50 Literature and Language GK Quiz Questions
Word Nerd Quiz – Literature and Language GK Quiz Questions Part 1
1) What is another word for a secretary?
An amanuensis takes dictation and does other secretarial work.
2) What does the word “photography” mean?
Answer: Writing with light.
Photography uses light to inscribe images on film or some other medium. It was invented in the 19th century.
3) What does the word “cuneiform” mean?
Cuneiform script is wedge-shaped. This shape was made by punching symbols into wet clay with a sharpened stick.
4) With what kind of construction is a mason associated?
A mason is a worker in stone, brick, and similar materials. Masons build foundations and walls.
5) What does a ship take on?
Ballast is something a ship takes on to make it heavier. This enables it to ride more deeply in the water, often allowing a smoother voyage.
6) What word does Jean-Maurice-Emile Baudot’s name give us?
The baud rate, referring to the speed of a particular signal’s transmission, was named for the French inventor Jean-Maurice-Emile Baudot.
7) What is the name for a medicine that contains no actual medicine?
Placebo, in Latin, means “I will please.” It means a kind of medicine, often a sugar pill, that works because the patient believes it will.
The Literary World – Famous Novels – Literature and Language GK Quiz Questions Part 2
8) On what novel is the film Slumdog Millionaire based?
Answer: Q & A.
Slumdog Millionaire is based on the novel Q & A, by writer Vikas Swarup.
9) What was Charles Dickens’s last novel?
Answer: The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
Charles Dickens, the English novelist, died in 1870, leaving behind an unfinished novel that was published as The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
10) What was the first of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels to be published after his death?
Answer: The Silmarillion.
The Silmarillion was published in 1977. J.R.R. Tolkien died in 1973.
11) What was the first science-fiction novel?
The first true science-fiction work was Frankenstein (1818), by English author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. The novel deals with the ability of science to create a new species of life.
12) What was the first book in the Harry Potter series?
Answer: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first in the Harry Potter series of novels, was published in 1997.
13) How many novels did Emily Brontë write?
Emily Brontë wrote only Wuthering Heights. It was published in 1847, and she died soon afterward
14) Whose novel The Time Machine is set in 802,701 CE?
Answer: H.G. Wells.
H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine, first published in 1895, was set in the very distant future.
15) Who wrote Jane Eyre?
Answer: Charlotte Brontë.
Jane Eyre was the first novel by Charlotte Brontë to be published. The novel came out in October 1847, only six weeks after it had been accepted for publication.
Languages & Alphabets – Literature and Language GK Quiz Questions Part 3
16) Who created the Cherokee writing system?
The Cherokee Indian leader Sequoyah developed a system of writing for his people.
17) From what language does the word “robot” come?
“Robot” comes from the Czech word robota, meaning “forced labor.” The Czech playwright Karelapek introduced it in his 1920 play R.U.R.
18) How many characters does the Hindi language use?
The Devangar script, used to write the Hindi language, is written from left to right and uses 48 letters, —34 consonants and 14 vowels and diphthongs.
19) Which language was ancient Phoenician related to?
Phoenician was a Semitic language, related to today’s Hebrew and Arabic.
20) What is the main script used to write Hindi?
Devanagari is the main script used to write in Hindi, as well as Marathi and Nepali.
21) How many characters are there in the Arabic alphabet?
There are 28 letters in the Arabic alphabet, but only 17 characters. Some of the characters stand for more than one letter, depending on whether or not a dot is placed above or below them.
22) About how many written characters are there in Chinese?
Zhonghua zihai, a standard dictionary published in China in 1994, contains about 85,500 different characters. Of them, only about 20,000 are in everyday usage.
23) From what language does the word “parliament” come?
Parliament, which refers to a governmental organization, takes its name from the French word parler, which means “to speak.”
24) Which language is not widely spoken in the Philippines?
The largest groups in the Philippines speak Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, and Ilongo. The most widely spoken language is Pilipino (also called Filipino), which is based on Tagalog.
The Literary World – Authors & Poets – Literature and Language GK Quiz Questions Part 4
25) The author of A Tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist is:
Answer: Charles Dickens.
Charles Dickens, a British author, wrote many novels. Oliver Twist was published in 1838, and A Tale of Two Cities was published in 1859.
26) Who is the author of the poetry collection Mother Love?
Answer: Rita Dove.
The African American poet Rita Dove is the author of Mother Love, a collection of poems about mothers and daughters.
27) Where are Geoffrey Chaucer and Robert Browning buried?
Answer: Westminster Abbey.
Westminster Abbey is crowded with the tombs and memorials of famous British subjects. Part of the south transept is known as Poets’ Corner and includes the tombs of Chaucer, Browning, and many others.
28) Where was Charles Dickens born?
Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth, England. His family moved to London in 1822.
29) In what language did Geoffrey Chaucer write?
Answer: Middle English.
Geoffrey Chaucer wrote in Middle English, the English spoken during the Middle Ages. He wrote in the 14th century CE.
The Literary World – Characters Quiz
30) What is the name of Beowulf’s archenemy?
The Old English epic Beowulf, which was probably written in the 8th century, describes the deeds of a prince named Beowulf. His greatest victory is over a murderous monster named Grendel.
31) Which character from Greek mythology figures in the title of Frankenstein?
Mary Shelley’s novel is called Frankenstein, or, the Modern Prometheus. In mythology, Prometheus was a Greek who stole fire from the gods.
32) What is the name of Paul Bunyan’s ox?
Babe the Blue Ox is the companion of the mythological giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan. According to legend, the American Great Lakes were created by Bunyan as a watering hole for Babe.
33) Which epic depicts the wanderings of Odysseus after the Trojan War?
Answer: The Odyssey.
The Odyssey, attributed to the Greek poet Homer, chronicles Odysseus’s many years of travel before he can come home from the Trojan War.
34) Who was the Greek goddess of peace?
Eirene was the goddess of peace. Her name is the Greek word for “peace.” In English, the name is usually spelled “Irene.”
35) Which fictional character is the creation of Hugh Lofting?
Answer: Dr. Dolittle
Hugh Lofting’s The Story of Dr. Dolittle (1920) concerns a physician who has a special gift for communicating with animals.
36) In what book do we find the characters Tweedledum and Tweedledee?
Answer: Through the Looking-Glass.
The characters Tweedledum and Tweedledee make their appearance in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass. They first appeared, however, in a poem written a century earlier.
37) Who was the wife of King Menelaus of Sparta?
Helen was the wife of King Menelaus. She ran away with the Trojan prince Paris, which led to the outbreak of the Trojan War.
38) What is the name of the villainous computer in Arthur C. Clarke’s Space Odyssey series?
HAL 9000, a fictional computer featured in several of Arthur C. Clarke’s works, is an artificial intelligence who begins to work against his makers—even plotting to kill them!
The Literary World – Literature and Language GK Quiz Questions Part 5
39) How many chapters are in the Qur’an?
The Qur’an is composed of 114 chapters called suras, which are (with the exception of the first sura) arranged from longest to shortest.
40) What kind of book is a Nebula Award given for?
Answer: Science fiction.
The Nebula Award is given annually for a book of science fiction. The first was given to Frank Herbert for Dune in 1965.
41) In which century did science fiction become a major type of writing?
A few authors, such as Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, wrote science fiction in the 1800s or even earlier. But science fiction did not become a major type of writing until the 1900s.
42) In which country might you attend a Kabuki performance?
Kabuki is a ritualized, stylized form of theater developed in Japan.
43) Which historical event does Charles Dickens’s novel A Tale of Two Cities concern?
Answer: The French Revolution.
A Tale of Two Cities is an adventure set in the years of the French Revolution.
44) What describes the borogoves in “Jabberwocky”?
“All mimsy were the borogroves,” proclaims Lewis Carroll’s poem “Jabberwocky,” written with nonsense words.
45) What is the name for a record of a period in a person’s life?
Diaries are written by people to record their day-to-day lives. Perhaps the most famous is The Diary of Anne Frank, by a Jewish girl who hid from the Nazis during World War II.
An Odyssey Of Grecian Literature
46) Who was Plato’s teacher?
Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher, taught Plato, who wrote down Socrates’s conversations for posterity.
47) Which Greek hero was called “Tamer of Horses”?
In the Iliad, Hector has the epithet, or formulaic description, “Tamer of Horses.”
48) Who is the author of The Republic?
The Republic is one of the best-known works written by Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher.
49) From what island did the Greek hero Odysseus come?
Odysseus came from the island of Ithaca, on the west coast of Greece.
50) In The Odyssey who was Odysseus’s wife?
Penelope was Odysseus’s wife. Throughout much of The Odyssey, he is trying to make his way home to her.