You Gotta Avoid These Common Mistakes II

This article is similar to the previous common mistakes article in that it consists of common mistakes that players make when answering questions and answers that are often confused.

  1. Revelation The final book of the New Testament. In particular, it is singular and the plural form will be counted wrong in NAQT competitions. The full name varies from translation to translation, but sometimes appears as "The Revelation of St. John the Divine" or "Apocalypse of John."

  2. Tom Wolfe and Thomas Wolfe Two different people; Tom Wolfe (1930 - present, in full Thomas Kennerly Wolfe Jr.) is the modern author and journalist who wrote The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and A Man in Full. Thomas Wolfe (1900 - 1938, in full, Thomas Clayton Wolfe) was an earlier author of works like Look Homeward, Angel and You Can't Go Home Again. In NAQT competitions, "Thomas Wolfe" will be counted wrong for the former and "Tom Wolfe" as wrong for the latter.

  3. Greco-Roman Mythology Greek and Roman mythology have many analogous characters, many of which are closely identified (e.g., Aphrodite and Venus). However, a question that mentions specific names, traits, or otherwise makes clear that it is about one tradition requires that the answer from that tradition be given; analogous figures from other traditions will not even be prompted under NAQT rules. Thus the answer to "From whose head was Minerva born?" must be "Jupiter" and not "Zeus."

  4. Enharmonic Notes While it is true that on a piano the notes C-sharp and D-flat are indistinguishable, this is not true on other instruments or under most systems of tuning. In general music theory differentiates between notes that are enharmonic in the specific case of the piano and NAQT questions will require that correct note (and will not prompt on the other).

  5. East Asian Names Many East Asian languages (but in particular Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean) traditionally place the family name before the given name: Mishima Yukio's family name is "Mishima". Under NAQT rules, all answers (regardless of the usual cultural order) may be given in either order: "Mishima Yukio," "Yukio Mishima," "Henry James," and "James, Henry" are all acceptable, but players should make sure that they know which part of an East Asian name is the family name as "Yukio" will be neither prompted nor accepted. Players who are not certain may wish to give both names, though it is usually a good idea to only give the family name when answering (since family names are usually sufficient and always will be prompted if not).

  6. The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg is the correct title of the short story by Mark Twain. In particular, "The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg" is incorrect.

  7. United Kingdom Since the Act of Union in 1707, England has not existed as a separate political unit and questions about political entities after that time will nearly always require "United Kingdom" (or "Great Britain") and will not prompt on "England." England, of course, continues to be a reasonable answer in modern times for geography or sports questions.

  8. Immaculate Conception The Roman Catholic belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was not affected by Original Sin from the moment of her conception onward. In particular, despite the lack of male involvement, it does not refer to the conception by Mary of Jesus the Christ.

  9. IWW An abbreviation for the early 20th-century labor organization Industrial Workers of the World. In particular, it does not stand for the (redundant) "International Workers of the World."

  10. Daniel Shays An officer in the Revolutionary War who went on to lead a 1786-1787 rebellion in western Massachusetts opposing its high taxes, an episode known as "Shays' Rebellion." In particular, his name is not "Shay." A similar error is often made in giving "van der Waal" as the name of the Dutch chemist, but his name is actually "van der Waals."

  11. The Sign of Four The Arthur Conan Doyle novel about the theft of the Agra treasure by four men including Jonathan Small. In particular, the title is not "The Sign of the Four."

  12. Visual Art Titles From 1300 to 1700, relatively few religious paintings were given specific titles; most have been assigned traditional names based on their subject manner. This means that many titles (e.g., The Descent from the Cross, The Annunciation, The Adoration of the Magi, etc.) occur very frequently and players should not be as quick to ring in upon immediately recognizing as a title as in other fields because there is a good chance that more than one painter produced a work by that name. Similarly, the titles are often not canonical (e.g., El Greco's Christ Driving the Money-Changers from the Temple may appear as Expulsion from the Temple) and players should keep in mind that the form of the title they know may not be the one given in the question.

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