Rules on Pronunciation

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Rules on Pronunciation

Post by centralhs » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:06 pm

How lenient should moderators be on pronunciation when accepting answers? I always tell my students that, while ideally they would pronounce all words correctly, their answers should be accepted as long as they are phonetically possible. However, we have been on both sides of this... moderators haven't accepted answers that were phonetically possible (for example, a moderator last year did not want to accept "Roanoake" when it was pronounced as 2 syllables instead of 3) and we have seen other teams awarded points on answers that were absolutely not phonetic possibilites (a moderator once accepted Phoenician pronounced FA-NIN-SEE-AN in spite of my attempt to point out that the middle syllable only has one "n" in it, not two.)
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Nuclear Densometer Test » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:26 pm

I've always abided by the phonetic rule. However, I don't think that many readers are aware of this (at least from my experience)


Favorite example:
Given: Large Hadron (with a short 'a') Collider
Moderator: Sorry, the answer is Large Hadron (with a long 'a') Collider. Neg-5.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Captain Sinico » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:37 pm

I think you have the right idea and most sets of rules agree with you. Reasonable phonetic renderings of an answer should generally be accepted (and, I hope, are.) I think everyone probably has some horror stories of over-punctilious (usually completely wrong, "RIH-churd WHAG-nur" for Richard Wagner-type) moderator pronunciation requirement tartuffery.

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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by sssssssskkkk » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:48 pm

As a Chinese person, I'd like to say that the pronunciation of the Chinese words can get a bit anglicized - sometimes in packets they even write the Romanization of Chinese words wrong ("long" means dragon, not "lung"). I think this could be fixed just with a little more preparation on the packet-writers/moderator's account, although it's not exactly too big of an issue considering the fact that there's not many Chinese questions in sets.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Captain Sinico » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:47 am

I... think you may have missed the point of this thread.

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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by New York Undercover » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:57 am

what about berlioz pronounced with a "silent z"?
Is that wrong?

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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Edward Elric » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:42 am

New York Undercover wrote:what about berlioz pronounced with a "silent z"?
Is that wrong?
? I have never head it with a silent z. I'd say correct since he has clear knowledge.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:51 am

If you learn things by reading books, you're often going to be left with words that you have learned and memorized, but that you've never heard pronounced, yet alone pronounced correctly. The inevitable result of this, I think it's fair to say, is that many players will be outright guessing as to how some answers are pronounced.

Thus I favor extremely liberal rules. To bring up an infamous protest from the recent past (pompadou/pompadour), I'd even accept incorrect but reasonable mispronunciations like not saying the last syllable of a French word whose last syllable is actually pronounced.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Andrew's a Freshman » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:31 am

What about the replacement of "Lara" with "Laura" where the error leads to a noticeably different answer?
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:53 am

Andrew's a Freshman wrote:What about the replacement of "Lara" with "Laura" where the error leads to a noticeably different answer?
Ah, I recognize this one. It was the finals of the Norcross Prison Bowl Mirror, and the question was asking about the lover of Dr. Zhivago. I am interested to see what other people think about it.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:03 pm

AlphaQuizBowler wrote:
Andrew's a Freshman wrote:What about the replacement of "Lara" with "Laura" where the error leads to a noticeably different answer?
Ah, I recognize this one. It was the finals of the Norcross Prison Bowl Mirror, and the question was asking about the lover of Dr. Zhivago. I am interested to see what other people think about it.
You've got to be kidding. Most people would pronounce the two of those things the same and it shows no knowledge gap whatsoever no matter how you pronounce either one of them for any answer.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:20 pm

Carangoides ciliarius wrote:
AlphaQuizBowler wrote:
Andrew's a Freshman wrote:What about the replacement of "Lara" with "Laura" where the error leads to a noticeably different answer?
Ah, I recognize this one. It was the finals of the Norcross Prison Bowl Mirror, and the question was asking about the lover of Dr. Zhivago. I am interested to see what other people think about it.
You've got to be kidding. Most people would pronounce the two of those things the same and it shows no knowledge gap whatsoever no matter how you pronounce either one of them for any answer.
I have to disagree...I don't think most people would say them the same. One is LAH-ra and the other is LO-ra. In this example though, I would probably ask them to spell it.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:23 pm

I pronounce Laura, if not completely like Lara, then at least close enough that you couldn't distinguish them in a game.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Auroni » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:27 pm

Yeah, these should be indistinguishable, and I would accept either of the pronunciations that BJ listed as correct.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:34 pm

Dresden_The_Moderator wrote:
Carangoides ciliarius wrote:
AlphaQuizBowler wrote:
Andrew's a Freshman wrote:What about the replacement of "Lara" with "Laura" where the error leads to a noticeably different answer?
Ah, I recognize this one. It was the finals of the Norcross Prison Bowl Mirror, and the question was asking about the lover of Dr. Zhivago. I am interested to see what other people think about it.
You've got to be kidding. Most people would pronounce the two of those things the same and it shows no knowledge gap whatsoever no matter how you pronounce either one of them for any answer.
I have to disagree...I don't think most people would say them the same. One is LAH-ra and the other is LO-ra. In this example though, I would probably ask them to spell it.
I mean...who cares? Why are we looking for ways to screw over people with knowledge? Someone who says "Laura" clearly knows what they're talking about, since they didn't say "Katerina" or "Elizabeth," but something within a margin of error of the actual answer. Games get heated: people make slight mispronunciations or remember answers imperfectly within the time limit, regardless of the completeness of their knowledge. While we shouldn't accept incorrect responses, we should be merciful to knowledgeable players who stumble a little bit in giving their answers. ACF tournaments accept any response with the consonants in the right place, a compromise which maintains the game's academic rigor without toolishly punishing knowledge in favor of gamesmanship.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Captain Sinico » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:38 pm

Either can (and actually maybe should) be pronounced the same as the other. In fact, I wouldn't be too shocked if there are some English translations of Zhivago that render the character's name as Laura. At any rate, any reasonable pronunciation of Laura should be accepted as a reasonable attempt at pronouncing Lara and, even if you disagree, it's questionable whether they're properly distinct names.

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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:48 pm

Captain Sinico wrote:Either can (and actually maybe should) be pronounced the same as the other. In fact, I wouldn't be too shocked if there are some English translations of Zhivago that render the character's name as Laura. At any rate, any reasonable pronunciation of Laura should be accepted as a reasonable attempt at pronouncing Lara and, even if you disagree, it's questionable whether they're properly distinct names.

M
Aside from the quizbowl aspect, I've just always thought of them as two different names with different pronunciations. Maybe it's a regional thing? I just know I would never pronounce Lara Croft and Laura Ingalls Wilder the same. Regardless of the answer acceptability, I'm just curious to know how people would pronounce them.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Susan » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:49 pm

Dresden_The_Moderator wrote:
Captain Sinico wrote:Either can (and actually maybe should) be pronounced the same as the other. In fact, I wouldn't be too shocked if there are some English translations of Zhivago that render the character's name as Laura. At any rate, any reasonable pronunciation of Laura should be accepted as a reasonable attempt at pronouncing Lara and, even if you disagree, it's questionable whether they're properly distinct names.

M
Aside from the quizbowl aspect, I've just always thought of them as two different names with different pronunciations. Maybe it's a regional thing? I just know I would never pronounce Lara Croft and Laura Ingalls Wilder the same. Regardless of the answer acceptability, I'm just curious to know how people would pronounce them.
Yes, if you have a midwestern accent you're pretty unlikely to pronounce them exactly the same (neither Ed nor I do, for example). At any rate, I agree with Mike.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Coelacanth » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:08 pm

myamphigory wrote:Yes, if you have a midwestern lack of accent you're pretty unlikely to pronounce them exactly the same
FIFY

It's pretty clear (to this midwesterner at least) that Lara and Laura have distinct and different pronunciations. However, the point about this being a name rendered in translation is valid. The point about accents varying regionally is also a good one. The names are more or less interchangeable in the quizbowl-answer sense.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Andrew's a Freshman » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:29 pm

Carangoides ciliarius wrote:You've got to be kidding. Most people would pronounce the two of those things the same and it shows no knowledge gap whatsoever no matter how you pronounce either one of them for any answer.
I apologise. It's obvious how much you dislike sarcasm. I'll make sure my next question is completely serious.
Coelacanth wrote:
myamphigory wrote:Yes, if you have a midwestern lack of accent you're pretty unlikely to pronounce them exactly the same
FIFY

It's pretty clear (to this midwesterner at least) that Lara and Laura have distinct and different pronunciations. However, the point about this being a name rendered in translation is valid. The point about accents varying regionally is also a good one. The names are more or less interchangeable in the quizbowl-answer sense.
This seems to summarise most of the points that were brought up. Thanks.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by kayli » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:15 pm

I think foreign names should get a little bit of leeway in pronunciation. Aside from that, phonetically correct should be acceptable. Even if you think some kid is dumb for pronouncing Berlioz BURLYOZZ or even if you think he/she is doing it on purpose, it still has to be acceptable since it still shows knowledge of that noun.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:35 pm

Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:I think foreign names should get a little bit of leeway in pronunciation. Aside from that, phonetically correct should be acceptable. Even if you think some kid is dumb for pronouncing Berlioz BURLYOZZ or even if you think he/she is doing it on purpose, it still has to be acceptable since it still shows knowledge of that noun.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Captain Sinico » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:44 pm

That's far too vague. The question is "Leeway how?" After all, demonstrating some knowledge is not and cannot be sufficient to have an answer accepted: there has to be some level at which the demonstrated knowledge is sufficient and below which it isn't.
"Either a form of the correct answer, or a plausible phonetic rendering given the the printed answer" is the only such standard I can think of off-hand that I like at all. That is to say, when judging someone's answer, if it's not exactly one of the correct answers to your ear, consider whether they (or, really, any educated person who can read and talk) would give the answer that way if you gave them a printed form of the answer and a moment to consider and told them to read it aloud. If so, take it; if not, don't; and if not sure, inquire further.

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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by Cheynem » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:46 pm

As usual, I think Mike's solution makes the most sense.
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Re: Rules on Pronunciation

Post by kayli » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:51 pm

Captain Sinico wrote:That's far too vague. The question is "Leeway how?" After all, demonstrating some knowledge is not and cannot be sufficient to have an answer accepted: there has to be some level at which the demonstrated knowledge is sufficient and below which it isn't.
"Either a form of the correct answer, or a plausible phonetic rendering given the the printed answer" is the only such standard I can think of off-hand. That is to say, when judging someone's answer, if it's not exactly one of the correct answers to your ear, consider whether they (or, really, any educated who can read and talk) would give the answer that way if you gave them a printed form of the answer and a moment to consider and told them to read it aloud. If so, take it; if not, don't; and if not sure, inquire further.

M
Thread over. This solution wins.
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