Perhaps this question is a bit specific, but I'm trying to make a pub quiz right now, where one of the questions I want to ask is what the most common liquid present in earth is, without it being obvious that I'm talking about the liquid core of the Earth.

I was thinking of phrasing the question like this:

What is the most common liquid found in our planet, other than water?

but that already puts too much emphasis on the word "in". If I'd replace it with "on our planet", it'd be technically incorrect, as the earth's core is absolutely not above the Earth's crust.

  • 3
    What is the earth's most common liquid, after water?
    – WS2
    Apr 16 '17 at 15:28
  • 2
    @WS2 Good, but I think it should be "other than water" since there's got to be more magma than water. Apr 16 '17 at 15:29
  • 2
    Magma isn't a liquid. "Magma is a molten and semi-molten rock mixture found under the surface of the Earth. This mixture is usually made up of four parts: a hot liquid base, called the melt; minerals crystallized by the melt; solid rocks incorporated into the melt from the surrounding confines; and dissolved gases." www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/magma/
    – Phil Sweet
    Apr 16 '17 at 18:27
  • @PhilSweet I noticed that later on as well. The outer core is a liquid, however, so I'm going to still use the question in the form as suggested by WS2, but with "iron" and "nickel" both being correct answers. Thanks for the correction though. I'll edit my question to represent this, for future googlers.
    – Joeytje50
    Apr 16 '17 at 19:25
  • Note to reviewers: I don't think this question should be closed as proofreading because the question specifies the point of concern (the word in).
    – Lawrence
    Apr 17 '17 at 0:32

I would try

"What liquid does our planet have the most abundance of, other than water?

where abundance is used in the sense of "the quantity or amount of something present in a particular area, volume, or sample" (English Oxfords Living Dictionaries 1.2).

We know the wording is contrived to fit a purpose, but I think it could pass in a quiz without drawing too much attention to "is this a trick question?" :-)

  • Sounds like a good solution for my problem. Thanks!
    – Joeytje50
    Apr 18 '17 at 6:55
  • I also thought of "What is the most common liquid in the world, other than water?", because "on the world" is usually followed by "I come from"!
    – traktor
    Apr 18 '17 at 7:34

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