Recently a math teacher and Facebook friend of Vocabulary.com posted to her Facebook page: "Would you rather take a 'quiz,' 'diagnostic,' 'test,' or 'evaluation?'"
Responses were clear. One commenter wrote, "Quiz sounds fun. The others are all waiting to judge me." Another weighed in, "Quiz, of course. the others are work."
Why are three of these synonyms seen as negative while another is a clear favorite? A quick look at just the first paragraph of the blurbs for these words in the Vocabulary.com Dictionary explains. Let's start with the traditional test.
Here's the more generalized evaluation.
Diagnostic, our blurb explains, suggests you might be sick.
And finally, here's quiz, the clear favorite. Why? Because, as our blurb explains, it's fun!
Negative and positive associations with words are important. Learning them is just one more reason to look up a word you already know to learn more before you use it.
They can even help you do better on standardized tests such as the SAT. Here, we explain what to do when you know the positive or negative association, but not the meaning of a word in a test-taking situation.