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What am I?

At StackExchange science I become:
Plural at a pyramid bottom
Our four letters may lead to wisdom
Singular with five to locate from
In New Zealand a peak is my home.

This has been through the sandbox.

Hint 1:

Verses group as follow: 2 and 3 go together, and 4 and 5 as well.

Hint 2:

Seldom, words were chosen for the rhyme. You can read "a peak is my home" as "a peak is my own".

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  • $\begingroup$ The last line makes me think COOK, but it doesn't fit with the rest. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 1:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It fits a couple of definitions but it is not related $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 2:52
  • $\begingroup$ 'Our four letters may lead to wisdom' it means, word has more than four letters right? $\endgroup$
    – smriti
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 9:16
  • $\begingroup$ also, does first line represents stackexchange.com/sites#science-traffic $\endgroup$
    – smriti
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 9:27
  • $\begingroup$ 'Our four letters may lead to wisdom' it means, word has more than four letters right?' Both "yes" and "no", there is a dual interpretation. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 9:42

3 Answers 3

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Got it! The answer is

DATUM / DATA.

The title refers to the fact that

the singular and plural forms of this word (changing the number) don't reflect standard English grammar, which may be confusing to some.

At StackExchange science I become:

Data Science Stack Exchange, currently still in beta and not a fully-fledged graduate site.

Plural at a pyramid bottom
Our four letters may lead to wisdom

DATA (the 4-letter plural form) is at the bottom of the DIKW pyramid, also known as the Wisdom Hierarchy:

pyramid

Singular with five to locate from
In New Zealand a peak is my home.

DATUM (the 5-letter singular form) can be found in geodesic datum, a system for locating points on the Earth, and also Datum Peak in New Zealand.


Feedback section

It's a nice riddle, and the clues all fit together in a clear and obvious way once you find the answer (all the best riddles have self-justifying solutions). However, the solution is quite difficult to come up with, and the clues don't all feel completely 'natural' (e.g. did you really know about that peak in New Zealand before you came across it as a way of cluing in the singular form?)

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As a Science Fiction & Fantasy mod, I must express my disappointment that you didn't include a Star Trek reference in this riddle. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ @LaurentDuval Added in a bit about geodesic datum, and the title (which I had understood, but forgot to include originally). $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ @LaurentDuval "Data is" is wrong; "data are" is correct. Data is always the plural form of datum. Will edit in the bit about "become". $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 20:56
  • $\begingroup$ As a mass noun, with the limits of my knowledge, I am not as affirmative "This is well established and generally accepted in standard English writing: Data was collected over a number of years." blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2014/04/… (only one of many examples and discussions). Conclusion of the above "Data can take either a singular or plural verb in standard English, but be consistent within a piece of writing, always check the style policy of your organization, and make yourself familiar with the grammatical debate that exists around them." $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ @LaurentDuval Since they decided that "literally" could mean "not literally", I don't trust the Oxford Dictionary any more. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 21:20
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Potentially:

Kiwi (bird)

Explanation:

At StackExchange science I become: Plural at a pyramid bottom

The kiwi resides at the bottom of the food pyramid and Kiwi is plural (or singular as used later)

Our four letters may lead to wisdom

Kiwi rearranges to wiki; where I gather all my knowledge

Singular with five to locate from

Appropriately Wikipedia has told me there are 5 species of Kiwi and a single Kiwi (bird) can 'locate' from these five species

In New Zealand a peak is my home.

Kiwi live in New Zealand!

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  • $\begingroup$ Not very convincing IMO. No connection with science on Stack Exchange, or with peaks in New Zealand. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor The science on Stack Exchange I was thinking pointed to the food chain pyramid idea. The peak bit was where I felt it was weakest too. It just seems to fit so well with the middle two clues I feel like it must be right and I am missing some vital knowledge about kiwi... $\endgroup$
    – Teddysted
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Teddysted it's... not a bird. Yet very original and elaborate answer (the wiki anagram). I do not know where kiwi(s) dwell, so the peak connection is not here. The part "science on Stack Exchange" is more specific. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 16:32
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    $\begingroup$ @LauretDuval That's a pity; it all seemed to fit so well! Will continue thinking $\endgroup$
    – Teddysted
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 19:18
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You might be

Data

Because:

At StackExchange science I become:

There is a data science page on StackExchange

Plural at a pyramid bottom

At the bottom of the DIKW Pyramid is data, data is plural

Our four letters may lead to wisdom

If you have a lot of data, you could be considered wise and data has four letters

Singular with five to locate from

With 5 gps satelites data your location can be calculated (not sure)

In New Zealand a peak is my home:

I've got no clue about this one

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  • $\begingroup$ The initial point is quite interesting. Could you further elaborate? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 11:08
  • $\begingroup$ @LaurentDuval, you mean about the science part? what would you like me to elaborate, I think it's pretty clear? $\endgroup$
    – Foitn
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 11:11
  • $\begingroup$ I would say that you are almost halfway from the answer. Several bits of information have not been used yet: for instance the two last verses, the title, and a couple of others. I have understood that a full answer and a thorough explanation are quality indicators $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 11:21
  • $\begingroup$ I've edited my answer, even though I'm still not sure about the last one sadly $\endgroup$
    – Foitn
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 11:37

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