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Word Police by Barbara Wallraff
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Confused? Take a peek at a sample exam before you try your hand at the real thing.

Read about the new Word Police training manual, Word Court, by Word Police Commissioner Barbara Wallraff.

Join a conversation on Word Police and Word Court in Atlantic Unbound's reader forum, Post & Riposte.

Read recent Word Court columns from The Atlantic Monthly, and browse the Word Fugitives archive, in The Court Record.

Anti-Redundancy Squad
Entrance Exam

Once you've answered all five questions, press the "Submit answers" button to have your responses scored. If you're not sure of the answer to any question, why not take your best guess? (No points are deducted for wrong answers.) You'll need to get at least four answers right to be allowed to proceed. On the next page, you will be asked a final question that you must answer correctly in order to pass the exam.

1. Which is correct?

Word Police officers are allowed to accept free gifts from the general public.
Word Police officers consider "free gifts" inappropriate.
Word Police regulations require that free gifts already accepted by officers revert back to their original owners.

2. Pleonasm is

always, always, always a crime.
sometimes a valid rhetorical device.
a pleasant sensation sometimes experienced by certain prehistoric creatures.

3. When Word Police officers have a suspect almost entirely surrounded, they're being wasteful.


4. Which is correct?

When Word Police officers are partners, it's only to be expected that both of them will feel competitive with each other.
When Word Police officers are partners, they work in harmony as much as possible.
When Word Police officers are partners, both of them have in common that they are superior to civilians.

5. If someone said to you, "The reason I want to join the Word Police is because I hope to stamp out redundancy wherever I find it," you would

admire that person.
try to see that the person not only joins the force but receives a promotion as soon as possible.
mistrust that person.

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