Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 15-4-2015: Dr Johnson’s Dictionary

Right, I’m gently rushing.

Well …

Rushing … ish.

I’m at work in a bit: and desperately trying to move quickly!


So, without much further ado … ?

I’m going to post up this week’s questions.

Here they are, covered by the usual Creative Commons License* …
Q1) 15th April saw the first publication of Johnson’s ‘A Dictionary of the English Language’.   In which English city?
Q2) More to the point, in which year of the 1750s?
Q3) What’s the first word in that dictionary?
Q4) Dr Johnson was from which country of Great Britain?
Q5) Johnson’s also beed diagnosed — posthumously — with what?
Q6) What was the name of Samuel Johnson’s biographer?
Q7) How many volumes did Johnson’s Dictionary consist of: one, two or three?
Q8) Johnson’s Dictionary was seen as definitive: until the publication of what?
Q9) The Dictionary was sold for 1, 500 what: shillings, guineas or pounds?
Q10) Finally … what’s the last word in the original edition of the dictionary?
And here’s last week’s questions and answers …
Q1) 8th April saw a team lead — in part — by Grace Hopper, start deveoping the computer language called COBOL.   COBOL is short for Common Business Oriented … what?
Q2) Development started in which year: 1958, 1959 or 1960?
Q3) Grace, herself was a computer scientist: who held which military rank: Air Chief Commodore, Rear Admiral or Brigadier General?
Q4) Grace earned a nickname based on the title of a well known hymn: what WAS her nickname?
Q5) Like other computer languages, COBOL is/was supposed be used on many different computers.   In other words, it’s supposed to be what: portable, fixed or editable?
Q6) Like other such computer languages, COBOL is ‘high-level’: and needs to be translated for the computer to use.   This is called what: assembling, compiling or collating?
Q7) Grace provided us with the term ‘debugging’: the term describing the removal of glitches from a computer program.   She coined the term, after researchers found a what, fried onto a valve: a moth, an ant or a spider?
Q8) Languages like COBOL can be used to write computer programs.   Such programs are also called what: software, hardware or firmware?
Q9) Those of us who grew up in the 1980s computer boom will be familiar with a computer language called BASIC.   What did the B stand for, in BASIC?
Q10) Finally … which modern day computer language was named after a type of coffee?
A1) Language.
A2) 1959.
A3) Rear Admiral.
A4) Amazing Grace.
A5) Strictly speaking, portable.   (In other words, it’s usable on many different machines — PCs, Macs, mainframes, your games console, and, these days, your smart phone — with minimal rewriting.)
A6) Compiling.   (A Compiler turns the program we’ve written into either assembly language — a low-level language that’s easier for the computer to understand — or into machine code: the ones and zeros the computer’s central processor actually ‘talks’.)
A7) A moth.   (This was back in the days when computers used thermionic valves, instead of transistors.   Valves are similar in size, and produce similar amounts of heat, to incandescent lightbulbs.   The original bug is now in the Smithsonian.)
A8) Software.   (Hardware is the computer the software runs on.   ‘Firmware’ refers to smaller bits of hardware with the software embedded into it: things like phones, TV remotes, and dvd players, are all firmware devices.)
A9) Beginners.   (The full phrase is ‘Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code’.)
A10) Java.
Have a good week.

*        All that means is that you’re free to copy, use, alter and build on each of my quizzes: including the Teasers, Gazette Teasers and the Friday Question Sets.   All I ask in return is that you give me an original authors credit on your event’s flyers or posters, or on the night: and, if you republish them, give me an original authors credit AND republish under the same license.   A link back to the site — and to the Gazette’s, if that’s where you’ve found these — would be appreciated: as would pressing my donate button, here.   Every penny is gratefully received.

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