ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

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ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:22 pm

This thread is for corrections. But by corrections I don’t necessarily mean typos. We are aware that there were many of those. The editors have a running list of them, which we caught ourselves while reading the set yesterday, and which we will correct before the Warwick mirror on February 6th, and the public release of the set on February 7th. If you too have kept a list of typo corrections, please feel free to PM them to me or e-mail them to me, so I can add them to our master list.

This thread is primarily for factual corrections, as those things we are less likely to have spotted ourselves. If you noticed any factual mistakes with the set, please free to post about them here, so we can correct those too before the release. Thanks.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Emperor Pupienus » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:52 pm

In the AAA bonus, I thought that the third part on Owen Roberts mentioned that he was the Chief Justice, which was not the case.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Cherrybell Miramonte » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:57 pm

If I recall correctly, the tossup on 2 pi mentioned something along the lines of "the reciprocal of this number appears in Cauchy's integral formula", which made me somewhat hesitant to buzz because 1/(2 pi times i) is what appears in front of the integral.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Mewto55555 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:54 pm

Kalevipoeg wrote:If I recall correctly, the tossup on 2 pi mentioned something along the lines of "the reciprocal of this number appears in Cauchy's integral formula", which made me somewhat hesitant to buzz because 1/(2 pi times i) is what appears in front of the integral.
MIT A / Johns Hopkins B wrote:10. This number is the greatest common divisor of all possible well-defined closed line integrals of the differential form x-dy minus y-dx all over x-squared plus y-squared, a fact that helps define the winding number. The integral of curvature on a compact boundaryless manifold equals this number times the Euler characteristic, by Gauss-Bonnet. This number is the reciprocal of the magnitude of the complex constant in the Cauchy integral formula. The unit normal distribution has density at zero equal to one over the square root of this quantity. The "Tau Manifesto" advocates using a constant with this value instead of a related number. The sine and cosine functions have this period. For 10 points, identify this number of radians in a circle, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its radius.
ANSWER: 2pi [accept tau before mention, prompt on decimal approximations like 6.28..., obviously do not accept or prompt "pi"]
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by t-bar » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:01 pm

MIT A+Johns Hopkins B 2pi tossup wrote:This number is the greatest common divisor of all possible well-defined closed line integrals of the differential form x-dy minus y-dx all over x-squared plus y-squared, a fact that helps define the winding number.
This may be my own ignorance speaking, but is it correct to refer to a non-integer as being a GCD? Do you just mean that all such integrals are some integer times 2pi? This clue confused me because it led me to believe that the answer had to be an integer.
Oklahoma+Brown resistance tossup wrote:This quantity equals cross-sectional area times length times rho
The correct formula is length times rho over area.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Mewto55555 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:08 pm

Oklahoma+Brown resistance tossup wrote:This quantity equals cross-sectional area times length times rho
The correct formula is length times rho over area.
Yeah, that's my bad.
t-bar wrote:
MIT A+Johns Hopkins B 2pi tossup wrote:This number is the greatest common divisor of all possible well-defined closed line integrals of the differential form x-dy minus y-dx all over x-squared plus y-squared, a fact that helps define the winding number.
This may be my own ignorance speaking, but is it correct to refer to a non-integer as being a GCD? Do you just mean that all such integrals are some integer times 2pi? This clue confused me because it led me to believe that the answer had to be an integer.
In retrospect I'm not sure how technically correct that is. I've heard people use the term as such, but it might be a slight abuse of wording -- I didn't think it'd be unclear to anyone who understood that clue (since the winding number is just that integral divided by 2pi), but I didn't realize it would confuse people who didn't know the clue but contextualized it as "this must be an integer." I'll clean up the phrasing.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Doga (Dog Yoga) » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:37 pm

The Crete myth bonus in the Brown packet says that "three residents of this location became judges of the underworld" or something like that. Only two of the three judges of the underworld are from Crete.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Cherrybell Miramonte » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:15 pm

Consumption of this substance can lead to a flushing of the skin common in Asian populations. For 10 points
each:
[10] Name this two-carbon compound which serves as a nervous system depressant. It can be produced via the
fermentation of sugars by yeast.
ANSWER: ethanol [or ethyl alcohol]
[10] Alcohol dehydrogenase converts ethanol to this compound, which is responsible for redness of the alcohol
flush. It’s significantly more toxic than alcohol, and responsible for most hangover symptoms.
ANSWER: acetaldehyde [or ethanol]
[10] This drug can induce a flush in people of all ethnicities and an instant hangover by inhibiting acetaldehyde
dehydrogenase. It is sometimes used to assist recovering alcoholics.
ANSWER: disulfiram [or Antabuse]
Acetaldehyde is ethanal, not ethanol.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:50 am

Neil Gurram wrote:I don't know the best way of doing this (I don't really post on the forums anymore/forgot my password), but if you recall one of the bonuses said Moscow Arts Theatre, but Moscow Art Theatre should definitely have been acceptable per this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_Art_Theatre
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Cold Stone Steve Austin » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:34 am

These aren't errata but:
MIT A / Johns Hopkins B 2pi tossup wrote:The unit normal distribution has density at zero equal to one over the square root of this quantity.
At game speed, I couldn't process this statement and instead buzzed on the sine and cosine clue; I also think that the statement could be interpreted as "The density equals zero when x = 1/sqrt(this quantity)." I'd rephrase this as something like "The UND has a peak/maximum density of 1/sqrt(this quantity)."
MIT A / Johns Hopkins B wrote:The "Tau Manifesto" advocates using a constant with this value instead of a related number.
Similarly, the name Tau Manifesto totally flew by me; putting that name at the end of the clue by turning the clue into passive would help make it more noticeable and pyramidal, i.e. "The use of a constant with this value is advocated by the Tau Manifesto."
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Cody » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:34 am

Saul Bellows should be acceptable.

Heart of the Dog should be acceptable.

Gitanjali starts by saying "these poems". This does not seem like a correct answer line referrent to me; I think "this collection" should be used the whole way through.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:48 am

UlyssesInvictus wrote:
Neil Gurram wrote:I don't know the best way of doing this (I don't really post on the forums anymore/forgot my password), but if you recall one of the bonuses said Moscow Arts Theatre, but Moscow Art Theatre should definitely have been acceptable per this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_Art_Theatre
Yes, that should be acceptable. Thanks for catching this.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:56 am

Cody wrote:Saul Bellows should be acceptable.

Heart of the Dog should be acceptable.

Gitanjali starts by saying "these poems". This does not seem like a correct answer line referrent to me; I think "this collection" should be used the whole way through.
Um, who is Saul Bellows?

I looked, and I can't find a published English translation of Bulgakov under the name Heart of the Dog. Where did you find this?

For poetry collections such as Ariel or Harmonium, one must say "this collection". Each poem has an individual title and identity, and the collection has a title apart from the name of the poems. But for something like Berryman's Dream Songs or Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus, it is fine (and often preferable) to use "these poems", because the collection's title is just the plural of the genre and each poem in the collection is referred to as something like Dream Song 1. At least in English, Gitanjali definitely falls into the latter category: it is called Song Offerings, and each poem is called something like Song Offering 1.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Cody » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:11 am

Bellows was his last name at birth.

Russian does not have articles. Therefore, "Heart of the Dog" is a valid translation. Plus, the last time this came up as a protest, examples were found of it being published under that name.

Thanks for the explanation about Gitanjali.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:26 am

Cody wrote:Bellows was his last name at birth.

Russian does not have articles. Therefore, "Heart of the Dog" is a valid translation. Plus, the last time this came up as a protest, examples were found of it being published under that name.

Thanks for the explanation about Gitanjali.
Ah, okay. But in that case they have to say "Solomon Bellows", right? That is, my understanding is that you can give a birth name or the author's eventual name, but you can't mix and match pieces of both.

And thanks for that fact about Russian. I'll keep that in mind for future when writing the alternate answer lines for works of Russian literature.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Cody » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:37 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:Ah, okay. But in that case they have to say "Solomon Bellows", right? That is, my understanding is that you can give a birth name or the author's eventual name, but you can't mix and match pieces of both.
In this specific case, it's ambiguous and any protest will wind up having to resolve in favor of taking "Saul Bellows". To wit: my understanding of the issue is that the change of "Solomon" to "Sol" to "Saul" and "Bellows" to "Bellow" were unrelated and at different times (with the latter happening first and him never publishing anything under the name "Bellows"). However, because he has been referred to as "Saul Bellows" (see Google newspapers), one must take said answer. Combined with the fact that "Saul" is really just a shortening of "Solomon", the way it's used by Bellow, it creates a rather murky situation.

It's kind of stupid, but...

(and, just "Bellows" would then still be acceptable)

Edit: ah. And the Kierkegaard question should include the pseduonyms for any work mentioned in the question.
Last edited by Cody on Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:31 pm

Cody wrote:
Edit: ah. And the Kierkegaard question should include the pseduonyms for any work mentioned in the question.
So, I understand that this is common practice, SOP for Kierkegaard questions, etc. But here's a broader complaint I have: do we really have to keep doing this? Does anybody buzz in on Kierkegaard questions with "Frater Taciturnus" except as a dumb in-joke based on old packets? Is it remotely worth the time it takes to add those names in?

Hell, is "Anti-Climacus" even correct for a tossup that uses clues from both Sickness unto Death and Either/Or? I'm not sure it is - if answers have to be correct for every clue in the tossup and not just one, well, Anti-Climacus didn't write Either/Or. Including every single pseudonym strikes me as a dumb, anal custom that isn't funny anymore, doesn't reward knowledge, and makes us look like pricks.

EDIT: This came off as angrier than I meant it to. Sorry about that. I should clarify that I'm not angry at Cody at all, I just don't think this should be a priority for overworked editors who are already judged by crazy high standards.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Cody » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:54 pm

I don't disagree, but you can't just rule people wrong for being pretentious buttholes (else, we'd need not include 8-name long Spanish names as alternate answers). I think you could argue along that line (and I'd like that to become the status quo), but you'd still need to accept the first pseudonymous work's pseudonym until a different clue has been read. I'd opine that the Kierkegaard case needs to be written specifically into the rules as nothing but Kierkegaard is acceptable before you can ban said practice.

edit: to be clear, I don't think anything I've mentioned is a "big" problem that absolutely needed to be correct before Regionals ran, or else it was a disaster. (far from it) It's just that, since it isn't running again for two weeks, it doesn't hurt to fix some edge cases, and these are things that've come up in the past at tournaments I've been at.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Ike » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:26 pm

Cody wrote:I don't disagree, but you can't just rule people wrong for being pretentious buttholes (else, we'd need not include 8-name long Spanish names as alternate answers). I think you could argue along that line (and I'd like that to become the status quo), but you'd still need to accept the first pseudonymous work's pseudonym until a different clue has been read. I'd opine that the Kierkegaard case needs to be written specifically into the rules as nothing but Kierkegaard is acceptable before you can ban said practice.

edit: to be clear, I don't think anything I've mentioned is a "big" problem that absolutely needed to be correct before Regionals ran, or else it was a disaster. (far from it) It's just that, since it isn't running again for two weeks, it doesn't hurt to fix some edge cases, and these are things that've come up in the past at tournaments I've been at.
Right so in the case of Kierkegaard, you're allowed to protest that your answer wasn't taken. I'm almost positive that John would accept all Kierkegaard pseudonyms if the protest really mattered -- I know I would. Hopefully there is some kind of structural middle ground here: editors should try to include full alternate answers like Thomas (Ruggles) Pynchon, and players should know that while they may be correct for giving an unusual answer, they run the risk of not padding their stats to the best of their ability if the answer is unlikely to be on the page. After all, there is only a finite number of resources an editor has, and including all of Kierkegaard's pseudonyms seems to be a bad use of them if they could have been spent proofing the set.

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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Cody » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:25 pm

A personal bug-a-boo that popped up a couple times in Regionals:

The phrase "that x", "the aforementioned x", and similar constructions can only be used if the "x" actually appears previously -- and "x" exactly (or very close to exactly). For example, the Petrarch bonus (Berkeley A, et al.) has a lead-in that is (presumably) about Secretum meum, using "one work by this author". In the first prompt, the phrase "that aforementioned Secretum meum" is used. Since Secretum meum was never mentioned, this refers to nothing and is very confusing.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Ike » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:38 am

Cody wrote:A personal bug-a-boo that popped up a couple times in Regionals:

The phrase "that x", "the aforementioned x", and similar constructions can only be used if the "x" actually appears previously -- and "x" exactly (or very close to exactly). For example, the Petrarch bonus (Berkeley A, et al.) has a lead-in that is (presumably) about Secretum meum, using "one work by this author". In the first prompt, the phrase "that aforementioned Secretum meum" is used. Since Secretum meum was never mentioned, this refers to nothing and is very confusing.
Completely agree with this. 1000%.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Victor Prieto » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:16 am

Astroglia should be acceptable for astrocytes.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Mewto55555 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:51 pm

Can I request people who post future small corrections include the name of the packet if they already have it open? Presumably, you pulled up the packet to check that you weren't mistaken/copy over the question, so it should only take you another 5 seconds to include that info in your post, while saving us a fair amount of time finding what packet it was in to make the fix. Don't worry about doing this for previous things, I guess. Thanks much, and keep the feedback coming!
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:30 am

Ike wrote:
Cody wrote:A personal bug-a-boo that popped up a couple times in Regionals:

The phrase "that x", "the aforementioned x", and similar constructions can only be used if the "x" actually appears previously -- and "x" exactly (or very close to exactly). For example, the Petrarch bonus (Berkeley A, et al.) has a lead-in that is (presumably) about Secretum meum, using "one work by this author". In the first prompt, the phrase "that aforementioned Secretum meum" is used. Since Secretum meum was never mentioned, this refers to nothing and is very confusing.
Completely agree with this. 1000%.
I'm finishing the corrections to the set and I just came across this post. I checked the set and found eight uses of the word "aforementioned". At most one of them was borderline ungrammatical. If you're claiming that one can only use "aforementioned" about something that has been previously identified by name, then that is not correct. "Mentioned" is not synonymous with "mentioned by name" (hence the existence of the latter phrase). This is why Merriam-Webster defines "aforementioned" as "spoken about or named earlier".
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Cody » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:43 am

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:
Ike wrote:
Cody wrote:A personal bug-a-boo that popped up a couple times in Regionals:

The phrase "that x", "the aforementioned x", and similar constructions can only be used if the "x" actually appears previously -- and "x" exactly (or very close to exactly). For example, the Petrarch bonus (Berkeley A, et al.) has a lead-in that is (presumably) about Secretum meum, using "one work by this author". In the first prompt, the phrase "that aforementioned Secretum meum" is used. Since Secretum meum was never mentioned, this refers to nothing and is very confusing.
Completely agree with this. 1000%.
I'm finishing the corrections to the set and I just came across this post. I checked the set and found eight uses of the word "aforementioned". At most one of them was borderline ungrammatical. If you're claiming that one can only use "aforementioned" about something that has been previously identified by name, then that is not correct. "Mentioned" is not synonymous with "mentioned by name" (hence the existence of the latter phrase). This is why Merriam-Webster defines "aforementioned" as "spoken about or named earlier".
Did you just...? quote...? Merriam-Webster...?

A word can be used correctly in the sense of the English language / grammar and be confusing in the context of quizbowl. In quizbowl, one uses the construction "that x" and "aforementioned x" to refer, concretely, back to a previous thing in a question. There is no reason to use them outside of that situation -- this isn't an academic dissertation, you don't need to tie a later clue to an earlier clue to have it make sense. For example, "name this author of Secretum meum" instead of "name this author of that aforementioned Secretum meum" is actually more clear!

So, no, you (all writers) should definitely not use "that x" / "aforementioned x" if "x" (or a very close phrasing of "x") was not already used in a question. It's needlessly confusing (how is the player going to figure out what it's tied to? they can't!) and it serves no purpose.

(To be clear, my post was not about all the uses of "aforementioned" in the set -- it was the Secretum meum construction and an instance of "that x" where "x" was nowhere to be found. It wasn't a systematic problem, but it's worth talking about because I see it in various tournaments and people shouldn't do it.)
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:40 am

Cody wrote: A word can be used correctly in the sense of the English language / grammar and be confusing in the context of quizbowl. In quizbowl, one uses the construction "that x" and "aforementioned x" to refer, concretely, back to a previous thing in a question. There is no reason to use them outside of that situation
No one has said otherwise. I agree that there are grammatical constructions that are non-ideal in quizbowl, and that the constructions under current consideration require antecedents. You just seem to be using an unusually restrictive definition of what referring concretely back to something entails.
you don't need to tie a later clue to an earlier clue to have it make sense.
It is indeed not always necessary. But tying a namedrop to an earlier description to improve a clue and/or clarify the causal chain of a tossup is a pretty basic fact of question-writing that you should be familiar with.
For example, "name this author of Secretum meum" instead of "name this author of that aforementioned Secretum meum" is actually more clear!
I agree that it shouldn’t say “that aforementioned”; the "that" makes it ungrammatical. But if you’re arguing that people are going to be confused somehow by (e.g.) “the aforementioned Secretum meum”, that’s silly. There is obvious utility in clarifying that the question is still describing the same thing.
So, no, you (all writers) should definitely not use "that x" / "aforementioned x" if "x" (or a very close phrasing of "x") was not already used in a question. It's needlessly confusing (how is the player going to figure out what it's tied to? they can't!) and it serves no purpose.
This rule seems so needlessly dogmatic and made-up (without basis in standard English usage) that I feel like I must be misunderstanding you.

Here is a standard test case to clarify. Let us say I am writing a tossup on Thor and I want to use a clue about Mjolnir. I don’t want to say “hammer” in the first sentence about Mjolnir, so I say “An item…”. In the next sentence, I want to keep cluing Mjolnir, but it’s late enough in the question that I can call it a hammer. It seems like you’re saying that the next sentence cannot begin “That hammer…” (because I have not yet used the word "hammer"), and must instead begin “That item, a hammer, …”.

Is that what you’re saying? If you’re not saying that, then maybe we’re in agreement and just talking past each other. But if you are, then we disagree. Not only is that construction more likely to be bungled by inexperienced moderators (for whom appositives are often the most difficult parsing problems), but also it adds needless verbiage, which writers/editors often cannot spare in formats with length limits.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Cody » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:58 pm

That's exactly my argument, going from your example and proceeding through the rest of your post (without quoting):
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:Here is a standard test case to clarify. Let us say I am writing a tossup on Thor and I want to use a clue about Mjolnir. I don’t want to say “hammer” in the first sentence about Mjolnir, so I say “An item…”. In the next sentence, I want to keep cluing Mjolnir, but it’s late enough in the question that I can call it a hammer. It seems like you’re saying that the next sentence cannot begin “That hammer…” (because I have not yet used the word "hammer"), and must instead begin “That item, a hammer, …”.
How is a player supposed to know that "that hammer" refers to "an item"? I have a hard enough time sussing out these kind of connections as a moderator (though I grant you this is a simpler case). I contend that most players will not realize that "that hammer" ipso facto refers to "an item", especially not at game speed, unless they already know the clues. Instead of providing clarity, I contend that such a construction, in the general case, either provides nothing or is actively confusing (where'd a hammer come from?). I certainly agree that tying a namedrop to an earlier description is helpful for players, but this way is not helpful.

My preferred construction in such a scenario is "That item is a hammer..." or, if the clue is short enough that it won't be confusing, using "An item ... and is a hammer [potentially more clues depending on length]". Appositives are very easy to parse incorrectly no matter how experienced a moderator is and I would not use them in this situation.

I also disagree that it's "needless verbiage" -- I think it is necessary verbiage to provide clarity, as compared to your proposed construction.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by gyre and gimble » Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:27 pm

Cody wrote:That's exactly my argument, going from your example and proceeding through the rest of your post (without quoting):
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:Here is a standard test case to clarify. Let us say I am writing a tossup on Thor and I want to use a clue about Mjolnir. I don’t want to say “hammer” in the first sentence about Mjolnir, so I say “An item…”. In the next sentence, I want to keep cluing Mjolnir, but it’s late enough in the question that I can call it a hammer. It seems like you’re saying that the next sentence cannot begin “That hammer…” (because I have not yet used the word "hammer"), and must instead begin “That item, a hammer, …”.
How is a player supposed to know that "that hammer" refers to "an item"? I have a hard enough time sussing out these kind of connections as a moderator (though I grant you this is a simpler case). I contend that most players will not realize that "that hammer" ipso facto refers to "an item", especially not at game speed, unless they already know the clues. Instead of providing clarity, I contend that such a construction, in the general case, either provides nothing or is actively confusing (where'd a hammer come from?). I certainly agree that tying a namedrop to an earlier description is helpful for players, but this way is not helpful.
If you were just describing an item for an entire sentence, and then the next sentence says "that hammer," it should be pretty obvious what "that hammer" is referring to. "This god owns an item that has an unusually short handle. That hammer owned by this god is called Mjolnir." I don't see how this is difficult to parse. Why would you be confused whether "that hammer" refers to anything else?
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Cody » Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:36 pm

gyre and gimble wrote:Why would you be confused whether "that hammer" refers to anything else?
Because most questions don't have two sentences and most cases aren't this simple? Plus, are you really arguing that what you just wrote provides as much or more clarity than: "An item owned by this god has an unusually short handle and is a hammer named Mjolnir."? or "This god owns an item with an unusually short handle, a hammer named Mjolnir."? (I consider this a different use of appositives than posted above)

I thought this would be a very uncontroversial take on phrasing in questions and I'm very confused as to why people think the posted constructions offer equal clarity to actually saying what you mean. Am I missing something?
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by gyre and gimble » Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:53 pm

Cody wrote:
gyre and gimble wrote:Why would you be confused whether "that hammer" refers to anything else?
Because most questions don't have two sentences and most cases aren't this simple?
Well, I was under the impression that we were talking about the situation where sentence N in a tossup talks about "this item" and sentence N+1 states what kind of item "this item" is. So two sentences seems fine to me for purposes of illustration. But sure, maybe my example was too simple. How about: "An item owned by this figure has a defect caused by a fly biting the eyelid of the dwarf Brokk, and can only be wielded if the user is wearing a magic belt. That hammer owned by this god is named Mjolnir." Now, if we do it your way, we have "This figure has a defect caused by a fly biting the eyelid of the dwarf Brokk, and can only be wielded if the user is wearing a magic belt, a hammer named Mjolnir."

To me, the first way sounds better and easier to parse. While the player is listening to the first sentence, she's trying to figure out, "What is this item?" because that's the question she needs to answer first before determining, "Who owns that item?" When that item is identified in the next sentence as a hammer, the question that the player has been thinking about for the last 5 seconds has been answered. Of course would be clear to the player what question the phrase "that hammer" is meant to answer! On the other hand, if you append "a hammer named Mjolnir," the sentence gets harder to read and the player has to juggle with several clauses within one sentence, instead of having the information presented discretely.
Cody wrote:Plus, are you really arguing that what you just wrote provides as much or more clarity than: "An item owned by this god has an unusually short handle and is a hammer named Mjolnir."? or "This god owns an item with an unusually short handle, a hammer named Mjolnir."?
Since my original example was so simple, I guess my answer to this is yes, it definitely provides exactly as much clarity, that level of clarity being 100%. But I think the more complex the clues get, it's actually clearer to give some space or time for the player to figure things out, the tradeoff being what you're concerned with: the need to process one (small) additional step of reasoning in order to get to the answer.

That said, this stuff is pretty different from your original complaint about using "aforementioned," where I think(?) I agree with you. Here are a couple of tossups from the set:
In the Mahabharata, Vibhishana removed this property from the followers of Ravana. It’s not indestructibility, but “starving skeletons” named gashadokuro that roamed the countryside had this power. Caradog dies of shock while observing Caswallawn employing this power, which was also granted by the mantle of King Arthur. In the Nibelungenlied, Alberich bestows a non-ring item upon Siegfried that grants him this power. Autolycus owned a helmet that granted him this power. Another item granting this power was used by Athena during the Trojan War to cause injury to Ares and by Hermes in his fight with Hippolytus. For ten points, name this ability granted by that aforementioned cap belonging to Hades, which allowed Perseus to enter and escape the lair of the Gorgons unseen. ANSWER: invisibility [accept equivalents or other word forms; make sure to NOT accept “invincibility”]
Aside from this question being awful for, paradoxically, both transparency and clue difficulty (or ordering?*), the word "aforementioned" here is confusing and useless. The question says that Autolycus has a helmet, and then that a different "item" was used by some people, before saying "that aforementioned cap." It's not clear which you're referring to. On the other hand, if you just say "that cap," it's clear that you're referring to the object you were just talking about.

*Why is Hermes' fight with an irrelevant giant just before FTP?
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Here, on the other hand, the word "aforementioned" is useful because it lets players know they should resume thinking about the case from the leadin. And it's not confusing because the question says "aforementioned case."
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Guile Island » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:18 pm

In the Duke/UCF/Northwestern packet, the tossup on Zen Buddhism (which I wrote, so send all complaints to that one to me) had an extra sentence fragment in some point that didn't belong there during the clue about Bodhidarma staring at a wall for 9 years.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Cody » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:39 pm

gyre and gimble wrote:Well, I was under the impression that we were talking about the situation where sentence N in a tossup talks about "this item" and sentence N+1 states what kind of item "this item" is. So two sentences seems fine to me for purposes of illustration. But sure, maybe my example was too simple. How about: "An item owned by this figure has a defect caused by a fly biting the eyelid of the dwarf Brokk, and can only be wielded if the user is wearing a magic belt. That hammer owned by this god is named Mjolnir." Now, if we do it your way, we have "This figure has a defect caused by a fly biting the eyelid of the dwarf Brokk, and can only be wielded if the user is wearing a magic belt, a hammer named Mjolnir."

To me, the first way sounds better and easier to parse. While the player is listening to the first sentence, she's trying to figure out, "What is this item?" because that's the question she needs to answer first before determining, "Who owns that item?" When that item is identified in the next sentence as a hammer, the question that the player has been thinking about for the last 5 seconds has been answered. Of course would be clear to the player what question the phrase "that hammer" is meant to answer! On the other hand, if you append "a hammer named Mjolnir," the sentence gets harder to read and the player has to juggle with several clauses within one sentence, instead of having the information presented discretely.
For a more complex sentence, yes, you would not use an appositive there -- just like you wouldn't say "and is a hammer named Mjolnir". For this example, my version would be simply: ""An item owned by this figure has a defect caused by a fly biting the eyelid of the dwarf Brokk, and can only be wielded if the user is wearing a magic belt. That item owned by this god is a hammer named Mjolnir." (and contra John, that is 7 more characters, not a lot of "needless verbiage"). And since we are beyond the simple case, yes, I would say this is exactly the situation where using "that hammer" would be confusing. There's a lot of words between "an item" and "that hammer" (not to mention the possibility of other clues mentioning items!). It's hard enough to tie "that hammer" to "an item" in the simple case (especially at game speed), are we really expecting players to put it all together in this example? Why not just make it easy to follow and clear in the first place?
gyre and gimble wrote:That said, this stuff is pretty different from your original complaint about using "aforementioned," where I think(?) I agree with you. Here are a couple of tossups from the set:
I 100% agree here.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Red Panda Cub » Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:36 am

The first clue of the tossup on Berkeley (from the Michigan A packet) also applies to Descartes. "But, afterward, a wide experience by degrees sapped the faith I had reposed in my senses; for I frequently observed that towers, which at a distance seemed round, appeared square, when more closely viewed" in the Sixth of his Meditations.


I think the tossup on invisibility clues from the Tarnhelm at one point, which I believe is primarily used for shapeshifting, causing a few negs at our site.

Edited to add a reference and correct a typo.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:05 am

Short-beaked echidna wrote:The first clue of the tossup on Berkeley (from the Michigan A packet) also applies to Descartes. "But, afterward, a wide experience by degrees sapped the faith I had reposed in my senses; for I frequently observed that towers, which at a distance seemed round, appeared square, when more closely viewed" in the Sixth of his Meditations.
Argh, I meant to junk that clue before the Oxford site, since Jordan brought to my attention the fact that that example has been kicking around since ancient times. Sorry that I forgot to make that change.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by The Abydos Helicopter » Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:50 am

On the toss-up on Celts, I was negged for answering "La Tène" - as far as I can tell, the only clue given that doesn't apply definitely to this I can remember (rather than to the out-of-date academically designation "Celts") was the clue on the Arras culture, but their difference from La Tene is pretty vague and has been questioned I believe. This perhaps should of been at least an anti-prompt, though I am a ancient historian rather than an archaeologist, so if someone who knows this corrects me, please go ahead!
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:38 pm

Oliver wrote:On the toss-up on Celts, I was negged for answering "La Tène" - as far as I can tell, the only clue given that doesn't apply definitely to this I can remember (rather than to the out-of-date academically designation "Celts") was the clue on the Arras culture, but their difference from La Tene is pretty vague and has been questioned I believe. This perhaps should of been at least an anti-prompt, though I am a ancient historian rather than an archaeologist, so if someone who knows this corrects me, please go ahead!
I agree with this assessment.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Ewan MacAulay » Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:53 pm

So yeah, all the mirrors of this are probably done, but I thought that in the question on the ideal gas constant, saying that the slope of the logK vs 1/T plot is "inversely proportional" to it doesn't really make sense since R is a constant. Might be better to say that it gives a plot where the gradient is the activation energy divided by "this constant".

Also the answerline doesn't accept universal gas constant or molar gas constant, both of which I'm pretty sure are common names for it.


Also saying that the Pauson-Khand reaction is "often" used to protect alkynes is a pretty creative definition of "often". Thoroughly enjoyable question otherwise though.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by vinteuil » Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:13 pm

I know this doesn't affect the tournament anymore, but I just want to get this out there: the novel by Rousseau is usually called La Nouvelle Héloïse in French, so that should definitely be acceptable in all cases.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Corrections

Post by Inifinite Jest » Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:43 am

vinteuil wrote:I know this doesn't affect the tournament anymore, but I just want to get this out there: the novel by Rousseau is usually called La Nouvelle Héloïse in French, so that should definitely be acceptable in all cases.
Yeah I accepted that answer in the original version that I submitted. I thought it was pretty weird that it was changed given that that novel is pretty much never referred to as just Julie.
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