The world as seen through the clarifying lens of the 9th Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1875-1889).

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Have you been paying attention? Part One.

It is difficult to get myself back in the habit of writing again after this long break. I cannot complain, however, of any dearth of material. In only perusing the C volumes of The Ninth, I have learned this week about the threefold significance of the Celtic stream of legend, of a royal scandal terminating in death by mortification, a female academic who overcame her natural ineptitude for learning by the use of snuff and green tea leaves, a king who disdained to learn how to read, but who tilled the soil and joined enthusiastically in village dances, that an over-reliance on statistics can be misleading when considering the causes and possible cures for the social affliction that is crime...

And much else besides.

However, before getting on to all that, wouldn't it be a splendid idea to check if my esteemed and highly educated readership have learned anything from previous ramblings?

It would be especially splendid to post one of those interactive multiple choice quiz thingumajigs that while away the tedious hours for office drones around the globe. Sadly, the interactivity would require a degree of coding-savvy and also patience currently beyond my capabilities. Instead, however, here are 10 questions, the answers to which are contained in those excerpts from the Ninth Edition of Encyclopaedia Britanicca weblished on the preceding etheric pages.

(If you want to get all interactive, you can jot down your answers on a piece of paper, fold it up and keep it in your pocket until such time as you might bump in to me on a train or bus, and badger me excitedly to verify your answers. Or, you can find the answer yourself by reading the entry number in this very blog that corresponds to the question number. Clever, I'm sure you'll agree.)

So :

1.)The 9th Edition of Encyclopaedia Britanicca is also known as ...
a) The pedant's edition
b) The pedants' edition
c) The "Scholar's Edition"
d) Web 0.01

2.) Which of the following is not a form of torture once recognized under law?
a) The rack
b) The boot
c) The hat
d) Water boarding

3.) What does Andrew Lang, MA, advise on entering the cloudland of folk-lore?
a) caution
b) optimism
c) to wear stout boots
d) not to take the brown acid

4.) What did French law fix with an exact time limit that English law did not?
a) How long a gentleman might beat his horse (15 minutes)
b) How long to engage in a war with Germany before capitulating (6 months)
c) The limit of utero-gestation (300 days)
d) The length of time permissable to bathe (15 minutes)

5.) Which is the odd one out of the following list?
a) Infant
b) Lunatic
c) Adulterer
d) Married Woman

6.) Where did Mrs Fawcett look to see models of Communism at work in the world?
a) England
b) Russia
c) Germany
d) USA

7.) And where would be the best place to find cretins?
a) At a hospice for the victims of Acquired Insanity
b) Sat typing away in front of a computer screen at approaching 3am
c) Writing the appraisal that cost me my last job
d) Chiselborough in Somerset

8.) What benefited Edward Gibbon in his first authorial endeavour?
a) Resolve
b) Original learning
c) Habits of thinking
d) The arts of Composition

9.) How thick was the 1877 Ironclad Inflexible's armour?
a) 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches
b) 6 to 8 inches
c) 8 to 12 inches
d) 16 to 24 inches

10.) The following options rank exports of India to Great Britain from 1877 to 1888 in order of value (from greatest to least). Which is correct?
a) Tea, Cotton, Grain, Opium
b) Opium, Grain, Cotton, Tea
c) Cotton, Tea, Opium, Grain
d) Grain, Opium, Cotton, Tea


R said...

Oops! A typo in Q1, I fear

John Barleycorn said...

Well spotted. All errors are of course deliberate, and included for extra credit.

Also, how many times do you think it is possible to type Brittannicca without the occasional slip?