By Scott Kim|Thursday, March 01, 2001


"What is your account number, please?" inquires the automated voice of your credit-card company. You respond, and a computer analyzes the audio waves. Can you correctly identify the sound waves for the spoken numbers one through 10, below? First, a few hints. Vowels and sustained consonants like n are long periodic waves. Hard consonants are short, rough bursts. Sibilants, such as s and f, are medium-length irregular waves. Sounds like i or eh, which are made with the mouth wide open, tend to have taller and higher-frequency waves than sounds like oh or oo, which are made with the mouth more closed. The first sound wave is the word nine.


Many branches of science bear names that include the suffix -ology. Vexillology, for instance, is the study of flags, from the Latin vexillum, meaning "flag." Can you match each "ology" below with its subject of study? Hint: Think of similar words that share the same root. Speleology, for example, might be related to spelunking.

1. Agrology

2. Campanology

3. Cetology

4. Cytology

5. Dactylology

6. Dendrology

7. Etiology

8. Geomorphology

9. Lithology

10. Metrology

11. Mycology

12. Myology

13. Oology

14. Pomology

15. Rhinology

16. Selenology

17. Semiology

18. Speleology

19. Vexillology
a. Bell ringing

b. Causes or origins

c. Caves

d. Cells

e. Birds' eggs

f. Flags

g. Fruit growing

h. Landforms

i. Measurement

j. The moon

k. Muscles

l. Mushrooms

m. The nose

n. Rocks

o. Sign language

p. Signs

q. Soil for crops

r. Trees

s. Whales


During the cold war, the United States developed software to translate written messages from one language to another. Such software is now more common but still imperfect. Babel Fish on can translate Web pages, at times with humorous results.

Here are the titles of 14 well-known classic television shows that have been translated from English to another language and back. What are the actual names of the shows?

1. Crazy approximately you

2. Destroyed in space

3. Scandinavian exposure

4. One life span to the life

5. Obtain elegant

6. The practical one

7. We make a transaction

8. Laughter inside

9. Difficult trip of the star

10. Barriers of stake

11. Loops of the family

12. The outside delimitations

13. Double heads

14. The uneven pairs


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© Copyright 2001 The Walt Disney
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