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18 December 2006 @ 11:59
Party like it's (sometime between 1922 and) 1991  

Today's Toronto Star has a Christmas trivia quiz (with one token Hanukkah question, natch) written by Mark Kearney and Randy Ray. Question 2 asks:

The original Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, was believed to be born in the fourth century in what is now this country?

  1. Sweden
  2. The Netherlands
  3. Turkey
  4. Czechoslovakia
  5. The Soviet Union

To which I can only respond with a quiz of my own. (Well, no, actually; my first response was (c).)

Poll #891140 What were they thinking?

So, what do you think was the reason for the inclusion of choices (d) and (e)?

The question was recycled from an earlier quiz.
The authors thought the question was too hard, so they included two answers that could be eliminated immediately.
The authors wanted to make the question harder, so they threw in a couple of trick answers.
The authors haven't been paying much attention to world affairs in the last couple of decades, and honestly believe Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union are still countries.
All four wrong answers were filled in randomly from a database of country names past and present.
What are you complaining about? Just be glad the right answer wasn't "The Ottoman Empire"!
Nuværende musik: You don't know how lucky you are, boy.
Meredith L. Pattersonmaradydd on 18. December, 2006 17:22 (UTC)
Hah! I knew it was (c) because of a discussion in the office earlier today -- one of the Asian students who apparently doesn't show up at his desk much came in and was surprised at the packet of chocolates from Sinterklaas that had been there since the 6th. He didn't know the story, and the Danish guy behind me explained the full history behind it.

The "filled in randomly" answer would be amusing if it's true; I wonder how people would have responded to, say, "Flanders" or "Carthage".