Student or Learner
Plain living and hard work are the fine ______ of the people there.
A. qualities B. quantities C. habits D. customs
The given answer is A.
Is this a good question? To my understanding, hard work is not a person's quality; it is something difficult to do. And plain living is a way of living, not a quality either.
What do you think of this test item? Thank you in advance.
Your English must be good (!) that you quite correctly query the validity of the suggested answers to this question.
Perhaps:"Plain living and hard work are attributes strongly associated with Amish daily life."
From the choice of answers, I would have gone with 'habits'
habit : a settled or regular tendency or practice
Less so with 'customs':
custom: a traditional and widely accepted way of behaving that is specific to a particular society or time. (Hard work and plain living are really too widespread to be regarded as 'specific' to a society: in the West, there is the Protestant work ethic; and in China, in rural peasant regions, hard work is a necessity, and plain living a consequence of having little income.)
Puritanical religions impress on believers the virtues of hard work and plain living.
virtue: a quality considered morally good or desirable in a person
Last edited by Excalibur; 11-Nov-2009 at 10:21.