Ben_Dodson wrote:Your definition of "non-unique" seems to imply that a question must begin with a clue that sets specific parameters that only one answer can fulfill.
Uh...yes. This is the point.
If this is the case, then you are asking way too much. No tournament set has questions only like that.
Just the good ones!
[stuff about how rad "guessing" is]
In my humble opinion, "One of the first American writers to make a living from writing" is not "non-unique" at all.
What?! What are you talking about? The words "one of the" make it the exact opposite of unique!
The words "first", "American", and "to make a living from writing" already key you into a very specific time frame and culture to choose from. Furthermore, you now know that the question is Lit, so at that point you are scrolling through your list of 1800's-ish American male writers. Meanwhile, the less skilled player on the other team might be going through their list of the hundreds of American writers and be at a disadvantage.
Or you could have a specific, actually-uniquely-identifying fact about the person that someone might actually know.
The Shakespeare question is also unique since you know they are asking for an Elizabethan Shakespearean comedic play.
Dude, that's not unique! It narrows it down a little, yes, but not in the way that "in this work, [minor character] took part in [action]" or whatever might.
That's about 7-8 plays,
I don't think calling them "non-unique" would be very fair
They are the exact opposite of unique!
considering you are not suppose to power every question right away. That'd just be boring. Using induction, buzzing when you are 60%, infering the answer based on that one thing you learned from your 2nd grade teacher's wall poster behind the finger paints, well that on the other hand is some damn fun quizbowl.
Ugh. Loading questions with actual facts, even jv questions, is always preferrable to this. Even with real clues there's still plenty of induction. No one, even some hypothetical sixth-grader with perfect knowledge of Nathaniel Hawthorne, will be buzzing off the leadin "He was an early American writer."