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#272155 - Fri Jul 22 2005 05:55 AM The 1st person to swim the English channel
tnrees Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Wed Mar 09 2005
Posts: 154
Loc: Taunton Somerset UK       
I have just done 2 world records quizes both of which asked who was the 1st person to swim the English channel. I did not want to send a correction as that would be very pedantic but probably the 1st person to swim it was a palaeolithic man who tried to wade the newly formed channel and had to swim a few strokes when they found it was too deep.
On a similar line we need a new definition of 'discovered' - if we said it meant found & told a reasonable number of people we would stop all the people who complain about Columbus /Cabot being the discoverer of America - the native Americans, Chinese, Vikings etc. would not count as they did not make America known to more than a few people.

#272156 - Fri Jul 22 2005 11:58 AM Re: The 1st person to swim the English channel
agony Offline


Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 14801
Loc: Western Canada
I think it's just a question of how you word things - "The first person known to have swum the English Channel" or "The first person in modern times". When it comes to the discovery of the New World, "the first Europeans" for example, might work if you want the answer of "The Vikings". Poor old Chris wasn't really the first anything, though you could frame the qustion "Whose discoveries opened up the New World to exploration by Europeans?".

When it comes to quizzes, this just reinforces a point that the editors are making all the time - not all players will be working from the same frame of reference, and you must make sure that your question actaully asks what you think it is asking.

#272157 - Fri Jul 22 2005 01:03 PM Re: The 1st person to swim the English channel
bloomsby Offline

Registered: Sun Apr 29 2001
Posts: 4071
Loc: Norwich England UK            
Many, many questions in quizzes assume something like "As far as is known ..." in the question. This isn't something peculiar to the quizzes on the first and last time that something happened or to questions on discoveries. It would also apply to many questions in the sciences, too, for example.

I very much hope that this isn't going to prompt a trend to include the phrase "as far as is known" in questions unless it is really necessary.


Moderator:  agony