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Language Arts-Riddles

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					Riddles: Frustrating or Fun?

Riddles--Definitions
Riddles are traditional questions with unexpected (but traditional) answers. True riddles-are comparisons between the unstated answer and something else that is described in the question. (e.g. London Bridge and Jenny)

Definitions (con’t )
Neck Riddles-are specialized true riddles that refer to prisoners posing a question (or riddle) to “save their neck.” The prisoner usually bases the riddle upon a scene that only he has seen and can identify from the given description. (e.g. Samson’s riddle in Judges 14:14) Pretended obscene riddle-a specialized true riddle in which the description suggests something risqué, usually sexual, but the answer is usually nothing of the sort.

Definitions (con’t )
Riddling Question (also know as a “clever question)-is a type of non-predictable riddle. A question is asked and the answer is usually so obvious that the listener does not even consider that an option. Conundrum-is a type of non-predictable riddle that is usually based on punning or word play. Listeners often don’t “get” the answer because they focus on only one meaning of a certain word within the riddle definition.

Definitions (con’t )
Puzzles and Problems-can also be considered a subtype of riddles. They often involve mathematical, biblical, or practical knowledge. (e.g. spokes and spaces in a wheel) Jokes-some jokes can also be considered riddles. These include the “knock-knock” jokes and other questioning jokes. (e.g. ethnic jokes). Initialisms-these are re-uses of acronyms with a different meaning than what is intended.

Classification of True Riddles
 True Riddles can be divided into two (to six) parts: Descriptions and Blocks (Archer Taylor created the scheme).  True Riddles can be classified using seven categories: I. Comparison to a Living Creature II. Comparisons to an Animal III. Comparisons to Several Animals IV. Comparisons to a Person V. Comparisons to Several Persons VI. Comparisons to Plants VII. Comparisons to Things.


				
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