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Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:42 pm
by AlphaQuizBowler
Are giveaways that change the subject of the question appropriate to use? For example, in the 06-07 HSNCT set, there's a question that talks about the use of a character in different computer programming situations. Then the giveaway is "FTP,-name this interrogative punctuation mark." That bothers me because it changes the question from CS to English, messing up the distribution.

Another question from the same packet:
Part 1 contains four chapters, while Part II is divided into eight parts; those divisions allude to the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. The last chapter is titled "Govinda" after the best friend of the title character, who, after traveling with the Samanas, uses (*) Vasudeva's river to achieve nirvana. FTP-identify this Herman Hesse novel that shares its title with the first name of the Buddha.

The reason why this is innapropriate showed up after I negged early into it against some new players. They've never heard of Siddharta the novel, and thus shouldn't get a lit question about the novel. However, given the giveaway they can convert it because they know the first name of the Buddha. The question changes from testing lit knowledge to testing RMP knowledge.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:51 pm
by AndyShootsAndyScores
As a computer science noob, I don't pick up on most giveaways that others with more knowledge in that field would. In fact, I can't think of an appropriate giveaway other than the one that question provides. Giveaways like that help a question from going completely dead in a theoretical room where both teams don't know computer science,

The Siddharta question, however, could've used a more fitting giveaway. But then again, that's the price you pay for negging early.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:59 pm
by AlphaQuizBowler
AndyShootsAndyScores wrote:As a computer science noob, I don't pick up on most giveaways that others with more knowledge in that field would. In fact, I can't think of an appropriate giveaway other than the one that question provides. Giveaways like that help a question from going completely dead in a theoretical room where both teams don't know computer science
If both teams don't know computer science, they shouldn't answer computer science questions. If not enough HS students know the programming uses of question marks, then they should write a more accessible CS question, not give an English giveaway. I heard a good CS question on backslash, because almost anyone can answer "FTP, What comes after http:?".

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:03 pm
by AndyShootsAndyScores
AlphaQuizBowler wrote:I heard a good CS question on backslash, because almost anyone can answer "FTP, What comes after http:?".
That's a forward slash.

I guess I know more than I thought.

EDIT: CS questions, to me, are either going to be answered very early or at the end. This facilitates the need for a more answerable giveaway at the end. Making the question a buzzer race at the end is a flaw, but I'm not saying the question should've been CS throughout the whole thing. Once you've exhausted all stock clues for a particular answer, taking other clues (even from another subject) is not a terrible idea. However, the transition from CS to English or some other area should've been made long before FTP.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:08 pm
by AlphaQuizBowler
AndyShootsAndyScores wrote:
AlphaQuizBowler wrote:I heard a good CS question on backslash, because almost anyone can answer "FTP, What comes after http:?".
That's a forward slash.

I guess I know more than I thought.
Everything I learned in elementary school is wrong! Anyway, the point still is that accessible CS in HS exists.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:10 pm
by AndyShootsAndyScores
Can you post the question mark question in its entirety?

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:16 pm
by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
That Siddhartha question really blows.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:20 pm
by Auks Ran Ova
aaargh please stop it questions on "forward slash" or "question mark" or "asterisk" or whatever are not good computer science questions

Love,
A Computer Science Major

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:22 pm
by Irreligion in Bangladesh
Generally speaking, questions shouldn't swerve category in the giveaway. If you want to write one of those, it should be put into a "general" category rather than the specific category that the early clues use.

The CS example is egregiously bad and a perfect example of an NAcutie. The giveaway has absolutely nothing to do with the subject at hand, given that all prior clues were CS-based. If the clues were interdisciplinary (and therefore in the "general knowledge" category rather than science), then it's somewhat OK, because 1. it doesn't remove the possibility of a legitimate CS tossup from the packet, and 2. it doesn't create a situation where the person who gets the tossup earned it by not falling into the trap of "these are CS clues, I won't even know it off the giveaway, I'm setting my buzzer down/not paying attention OH HOLY CRAP NO it was nacutie :(" On one hand, it's not terrible to reward someone who perseveres through hard clues, trying to learn. On the other hand, just write a better question/giveaway.

The Siddharta example is a little better, because it is related to the novel and therefore the rest of the tossup. It's not an NAcutie...it's not a terribly problematic giveaway, but it could be better written as "FTP name this Herman Hesse novel concerning the Buddha" or somesuch without saying that the title = the first name.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:22 pm
by cdcarter
Ukonvasara wrote:aaargh please stop it questions on "forward slash" or "question mark" or "asterisk" or whatever are not good computer science questions

Love,
A Computer Science Major
How about questions on COBOL, are questions on COBOL ok!? Ooh or we could write a COMPUTER SCIEENCE tossup on HTML elements. That's computers isn't it?

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:23 pm
by AKKOLADE
Ukonvasara wrote:aaargh please stop it questions on "forward slash" or "question mark" or "asterisk" or whatever are not good computer science questions

Love,
A Computer Science Major
Thanks for saying this true statement,

Computer Science Graduate

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:38 pm
by pray for elves
leftsaidfred wrote:
Ukonvasara wrote:aaargh please stop it questions on "forward slash" or "question mark" or "asterisk" or whatever are not good computer science questions

Love,
A Computer Science Major
Thanks for saying this true statement,

Computer Science Graduate
I wholeheartedly agree with what has been said here.

Love,
Another Computer Science Graduate

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:45 pm
by theMoMA
In general, if your question can't be converted for the field you're writing for without inserting a cross-disciplinary or cutesy giveaway, it's time to find a new answer.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:46 pm
by vcuEvan
DeisEvan wrote:
leftsaidfred wrote:
Ukonvasara wrote:aaargh please stop it questions on "forward slash" or "question mark" or "asterisk" or whatever are not good computer science questions

Love,
A Computer Science Major
Thanks for saying this true statement,

Computer Science Graduate
I wholeheartedly agree with what has been said here.

Love,
Another Computer Science Graduate
Computer science sucks. All give aways should be like "Name this language made from corundum" or "name this language that hisses" or "name this language you might find in a mollusk"

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:56 pm
by dtaylor4
Such subject-bending giveaways need to be thrown out.

If you don't know enough about something to convert it when the giveaway actually relates to the subject of the tossup (not an NAcutie), then you don't deserve those points.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:58 pm
by Mechanical Beasts
Adamantium Claws wrote:Computer science sucks. All give aways should be like "Name this language made from corundum" or "name this language that hisses" or "name this language you might find in a mollusk"
Coming soon, to a Chip set near you--you really shouldn't have given him all three parts.

Also, CS tossups about punctuation should lick my Bawls.

To the original point--having giveaways that change the subject of the question is only slightly better than having a giveaway equivalent to "name this poet whose name rhymes with Wangston Mews." At least the history of religion is an academic subject, whereas being a rhyming dictionary isn't.

This is an issue that I wasn't entirely able to express a while ago, in a thread about the appropriate structure for a tossup. I don't think that every tossup should have a find-your-ass giveaway, because not all tossups can be reduced to find-your-ass for all players. I'd say that the Rubottom oxidation can't be given away in a find-your-ass way, even for a science player: if you don't know "FTP name this synthesis of alpha-hydroxy ketones from enols (or their ethers) using a peroxyacid," you shouldn't get the tossup--this is true even though the pinacol rearrangement, which provides the important stuff-moving-around of the reaction (the rest is just a good leaving group running away). But that doesn't mean that it isn't fit to be tossed up at some levels just because the easiest non-cute giveaway can't be converted by every college team in the nation.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:44 pm
by theMoMA
This thread is concentrating too much on whether players "deserve points" and shying away from the real issue, which is:

Stop writing tossups whose convertability depends on cross-disciplinary or cutesy giveaways!

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:00 pm
by Mechanical Beasts
theMoMA wrote:This thread is concentrating too much on whether players "deserve points" and shying away from the real issue, which is:

Stop writing tossups whose convertability depends on cross-disciplinary or cutesy giveaways!
Well, the reason to do as you say is because it gives players points that they don't deserve, i.e. points from the academic part of the distribution from an ability to rhyme or something non-academic. Or at least a sufficient reason.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:08 pm
by theMoMA
No, the reason is because the answers to the tossups are inappropriate for the field. Whether people are actually converting them or not is immaterial. If I told you that someone was writing six-line tossups that consisted of five lines of gibberish with a speedcheck at the end, would you be more concerned that someone was writing them, or that players were answering them?

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:21 pm
by Mechanical Beasts
theMoMA wrote:No, the reason is because the answers to the tossups are inappropriate for the field. Whether people are actually converting them or not is immaterial. If I told you that someone was writing six-line tossups that consisted of five lines of gibberish with a speedcheck at the end, would you be more concerned that someone was writing them, or that players were answering them?
But Siddhartha--not to mention the terrifying tossup on "question mark" are perfectly appropriate for the field. You don't need EVERY TEAM to know every tossup; I'd argue that very, very few tossups could pass that test. Siddhartha ought to be high school canon, and NAQT could simply have had a better giveaway--there aren't many allegorical novels by Hesse about a titular Indian man and his various attempts to attain Nirvana. That would have given it away to me in high school even early on, and I was a notably bad lit player, until I finally became notably below average.

The issue isn't five lines of gibberish plus a speedcheck; it's a tossup that's not the greatest, but is gettable--and then asks a different question with the same answer. Only if you shouldn't be getting the tossup in the first place does the last line become relevant.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:53 pm
by theMoMA
You're really not approaching this the right way. If the tossup would be acceptably answerable without a stupid giveaway but has one anyway, that's bad. If the tossup would unacceptably answerable without a stupid giveaway but has one to make it more accessible, that's bad.

Either way, the writer is producing a question that is 90% gibberish to some segment of the playing populace, followed by an unrelated speedcheck. Again, what's the problem: that writers are doing this, or that players are answering the questions at hand?

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:57 pm
by Mechanical Beasts
theMoMA wrote:You're really not approaching this the right way. If the tossup would be acceptably answerable without a stupid giveaway but has one anyway, that's bad. If the tossup would unacceptably answerable without a stupid giveaway but has one to make it more accessible, that's bad.

Either way, the writer is producing a question that is 90% gibberish to some segment of the playing populace, followed by an unrelated speedcheck. Again, what's the problem: that writers are doing this, or that players are answering the questions at hand?
But I simply don't think that it's relevant that writers are doing this beyond the fact that they're being lazy apart from its effect on the game. If these tossups never get to the crappy giveway, then it doesn't make a difference. It only makes a difference when those tossups are answered, when it affects the outcome of a game.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:04 am
by Auroni
AlphaQuizBowler wrote:Are giveaways that change the subject of the question appropriate to use? For example, in the 06-07 HSNCT set, there's a question that talks about the use of a character in different computer programming situations. Then the giveaway is "FTP,-name this interrogative punctuation mark." That bothers me because it changes the question from CS to English, messing up the distribution.
well, the giveaway isn't testing deep English knowledge, so I wouldn't consider it a change of subject matter. But it's not a good tossup and does not constitute good quizbowl; the shift in subject matter isn't even the most obvious problem there. Same with the Siddhartha question, Govinda should by no means be in power range.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:08 am
by Auroni
DeisEvan wrote:
leftsaidfred wrote:
Ukonvasara wrote:aaargh please stop it questions on "forward slash" or "question mark" or "asterisk" or whatever are not good computer science questions

Love,
A Computer Science Major
Thanks for saying this true statement,

Computer Science Graduate
I wholeheartedly agree with what has been said here.

Love,
Another Computer Science Graduate
agreeing with you guys is fun

Love,
a computer science noob

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:06 am
by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen
What do people think about the reverse: putting academic clues (be they lead-ins, giveaways, or other clues) in popular culture questions? I understand why pop culture giveaways (or giveaways that you can get merely by not living under a rock) are bad, but what about if you said something like "…In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield asks a man of the same profession as the title character where the ducks go in the winter. FTP, (insert giveaway about the movie Taxi Driver here, that I can't supply because I've never seen it)"? This would probably make pop culture questions more accessible to people who don't know much about pop culture (at least not the kind that gets asked about in quizbowl). Would that be good or bad?

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:57 am
by theMoMA
everyday847 wrote:But I simply don't think that it's relevant that writers are doing this beyond the fact that they're being lazy apart from its effect on the game. If these tossups never get to the crappy giveway, then it doesn't make a difference. It only makes a difference when those tossups are answered, when it affects the outcome of a game.
There is no need to talk about game results or pontificate about who "deserves" points. If the teams don't know the initial subject of the question, the unrelated giveaway turns a supposedly pyramidal tossup into a speedcheck on the topic of the unrelated giveaway. This is why writing those kinds of tossups is bad. And that's why it's always bad regardless of who's winning or losing, or whether the question is converted or not, or whether it even gets to the point where teams buzz on the unrelated giveaway.

So far, this thread seems to suggest that only in specific situations is this practice bad. No. It's bad all the time, regardless of the situation, for a very specific reason that I have repeatedly explained.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:55 am
by Sir Thopas
I think NAQT's sets are cleared by now.

"FTP, name this economist with middle name Maynard."

A-level, how I love thee.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:00 am
by Mechanical Beasts
theMoMA wrote:
everyday847 wrote:But I simply don't think that it's relevant that writers are doing this beyond the fact that they're being lazy apart from its effect on the game. If these tossups never get to the crappy giveway, then it doesn't make a difference. It only makes a difference when those tossups are answered, when it affects the outcome of a game.
There is no need to talk about game results or pontificate about who "deserves" points. If the teams don't know the initial subject of the question, the unrelated giveaway turns a supposedly pyramidal tossup into a speedcheck on the topic of the unrelated giveaway. This is why writing those kinds of tossups is bad. And that's why it's always bad regardless of who's winning or losing, or whether the question is converted or not, or whether it even gets to the point where teams buzz on the unrelated giveaway.
We're consistently saying the same thing, we've just for some reason decided that we have two different meanings.

Of course it's always bad, but it's bad because of its potential effect on the game, which is why I said
everyday847 wrote:It only makes a difference when those tossups are answered, when it affects the outcome of a game.
I don't know why you're characterizing what I'm saying as it not being bad when those tossups are not answered. What I meant (and what I think I've said) is that it doesn't make a difference, but something that does not make a difference can still be bad. I'm just framing the reason for why it should never have existed in practical terms: because the tossup could have been converted due to that bad giveaway, instead of because of actual knowledge. If a writer writes questions like that all the time that he never intends to submit for real play, no harm has been done, though it's a little weird.

I interpreted your frame to be saying that they were bad for reasons independent of what can potentially happen if they're played, which is nonsensical, since I can't imagine the psychic harm to writing them--or knowing that they're being written--is that great. I assume that interpretation was incorrect.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:24 pm
by Ed McMahon
everyday847 wrote:...lick my Bawls.
HIYO!

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:08 pm
by magin
I don't see anything wrong with a cross-disciplinary giveaway, provided that all the earlier clues are useful and appropriately pyramidal. If you want to write a tossup on "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment," for instance, making the giveaway "FTP, name this Nathaniel Hawthorne short story whose title character shares his name with the author of Being and Time." seems perfectly acceptable to me. If people attach cute giveaways or cross-disciplinary giveaways because the previous clues are not appropriate for the field, then I would object, but otherwise, cross-disciplinary giveaways are fine.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:09 pm
by cvdwightw
metsfan001 wrote:I think NAQT's sets are cleared by now.
I was under the impression that sets were not cleared until July 1, as that was the policy in past years, but I could be wrong.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:40 pm
by Golran
What do you think of an all-trash question with the give-away being something like:

Name this baseball player who shares his name with the toy company that produces Scrabble?

It still fits in the general classification of Trash, but it diverges from Sports Trash.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:13 pm
by First Chairman
Derailment: Hasbro makes the games.

Continue on...

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:47 pm
by theMoMA
I agree with Jonathan. There are plenty of players who know the most basic fact about Doctor Heidegger's Experiment--that it's a work of Hawthorne. If, at the end, you allow those players to answer the question by providing an academic clue about the title, that still requires that the player know the exact title and say it ("Heidegger" wouldn't be acceptable, obviously). The line is blurred a bit when you have a one-word answer, since clues about the answer wouldn't necessarily reward players who have even heard about the work in question.

Re: Giveaways

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:47 pm
by Mechanical Beasts
theMoMA wrote:I agree with Jonathan. There are plenty of players who know the most basic fact about Doctor Heidegger's Experiment--that it's a work of Hawthorne. If, at the end, you allow those players to answer the question by providing an academic clue about the title, that still requires that the player know the exact title and say it ("Heidegger" wouldn't be acceptable, obviously). The line is blurred a bit when you have a one-word answer, since clues about the answer wouldn't necessarily reward players who have even heard about the work in question.
I agree with this too; it's especially useful if the only part of the title that you can't pull, frustratingly, is that character. It turns substantial and on-topic knowledge into points.