Rice for Words. No, really.

PJ
PJS
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Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:43 pm Post

Try the vocabulary quiz at

http://www.freerice.com/index.php

It might amuse you.

Or it might challenge you.

Ultimately, it may frustrate you. But it is for a good cause -- increasing literacy and feeding the hungry, more or less at the same time. I thought at first it was a gimmick, but National Public Radio and several magazines have featured this site.

I almost wrote, at the top, that it was a "simple" vocabulary quiz. That would have been misleading. It is simple only inasmuch as the protocol is straightforward. The vocabulary itself increases in difficulty as you go through.

About feeding the hungry: for every correct answer, the organization which runs the website donates 20 grains of rice to a UN program. And twenty grains a word doesn't sound like much... but so far, in less than three months of operation, the site has donated over nine billion grains of rice.

About the vocabulary levels... I've heard that there are people who cruise along at the fifty level. Maybe it would be good for bragging rights on the forum if one of us could reach that level. (I haven't yet.) After all, who's more gifted with words than a bunch of writers?

(That's a rhetorical question.)

Phil

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kewms
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Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:36 am Post

When I first read this I was inclined to scoff. Nine billion grains sounds like a lot, but how much actual *food* is it?

Rather a lot, it turns out. According to the Rice Association, one pound of long grain rice contains about 29,000 grains. So nine billion grains is 300,000 pounds, give or take.

Katherine

PS Yes, you really can find anything on the Internet. :-)

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vic-k
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Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:52 am Post

Q.After all, who's more gifted with words than a bunch of writers?

A. a bunch of politicians!

Up to 43 down to 40, mind you I have had a haircut today, so it`s probably the Samson syndrome
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Jaysen
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Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:30 am Post

this should be in that procrastination thread...

I was able to get and maintain a 40 before my limited latin gave up the ghost. Anyone who gets to 43 on a Sampson day while most-likely still lodged under a table at the Red Lion deserves a round on me.

Did anyone else actually want to keep going just to see the answers? This is why my wife won't let me gamble. I bet just to see the other players cards.

Jaysen

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kewms
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Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:21 am Post

Jaysen wrote:this should be in that procrastination thread...

I was able to get and maintain a 40 before my limited latin gave up the ghost. Anyone who gets to 43 on a Sampson day while most-likely still lodged under a table at the Red Lion deserves a round on me.

Did anyone else actually want to keep going just to see the answers? This is why my wife won't let me gamble. I bet just to see the other players cards.

Jaysen


Latin or at least a Romance language would definitely help. So would a background in the natural sciences, which seem to provide many of the words in the upper 40s.

I got up to 48 on the strength of some lucky guesses, but couldn't maintain it. The 45+ level words kicked me in the head pretty consistently.

Katherine

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lenf
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Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:41 am Post

At 3000 grains, I got stuck at 49. Oddly, rather a few of the words I bumped into seemed to come out of Reginald Hill's Dalziel/Pascoe mysteries. :D

cr
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Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:03 am Post

I managed a consistent 49 to 50 but couldn't get any higher, though I tried hard (it brought out my rare competitive streak).

I'm not surprised at your Dalziel and Pascoe reference, Lenf: Reginald Hill is a witty, civilised and erudite man -- very different from his creation, Andy Dalziel.

cw
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pink
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Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:17 am Post

I got to 1000 grains only achieving 41 as best (and was down to 39 at that point). Most of the ones I got wrong was pure guesswork. Although some of the ones I got right were also guesses, but in most cases there were clues to guess from.

I hope it increased my vocabulary somewhat, I'll be sure to make my male characters wear homburgs.
Now writing: random bloggy stuff

Hu
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Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:29 pm Post

48... -ish.
Sounds like crimewriter is the reigning champ. (We need a clapping emoticon.)

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vic-k
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Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:09 pm Post

or a new keyboard for cr. That`s obviously a keyboard malfunction :shock:
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

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vic-k
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Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:18 pm Post

Jaysen,
You are most kind, thank you. I`ll have a pint of Guinness with a Jameson chaser.

You are Sir, a Gentleman and a Scholar. Cheers!!

Vic
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

PJ
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Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:24 pm Post

I got to 50, but only after slogging through an improbable patch of words from heraldry and armory. Is there a sniggering medievalist lurking in the vocabularium?

Phil

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Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:26 pm Post

Stalled at 49.

My! Those words are difficult! And, need one say, obscure?

It's great fun, thanks for the pointer!


Dave

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pink
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Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:59 pm Post

I've got to 43 so far (2000 grains) - but who was supposed to know what a bumberhoop was??
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dr
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Tue Dec 18, 2007 4:45 pm Post

Got to 48 twice and was feeling so verbo-macho. Then Macha (spouse and writing partner) hit 50, again and again. However, she is innumerate and unable to pay the bills and taxes. She claims. :roll: