When I was in high school, I competed with the academic challenge team known as Scholars’ Bowl. We traveled to other teams in the area to play in tournaments, and even participated in a PBS-televised tournament each year. Imagine Jeopardy!, but with teams.
There’s a surprising amount of strategy involved. Knowing the question doesn’t matter if you ring in too late to answer, but ringing in too early with a wrong guess could possibly rob someone else on your team from getting the correct answer.
The host began to read a question:
“The dark shape of a person or object visible against a lighter background…”
DING! I rang in. When called on, I answered: silhouette.
“I’m sorry, that’s incorrect.”
She then started over: “The dark shape of a person or object visible against a lighter background is called a silhouette. Spell ‘silhouette.'”
Perhaps most vexing of all: I knew how to spell silhouette.