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'Tis (or t'is?) the season: A grammar quiz

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Deck the halls with boughs of holly
'Tis the season to be jolly

There are a surprising number of pitfalls to holiday writing. How do you spell the name of that red plant your department is hawking for charity? And does the possessive form of "Claus" take a second "s" or just an apostrophe? Learn the answers to these and other pressing questions in this holiday-themed quiz.

1. The name of that ubiquitous red plant is __________.
a. pointsetta
b. poinsetta
c. poinsettia
d. pointsettia
Answer

2. We're planning a special dinner and gifts for employees and their guests, so we ask that you _______ by Friday.
a. RSVP
b. please RSVP
Answer

3. I'm only committed to two parties that evening, so I _________ accept your invitation.
a. graciously
b. gratefully
Answer

4. Be careful shopping online: According to security experts, ____ the season for identity theft. 
a. ’tis
b. t’is
Answer

5. __________________ is promoting eBooks as “instant gifts.”
a. Barnes & Noble
b. Barnes and Noble
Answer

6. We're planning an ___________ celebration this year. We'll be dining by candlelight -- and banning iPhones at the table.
a. old-fashion
b. old-fashioned
Answer

7. There are a lot of holidays in December, not just ______ but also Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Lunar New Year, Santa Lucia Day and sometimes Ramadan.
a. Xmas
b. Christmas
Answer

8. The Scottish tradition of first-footing involves being the first person to step across a friend or neighbor's _______ after midnight on January 1.
a. threshold
b. threshhold
Answer

9. On December 24th, a lot of children can be found gazing out windows for a glimpse of _________ sleigh.
a. Santa Claus'
b. Santa Claus's
Answer

10. After the celebrations on ____________, January 1 seems like an excellent choice for a holiday.
a. New Year's Eve
b. New Years Eve
c. New Years' Eve
Answer

Learn how a simple typo started a Christmas tradition that's lasted for six decades

NORAD is a bi-national United States and Canadian organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America. Although most data collected by NORAD is top secret, volunteers at NORAD have shared the data they collect about one specific object in space each year for the past 60 years  -- a red sleigh led by eight tiny reindeer (nine if it's foggy). What started as a typographical error in a newspaper ad has become a tradition for many children across America and Canada. You can follow the Norad Santa Tracker this year by visiting the NORAD website or downloading the mobile app from your favorite app store.

Take another holiday quiz

Do you speak geek? A holiday quiz

Array in the Manger: A holiday quiz for your inner geek

Quiz: What the Dickens!

Visit our grammar blog Writing for Business for more quiz questions.

This was last updated in November 2017

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