Monday, July 06, 2009

Semantic Trickery…

Just took the MSNBC.com US citizenship test, and I didn’t pass it (!?!). Got 75%, which is effectively a “Want to become American? Well, tough” grade.

14. Who selects the Supreme Court justices?

The President nominates someone, and the Senate confirm. Which is “selection”? Technically, the Senate selects the nomination they think should have the job. Turns out, though, it’s “nomination”:

They are appointed by the president. (NOTE: This is the response given on the official United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Web site. The president selects the justices; however, they must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. If they are rejected by the Senate, then the president must choose a new nominee, who, again, is subject to Senate approval.)

Foiled by semantic trickery! That, or I’m just having a dense day.

I also had no idea that the “N-400 Application for Naturalization” was the form I would need to fill out. (Now, where can I get myself one of these…) No idea that the 7th Amendment has nothing to do with voting rights, either. And I don’t recall ever noticing Patrick Henry’s name in my reading of copious numbers of presidential biographies, or that he said “Give me liberty, or give me death!”.

When/if I ever have to take this test for real, hopefully I’ll pass. Only need 85%, which is showing knowledge of more than many Americans, I imagine (same goes for UK’s Citizenship Test, so don’t start calling me anti-American).

No comments: