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#269982 - Sun Jun 19 2005 12:32 PM Alternative spellings in FITB questions
emj23 Offline
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Registered: Sat Nov 29 2003
Posts: 519
Loc: Shropshire UK
If I write a TV/ film quiz with fill in the blank questions, should I include alternative spellings for names? For example, if the answer is 'Kelly', should I also put 'Kellie' as a correct answer? If a name hasn't appeared on the screen, how do I know which one is the correct spelling?
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#269983 - Sun Jun 19 2005 02:13 PM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
Bruyere Offline
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Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18799
Loc: California USA
I would automatically eliminate an FITB that had alternative spellings. From now on, any section that I edit in discourages an FITB with ambiguous answers.
Trust me on this one, you'll save yourself a lot of trouble if you avoid them. I should know, some of my earlier quizzes still get corrections years later.
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#269984 - Sun Jun 19 2005 02:47 PM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 14971
Loc: Western Canada
I agree, if you don't know the correct spelling, it is not suitable for a FITB. The only alternatives spellings we are likely to consider are ones like "color/colour" and other British vs American spellings.

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#269985 - Sun Jun 19 2005 03:11 PM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
ladymacb29 Offline
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Registered: Wed Mar 15 2000
Posts: 15910
Loc: The Delta Quadrant
If it was listed in something like the credits or such, then there is a correct spelling and it is suitable for FITB questions.
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#269986 - Sun Jun 19 2005 05:11 PM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
Bruyere Offline
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Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18799
Loc: California USA
I guess that even if there's a shadow of a doubt about a spelling, even if you're absolutely on the dot and correct, I wouldn't use that one and would use another one instead.
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#269987 - Mon Jun 20 2005 07:26 AM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
crisw Offline
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Registered: Mon Feb 21 2000
Posts: 5745
Loc: California USA
Please also consider why you are making something FITB. They should only be used sparingly, and only for short, easy-to-spell answers. if you don't know how to spell it, chances are no one else does either. If you are confused because there are possible alternate spellings, your players will get frustrated when they type one of them and get the question wrong (as has been stated, only correct spellings are allowed.)

You get no points for making your quiz unnecessarily hard.
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#269988 - Mon Jun 20 2005 03:49 PM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
bloomsby Offline
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Registered: Sun Apr 29 2001
Posts: 4074
Loc: Norwich England UK            
I fully agree! Many questions are inherently unsuitable for FITB. For example, if the answer you want is the "U.S." what's going to happen to players who answer "U.S.A.", "America" and/or who don't use periods to indicate abbreviation or who space the abbreviation differently, for example, "U. S."? They know the correct answer, after all. It's often not practical to think of all the possible variants. Incidentally, exactly the same problem applies to the U.K.

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#269989 - Tue Jun 21 2005 10:29 AM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
emj23 Offline
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Registered: Sat Nov 29 2003
Posts: 519
Loc: Shropshire UK
So if I get messages asking me to include alternative spellings in quizzes that are already online, should I be kind and include them, or tell them it's their own fault for not knowing which way something is spelled? A FITB answer in one of my quizzes was 'mystik', but I also included 'mystic' in case players didn't know it was spelled the first way.
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#269990 - Tue Jun 21 2005 11:29 AM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
Bruyere Offline
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Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18799
Loc: California USA
Ah I see what happened. Well, what's done is done. Well, that's a great example of what I meant by not using anything that's going to attract correction notes like a magnet. By no means send them a note saying it's their own fault for not spelling that correctly, but, I think that as the quiz has been online for a bit, I'd include mystic as well (though we do not encourage this practice). I'd simply chalk that one up to live and learn or 'learning curve' as we're saying now.

We get this a lot and it's discouraging to see people telling people off for spelling something the 'correct' way, instead of the artist or writer's way of spelling it.
I think I once stopped someone who was trying to put Pink's album "Mizzunderstood" in an FITB.
People can barely manage to type in the correct spelling, much less this "artistic" spelling of the word. As a music editor, I get lots of problems from alternative spelling in songs and titles.

So, put yourself in the place of someone taking a quiz. They type in the correct spelling of a word, and yet, it's marked incorrect. They aren't thrilled with your quiz because you're being overly picky in their eyes. So when they write you and say, 'Hey, what's up? I typed in this and it said I was wrong.' and you answer them, 'well, the artist spells it that way, so you should have been more careful.' Your reputation is not going to rise in their estimation.

That's my take on it from being behind the scenes for a few years and writing quizzes myself.

Bruyere, editor
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#269991 - Wed Jun 22 2005 12:05 PM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
emj23 Offline
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Registered: Sat Nov 29 2003
Posts: 519
Loc: Shropshire UK
Okay, thanks for the replies
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#269992 - Wed Jun 22 2005 02:10 PM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
bloomsby Offline
Moderator

Registered: Sun Apr 29 2001
Posts: 4074
Loc: Norwich England UK            
If you start getting correction notices on a quiz regarding spelling(s) in an FITB question, it's worth considering changing the question to multiple choice. Contrary to widespread assumptions, a well devised mulitple choice question need not be easy. Generally, the 'secret' is to make the incorrect choices plausible and one of them positively tempting.

I hope this helps.

FT Editor

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#269993 - Thu Jun 23 2005 02:43 PM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
emj23 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sat Nov 29 2003
Posts: 519
Loc: Shropshire UK
Are players entitled to send corrections to authors concerning FITB questions with answers that have other possible spellings?
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#269994 - Thu Jun 23 2005 03:11 PM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
ladymacb29 Offline
Moderator

Registered: Wed Mar 15 2000
Posts: 15910
Loc: The Delta Quadrant
If there are true alternate spellings, yes. But if there are 'hey, I mis-spelled the answer' or 'I didn't know how to spell it correctly' spellings, then that's not a true correction on the quiz question and, if anything, should be sent as a suggestion.

I've had numerous cases where players have sent correction notices on quizzes because they spelled the answer wrong and were upset that the author didn't take into account all possible mis-spellings (which is actually physically impossible to do). The notes will read something like "I wrote Micheal and you only accepted Michael. I don't think this is fair and it should be counted correctly as it's a common mis=spelling." Well, actually, Micheal isn't the name of the character, Michael is. There isn't a Micheal on the show, but there is a Michael, so the answer the player provided is incorrect. This is a prime example of when NOT to send a correction notice.

But if there isn't a clear cut correct spelling (for instance, the name wasn't in the credits listed at the end of the tv show or it is spelled differently from country to country, for example), then it's ok to send a correction notice - especially because the author may not have known about the situation when they wrote the quiz (or even may not have thought this would have been a problem and the editor wasn't that familiar with the topic to have picked up on it).

As a general rule, correction notices should only be sent when there is something wrong with the quiz and not because the player is upset that their technically incorrect answer wasn't accepted.
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#269995 - Thu Jun 23 2005 03:14 PM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
Leau Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Sun Jun 16 2002
Posts: 5337
Loc: Nijmegen/Brisbane
If it's another correct spelling of a FITB answer, then yes, you can surely send a correction note. This could be the case with e.g. the American vs. the British spelling of an answer. But please don't send a correction note when you feel your incorrectly spelled answer should be included just because it's a common mistake.

FT Editor
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#269996 - Sat Jun 25 2005 11:25 AM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
emj23 Offline
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Registered: Sat Nov 29 2003
Posts: 519
Loc: Shropshire UK
I once sent a note suggesting that a player should add an alternate spelling when a name had not appeared on screen or in the credits, and received a note telling me not to do this. There is conflicting information being given by different editors.
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#269997 - Sat Jun 25 2005 12:05 PM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
Leau Offline
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Registered: Sun Jun 16 2002
Posts: 5337
Loc: Nijmegen/Brisbane
I was talking about answers that have more than one correct spelling, e.g. categorise and categorize. I wasn't talking about names that have an unclear spelling.
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#269998 - Sat Jun 25 2005 01:12 PM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
emj23 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sat Nov 29 2003
Posts: 519
Loc: Shropshire UK
I was talking about film and television quizzes and names used in those quizzes. I realise that US and English spellings are a different matter.
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#269999 - Sun Jun 26 2005 01:45 PM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
gtho4 Online   FT-blank
Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 26 1999
Posts: 50751
Loc: Sydney oz downunder           
These are the guidelines for writing FITBs:
    FITBs are to be used rarely : As there are no prizes in here for posting an impossible quiz, FITBs are to be used rarely. Multiple choice questions with 4 'good' alternatives are not easy to draft, nor are they easy to answer: even 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' is multiple choice. The FITB feature has NOT been installed for the purpose of making quizzes easier or harder.

    One Unambiguous Answer : When used, an FITB must have just one unambiguous answer. If there are spelling variations, or multiple answers, then that question must be multiple choice.

    Quiz Creation Guidelines
If there are two spellings for an answer, the FITB format should not be used.

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#270000 - Mon Jun 27 2005 12:05 PM Re: Alternative spellings in FITB questions
emj23 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sat Nov 29 2003
Posts: 519
Loc: Shropshire UK
Okay then. Thanks very much for all of your help.
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