Trivia Rip-Off

I played trivia at a bar a few weeks ago. One of the questions that my team missed was, “what’s the word with the longest entry in the Oxford English Dictionary?”

Now, as it happens, I OWN some of the Oxford English Dictionary. Specifically, I own the letters A-O. I own all those letters. But I haven’t memorized the words starting with those letters, or their entry lengths.

The answer given by the Trivia Providers was the word: SET

Turns out, that was a big fat lie. According to the OED, the word MAKE has been king since its emtry was revised the year 2000. See for yourself. Someday soon, though, SET will be revised, and it may then regain the crown.

In the meantime, I think that my team should consider itself the winner of that contest.

[Thanks to languagehat for the link.]

3 Responses to Trivia Rip-Off

  1. BruceS March 15, 2007 at 4:01 pm #

    You’re just sore because you *own* the correct word, and got cheated by a word you don’t own. I bet you wouldn’t have complained if the TP had said the answer was “conspiracy”, “kook”, “insane”, “lying”, “nazi”, or some such word you own, or if the correct answer were “psychotic”, “socialist”, “zoo”, or some such word you don’t own.

    BTW, I checked up on my toaster. It had moved from where I put it. Some might say that my wife moved it while I wasn’t looking, or that my daughter did so, but I’m not taking chances. I won’t leave it unattended any more.

  2. weeklyrob March 16, 2007 at 8:18 pm #

    Yes, and not only that, but my edition of the OED doesn’t include the update, so even if I had P-Z, I wouldn’t have owned the right definitions. Oh well.

    I would advise you to unplug your toasting appliance whenever you can’t be near it. But don’t forget to plug it back in when you bring it to bed, as it can help keep you and your wife warm on those cold Colorado nights.

  3. BruceS March 18, 2007 at 1:36 pm #

    I’m just glad my other appliances are more trustworthy. This whole warnings bit makes me think of EULAs, TOUs, etc.—all the legalese rigamarole we’re asked to read and agree to for various computer equipment, software, and services. You could hide just about anything in one of those agreements, and almost nobody would catch it. The few who try to read them would be lulled to sleep by the time they got to the bit about the platypus.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe without commenting

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes