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#314071 - Tue Jul 18 2006 03:55 PM Spelling
denmarks Offline
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Registered: Mon May 29 2006
Posts: 288
Loc: Chico, CA, USA
There are many quizzes where I know an answer but not how to spell it. It is too bad that the questions can't be constructed the way the Jeopardy game was. The correct answer was stored with key letters and if an answer contained those letters it was considered correct. Things like unimportant vowels and double letters were dropped in the stored answer. CLFRNA would be stored for California and if you spelled it "calafernia" it would be correct. Of course if spelling was an important part of the quiz the complete word would have to match. Any thoughts?
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#314072 - Tue Jul 18 2006 04:15 PM Re: Spelling [Re: denmarks]
ladymacb29 Offline
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Registered: Wed Mar 15 2000
Posts: 15702
Loc: The Delta Quadrant
Well, what I tell people who complain about being marked incorrectly is this:

1. You're not being timed, so you have time to go and check for the correct spelling.
2. Technically, if you spell something wrong, you *are* giving an incorrect answer. For example, if someone will say "Well, I knew the right answer, I just wrote Germanie instead of Germany." Well, technically, Germany is the country, Germanie isn't.
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#314073 - Tue Jul 18 2006 05:08 PM Re: Spelling [Re: ladymacb29]
kyleisalive Offline
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Registered: Mon Mar 07 2005
Posts: 6542
Loc: Toronto, Canada, eh!
On many occasions editors won't accept extremely difficult-to-spell words or long FITB answers. If there actually is an alternate spelling to a word, then it can be added as a possible answer, but if an answer is clearly misspelled there's really nothing that can be done. It's one thing to know the answer, but it's another to know how to spell it. It gives an extra challenge.
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#314074 - Tue Jul 18 2006 05:59 PM Re: Spelling [Re: kyleisalive]
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 12907
Loc: Western Canada
I feel the way ladymacb does about it - the correct answer is the correctly spelled answer.
This is, however the reason we have so many restrictions on the use of FITB questions. If a word is likely to be misspelled by a reasonably knowledgable player, it will not be allowed, by the editors.

I believe that at one time we did allow possible alternate spellings for FITBs (Stienbeck or Steinbeck, for example) but that opened up another can of worms - players could always come up with some ridiculous misspelling, and claim that it should be allowed. Finally we just went for correct spelling only - it really is simpler. On the whole, people who care about trivia also care about precision and accuracy, so it mostly works out.

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#314075 - Tue Jul 18 2006 09:00 PM Re: Spelling [Re: agony]
Bruyere Offline
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Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18604
Loc: California USA
I know that as an editor, I spend more time dissuading folks from using FITBS unless they are crystal clear and even then, there are always going to be people who will find an alternative to what you've thought of.

I have had this happen recently on the Global Challenges and it's always a matter of the person's thought of something different.
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#314076 - Wed Jul 19 2006 02:41 PM Re: Spelling [Re: Bruyere]
denmarks Offline
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Registered: Mon May 29 2006
Posts: 288
Loc: Chico, CA, USA
Maybe we need a new "oral" answer category where spelling doesn't matter. I referred to the game show Jeopardy where most answers are oral and even in the "final Jeopardy" answers, spelling doesn't matter.

The problem is how do you easily implement this other than to continually add alternate answers as prople complain. I guess we'll just have to wait for computers that understand speech.
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#314077 - Thu Jul 20 2006 07:08 AM Re: Spelling [Re: denmarks]
bloomsby Offline
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Registered: Sun Apr 29 2001
Posts: 3918
Loc: Norwich England UK            
Some of us hope that, among many other things, this site serves an educational role - and that includes attention to detail and such matters as correct spelling. 'California' is very, very easy to spell, so please try to provide a more plausible example. The growing inability of adult Americans and Britons to spell correctly is a bad advertisement for both countries and their education systems. In many countries in Europe one's considered downright ignorant and very uneducated if one makes spelling mistakes, even in little used words.

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#314078 - Thu Jul 20 2006 07:11 AM Re: Spelling [Re: bloomsby]
dg_dave Offline
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Registered: Sun Oct 05 2003
Posts: 21566
Loc: near Stafford, Virginia USA  
I'm not an editor, but I have to side with them. Spelling a word correctly is quite important to me. If you cannot spell a word, try using dictionary.com. They will give spelling suggestions to help you.
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#314079 - Thu Jul 20 2006 09:04 AM Re: Spelling [Re: dg_dave]
Bruyere Offline
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Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18604
Loc: California USA
I think there is some adjustment to be made to make quizzes here. As we're not a quiz night or pub quiz type place where you can answer verbally and there is a bit more leeway for the person setting the quiz to determine if it's right or wrong, you have to have some sort of way of doing this.

This is why most editors will strongly discourage you from giving FITBS that are impossible to type in properly as options. We have policies in each section about how to do this, but even then, if we do see something that's going to cause problems we tell you.

Thus said, I've participated in some online quizzes myself and I'm not a bad speller and I type pretty quickly. However, I had my comeuppance. You did not have to have the exact spelling, but you did require the correct answer and as it was international, you had to type very quickly.
Even when 'alternative' spelling was acceptable in a quiz like that one, the one who typed the answer the quickest would win.

Even typing calforna had to be reasonably quick.

Therefore, I really find it is one of the reasons I have continued working here is that English is correctly written in our quizzes. I joined up when I was living abroad and missing correctly written English.
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#314080 - Thu Jul 20 2006 09:05 AM Re: Spelling [Re: dg_dave]
denmarks Offline
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Registered: Mon May 29 2006
Posts: 288
Loc: Chico, CA, USA
I sorry if I led you to believe that spelling was not important and I agree I gave a bad example. My main problem was with names of people and places that have very strange spellings. I have "known" the answer to some questions but was unable to find the correct spelling quickly. For example the British TV show "Keeping Up Appearances" with "Bouquet" spelled "Bucket".

I guess I'll have to study more to do better in the quizzes.
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#314081 - Thu Jul 20 2006 12:02 PM Re: Spelling [Re: denmarks]
Waggette Offline
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Registered: Sat Jan 14 2006
Posts: 70
Bouquet is spelled bouquet. It is the snobbery of the lead in this sitcom, Hyacinth Bucket, who pronounces her name "Bouquet" because it sounds much more "posh" than plain old bucket (pail).

I always wondered how this comedy would translate to audiences other than British ones as it is based so much on the lead character who is an out and out snob, without reason to be.

A Black Country (Birmingham area) phrase "All kippers and curtains" springs to mind.

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#314082 - Thu Jul 20 2006 01:36 PM Re: Spelling [Re: Waggette]
McGruff Offline
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Registered: Mon Apr 03 2000
Posts: 10832
Loc: Northumberland Virginia USA 
'Keeping Up Appearances' is a mainstay on Maryland Public Television's Saturday night "Brit-coms" and translates just fine. I think I've seen them all.


In this medium, you have to tell the computer what to accept, so it has to be spelled correctly. Sure, you should put in alternate spellings when there are accepted alternate spellings, such as color/colour, but you shouldn't be accepting incorrect spellings just because it's a common mistake, such as the Steinbeck/Stienbeck example.

I would have more trouble in the Jeopardy! setting in having to pronounce something orally that I've only seen written. I may know the answer and can spell it correctly, but I may never have heard anyone ever say it, and may never have actually tried to pronounce it to myself.
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#314083 - Thu Jul 20 2006 02:56 PM Re: Spelling [Re: McGruff]
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 12907
Loc: Western Canada
Reminds me of the first time I tried to impress someone by using the word "banal". Needless to say, I gave exactly the WRONG impression when I mispronounced it. Oh well, at least I'll never forget how to pronounce that word now.

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#314084 - Thu Jul 20 2006 03:22 PM Re: Spelling [Re: McGruff]
denmarks Offline
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Registered: Mon May 29 2006
Posts: 288
Loc: Chico, CA, USA
Quote:

I would have more trouble in the Jeopardy! setting in having to pronounce something orally that I've only seen written. I may know the answer and can spell it correctly, but I may never have heard anyone ever say it, and may never have actually tried to pronounce it to myself.



Alex Trebek has accepted many mispronunciations. He just corrects them and goes on.
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#314085 - Thu Jul 20 2006 03:30 PM Re: Spelling [Re: denmarks]
ladymacb29 Offline
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Registered: Wed Mar 15 2000
Posts: 15702
Loc: The Delta Quadrant
For the "Keeping Up Appearances" one, if you know the show, you know it is not spelled Bouquet, but spelled Bucket. That's why Hyacinth has to keep correcting people to say it 'correctly'.
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#314086 - Thu Jul 20 2006 03:52 PM Re: Spelling [Re: denmarks]
McGruff Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Mon Apr 03 2000
Posts: 10832
Loc: Northumberland Virginia USA 
Quote:

Alex Trebek has accepted many mispronunciations. He just corrects them and goes on.




I'm not sure Alex would recognize it!

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#314087 - Thu Jul 20 2006 03:57 PM Re: Spelling [Re: denmarks]
ozzz2002 Offline
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Registered: Mon Dec 03 2001
Posts: 18443
Loc: Sydney NSW Australia        
Quote:

Alex Trebek has accepted many mispronunciations...




Who is Alex?
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#314088 - Thu Jul 20 2006 04:18 PM Re: Spelling [Re: ozzz2002]
McGruff Offline
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Registered: Mon Apr 03 2000
Posts: 10832
Loc: Northumberland Virginia USA 
The host of Jeopardy!

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#314089 - Thu Jul 20 2006 04:26 PM Re: Spelling [Re: McGruff]
ozzz2002 Offline
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Registered: Mon Dec 03 2001
Posts: 18443
Loc: Sydney NSW Australia        
Thanks, McGruff- I was being a bit sarcastic.
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#314090 - Thu Jul 20 2006 04:33 PM Re: Spelling [Re: ozzz2002]
McGruff Offline
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Registered: Mon Apr 03 2000
Posts: 10832
Loc: Northumberland Virginia USA 
I thought maybe you didn't get Jeopardy! down there. I remember when I thought Alex Trebek couldn't possibly take Art Fleming's place. He seemed too young.

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#314091 - Thu Jul 20 2006 04:34 PM Re: Spelling [Re: McGruff]
ladymacb29 Offline
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Registered: Wed Mar 15 2000
Posts: 15702
Loc: The Delta Quadrant
Quote:

He seemed too young.




Especially since he shaved the moustache.
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#314092 - Thu Jul 20 2006 04:40 PM Re: Spelling [Re: McGruff]
ozzz2002 Offline
Moderator

Registered: Mon Dec 03 2001
Posts: 18443
Loc: Sydney NSW Australia        
Quote:

I thought maybe you didn't get Jeopardy! down there.




We used to, but I have not seen the show for many years.
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#314093 - Fri Jul 21 2006 03:35 PM Re: Spelling [Re: denmarks]
angel1mole Offline
Learning the ropes...

Registered: Mon Jul 17 2006
Posts: 2
Does the site make allowances for differences in spelling - i.e. Colour in the UK (correct in UK) or Color in the USA (correct in the USA)????

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#314094 - Fri Jul 21 2006 04:07 PM Re: Spelling [Re: angel1mole]
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 12907
Loc: Western Canada
As was said earlier in the thread, yes, we take into account all legitimate spelling differences.

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Moderator:  agony