How I (Almost) Lost A Million Dollars

I would have lost a fortune if I’d been a Jeopardy contestant tonight.

Final Jeopardy category: National Songs
Final Jeopardy clue: “Originally performed in 1745, this National Song occasionally has had to change its pronouns.”

I would have listened to the Jeopardy “think” music, scratched my head, and written on my answer screen “What is…???”

The allegedly correct response: “What is God Save The Queen” (or “God Save The King.”)

ATTENTION JEOPARDY STAFFERS: Ask any 5th or 6th-Grade student; “King” and “Queen” are nouns, not pronouns.

I guess the fact that I’m a grammar Nazi does not always serve me well, and would have cost me big-time here, but still….

The world is going to hell.

6 thoughts on “How I (Almost) Lost A Million Dollars

  1. one small caveat, your lordship, that might make you feel better. If you look at the verses, you will see that actual pronouns are indeed used in the verses, in the appropriate places. So chins up, sir, you might have won that million dollars after all.

    there now. doesnt that make you feel better, hm.?

  2. You’re right, of course, JT. After all, the clue didn’t say “…this song title has had to change its pronouns.” I guess, if I’m going to be picky, it’s incumbent upon me to also be fair.

    Ooops. Split infinitive. I should have written, “…to be fair as well.” Oy.


  3. Well it’s strangely comforting to know the Grammar Nazi makes an oops now and then, gives me hope for my Spelling Nazi career, which, like yours, is an endless and thankless job most days.

  4. The way the question was asked would have thrown anybody off.
    Just this morning I was thinking of a guy I know who is a master at Jeopardy but when he is asked why doesn’t he try to get on the show, he answers, “Have you ever seen anyone like me on Jeopardy?” He is a long-haired biker type.

    • I knew somebody, once, who was on Jeopardy, ages ago. He said there’s a universe of difference between being “good at” Jeopardy in your living room & being successful on the show, given the added pressure, the tricky buzzer, the lights, the cameras zooming in and out at you, the gazillion TV monitors all showing different angles of the same scene, etc. etc. etc. Not to mention the ever-present possibility that you could be faced with one or two categories (or, worse, a Final Jeopardy) about which you know absolutely nothing (for me, it would be sports.)

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