Chapter 6. Categorization: Describing Resource Classes and Types

Robert J. Glushko
Rachelle Annechino
Jess Hemerly
Longhao Wang

6.1. Introduction

For nearly two decades, a TV game show called Pyramid aired in North America. The show featured two competing teams, each team consisting of two contestants: an ordinary civilian contestant and a celebrity. In the show’s first round, both teams’ members viewed a pyramid-shaped sign that displayed six category titles, some straightforward like “Where You Live” and others less conventional like “Things You Need to Feed.” Each team then had an opportunity to compete for points in 30-second turns. The goal was for one team member to gain points by identifying a word or phrase related to the category from clues provided by the other team member. For example, a target phrase for the “Where You Live” category might be “zip code,” and the clue might be “Mine is 94705.” “Things you Need to Feed” might include both “screaming baby” and “parking meter.”

The team that won the first round advanced to the “Winner’s Circle,” where the game was turned around. This time, only the clue giver was shown the category name and had to suggest concepts or instances belonging to that category so that the teammate could guess the category name. Clues like “alto,” “soprano,” and “tenor” would be given to prompt the teammate to guess “Singing Voices” or “Types of Singers.”

As the game progressed, the categories became more challenging. It was interesting and entertaining ...

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