The three lower Artes Liberales are trivia (singular trivium): grammar, logic, and rhetoric. These were general education subjects, central to higher education quadrivia, and thus the basic education content and an essential building block for all undergraduates. In defining where one route divided or forked into two routes, the ancient Romans used the term triviae. Triviae was built from tri (three) and viae (roads), literally meaning "three roads" and "a public place" and hence the meaning of "commonplace." in transferred usage.
The title of a popular book by British aphorist Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946) was Trivialities, bits of knowledge of little significance, first published in 1902, then popularized in 1918. (with More Trivia following in 1921 and a collected edition including both in 1933). It consisted of brief essays that were mostly related to the discovery of small items and moments that are commonplace. Trivia is the plural of trivium,' a public spot.' Smith thus interpreted the adjectival form of this, trivialis, as' commonplace.'
Another quiz sport is the quiz bowl competitions seen in U.S. high schools and colleges, as well as in elementary, secondary, and junior high schools; the Canadian version is the competition between high schools aiming to Reach for the Top, while Canadian universities and a few high schools are starting to compete in U.S. quiz bowl leagues. The National Academic Quiz Tournaments, established in 1996, is a national association that offers questions for high school and college-level tournaments throughout North America.
A pub quiz is a quiz that is held in a bar or pub. Such games are also referred to as quiz nights, trivia nights, or bar trivia and can be held in other contexts. Pub quizzes may draw clients who are not found there on other days to a pub. A current example of a pub game is the pub quiz. While a variety of formats and subjects can be covered by numerous pub quizzes, they share several features in common. The pub quiz was created by Burns and Porter in the 1970s in the UK and became part of British culture. An regular phenomenon is the Great British Pub Quiz challenge. At Irish pubs, where they are usually held in English, pub quizzes are a simple affair.
The pub quiz was founded in the UK in the 1970s to bring people into pubs on quieter evenings, mostly through a business named Burns and Porter. Popularity grew and developed from just 30 players to 10,000 competing in a Burns and Porter quiz every week over the next few years. An annual Great British Pub Quiz challenge is run by Redtooth, with more than 600 pubs competing in 2012. A 2009 report put the number of daily weekly pub quizzes in the UK at 22,445, and nearly 2,000 regular weekly quizzes in the US were counted on one website.
Pub quizzes (also referred to as live trivia, or table quizzes) are often weekly activities and, most often in the evening, may have an advertised start time. Although individual formats differ, most pub quizzes contain written responses to questions that are transmitted or declared by a quizmaster in written form. One format is called "infinite bounce" for quizzing. When the number of teams in the quiz is high, this format is commonly used, normally about 8-10. Each question is posed to the team that follows the team that answered the previous question. If no team addresses the question, the next question is posed to the successor team of the team to which the previous question has been addressed.