Tuesday, March 27, 2007

test... test... check... check...

acousticslist

one of several beautiful tables consisting of lists of words and phrases in the chapter called acoustic field tests from the 1941 third edition of watson's "acoustics of buildings". this table, simply called intelligibility list, features 50 short sentences that should be used to test the public address systems of auditoriums. next time you pick up a microphone, instead of simply repeating the word "check" or "test" over and over again; you might want to use something from the list. i believe the thinking here is to listen to the articulation of various words to determine how well different sounds translate across different areas of the space.

there's a lot of poetry to be found in the list, below are some of my favorites. i also like to imagine the various answers these questions migh generate...

3. why are flagpoles surmounted by lightning rods?
5. name the tree on which bananas grow.
6. how often does the century plant bloom?
7. what description can you give of the bottom of the ocean?
8. explain the difference between a hill and a mountain.
10. describe the shoes of the native hollander.
11. name some uses to which electricity is put.
12. what would cause the air to escape a bicycle tire?
16. name a state which has no seacoast.
17. write the roman numeral ten.
19. explain why a corked bottle floats.
23. at what time to ocean waves become dangerous?
28. explain why a giraffe eats the foliage of trees.
30. explain why the name string-bean is appropriate.
34. why are wire springs used in beds?
42. how does turning a ship's wheel steer the ship?
44. what are some personal characteristics of the people of japan?
45. what candy is black and good for colds?
48. why are most lighthouses situated on rocks?
49. give some ingredients used in soap.

you can also click on the image to see it large if you want to read the whole thing.

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4 Comments:

Blogger kclare said...

Nice… I’m always amazed by the beauty and strangeness of unintentionally poetic lists and indices – I was just looking at the index for an old book of “quotes” (those books that seemed so popular during The Depression; where if you “needed” a quote for memory, you could just look one up) and the alphabetical subject listings were pretty amazing…

The above is pretty wonderful, too!

3:17 PM  
Blogger sroden said...

yes, some of my best friends are lists and indices as well! i liked your list of plants from the nursery on woolgathersome too. the thing about this one is i just keep thinking what kind of answers you'd get shouting this stuff out to a room of people.

11:19 PM  
Blogger bloggsy said...

"what is the sound of one hand clapping?" comes to mind with these too... i wonder why "how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?" is not on the list... you'd want to be able to hear that in a big empty space while waiting for the ice man to deliver this week's block

9:35 AM  
Blogger sroden said...

i think someone has clearly lost their mind....

7:08 AM  

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