Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 3 23:07:04 UTC 2012

On Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 10:55 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "prompt"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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:
> http://tusdstats.tusd.k12.az.us/planning/resources/aims/lang99/lang99_write4.htm
> [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]
> Garson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Ultimately related to this "prompt"? (a randomly-googled ex.)

"When you look up at the Moon, does it always look exactly the same?
[If needed, _prompt for_ the answer.]"

Also, back in the day, teachers used "Don't prompt!" as a warning to
the rest of us not to help the child being questioned by supplying a
key portion of the answer.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

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