ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 3 15:55:53 UTC 2012

Charles C Doyle wrote:
> That usage is ubiquitous among current students--usually in reference
> to essay assignments (in-class or out-of-class).
> When questioned, some students have attributed the currency of the
> usage to jargon from the Educational Testing Service and SAT prep
> courses.

I have seen "prompts" used in this fashion in the domain education research.

Here is an instance addressed to students taking an exam in Tucson, Arizona:


[Begin excerpt]

DIRECTIONS: Respond to each of the twenty prompts with the most
correct answer about research writing.

1) The opening paragraphs of a research document should

a) Be filled with long complicated words and phrases in order to
impress the reader.
b) State a point of view, position or argument about the subject.
c) Explain why some other point of view, position or argument is not
being taken.
d) Be very short.

[End excerpt]


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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