Quiz Monkey
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About This Website

In This Section:

About Me
It's Not About Lists
When is a Question
Good and Bad Questions
Born in the UK

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About This Website

The Quiz Monkey website is a collection of the type of facts that come up in a typical general knowledge quiz.  I hesitate to use the term "database", because that suggests a more rigorous format than I can claim; but if a database is "an organized collection of data for one or more purposes, usually in digital form" (which is how Wikipedia defines the term) then I think I can justifiably claim that that's what this website is.

In short, it's an attempt to summarise General Knowledge.  That sounds like a very grand aim, but I did say it's an attempt.  Of course it will never be complete, and that's one reason why it'll never be more than an attempt – but I hope it comes somewhere close to at least providing a good cross-section.

To do this properly, of course, you need an encyclopaedia; and there are lots of online encyclopaedias available - not least our old friend Wikipedia.  But it's not always easy to look up facts in an encyclopaedia; if it were ever complete, the Quiz Monkey would give you the most important contents of the world's best encyclopaedia, but organised into bite-sized chunks (as opposed to essays containing possibly thousands of words).  This is why I believe it's the best resource for quizzers.

Notice that I haven't used the word "trivia".  And nor will you find this word anywhere else on this website.  In my humble opinion, the makers of Trivial Pursuit did a great disservice to the quiz community when they gave this term general currency.  It suggests that knowledge is of no importance.  I would argue that on the contrary, knowledge is extremely important; and that's why I consider Wikipedia to be the most important site on the Internet, bar none.

This is not to say that I consider the term "trivia" to have no validity.  I would use it to cover a great deal of popular culture – the type of thing that certain branches of the media are so obsessed with nowadays.  I hope you will agree that on my website you can find a representative amount of this type of thing, but that it's balanced by the amount of history, geography, science, and what we might call the more "highbrow" arts – including classical music and literature, as well as painting and the other visual arts.

Do we need another quiz website?

If you google "Quiz Questions" you will find no end of sites offering free quiz questions.  So what makes my site different?

Well for a start, it doesn't (in the main) provide questions.  It won't compile a quiz for you.  As I've said at the top of this page (and elsewhere), it provides facts.  What you choose to do with those facts is up to you; you can use them to set your own quiz questions, you can use them to look up specific things, or you can browse through them in order to brush up your general knowledge.  I think this makes my site more useful than any of the others – or at least, useful in a different way.

Secondly, I think you'll find more potential quiz questions on this site than on any other.  I don't really know how many facts there are on this site; but there are about 530 pages, and each page has on average about ... ooh, I don't know – probably about 50 facts.  So that's about 25,000 facts altogether.

Thirdly: as I've argued above, I'd like to think that it strikes just the right balance between downright trivia and proper general knowledge.

Fourthly: I may be wrong, but I think any questions compiled from the facts on this site will be a little harder than most of the ones you'll find on the Internet. Remember that I started by writing down things I didn't know, but thought I should; and I reckon my general knowledge has always been pretty good.

The majority of my information has been gleaned from the questions used in Macclesfield Quiz League, and there's no getting away from the fact that the questions in any quiz league are always going to be a little more difficult than the ones you'll find in the average pub quiz.  I think this will make it more useful than the others to the serious quizzer.

And finally: I'd like to think that my information is just of a higher quality than most of the questions you'll find on the Internet.  By which I mean that it's more fit for the purpose of being used in a quiz.  As I've pointed out elsewhere, you may find the odd factual error - this I feel is sadly inevitable - but I hope you'll find that the number of spelling, grammatical and typographical errors is minimal.  If that sounds like a rash boast, please feel free to tell me about any such errors that you do find!

© Haydn Thompson 2017