linguistic scavenger hunt

Lynne Murphy M_Lynne_Murphy at BAYLOR.EDU
Sun Sep 26 23:29:55 UTC 1999

To the ADS list and assorted linguist friends:

Each semester I have a contest for the linguistically-oriented students
at my univ, in order to try to generate a little excitement.  Things
like "who can find the most senses for the word 'water'" or "who can
find the most different spellings of the sound [e] in English words".
This semester, I want to try something different, to involve more
students.  The idea:  a linguistic scavenger hunt.  The students would
get a list of things to find and the one who finds the most of those
things gets a prize.  Examples from the list I'm working on:

-the longest word in English that does not use any letter more than once

-the Estonian word for "foot"
-five languages spoken in the Phillipines
-a nine-letter English word that has only one syllable
-the sound that a dog makes in Arabic
-the 11 official languages of South Africa
-a single English word that can be a verb, noun, adjective, and
preposition (example sentences required)
-the regional word for "drinking fountain" that's used in Wisconsin
-a university where American Sign Language courses count toward foreign
language requirement
-four different sounds that the letter 's' can symbolize in English
spelling (examples required)

As you can see, I'm trying for some variety in the list, although it has
some English bias, since I'm in an English dept.  I want to get an
impossibly long list and then give the prize to the student who gets the
most answers by the deadline, rather than have it be a race where the
first to find all the answers wins.

So...I'm looking for more items to add to the list.  If you'd send me
some, I'll send the full list back to you when it's done, and then you'd
be welcome to run the contest with your students as well.

All help welcome,

P.S.  To people on the ADS list, it's not just that I'm procrastinating
this weekend, it's also that I'm being really productive.  Thanks for
reading all my posts!


M. Lynne Murphy, Assistant Professor in Linguistics
Department of English, Baylor University
PO Box 97404, Waco, TX 76798 USA
Phone:  254-710-6983     Fax:  254-710-3894

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