3
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A device to strike a tone, you should think me not,

For I am a way to transcribe intellectual thought,

And though all that I contain has many a name,

Their ultimate function remains the same.

Who am I?

Hint:

Though you all seem to have the right thought, parts of the first line will really hammer it home.

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You are a

Keyboard.

A device to strike a tone, you should think me not,

In addition to an input peripheral for PCs, the word "keyboard" can also refer to a musical instrument.

For I am a way to transcribe intellectual thought,

The most common way to put thoughts into writing today is through a keyboard.

And though all that I contain has many a name,

Each key on the keyboard has a distinct name.

Their ultimate function remains the same.

A key's ultimate function is to input a character into your computer.

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  • $\begingroup$ yup! that's the ticket $\endgroup$ – Brian Crawford May 13 '15 at 22:29
1
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You are a

typewriter

A device to strike a tone, you should think me not,

Each key makes a specific sound when striking the paper, such that spies would place microphones inside typewriters to listen to what was typed.

For I am a way to transcribe intellectual thought,

Typewriters let you transcribe your thoughts.

And though all that I contain has many a name,

The keys all have different names depending on what letter they are.

Their ultimate function remains the same.

Each key's function is to type out a letter.

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  • $\begingroup$ this one is even closer though I think you have over thought the first line. Almost wanted to just give it to you but it really isn't the answer $\endgroup$ – Brian Crawford May 13 '15 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not going to say one way or another but if you think it fits... $\endgroup$ – Brian Crawford May 13 '15 at 21:35
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You're a note.

You're the device specifying what tone should be struck,
Intellectual thoughts are frequently jotted down to remember,
You can write any words you want in the note,
but words are ultimately always to communicate an idea.

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  • $\begingroup$ Rather close. However, not quite on target. There are a few hints that don't quite fit but I'm a fan of the answer none the less $\endgroup$ – Brian Crawford May 13 '15 at 21:19
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It must be:

drumroll the vocal cords.

My thinking is thus:

A device to strike a tone, you should think me not,

Your vocal cords can be thought of as being solely used to sing, but this is not the case!

For I am a way to transcribe intellectual thought,

If we take "transcribe" to mean to translate, we have that your vocal cords "translate" your thoughts into words.

And though all that I contain has many a name,

The various sounds made by a set of vocal cords fall under many names, these called 'onomatopoeia's, I believe.

Their ultimate function remains the same.

The ultimate function is to convey your thoughts.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very creative answer, though not correct. $\endgroup$ – Brian Crawford May 13 '15 at 21:53
  • $\begingroup$ @BrianCrawford Thank you! I'll keep thinking about the solution. $\endgroup$ – Conor O'Brien May 13 '15 at 21:53

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