When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 5 August 2012

“All the world is a quiz, and all the men and women merely players.”

That’s how the late Magnús Magnússon, host of BBC television’s long-running quiz Mastermind, once summed up his line of work. He believed that everything in the world was matter for a quiz. As a quizmaster for over two decades, I heartily agree!

Quizzing, also known as general knowledge (GK), is an established mind sport where players engage in a friendly tussle using quick wits and sharp memories. In recent years, it has evolved its own world body and global rankings.

The origins of quizzing go back to ‘pub quizzes’ – the impromptu testing of trivial (mostly sporting) knowledge over a drink in that quintessentially British setting for socialising. Bar tenders often had to arbitrate…

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