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Difference between spectators and audience


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Difference between spectators and audience #1 (permalink) Sun May 15, 2005 21:08 pm   Difference between spectators and audience
 

Test No. errors/advan-3 "The audience went wild", question 2

The spectators went wild, started cheering and eventually stood up as they clapped to show their appreciation for the orchestra.

(a) spectators
(b) cheering
(c) eventually
(d) appreciation

Test No. errors/advan-3 "The audience went wild", answer 2

The audience went wild, started cheering and eventually stood up as they clapped to show their appreciation for the orchestra.

Correct entry: audience
The error was: (a) spectators
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Difference between spectators and audience #2 (permalink) Sun May 15, 2005 21:12 pm   Difference between spectators and audience
 

Spectators are usually watching something like a circus for example.

An audience would be a group of people listening as at a concert.
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Difference between spectators and audience #3 (permalink) Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:52 am   Difference between spectators and audience
 

That would be assuming the audience was there only for the orchestra. That's not clear from the one sentence. In many contexts, "spectators" would be the correct word in this sentence.
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Difference between spectators and audience #4 (permalink) Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:40 am   Difference between spectators and audience
 

An orchestra plays at a concert or a show, where the correct term for the people watching is 'audience' - and they don't have to be there only for the orchestra.

Maybe you are thinking of a band, Angus? Bands play at all sorts of events, from parades to circuses to gymnastic displays and beyond.
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Difference between spectators and audience #5 (permalink) Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:06 am   Difference between spectators and audience
 

Orchestras also (_very_ often) play in the pit at i.e. Broadway musicals. You don't go to a Broadway show as an audient, but as a spectator. My point being that we are not given enough information in this one sentence to make that judgment. Thus using the word "spectator" cannot objectively be judged wrong in this particular sentence.
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Difference between spectators and audience #6 (permalink) Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:29 am   Difference between spectators and audience
 

I have to disagree with you on that point! You go to a Broadway show as a member of an audience. Ask any actor/producer/director and they will tell you that any theatre-going member of the public is in the audience, not a spectator.

The audience at a play, concert, film, or public meeting is the group of people watching or listening to it.
A spectator is someone who watches something, especially a sporting event. It might be a show of some kind, but plays, musicals, movies, television and theatre shows have the particular term 'audience' - they are not spectators.

http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0048360#m_en_gb0048360
http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0798260#m_en_gb0798260
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Difference between spectators and audience #7 (permalink) Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:04 am   Difference between spectators and audience
 

Hi,

It's worth bearing in mind that the people who attended this event were showing their appreciation for the orchestra and that. I would have thought, meant the audience.

Alan
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Difference between spectators and audience #8 (permalink) Thu Jul 15, 2010 0:35 am   Difference between spectators and audience
 

Audience may be the _better_ response, but is spectator objectively wrong? When looking at the original sentence without the 'answer' before our eyes, the objective is to find the word that is _wrong_, am I incorrect? And I can't see how any word in this sentence is _wrong_ without being given more information (i.e 'At the concert,...'). Any sentence can be made 'better' if you split enough hairs, but most of the example sentences here have something objectively, black-and-white _wrong_ with them in order to test foreign learners' English skills. The above sentence is not one of them.

@beeesneees Circuses, however, have spectators, and have also in the past had orchestras (some even do today). Broadway may have been a poor example on my part, but it _was_ only one example (note the 'i.e.'). And I doubt the average person would be offended if someone _did_ call them a spectator at a Broadway show (_I_ certainly wouldn't have caught it).
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Difference between spectators and audience #9 (permalink) Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:37 am   Difference between spectators and audience
 

The object of the exercise is to choose the best response from the options. I tell my students that they should always read every option carefully and not leap onto the first one that they think is obvious. Just because a word fits* a sentence doesn't mean it is the best fit from the choices provided. In fact, a rigorous test will always provide the best answer, plus another answer which appears to fit well until the two are considered alongside each other.
This is what sorts out the learners who really understand what they are reading from those who have the basic grasp but not the in-depth knowledge.

*I still disagree that 'spectators' fits here, but I'm not going to go round in circles arguing the fact pointlessly. I have stated what I know for a fact. I would certainly find it odd to be called a spectator at a theatre show, and circuses have 'bands' not 'orchestras'.

By the way, i.e. means 'that is' (from the Latin id est). This is not the same as 'for example' which would require e.g. exempli gratia
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Difference between spectators and audience #10 (permalink) Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:33 am   Difference between spectators and audience
 

Maybe the people at the concert are
Quote:
getting together to give live, in-person recognition


Who knows?

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Difference between spectators and audience #11 (permalink) Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:09 am   Difference between spectators and audience
 

@beeesneees Well, I think it's hairsplitting, but I give. I seriously doubt I'm the only native speaker who would be caught by this one, though, which, I think, makes it an inappropriate problem to pose for _non_native learners.

@Alan And maybe you're merely trolling with pointless non sequiturs. Would you mind either getting back on topic, or dropping out of the conversation entirely? The fact that a native speaker needed to check out the answer says a lot about the quality of the problem, I think. Insulting my intelligence doesn't make the difficulty go away. beeesneees, while obviously exasperated, has not sunk to this level.
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Difference between spectators and audience #12 (permalink) Thu Jul 15, 2010 18:07 pm   Difference between spectators and audience
 

Aww, I was going to let you have the last word, having made my position clear, but now you've emphasised the non native learner part again, I can't resist one final comment... haven't you noticed how a English learner speaks English with far more precision and perfection than the vast majority of native English speakers? Tests like these are part of the reason for that!
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Difference between spectators and audience #13 (permalink) Thu Jul 15, 2010 22:28 pm   Difference between spectators and audience
 

No, I've never noticed that. I _have_ noticed a lot of people pushing that meme, usually intending to mean that foreign learners are less likely to split infinitives, confuse 'than' and 'then', or leave their participles dangling.

Being condescending doesn't prove a point, by the way. Only proving a point proves a point.
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Difference between spectators and audience #14 (permalink) Thu Jul 15, 2010 22:44 pm   Difference between spectators and audience
 

I did that several posts ago. It's a pity that you never appear to have spent any time with really proficient second language English speakers. I hope you get the pleasure sometime soon.

(If it's any indication of the fact that I wasn't being condescending you should search this forum as it's not the first time I've made the same views known. You'll find that the other times I've mentioned it haven't been done with the intention of proving a point either.)
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Difference between spectators and audience #15 (permalink) Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:07 am   Difference between spectators and audience
 

Well, what was the 'Awww' supposed to indicate if not condescension? I was responding to that post, and never called you condescending before that. In fact, I was comparing your tone favourably to Alan's immediately before that post, was I not?

As an aside, I'm originally from the extremely multicultural Toronto area, and I've met more than my fair share of proficient second-language English speakers (and every level in between). The claim that proficient second-language English speakers speak better English than native speakers is pretty far-fetched. And you didn't claim that about proficient speakers---you claimed that
Quote:
a English learner speaks English with far more precision and perfection than the vast majority of native English speakers

which is a ridiculous claim to make.

I'm trying to write this without sounding pissy, but tone of voice doesn't seem to translate well to the medium.
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