Actually, many of the questions on these kind of game shows can be known in more than one way. This particular question is a good example. Someone in the computer industry for several years might have heard the origin of the Ada language name. Someone familiar with English history might know the names of Lord Byron's family. Someone familiar with Poetry might know...etc.
This kind of multi-faceted question is key to the success of the game in getting contestants to look as if they have a great store of knowledge. Just because we know the answer doesn't mean we know very much about English History - but wouldn't we look like geniuses that evening if we happened to be sitting in that chair...so we watch again and imagine we are winning great sums of money.
Let's see how many questions appear about the Ada language which could not be known in any way but to know about the Ada language and its history.
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At 1:35 PM -0500 2/25/00, Gene Ouye wrote:
>When I saw Ada on the show last night, I couldn't decide whether I should be
>excited about the fact that it was even mentioned or disappointed in the
>fact that it was the half million dollar question--implying that its history
>(and for those of us feeling paranoid, the language itself) is so obscure
>that almost nobody would know it.
>I agree with Steve about the $200 question, and wish that things were such
>that it really belonged there -- although is Ada's origin any more obscure
>than the color of the stripes on the "Cat in the Hat"'s hat?
>Gene Ouye <[log in to unmask]>
>From: Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)
>[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Steven Deller
>Sent: Friday, February 25, 2000 3:03 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Who wants to spell millionaire?
>On Friday, February 25, 2000 7:21 AM, Hal Hart [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
>> It was very intriguing to read Stanley's oblique message half an hour ago
>> really not know why it was posted, and then 5 minutes ago have my wife
>> me into the living room where she was watching "Who Wants to Be a
>> Millionaire" to watch a guy pass up a chance at $.5M by answering the
>> question "The computer language Ada was named for the daughter of which of
>> the following poets?" He thought he knew but wasn't sure, passed & walked
>> away with the $.25M he had already won, and then Regis made him say what
>> had been thinking. He would have been right! I think that's as
>> encouraging as the fact the question was asked.
>Then again, it would have been more encouraging if it had been the $200
>(For those that have been on Pluto and haven't even accidentally
>seen/understood the show, they ask increasingly difficult questions as the
>$$$ get higher. At least the Ada question wasn't for the full $1M).
>Steven Deller, Apex Ada Marketing
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