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38 replies to this topic

#1 Aureus20

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 06:53 PM

You are in a dark room and want to see what is inside it. With you are a match, a candle, and a kerosene lamp. Which do you light first?


Answer: the match
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#2 Writersblock

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 09:48 PM

This is incorrect. I know it's an old riddle, but using modern vernacular your answer doesn't make sense. To light (verb) means to ignite (verb). In order to light something you need a source of ignition. You don't light the match, you strike the match in order to gain ignition. Then you light either the candle or the lantern with the match.
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#3 Martini

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 11:33 PM

This is incorrect. I know it's an old riddle, but using modern vernacular your answer doesn't make sense.


Sure it does. The phrase "light a match" is pretty common in the vernacular where I'm from. One of my favorite movie quotes: And Charlie, light a match! :lol:


To light (verb) means to ignite (verb).


Right, you set the match on fire by striking it (ignition). You light (ignite) the match.
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#4 Writersblock

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 05:31 AM

I know it's common usage, but I still think it's incorrect - kind of like using "ain't" or any of the other hundreds of misused words in english. The verb "to light" doesn't mean "to bring to flame" it means "to bring a flame to." There must be a pre-existant source of fire for you to "light" something. A chemical reaction isn't "lighting" something, or it would work in the context of setting off C4 or any other chemical reaction. I think, properly, you "strike" a match. I think the confusion comes from a match being the source of "lighting" so many things that people just misapply the term.
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#5 Martini

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 06:05 AM

I know it's common usage, but I still think it's incorrect - kind of like using "ain't" or...


But your argument was that the OP's answer was incorrect because it didn't follow common usage. It does. That's all that really matters when it comes to the riddle's answer making sense.

You said: To light (verb) means to ignite (verb).

Is striking a match to ignite it not lighting it?

A chemical reaction isn't "lighting" something, or it would work in the context of setting off C4 or any other chemical reaction.


Oh, come on now. No one said all chemical reactions equals lighting something. "Striking a match to the point where sufficient heat created by friction has caused the match head to ignite" is called lighting a match. Sheesh.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary

light:

10. a device for or means of igniting, as a spark, flame, or match: Could you give me a light?

27. to set burning, as a candle, lamp, fire, match, or cigarette; kindle; ignite.
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#6 Linzd21

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 03:43 PM

ya'll are cute....listen. when you are in the dark and you strike a match it creates light...therefore you lit a match. if you are already in the light and you strike a match...you struck a match.
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#7 riddle_me_this

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 01:11 AM

TO LIGHT:

–verb (used without object)
* to take fire or become kindled: The damp wood refused to light.
* to ignite a cigar, cigarette, or pipe for purposes of smoking (usually fol. by up): He took out a pipe and lighted up before speaking.
* to become illuminated when switched on: This table lamp won't light.
* to become bright, as with light or color (often fol. by up): The sky lights up at sunset.
* to brighten with animation or joy, as the face or eyes (often fol. by up).

According to the definitions of the verb "to light" as given by dictionary.com, the underlined definition supports the given meaning of "to light" in that when you strike a match, it takes fire. Therefore, when you strike a match, you light it. The italicized definition also supports this term, if you imagine the switching on of the match to be the striking of it. The bold definition once more supports the term in that when you light/strike a match, it emits a warm orange/yellow/blue/red/white/etc. glow, becoming bright both with light and with color.

Therefore, although the technicalities of the verb "to light" are a moot point, as the riddle should be easy enough to solve in the first place and is, honestly, among the oldest in the book, the usage of "to light" in the context, referring to the striking of a match, is perfectly accurate.

But I do understand the argument. Like you said, Writersblock, there are so many misused terms in the English language. However, in this case, this would not be one of them.
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#8 KeiMoon

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 01:43 AM

Personally i would do:

The Match
The Kerosene Lamp
The Candle

i know that not the 'puzzle'/'riddle' but thats how i would do it!

^_^

i would do the candle last because then i can put it in the lamp somehow...?

LOL!!!

anyways!

The answer to the 'Riddle' is THE MATCH!

>_<

Nuff Luff peeps!
Kei
xoxox

...over and out...
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#9 Wiiosten

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 12:02 AM

which do you light first? heres how:

feel your way to the wall
turn on the light switch
you light the room
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#10 heatherlovesjade

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 06:52 PM

you would technically spark the match then proceed to choose from either object. now how much karacine is in the lamp, how big a candle, or just turn on the light...........
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