a language. But the test really fails if it represents someone’s knowledge at a lower level than it truly is.

I chose alliteration.

It was hyperbole.


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