You Gotta Know These Common Mistakes: Part 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.
- Revelation: The final book of the New Testament. In particular, it is singular; 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.”
- Tom Wolfe and Thomas Wolfe: Two different people; Tom Wolfe (1930–2018, 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.
- 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 some systems of tuning. Music theory differentiates between notes that are enharmonic in the specific case of the piano; for instance, D flat is a minor second above C natural, while C sharp is an augmented unison above C natural. Enharmonic equivalents may or may not be acceptable depending on the wording of the question.
- Name order: Hungarian, many East Asian languages (in particular Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean), and some parts of India traditionally place the family name before the given name: for instance, Mishima Yukio’s family name is “Mishima.” Under NAQT rules, all names (regardless of the usual cultural order) may be given in either order: “Mishima Yukio,” “Yukio Mishima,” “Henry James,” and “James, Henry” are all acceptable (if the question is asking for that person), but players should make sure that they know which part of an East Asian name is the family name, as given names will not be accepted and may not even be prompted. Players who are not certain may wish to give both names.
- The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg: is, despite normal English grammar conventions, the correct title of the short story by Mark Twain. In particular, “The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg” is incorrect.
- 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” may be acceptable for questions focusing on, for instance, geography or sports.
- Immaculate Conception: The Roman Catholic belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was never affected by original sin. In particular, it does not refer to the conception of Jesus.
- Daniel Shays: An officer in the Revolutionary War who went on to lead a 1786–1787 rebellion in western Massachusetts opposing 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 whose name is actually “van der Waals.”
- The Sign of Four: The Arthur Conan Doyle novel about the theft of the Agra treasure by four men, including Jonathan Small, is not called “The Sign of the Four.”
- Painting 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, so players should not be too quick to buzz in upon immediately recognizing as a title; in many cases, multiple painters produced works by the same name, so players should pay attention to the descriptions of the works. 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.