Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Old college threads.
Locked
User avatar
Mike Bentley
Auron
Posts: 5947
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by Mike Bentley »

Would it be possible for NAQT to produce versions of college level tournaments that come with pronunciation guides and without them? There have been many arguments that pronunciation guides trip up experienced readers (I certainly agree with this), as well as arguments that they help newer readers. Since I assume they can be algorithmically taken out of NAQT packets pretty easily, why not produce two sets that hosts can optionally use?
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

User avatar
Ben Dillon
Rikku
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:47 pm
Location: South Bend, IN
Contact:

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by Ben Dillon »

I read a lot for high school events. At first I very much liked the pronunciation guides, but I also find they get in the way, especially when it's for a long foreign name.

Two possibilities short of eliminating them:
1. Shrink the point size on the pronunciation guide that's in parentheses. That way an experienced reader can more easily skip them.
2. Use an asterisk method and put the guides beneath the question. That way an experienced reader can jump to them when he or she needs to. (Okay, maybe not an asterisk as that indicates power.)
Ben Dillon, Saint Joseph HS

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as
six impossible things before breakfast!"

User avatar
Down and out in Quintana Roo
Auron
Posts: 2907
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:25 am
Location: Camden, DE
Contact:

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Ben Dillon wrote:I read a lot for high school events. At first I very much liked the pronunciation guides, but I also find they get in the way, especially when it's for a long foreign name.

Two possibilities short of eliminating them:
1. Shrink the point size on the pronunciation guide that's in parentheses. That way an experienced reader can more easily skip them.
2. Use an asterisk method and put the guides beneath the question. That way an experienced reader can jump to them when he or she needs to. (Okay, maybe not an asterisk as that indicates power.)
These are good ideas. I count myself at one of the better readers at most tournaments, but i still have trouble pronouncing a lot of the scientific terms (biology in particular) and mythological names. Honestly, i somewhat like pronunciation guides and wish that HSAPQ had more (or, any) of them at times.
Mr. Andrew Chrzanowski
Caesar Rodney High School
Camden, Delaware
CRHS '97-'01
University of Delaware '01-'05
CRHS quizbowl coach '06-'12
http://crquizbowl.edublogs.org

User avatar
ezubaric
Rikku
Posts: 366
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: College Park, MD
Contact:

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by ezubaric »

For a while, there was a trend of putting the guides before the question began; I was a big fan of that. It allowed you to internalize the pronunciation before you randomly ran into something that couldn't be parsed.
Jordan Boyd-Graber
UMD (College Park, MD), Faculty Advisor 2018-present
UC Boulder, Founder / Faculty Advisor 2014-2017
UMD (College Park, MD), Faculty Advisor 2010-2014
Princeton, Player 2004-2009
Caltech (Pasadena, CA), Player / President 2000-2004
Ark Math & Science (Hot Springs, AR), Player 1998-2000
Monticello High School, Player 1997-1998

Human-Computer Question Answering:
http://qanta.org/

Tower Monarch
Rikku
Posts: 360
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by Tower Monarch »

ezubaric wrote:For a while, there was a trend of putting the guides before the question began; I was a big fan of that. It allowed you to internalize the pronunciation before you randomly ran into something that couldn't be parsed.
I liked reading from the few packets I have seen with this. I would recommend any pronunciations be placed in that position, which would allow all experienced readers to skim the list and confirm their own familiarity with the words. One noted problem I have seen with that system was the occasional reader beginning with the pronunciation guide (often how to say a foreign term that is commonly associated with the answer), thereby ruining the question. I guess the point is that if you have the guides, put them at the beginning and make sure readers pay attention to what they are doing.
Cameron Orth - Freelance Writer/Moderator, PACE member
College: JTCC 2011, Dartmouth College '09-'10, '11-'14
Mathematics, Computer Science and Film/Media Studies
High School: Home Schooled/Cosby High '08-'09, MLWGSGIS A-E '06-'08

User avatar
ValenciaQBowl
Auron
Posts: 2394
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:25 pm
Location: Orlando, Florida

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by ValenciaQBowl »

I would be all for this. I understand that less experienced readers will often have some trouble with a complicated organic compound name or something, but I firmly believe that in most cases the breaking of rhythm and time taken for such a reader to process and pronounce a term is as detrimental (if not more so) than if s/he fluidly mangled the word and moved on. Good players will usually have little trouble figuring out what a reader is trying to say, whether from context or from an approximation based on the mispronunciation; many of us have had the common experience of saying a word/name a reader's trying to spit out in a practice round or even in matches as soon as s/he starts to mess it up.

I know that at my tournaments I counsel readers to say hard terms as well and quickly as they can, as rhythm seems to me more important than perfect pronunciation.
Chris Borglum
Valencia College Grand Poobah

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8413
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by Matt Weiner »

In my view, there are four issues with the way pronunciation guides are currently implemented in NAQT and similar tournaments:

*The explosion in number, under the theory that people who complain about the lack of pronunciation guides must always be correct. This is, to say the least, far more credence than NAQT gives to any other category of complaint. Especially at tournaments like the HSNCT, where games are being read by experienced collegiate players and other top staff that NAQT goes to great expense to fly in, these guides are unlikely to help many people, and far more likely to make it difficult to find the words one is supposed to be reading. Teams at the HSNCT (rightly) expect that they will hear 20 or even all 26 tossups in each game, without the moderator reading too quickly to be understood, and without a lot of fits and starts as the moderator scans through literally dozens of examples per packet of non-question-text inserted in the middle of questions, trying to find the next word to read. If it's really necessary to go nuts with the guides in the IS sets to placate people who like to make unfalsifiable complaints (after all, until such time as every single word has a pronunciation guide, you can't be totally sure that someone who says there should be more guides is just looking for something to complain about), fine; pepper the regular invitationals with guides on the theory that any random parent or what-have-you may be reading at a local tournament. At the HSNCT and collegiate levels, it is a fact that all the moderators are experienced quizbowl people, and thus these guides do more harm than good. Alternatively, this particular problem can be solved by the method outlined earlier in the thread of removing the guides from the actual question text and placing them before the appropriate question.

*Useless guides for words that are pronounced phonetically. How do you pronounce beta-keto-ester? Exactly like you think you do. I don't see any way to mess this up if you are any sort of fluent English speaker. Spelling this out in longer syllables and adding more hyphens is a waste of time and ink. Moderators should just take their best guess on stuff like this; they will probably be right. If your reaction to an unfamiliar word that, given half a second of thought, only has one possible pronunciation, is to stop talking and stare at the paper, then your issues as a moderator can't be fixed by putting 500 instances of (bey-tuh-kee-toe-eh-ster) into the questions.

*Inconsistent principles in how things are to be pronounced. Whoever is doing the Latin guides is putting in guides for 19th century English classicist pronunciations that are basically phonetic English; these are perfectly acceptable pronunciations, but they render the guides useless. If you want people to read "Cicero" as "sih-suh-ro" you don't need to put in a guide; that's what the word looks like in English to begin with, and it's how anybody would read it without a guide. If you want people to read it as "kih-kay-roh" like some ancient Roman would do, then put in a guide (don't actually do this, since the Latin pronunciation will probably confuse people; the English one is by far more likely to be what people know). On the other hand, Spanish and Russian words are given very native pronunciations that are often at odds with how an English speaker will have learned a name--instructing people to pronounce "Parícutin" as "pah-REE-koo-tin" when any English speaker (including newscasters and narrators of historical documentaries) will emphasize the the "u" is pointless, confusing pedantry. Some sort of definite standard as to whether words are to be pronounced using native or English styles needs to be adopted, and I strongly suggest the latter.

*Just plain wrong guides: This happens when someone decides to add 1000 guides to the HSNCT set and doesn't speak every language. I don't see how this is any better than just making the moderators guess. You're now making the packets more difficult to read, in order to communicate the information LESS correctly. We can all find plenty of our own examples here.

If NAQT can steadfastly ignore people pointing out why math calculation tossups are inane, Harry Potter isn't literature, or holding an ICT near no quizbowl teams is a bad idea, then surely they can stop listening to the never-ending chorus of "more useless pronunciation guides, oh please!" and spend their question production time on something more needing of attention.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

User avatar
Sir Thopas
Auron
Posts: 1330
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:10 pm
Location: Hunter, NYC
Contact:

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by Sir Thopas »

What we did at Prison Bowl, which seems to have worked well, was implement, on a small scale, pronunciation guides of a sort, which broke up long terms while not impeding the readers' flow:

topo·isomer·ase
Tla·huiz·cal·pan·tecuh·tli
oxy·phen·buta·zone

I certainly plan on using these in lieu of most pronunciation guides in the future, and I think this could be a good compromise between new and experienced readers (and experienced readers encountering unfamiliar words).
Guy Tabachnick
Hunter '09
Brown '13

http://memoryofthisimpertinence.blogspot.com/

User avatar
naturalistic phallacy
Auron
Posts: 1418
Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Contact:

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by naturalistic phallacy »

Sir Thopas wrote:What we did at Prison Bowl, which seems to have worked well, was implement, on a small scale, pronunciation guides of a sort, which broke up long terms while not impeding the readers' flow:

topo·isomer·ase
Tla·huiz·cal·pan·tecuh·tli
oxy·phen·buta·zone

I certainly plan on using these in lieu of most pronunciation guides in the future, and I think this could be a good compromise between new and experienced readers (and experienced readers encountering unfamiliar words).
This is an excellent idea. This way the original spelling and format is virtually preserved while still making things manageable for less-experienced readers.
Bernadette Spencer
University of Minnesota, MCTC
Member, ACF
Event Manager, PACE
Order Support and Administrative Assistant, NAQT

User avatar
Skepticism and Animal Feed
Auron
Posts: 3195
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:47 pm
Location: Arlington, VA

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Guy's approach wouldn't tell me how to pronounce the Gj in noted short word Gjergj.
Bruce
Harvard '10 / UChicago '07 / Roycemore School '04
ACF Member emeritus
My guide to using Wikipedia as a question source

User avatar
Sir Thopas
Auron
Posts: 1330
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:10 pm
Location: Hunter, NYC
Contact:

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by Sir Thopas »

Yeah, that's why I said in lieu of most pronunciation guides. It still might be helpful on stuff like Hungarian and Albanian, or people could just try their best.
Guy Tabachnick
Hunter '09
Brown '13

http://memoryofthisimpertinence.blogspot.com/

vandyhawk
Tidus
Posts: 584
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 3:42 am
Location: Seattle

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by vandyhawk »

Sir Thopas wrote:What we did at Prison Bowl, which seems to have worked well, was implement, on a small scale, pronunciation guides of a sort, which broke up long terms while not impeding the readers' flow:

topo·isomer·ase
Tla·huiz·cal·pan·tecuh·tli
oxy·phen·buta·zone

I certainly plan on using these in lieu of most pronunciation guides in the future, and I think this could be a good compromise between new and experienced readers (and experienced readers encountering unfamiliar words).
This is basically what I did for ACF reg's last year for a lot of science terms, but just hyphenated instead of using dots. In doing the bio and chem for DI SCT this year, I did some of that where the broken up pieces should be obvious but also, per policy I guess, wound up doing more pronunciation guides too. Incidentally, I think that bio and chem are two subjects where, compared with pronouncing foreign names and such, saying things incorrectly (though perhaps phonetically ok) can really screw up people's comprehension. I personally prefer to read w/out pg's, but I think that if one were to ask every reader at SCT, a good number would prefer them. I have no idea if R. can do something in code to take them out, but if this were to happen, it seems like ICT would really be the only place for it to be done successfully.
Matt Keller
Vanderbilt (alum)
ACF editor (emeritus)
NAQT editor (emeritus)

User avatar
Important Bird Area
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5610
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:33 pm
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Contact:

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by Important Bird Area »

Matt Weiner wrote:In my view, there are four issues with the way pronunciation guides are currently implemented in NAQT and similar tournaments:

... Teams at the HSNCT (rightly) expect that they will hear 20 or even all 26 tossups in each game, without the moderator reading too quickly to be understood, and without a lot of fits and starts as the moderator scans through literally dozens of examples per packet of non-question-text inserted in the middle of questions, trying to find the next word to read. If it's really necessary to go nuts with the guides in the IS sets to placate people who like to make unfalsifiable complaints (after all, until such time as every single word has a pronunciation guide, you can't be totally sure that someone who says there should be more guides is just looking for something to complain about) ...
Adding PGs is all about minimizing downside risk.

What's the downside of a superfluous PG? An experienced moderator pauses for a second or two, finds the next word of question text, reads on. Cons: a few seconds burned off the clock, interrupting the flow of the match, minor irritation to the moderator.

What's the downside of no PG? An inexperienced or inattentive moderator butchers a word. Cons: Team A would know the answer, but can't understand what the moderator is saying, and loses a speedcheck to Team B on the next fact in the question.

Therefore, I suggest that lack of a PG is far more likely to have a negative impact on the outcome of a match than a superfluous PG. This is one reason that NAQT's policy is to err on the side of adding them, especially in IS sets.

Finally: I think "unfalsifiability" is the wrong standard by which to judge the userfriendliness of a high school quizbowl packet set; consider that at least one coach has posted in this thread to suggest that HSAPQ add more pronunciation guides.
Jeff Hoppes
President, Northern California Quiz Bowl Alliance
former HSQB Chief Admin (2012-13)
VP for Communication and history subject editor, NAQT
Editor emeritus, ACF

"I wish to make some kind of joke about Jeff's love of birds, but I always fear he'll turn them on me Hitchcock-style." -Fred

User avatar
Karl Popper
Kimahri
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:54 pm

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by Karl Popper »

Finally: I think "unfalsifiability" is the wrong standard by which to judge the userfriendliness of a high school quizbowl packet set; consider that at least one coach has posted in this thread to suggest that HSAPQ add more pronunciation guides.
Your are wrong

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Auron
Posts: 5947
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by Mike Bentley »

Look, I can see that some people want to have these guides. But it should be pretty much no effort for NAQT to produce packets without these guides, that moderators can opt-in to use. This would satisfy both camps.
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

User avatar
fleurdelivre
Tidus
Posts: 535
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 3:35 am
Location: ???

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by fleurdelivre »

Sir Thopas wrote:What we did at Prison Bowl, which seems to have worked well, was implement, on a small scale, pronunciation guides of a sort, which broke up long terms while not impeding the readers' flow:

topo·isomer·ase
Tla·huiz·cal·pan·tecuh·tli
oxy·phen·buta·zone

I certainly plan on using these in lieu of most pronunciation guides in the future, and I think this could be a good compromise between new and experienced readers (and experienced readers encountering unfamiliar words).
This was great. My main complaint with the inserted guides is when they appear unexpectedly (I know that it's going to be there following a long term in Chinese, but when the name is, say, Versailles? Really?) because then I'm not looking for them and get tripped up. Use them, don't use them, but think long and hard about a) just how difficult a word or phrase it really is and b) just how incomprehensible it would be if mangled. "Ver-sales" probably doesn't ruin the game, even if there is some unfortunate moderator who somehow never touched on European history in high school.
Katy
Vanderbilt '06 / Harvard '11 / freelance moderator

User avatar
setht
Auron
Posts: 1186
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 2:41 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by setht »

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:Look, I can see that some people want to have these guides. But it should be pretty much no effort for NAQT to produce packets without these guides, that moderators can opt-in to use. This would satisfy both camps.
I don't really see how this could work on a moderator by moderator basis, unless every host printed two full sets with and without pronunciation guides for each room, which seems wasteful.

I like the idea of having the pronunciation guides removed from the body of the question and placed up top before the question. This seems like the best way to allow each moderator to decide which pronunciation guides to use without requiring lots of extra packet printing.

-Seth
Seth Teitler
Formerly UC Berkeley and U. Chicago
President and Chief Editor, NAQT
Emeritus member, ACF

User avatar
Captain Sinico
Auron
Posts: 2843
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:46 pm
Location: Champaign, Illinois

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by Captain Sinico »

setht wrote:I don't really see how this could work on a moderator by moderator basis, unless every host printed two full sets with and without pronunciation guides for each room, which seems wasteful.
Hosts could just ask their moderators in advance if they prefer guides or not and print accordingly. Alternatively, questions could be read off of computers.

MaS
Mike Sorice
Coach, Centennial High School of Champaign, IL (2014-) & Team Illinois (2016-2018)
Alumnus, Illinois ABT (2000-2002; 2003-2009) & Fenwick Scholastic Bowl (1999-2000)
ACF
IHSSBCA
PACE

User avatar
setht
Auron
Posts: 1186
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 2:41 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by setht »

Captain Scipio wrote:
setht wrote:I don't really see how this could work on a moderator by moderator basis, unless every host printed two full sets with and without pronunciation guides for each room, which seems wasteful.
Hosts could just ask their moderators in advance if they prefer guides or not and print accordingly. Alternatively, questions could be read off of computers.

MaS
Reading off of laptops would certainly answer this concern, but I'll bring up another point: when I was reading on Saturday, I didn't particularly want or need a pronunciation guide about 90-95% of the time, but there were some questions (e.g., the tossup on [REDACTED] which had a clue about [A HARD-TO-PRONOUNCE WORD]) where I did want a pronunciation guide.

I haven't had much experience reading packets with the pronunciation guides put before each question, but the little experience I have had suggests that it works really well for reasonably experienced readers. I don't know if it works for newer readers or if it actually slows things down for them. If it does work, I'll say again that this seems like the best solution.

-Seth
Seth Teitler
Formerly UC Berkeley and U. Chicago
President and Chief Editor, NAQT
Emeritus member, ACF

User avatar
Captain Sinico
Auron
Posts: 2843
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:46 pm
Location: Champaign, Illinois

Re: Pronunciation Guide Free NAQT Packets?

Post by Captain Sinico »

Sure; I don't think anything's a perfect solution. For example, I'll bet some people rather prefer inline guides and would relatively dislike prefix guides. However, I'd say that I would very much prefer no pronunciation guides at all, even understanding that there may be a handful of words unfamiliar even to salty old dogs like ourselves. So there are at least some people for whom that's preferable: if it's easy to implement (and it ought to be), it's basically free utility to those people.

MaS
Mike Sorice
Coach, Centennial High School of Champaign, IL (2014-) & Team Illinois (2016-2018)
Alumnus, Illinois ABT (2000-2002; 2003-2009) & Fenwick Scholastic Bowl (1999-2000)
ACF
IHSSBCA
PACE

Locked