Hey, spoiler warning?

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Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Emil Nolde » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:25 am

>>*SPOILER ALERT*<<

So, it occurs to me that quizbowl has quite a few questions about books. I read books sometimes. However, it takes a while, and in my opinion, the longer you take to read it, without giving up, the better you think it is. I've been reading Infinite Jest on and off for about three years. Another book I've been reading is Howard's End, but I'm not done with it. Yesterday, we were reading packets on the way to UIUC, and there was a question on swords, and the first clue was on Howard's End. I did know that someone was killed with a sword by someone in the book, but I didn't know or want to know through any other way then having Forster tell me so that Charles attacks Leonard, after which a bookcase falls on the aforementioned Mr. Bast.

I'm still planning on finishing the book, but I'm wondering, how often does that happen? By playing the game, do we waive our right to not know what happens in a particular work? I'm not saying that knowing how it all turns out actually ruins the experience of the book, if that were to be true, I'd say that the work in question probably belongs in the trash category, but at the very least it changes how you experience the work. I'm certain Edna's suicide at the end of The Awakening would've been considerably more poignant if I hadn't known it was coming even as I bought the book.

Have you guys ever been dismayed to find the plot laid out tamely and pyramidally when you really were looking forward to finding the legit knowledge?
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Auroni » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:35 pm

While quizbowl questions sometimes spoil the ending of books, literature is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. So if you were engrossed in a book before you heard a question giving away its ending, then there's no reason for you to not continue reading it.
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Kouign Amann » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:57 pm

thyringe_supine wrote:By playing the game, do we waive our right to not know what happens in a particular work?
I'm not entirely sure of the point of this question. Quizbowl uses facts about books as clues. Therefore, if you play quizbowl, you're going to hear some facts about books. Some of those facts might be new to you. That's the way it is.
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:20 pm

Prof.Whoopie wrote:
thyringe_supine wrote:By playing the game, do we waive our right to not know what happens in a particular work?
I'm not entirely sure of the point of this question. Quizbowl uses facts about books as clues. Therefore, if you play quizbowl, you're going to hear some facts about books. Some of those facts might be new to you. That's the way it is.
Yeah, I mean there are some situations where it's especially undesirable to spoil the ending of a book (mystery novels, say), but often times the most knowable or memorable facts about a book are "plot twists" or "spoilers" - Madame Bovary's suicide, for example, was a huge part of why that book was so SHOCKING to its audience. As far as I'm concerned, caveat buzzor; if individual writers want to avoid spoilers in their questions, they are free to (I think John Lawrence did this on purpose for at least one college set), but there's no such obligation game-wide.
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Cheynem » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:38 pm

I would say putting in spoilers is generally the best way to ensure memorable clues are used, really. Would you write a Citizen Kane question without mentioning Rosebud's his sled? Or an Anna Karenina question without mentioning her death-by-train? Or the amazing twist ending of Bernice Bobs Her Hair?!
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:53 pm

Sorry you learned something.
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:57 pm

Cheynem wrote:Or the amazing twist ending of Bernice Bobs Her Hair?!
GO ON

I think excluding spoilers from questions would be a bad move.
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:19 pm

So this subject has finally come up!

Matt Jackson is correct: in my lit editing, I make it a policy to avoid spoilers as much as possible. This is because playing quizbowl has been extremely detrimental to my enjoyment of many works of literature whose endings were utterly spoiled for me by particular tossups. (I am not too bitter about this, because it has introduced me to many authors I would probably never have read otherwise, so I feel I gained a total profit from this.) In fact, one of the reasons I was so slow to improve as a lit player is that I purposely avoided learning too much about books I wanted to read one day, to avoid spoiling them for me. To this day, my best areas of literature are books that I've read and books that I'm pretty sure I'll never read (because I've researched the heck out of them, without hesitation).

(I am not the most extreme case of this. One member of our team used to refuse, when moderating during practices, to read out tossups on books he wanted to eventually read. So we would skip those tossups in the packet, and then he would leave the room and a non-lit player on the team would take over.)

My personal view on this matter is this: as a question writer, one's duty is first and foremost to what makes a good question. There are some works for which spoilers are essential clues. (E.g. you cannot write a good tossup on pretty much any O. Henry story without revealing its ending). In those cases (which are the majority of cases in quizbowl), one must always provide the spoiler clue, albeit with a heavy heart. However, in those rare cases where not spoiling the ending will have no negative effects on the playability of the question, it is a considerate (though by no means obligated) thing to do to avoid spoiling the book. In general, for bonuses, most spoilers can be avoided, unless they are needed in order for the question to be converted. (A bonus part on The Moonstone ruined the ending of that book for me, and there was no need to do this: there was no one in the field who knew the ending of that book but did not know it was a Wilkie Collins novel about a title stolen gem!) Basically, write your questions to be good quizbowl questions. If there is a way to cut the spoiler without harming the quality, then by all means do that, but be aware that there are many works where you cannot afford to do that.
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Cheynem » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:24 pm

I guess I understand John's concern in that I wouldn't go out of my way to spoil something, but I fear that anyone who tries to worry about his concerns who does not have supreme writing skill will result in a lot of vague questions and quizbowl already has a problem with being vague (I can just see Anna Karenina questions ending with "The title character eventually does something involving a train").
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Auroni » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:50 pm

I guess I'll elaborate on my point above: even for mystery novels and other works where you just want to find out what happens, spoiling what happens doesn't eradicate all your potential enjoyment of the work. There are many novels and films where the plot is of secondary importance to the characterization or the cinematography or the lyricism of the passages; there's even more works where the ending doesn't make much sense and doesn't register unless you consider everything that happened to lead up to it. Therefore, while I agree with John that we should avoid wanton spoilers for spoilers' sake in our questions (although, I'm not exactly sure which writers/editors actually do that), I think it's of secondary importance to actually producing an excellent, playable question.
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:28 pm

Tokyo Sex Whale wrote:I guess I'll elaborate on my point above: even for mystery novels and other works where you just want to find out what happens, spoiling what happens doesn't eradicate all your potential enjoyment of the work. There are many novels and films where the plot is of secondary importance to the characterization or the cinematography or the lyricism of the passages; there's even more works where the ending doesn't make much sense and doesn't register unless you consider everything that happened to lead up to it.
If for some reason, you are reading mystery novels for some aesthetic content beyond plot, that's great for you. But I don't see that a line of argument about how much or little spoilers ruin books for each of us is particularly fruitful or relevant.
Therefore, while I agree with John that we should avoid wanton spoilers for spoilers' sake in our questions (although, I'm not exactly sure which writers/editors actually do that), I think it's of secondary importance to actually producing an excellent, playable question.
I wasn't accusing writers of putting in spoilers for the sake of spoiling books. (I hope no one is that malicious.) But I do think they end up doing so unnecessarily. I'll explain this more fully: Without giving away content of any questions, I can tell you that I've had to edit many lit tossups and bonuses over the past couple of weeks that contained something like the sentence "In this novel, Character X dies…". In many of these cases, there is literally no content in the description of the character's death other than the fact of their death, so the only buzzable content of the clue is the character's name. In such a case, the spoiler aspect is a completely unnecessary piece of information that does absolutely nothing except spoil the book. In many of these cases, the death of the character is an integral part of the work and a necessary clue, and in those cases, I in fact fleshed out the clue so that it properly describes the circumstances of the death, thus justifying the spoiler. But there were some cases where there was no need to do this, because it was just a particularly inconsiderate and clumsy means of character-name drop in which any plot point dealing with that character would have served the same function. In those instances, I rewrote the clue to include a different plot incident and the same name drop.

I have also encountered numerous long bonus parts that gave a blow-by-blow account of the plot of an entire book, revealing every single plot twist. This is also stupid and unnecessary. There is no book on earth where one needs to do this in a bonus part in order to make it gettable.

In response to Mike's point, I agree with his general sentiment. But I think we also grossly exaggerate how many clues and what clues are "essential" to writing a good tossup on any particular subject. I find that the majority of complaints about tossups that complain about why the writer used clue X instead of clue Y are usually from people who actually have learned only one or two things about a topic and are angry that the tossup didn't reward knowledge of that particular thing.
Last edited by ThisIsMyUsername on Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Auroni » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:21 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote: In response to Mike's point, I agree with his general sentiment. But I think we also grossly exaggerate how many clues and what clues are "essential" to writing a good tossup on any particular subject. I find that the majority of complaints about tossups that complain about why the writer used clue X instead of clue Y are usually from people who actually have learned only one or two things about a topic and are angry that the tossup didn't reward knowledge of that particular thing.
I think this is the wrong way of looking at it. The point of a tossup is to rearrange interesting, memorable clues about a book in increasing order of knowability. There's no set of clues that you have to use in every good tossup about a certain book, but there are some cases where the most famous plot element of the book is, in fact, a spoiler (such as Anna Karenina throwing herself under a train). Not using a clue like that would negatively affect the buzz distribution on that tossup near the end for weaker teams or for people who haven't studied up about that book.
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:35 pm

Tokyo Sex Whale wrote:
ThisIsMyUsername wrote: In response to Mike's point, I agree with his general sentiment. But I think we also grossly exaggerate how many clues and what clues are "essential" to writing a good tossup on any particular subject. I find that the majority of complaints about tossups that complain about why the writer used clue X instead of clue Y are usually from people who actually have learned only one or two things about a topic and are angry that the tossup didn't reward knowledge of that particular thing.
I think this is the wrong way of looking at it. The point of a tossup is to rearrange interesting, memorable clues about a book in increasing order of knowability. There's no set of clues that you have to use in every good tossup about a certain book, but there are some cases where the most famous plot element of the book is, in fact, a spoiler (such as Anna Karenina throwing herself under a train). Not using a clue like that would negatively affect the buzz distribution on that tossup near the end for weaker teams or for people who haven't studied up about that book.
I'm don't understand your reply. I have already acknowledged the fact that there are many works where the spoiler is an essential clue that cannot be left out and must be used (I acknowledged that in both of my posts, in fact), but here I say that I think the number of answer-lines where this is true is greatly exaggerated by people who incorrectly claim this status for clues that aren't actually essential. Your response is to repeat the fact that there are works where the spoiler is an essential clue. Great, we agree on that. What precisely are you disagreeing with?
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Cheynem » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:41 pm

I don't want to speak for Auroni, but I would say it seems like in most cases the ending or climactic event feels like an essential or at least memorable enough clue that it may be used in quite a lot of questions. That's not to say that a good question doesn't have to spoil or reveal an ending, but I guess I don't see the harm in most cases of doing so. For instance, to use your example of The Moonstone, I could certainly write a good question that does not reveal the ending, but I could write an equally fine question that does, just depending on what clues I use. I don't think there is any onus on the editor or writer to really think about spoilers when crafting questions (but I also agree I guess that there isn't any onus in revealing the ending either).
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Emil Nolde » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:56 am

I actually would say that the train clue isn't really necessary for Anna Karenina. I've read part of it (give me a break, I was in the fifth grade, and only began reading it because it was worth the most points in the school's Accelerated Reader program) and would personally think that "The title character has an affair with Count Vronsky. For ten points, name this novel by Leo Tolstoy." would be perfectly okay. For one thing, if you buzz on the train clue, but don't know about Count Vronsky, then you've clearly just memorized that one easily recognized clue, and shouldn't really be getting it anyway.

I know the term 'stock clue' is mega-super-hyper-overused, but I would say that in a lot of cases, these 'spoiler clues' that reveal important climaxes, deaths of characters, etc. are sort of stock. The manner in which a certain character dies, or just the fact that a certain character dies, is usually not where the bulk of a work's quizbowl-worthiness lies. Just because a certain incident in a work is famous, doesn't guarantee that it's really important, and I think tossups should contain the latter over the former. I bet maybe twenty percent of people who read Romeo and Juliet remember the Queen Mab speech, but it should still be in a question on that work, or Romeo or Mercutio. If, say, in The Scarlet Letter, Arthur didn't die in such a dramatic fashion, would it absolutely wreck the book? I don't think so. Obviously, the work remains the same, and tossup quality isn't ruined by omitting that "Pearl's father dies after giving his Election Day sermon."

Obviously, there are some works that are just too famous to be jilted by the spoiling of them, though. Most tossupable Shakespeare is so well-known that if you didn't know the ending, then oh well, because pretty much no one finds out the ending while reading the work. But when certain literary events cannot be said to be in the realm of "common knowledge", I think a modest effort should be made to keep them anonymous when to do so wouldn't significantly lower question quality.

And then, there are the works where the spoiler absolutely necessitates inclusion. You can't and shouldn't write a Cask of Amontillado question that doesn't mention Fortunato getting bricked up in the catacombs. I know that someone said something about the special case of the mystery genre, but at least in that case (and probably this goes for most of Poe's stories, this is just the one I'm most familiar with) it just can't work without it.
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:20 pm

thyringe_supine wrote:
I know the term 'stock clue' is mega-super-hyper-overused, but I would say that in a lot of cases, these 'spoiler clues' that reveal important climaxes, deaths of characters, etc. are sort of stock. The manner in which a certain character dies, or just the fact that a certain character dies, is usually not where the bulk of a work's quizbowl-worthiness lies. Just because a certain incident in a work is famous, doesn't guarantee that it's really important, and I think tossups should contain the latter over the former. I bet maybe twenty percent of people who read Romeo and Juliet remember the Queen Mab speech, but it should still be in a question on that work, or Romeo or Mercutio. If, say, in The Scarlet Letter, Arthur didn't die in such a dramatic fashion, would it absolutely wreck the book? I don't think so. Obviously, the work remains the same, and tossup quality isn't ruined by omitting that "Pearl's father dies after giving his Election day sermon."
Do you understand that "stock clues" are overused? Saying that plot details that are, in fact, important are somehow "stock" is in fact part of the problem of dudes just randomly designating stuff they know stock.
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Mewto55555 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:15 pm

So like, if you read the first chunk of Anna K, then you probably remember that bit at the beginning where the dude we don't know or care about falls in front of the train? Tolstoy didn't just randomly include that for funsies -- most of the events in the book lead to Anna's climactic death which is both memorable and important. Particularly at high school level, where it is very possible that someone could know exactly one clue from the set {train, Vronsky} (perhaps due to just hearing a summary from a friend who omitted names, or from simply forgetting Vronsky's name, or whatever), it seems very reasonable that the ending would be worth including. The goal of a tossup, remember, is primarily to fairly distinguish varying levels of knowledge -- if a clue doesn't help much (as is the case for nearly everything, as John pointed out), then it doesn't need to be included. If however, it does, like for Anna Karenina or something like Murder on the Orient Express, then its certainly at least worthy of consideration.


Also what is the meaning of this "stock"? I think the word you're looking for is probably "noteworthy" or "important," or perhaps, if you're looking to give it a negative connotation, "over-used."
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Emil Nolde » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:00 pm

Mewto55555 wrote:So like, if you read the first chunk of Anna K, then you probably remember that bit at the beginning where the dude we don't know or care about falls in front of the train? Tolstoy didn't just randomly include that for funsies -- most of the events in the book lead to Anna's climactic death which is both memorable and important. Particularly at high school level, where it is very possible that someone could know exactly one clue from the set {train, Vronsky} (perhaps due to just hearing a summary from a friend who omitted names, or from simply forgetting Vronsky's name, or whatever), it seems very reasonable that the ending would be worth including. The goal of a tossup, remember, is primarily to fairly distinguish varying levels of knowledge -- if a clue doesn't help much (as is the case for nearly everything, as John pointed out), then it doesn't need to be included. If however, it does, like for Anna Karenina or something like Murder on the Orient Express, then its certainly at least worthy of consideration.


Also what is the meaning of this "stock"? I think the word you're looking for is probably "noteworthy" or "important," or perhaps, if you're looking to give it a negative connotation, "over-used."
But my point would be that climactic, awesome, but also extremely brief plot events are usually easy to remember without any regard to context, especially when compared to things such as characters, plot devices, etc. that play an important role in the work, but don't really have one defining moment that they can be crystallized into in the same way. This sort of clue would usually not be anything that would reveal the exciting part, but would reward the knowledge that would have a higher probability of coming from a purer source. I didn't actually know the ending to Anna Karenina until I started playing quizbowl. But as soon as I heard how it ended, it was seared indelibly into my memory, and so it would be for someone who had never read any of it.

I would say that within (almost) every singular work there are multitudes of clues, that fall in varying degrees of the spectrum of this 'over-used' quality of clues, from "you probably won't be able to get this unless you've actually read it" to "regardless of how important the clue is or is not to this work, someone buzzing here is almost certain to know nothing else about this topic, otherwise why wouldn't they have buzzed in earlier". Questions should aim for conversion by the people who actually know their stuff.
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Smuttynose Island » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:50 am

thyringe_supine wrote:Questions should aim for conversion by the people who actually know their stuff.
They do! That's the whole point of writing a pyramidal TU. That way, people who know more about a work are more likely to get the TU (although this doesn't mean that the person with more knowledge is guaranteed to get the TU). Just because you aim for people who know more about a work to get a TU before those who know less doesn't mean that you should only write TUs that can be gotten by those who "know their stuff." If this was the case, then you'd see conversion rates drop precipitously across the board and Quizbowl would become a terribly un-fun game. Because of that, there's nothing wrong with using clues that many people know about simply because they are part of the set of "common knowledge." There's also nothing wrong with using two or more of these "easier" clues if, in order to hit the proper level of accessibility, you need to (which is why there's nothing wrong with talking about the train-smacking in Anna Karenina AND Count Vronsky in certain TUs on Tolstoy or Anna Karenina).

Because of this, if a clue is one that many people will know, for whatever reason, then it should probably be used in a TU (or else some equally well-known clue should be used in its place). If a question writer or editor believes that a "spoiler" clue can be omitted from a TU without hurting that TUs convertibility, then it is within their rights to omit that clue. If; however, omitting that clue will severely hurt a given question's convertibility, then omitting it would mean that the editor or writer has failed to create a proper question, so they should not omit it. In the end, the playability of a question for all should trump the desires of a few who wish to not have a work be spoiled.
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Emil Nolde » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:28 am

But essentially, accessibility and convertibility are traits that are held to be more important than sophistication and legitimacy. In that case, it would seem to me that question quality is, and must always be restricted by the level of the field they are intended for. And of course, players are unlikely to get as good on easy, one-dimensional questions, so it creates a sort of Catch-22. Now, I'm not saying that obscure clues always contribute to good writing, but it certainly doesn't hurt. If you're writing for a more advanced field, not only is your answerspace dramatically larger, but your structural constraints are significantly lower. You don't need to worry as much about "OK, are people actually going to be able to follow this?" Part of the reason that good players are good is because they can complete this task of reassembling the components of the question into their mind quickly and easily. I remember, for the first JV practice last year, Ben read us pyramidal questions (none of our feeder schools actually use them, unfortunately) and just asked us to write down the category of the question and what type of answer they were looking for. The ability to consistently do that is the hallmark of a good player just as much as anything else is.

Wow, we aren't very close to the original topic, are we?
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:43 pm

thyringe_supine wrote:But essentially, accessibility and convertibility are traits that are held to be more important than sophistication and legitimacy. In that case, it would seem to me that question quality is, and must always be restricted by the level of the field they are intended for. And of course, players are unlikely to get as good on easy, one-dimensional questions, so it creates a sort of Catch-22. Now, I'm not saying that obscure clues always contribute to good writing, but it certainly doesn't hurt. If you're writing for a more advanced field, not only is your answerspace dramatically larger, but your structural constraints are significantly lower. You don't need to worry as much about "OK, are people actually going to be able to follow this?" Part of the reason that good players are good is because they can complete this task of reassembling the components of the question into their mind quickly and easily. I remember, for the first JV practice last year, Ben read us pyramidal questions (none of our feeder schools actually use them, unfortunately) and just asked us to write down the category of the question and what type of answer they were looking for. The ability to consistently do that is the hallmark of a good player just as much as anything else is.

Wow, we aren't very close to the original topic, are we?
I'm not entirely sure what to make of this largely confusing and incoherent post that seemingly ignores most of what has been articulated by Max, Daniel, and myself in this thread. But the dichotomy you present between rewarding sophisticated or legitimate knowledge and keeping questions convertible by providing clues that reward surface knowledge is a false one in any well-written pyramidal tossup, in which both of these criteria are satisfied. If you are trying to argue that tossups should try to reward deep and legitimate knowledge (by providing such clues in the earlier portions of the question), no one is going to argue with you. If you are arguing that tossups should exclude well-known facts about an answer-line (even at the ends of tossups) in order to protect some vague notion of legitimacy, then you are missing part of the fundamental point of pyramidality.
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by Emil Nolde » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:05 am

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:
thyringe_supine wrote:But essentially, accessibility and convertibility are traits that are held to be more important than sophistication and legitimacy. In that case, it would seem to me that question quality is, and must always be restricted by the level of the field they are intended for. And of course, players are unlikely to get as good on easy, one-dimensional questions, so it creates a sort of Catch-22. Now, I'm not saying that obscure clues always contribute to good writing, but it certainly doesn't hurt. If you're writing for a more advanced field, not only is your answerspace dramatically larger, but your structural constraints are significantly lower. You don't need to worry as much about "OK, are people actually going to be able to follow this?" Part of the reason that good players are good is because they can complete this task of reassembling the components of the question into their mind quickly and easily. I remember, for the first JV practice last year, Ben read us pyramidal questions (none of our feeder schools actually use them, unfortunately) and just asked us to write down the category of the question and what type of answer they were looking for. The ability to consistently do that is the hallmark of a good player just as much as anything else is.

Wow, we aren't very close to the original topic, are we?
I'm not entirely sure what to make of this largely confusing and incoherent post that seemingly ignores most of what has been articulated by Max, Daniel, and myself in this thread. But the dichotomy you present between rewarding sophisticated or legitimate knowledge and keeping questions convertible by providing clues that reward surface knowledge is a false one in any well-written pyramidal tossup, in which both of these criteria are satisfied. If you are trying to argue that tossups should try to reward deep and legitimate knowledge (by providing such clues in the earlier portions of the question), no one is going to argue with you. If you are arguing that tossups should exclude well-known facts about an answer-line (even at the ends of tossups) in order to protect some vague notion of legitimacy, then you are missing part of the fundamental point of pyramidality.
I don't see how my post can be said to be confusing or incoherent if you're able to refute it. Basically, what I mean, is that question structure and/or content and player quality are directly related. If you write derivative questions with clues that have been often used, then your chances of attracting a good field decrease dramatically. I am saying that well known and legitimate facts about subjects are often mutually exclusive, simply because of the game we play. I guess that's pretty obvious or something, but if not, well, that's what I think is true.
James Zetterman
Carbondale Community High School '15
SIU Carbondale '19 or thereabouts

Keep your expectations low.

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vinteuil
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Re: Hey, spoiler warning?

Post by vinteuil » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:24 am

thyringe_supine wrote:I don't see how my post can be said to be confusing or incoherent if you're able to refute it.
http://www.wanttoknow.info/9-11timeline60pg and many others show how untrue this is.
thyringe_supine wrote:If you write derivative questions with clues that have been often used, then your chances of attracting a good field decrease dramatically. I am saying that well known and legitimate facts about subjects are often mutually exclusive, simply because of the game we play. I guess that's pretty obvious or something, but if not, well, that's what I think is true.
Unfortunately, the first statement isn't always true (I'd rather go to a tournament on horruble questions than no tournament at all).

legitimate, adj: able to be defended with logic or justification

It the goal is to have people buzz on clues, then "well-known" seems like the most legitimate (defensible) criterion.
Jacob Reed
Chicago ~'25
Yale '17, '19
East Chapel Hill '13
"...distant bayings from...the musicological mafia"―Denis Stevens

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