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jabird
22nd Apr 2012, 04:47
Anyone know if there is a specific term for something that is so bleeding obvious - except that it isn't.

Such as:

"What's the state capital of New York" - Duh! Oh! Albany - really?
What's the county town of Derbyshire?
What's the capital of Belize?

And not just capitals:

What sort of sporting activity takes place at Stade Velodrome in Marseille?
From which country did the band Japan originate?
What is the first name of the lead singer of the band James?


I'm sure you all have your own list of examples. Is there a term though for this?

Rory Dixon
22nd Apr 2012, 08:42
Not being a native speaker of the English language, I am not sure.
Nevertheless, in the professional world of radiology you would call something like that a 'zebra'.
In radiology it describes some imaging finding that looks obvious, unfortunately is something totally different. The idea behind the word is, that if you hear something sounding like a horse, you generally would think it to be a horse (at least living in the northern hemisphere). Nevertheless, it could also be a zebra having escaped from a zoo or circus.
The opposite would be a so called 'aunt-minnie', as it is something you would instantly recognize throughout your lifetime if you had seen it once before, just like aunt minnie, wearing her pink skirt despite beeing 85..

MadsDad
22nd Apr 2012, 10:00
I suspect the word you are looking for would be 'Counterintuitive' Jabird. ('Adj.1.counterintuitive - contrary to what common sense would suggest').

An example, to follow your original capitals theme, would be when we still has a single county of Yorkshire none of the three county towns was York.

Dr Jekyll
22nd Apr 2012, 10:07
Isn't this what QI calls 'General ignorance'?

Takan Inchovit
22nd Apr 2012, 10:27
WTF are you talking about?

tony draper
22nd Apr 2012, 10:30
Albany NY,named after King James II of England, James VII of Scotland,Duke of Albany
We threw him out you know.
:rolleyes:

Takan Inchovit
22nd Apr 2012, 10:32
Oh, thats OK then. Thought it might have been something important.

tony draper
22nd Apr 2012, 10:40
Whereas New York itself is named after the Duke of York and not the city of York in England,and why not, after all we owned the place.:rolleyes:
Not sure if it is the one who marched his men to the top of the hill though.
:)

MadsDad
22nd Apr 2012, 10:45
Mr. D. The one with the marching troops was Duke of York during the French Wars (late 1700s, early 1800s) while New York was (re)named in the late 1600s.

References:-

1. The marcher. The nursery rhyme is usually said to be based upon the events of the brief invasion of Flanders by Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (1763-1827), the second son of King George III and Commander-in-Chief of the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars. However, alternative derivations are that the rhyme relates the story of Richard, Duke of York at the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460 or James II (formerly Duke of York) who marched his troops onto Salisbury Plain in 1688 against the forces of William of Orange but then retreated.

2. US New York. New York was named by the British to honor James II, Duke of York and Albany, the brother of England's King Charles II, when New Amsterdam was taken from the Dutch in 1664.

Checkboard
22nd Apr 2012, 11:10
[citation needed]

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/wikipedian_protester.png

Sorry to correct your scholarship, MadsDad - but those aren't references :)

Unsupported statements, maybe :)

tony draper
22nd Apr 2012, 11:22
Well the Dutch cant really complain they got the dammed place for a bag of beads and some tin mirrors
I used to smoke his cigarettes.
:)

Loki
22nd Apr 2012, 13:51
We didn't actually take the place from the Dutch, did we? I always thought we swapped it for one of the spice islands the cloggies had missed.

Pre dated another swap.....having taken Heligoland from the Danes, we swapped it with the Krauts for Zanzibar.

Ghost Vector
22nd Apr 2012, 13:57
I'd rather have the beads and trinkets than JFK and the whole damn place.

ZH875
22nd Apr 2012, 14:19
If Northampton is the county town of Northamptonshire, why is Southampton not the county town of Southamptonshire?

Milo Minderbinder
22nd Apr 2012, 14:52
The British acquired New Amsterdam as trade-off for relinquishing claims to Surinam - allowing the Dutch to take full control

As for the Duke of York marching up hills in Flanders.... just which hill? I seem to remember a distinct flatness about the geography

As for Heligoland, shame we didn't reclaim it after WWI. Doing so could well have limited German naval options later

MadsDad
22nd Apr 2012, 15:13
Sorry, Checkboard. Did some 'cut and paste' stuff. From ref:-

1. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 442443.
2. E. Knowles, Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1941, 6th edn., 2004).
3. J. Swinnerton, The History of Britain Companion (Robson, 2005), p. 149.
4. C. Roberts, Heavy words lightly thrown: the reason behind the rhyme (Granta, 2004), p. 44.
5. J. Black, Britain as a military power, 16881815 (London: Routledge, 1999), p. 195.
6. A. Bryant. The Years of Endurance, 1793 - 1802 (Collins, 1942), pages 84, 96.

~And, Milo, the hill is attributed to the fortified town of Cassels, which is built on a hill which rises 176 metres (about 570 feet) above the otherwise flat lands of Flanders (refs 1 and 6 above).

jabird
22nd Apr 2012, 15:17
I suspect the word you are looking for would be 'Counterintuitive

Not quite. I would use that to describe an action which seems to go against conventional logic. For example, an airline puts its fares up during a recession when everyone else is reducing them. That might be counter-intuitive but if it meant it increased margins more than it lost them customers it could still be profitable.

I was thinking more in terms of factual information which would appear obviously true but isn't.

So a few more:

Where do Cornish pasties come from (debatable origins at least)?
What sort of sporting activity takes place at Stade Velodrome in Marseille?


I suppose you could just call that kind of question a "pub quiz stinker" - except in the case of the latter I think the answer is reasonably well known amongst followers of that sport.

Also, on the French theme, plenty of ones where you could say "what does this word mean". Eg librarie (book shop, not library), magasin (a place to buy magazines or any other product), travail (something the French do every now and then, but not travel).

And if droit in French means right and tout means all, what does tout droit mean?

wiggy
22nd Apr 2012, 15:47
Also, on the French theme, plenty of ones where you could say "what does this word mean". Eg librarie (book shop, not library), magasin (a place to buy magazines or any other product), travail (something the French do every now and then, but not travel).


Well at least there is a recognised term for that: "Faux-amis".

jabird
22nd Apr 2012, 16:07
Well at least there is a recognised term for that: "Faux-amis".

Yes, I remember going to visit a friend in Brussels and being told to watch out for them around Midi Station.

I still can't remember whether she meant because in English it is referred to as "Brussels South" (this was before the Charleroi days) or because of dodgy types hanging around there trying to pull scams.

It is still an absolute arm pit of a station, but that's for another thread!

flying lid
22nd Apr 2012, 21:01
If Typhoo put the t in Britain who put the c**t in Scunthorpe ?

Lid

arcniz
23rd Apr 2012, 03:11
Anyone know if there is a specific term for something that is so bleeding obvious - except that it isn't.

Think the answer to this quest hearkens back to the colorful lady who was known for providing very specialized (ahem) tour services in Alaska -- Miss Nomer.

hellsbrink
23rd Apr 2012, 05:16
I still can't remember whether she meant because in English it is referred to as "Brussels South" (this was before the Charleroi days) or because of dodgy types hanging around there trying to pull scams.

It is still an absolute arm pit of a station, but that's for another thread!

OI, that's uncalled for!!


It ain't that good..............

jabird
23rd Apr 2012, 16:52
A local one:

"In which town will you find the University of Warwick"?

or

"Where are London taxis assembled"?

Blacksheep
24th Apr 2012, 08:03
I'm ever so pleased that I don't live in Stevenageshire. :)

Takan Inchovit
24th Apr 2012, 10:16
If Typhoo put the t in Britain ..

You mean it was Brian before that??? :)

PukinDog
24th Apr 2012, 10:28
Great Britain



:E

Takan Inchovit
24th Apr 2012, 10:56
Did you say ... Great Brian? :}

The SSK
24th Apr 2012, 11:00
Ah yes - if the big island is called Great Britain, why isn't its smaller neighbour called Lesser Britain?

My favourite QI question was 'Who was born by Immaculate Conception?' I imagine a certain proportion of the population would naturally get it right, but the majority would be predictably wrong.

tony draper
24th Apr 2012, 11:11
Brittany was known as Lesser Britain Mr SSK,so the name was already took.
:)

jez d
24th Apr 2012, 15:31
'Syllogistic fallacy' perhaps?

MurphyWasRight
24th Apr 2012, 15:45
My favourite QI question was 'Who was born by Immaculate Conception?' I imagine a certain proportion of the population would naturally get it right, but the majority would be predictably wrong.
That just reminded me that I was probably 12 or 13 years old before I realized that "VirginMary" was not a single word, I then finally understood what all the fuss was about :)