Definitions

quiz/

game show

or quiz show

Radio or television show designed to test the knowledge, luck, or skill of contestants or experts. Among the shows popular on U.S. radio were Dr. I.Q. (1939–49), Information, Please (1938–48), and The Quiz Kids (1940–53). The genre was adopted by television and cash awards were increased, so that radio's $64 Question became television's $64,000 Question. In the mid-1950s, to increase their shows' popularity, some producers began feeding answers to contestants who had been chosen to win. An accusation of unfair practices on Twenty-one (1958) led to a government investigation and the quick demise of the big-money shows. The game show later regained popularity when it was revived in formats with lower stakes and easier questions, as on Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. At the turn of the 21st century, game shows such as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire boasted large cash prizes and gained popularity in prime time, and reality shows like Survivor adopted aspects of the game show genre.

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A quiz is a form of game or mind sport in which the players (as individuals or in teams) attempt to answer questions correctly. Quizzes are also brief assessments used in education and similar fields to measure growth in knowledge, abilities, and/or skills.

Quizzes are usually scored in points and many quizzes are designed to determine a winner from a group of participants - usually the participant with the highest score.

Etymology

The first appearance of the word is from 1784 and means an odd person. This sense survives today in the word "quizzical". It was also used in the term quizzing glass, a common accoutrement of British Regency dandies. It later acquired a meaning of to make fun of, or to mock. How it acquired its current meaning of a test is unknown, but that sense did not appear until 1867 and then it was in the United States.

The OED2 has a citation from 1847 where the word appears: "She com back and quiesed us", which could be a clue to its origin. Quiz as a test could be a corruption of the Latin Qui es, meaning "Who are you?" American Heritage says it may be from the English dialect verb quiset, meaning to question. In any case it is probably from the same root as question and inquisitive.

There is a well-known but untrue story of the word "quiz", which says that in 1791 a Dublin theater owner named James Daly made a bet that he could introduce a word into the language within twenty-four hours. He then went out and hired a group of street urchins to write the word "quiz", which was a nonsense word, on walls around the city of Dublin. Within a day, the word was common currency and had acquired a meaning (since no one knew what it meant, everyone thought it was some sort of test) and Daly had some extra cash in his pocket. However, there is no evidence to support the story, and the term was already in use before the alleged bet in 1791.

As competitions

Quizzes may be held on a variety of subjects (general knowledge, 'pot luck') or subject-specific. The format of the quiz can also vary widely. Popularly known competition quizzes include

See also:

In education

A quiz is usually a form of student assessment, but often has fewer questions of lesser difficulty and requires less time for completion than a test. This use is typically found in the USA and Canada.

Other quizzes

Additionally, a personality quiz may be a series of multiple-choice questions about the respondent without right or wrong answers. The responses to these questions are tallied according to a key, and the result purports to reveal some quality of the respondent. This kind of "quiz" was originally popularized by women's magazines such as Cosmopolitan. They have since become common on the internet, where the result page typically includes code which can be added to a blog entry to publicize the result. These postings are common on LiveJournal.

There are also many online quizzes, many webmasters have quiz sections on their websites and forums, phpBB2 has one MOD (modification) which allows users to submit quizzes, this is the Ultimate Quiz MOD.

Most of the online quizzes are to be taken lightly. The results do not often reflect the true personality or relationship. They are also rarely psychometrically valid. However, they may occasion reflection on the subject of the quiz and provide a springboard for a person to explore his or her emotions, beliefs, or actions.

See also

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