It’s quiz time!

Here are a few short-answer questions I’ve put in the form of a quiz – and there’s a little something for everyone. Grade yourself.

1. How many different languages are spoken by a million or more people?

2. What is the tallest grass?

3. What is the oldest living creature on Earth?

4. What are the three most frequently used letters of the alphabet, and the three least frequently used?

5. What distinguishes an atom of one element from that of another element?

6. Which is longer, a kilometer or a mile?

7. What is a minuend and a subtrahend?

8. (Here’s the biggie.) Distinguish between the following types of triangles:

(a) equilateral

(b) isosceles

(c) scalene

(d) right

(e) oblique

(f) acute

(g) obtuse


1. 140 (a real Babel)

2. Bamboo; up to 120 feet tall

3. Galapagos Island turtle; up to 200 years

4. ETA and QXZ

5. The number of protons in the nucleus. For example, a hydrogen atom has one proton, and a carbon atom has six protons.

6. A mile, by more than one-and-a-half times (1 mile = 1.6 kilometers)

7. In subtraction, the subtrahend is subtracted from the minuend, and the result is the difference or remainder.

8. OK math buffs, how did you do?

(a) all three sides are equal length

(b) two sides are equal length

(c) all three sides are different lengths

(d) one angle is a right (90 degree) angle

(e) contains no right angle

(f) all three angles are less than 90 degrees

(g) one of the three angles is greater than 90 degrees

C.P.S.(Curious Postscript): “I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best.” -- Walt Whitman

Curious about something? Send your questions to Dr. Jerry D. Wilson, College of Science and Mathematics, Lander University, Greenwood, SC 29649, or e-mail jerry@curiosity-corner.net. Selected questions will appear in the Curiosity Corner. For Curiosity Corner background, go to www.curiosity-corner.net.