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Ken is the author of Because I Said So!, Maphead, Brainiac, and Ken Jennings's Trivia Almanac.

Postby Ken Jennings » Fri Sep 29, 2006 7:34 pm

Omnicron wrote:
Ken Jennings wrote:Ride/attraction: you've got to be kidding.

Why? I didn't know or care, but after reading that explanation it makes sense. That kind of distinction is typical of trivia detailing.


It's not that it's beneath notice...you're right, it is sort of an interesting fact. ("Officially, what's the only 'ride' at Disneyland?") But it's not a factual issue. I don't care if I have corporate Disney's approval to call any of their attractions "rides" or "entertainments" or "beguilements" or "delectations." It's not really up to them. Modern English has determined that theme park diversions can commonly called be "rides," end of story. Disney theme parks call their ticket takers Cast Members (TM) too, but that doesn't mean it's factually inaccurate for a journalist to call them "ticket takers" in a generic sense.
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Postby KillerTomato » Sat Sep 30, 2006 7:27 am

Ken Jennings wrote:
Omnicron wrote:
Ken Jennings wrote:Ride/attraction: you've got to be kidding.

Why? I didn't know or care, but after reading that explanation it makes sense. That kind of distinction is typical of trivia detailing.


It's not that it's beneath notice...you're right, it is sort of an interesting fact. ("Officially, what's the only 'ride' at Disneyland?") But it's not a factual issue. I don't care if I have corporate Disney's approval to call any of their attractions "rides" or "entertainments" or "beguilements" or "delectations." It's not really up to them. Modern English has determined that theme park diversions can commonly called be "rides," end of story. Disney theme parks call their ticket takers Cast Members (TM) too, but that doesn't mean it's factually inaccurate for a journalist to call them "ticket takers" in a generic sense.




Like I said, it's nitpicky. I'll even admit to it being extraordinarily nitpicky. But I stand by my mentioning it.

FTR, I'd never even have noticed it had it been applied to anything BUT Play It!....simply because to call that attraction a "ride" is giving it too much credit! I'll admit that being in the hotseat was quite a ride, but it was more of a "sit" or "show" than a "ride". :D
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RE: TRASH (Corrections)

Postby colonial » Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:14 am

TRASH actually stands for TESTING Recall About Strange Happenings, not Total. We did not come up with the name watching Schwarzenegger movies.

Also, the TRASH name wasn't created as a wink to ACF partisans. We simply wanted to come up with a catchy acronym that we could expand into something that fit the format. Our first choice was NOTCBI, but we couldn't expand it :)

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Re: RE: TRASH (Corrections)

Postby Ken Jennings » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:27 pm

colonial wrote:TRASH actually stands for TESTING Recall About Strange Happenings, not Total. We did not come up with the name watching Schwarzenegger movies.


As relayed by Jon Pennington, upthread. You probably heard the forehead-slap all the way from Georgia. Easily the worst goof in the book.

Also, the TRASH name wasn't created as a wink to ACF partisans. We simply wanted to come up with a catchy acronym that we could expand into something that fit the format. Our first choice was NOTCBI, but we couldn't expand it :)


The "trash" story came from someone at the 2005 NAQT HSNCT who sounded authoritative, and was in a position to know, but I don't have my notes with me on the road, so I can't tell you who. So there was no element of "we'll call it TRASH because ACF partisans would consider it trashy" in the name at all? I guess I'm surprised.
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Postby skybeast » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:50 pm

Page 108:

"... but once you hear those question a few times, they're old news."
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Postby aps » Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:03 pm

I just got a copy of Brainiac, glanced at the flap copy, and was flabbergasted when I noticed a rather large mistake (large in my opinion because it is a huge pet peeve of mine): Your answer to the first "useless fact" featured on the inside flap is the koala bear. Ugh! Koalas are simply koalas. They are NOT bears. They are marsupials (as correctly mentioned in the fact question). Please please please contact your editor and make sure that this mistake is corrected in reprints/paperback versions. Thank you!
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Postby cadams35 » Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:56 pm

aps wrote:I just got a copy of Brainiac, glanced at the flap copy, and was flabbergasted when I noticed a rather large mistake (large in my opinion because it is a huge pet peeve of mine): Your answer to the first "useless fact" featured on the inside flap is the koala bear. Ugh! Koalas are simply koalas. They are NOT bears. They are marsupials (as correctly mentioned in the fact question). Please please please contact your editor and make sure that this mistake is corrected in reprints/paperback versions. Thank you!


Yeah, but, in all probability, someone will contact the editor after the next edition and say that it is the koala bear and not the koala. Me, I honestly don't care.
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Postby aps » Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:20 am

I'm sorry, but I am new to this board and I thought that my comment was going to be read by Ken. I was asking him to contact his editor (or, honestly, I could do it myself since I work at the company that published his book). Cadams35 may not care, but it is a fact (not just my presonal preference) that the name of the animal is a koala. Period. It is not a koala bear.
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Postby Ken Jennings » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:32 am

aps wrote:Please please please contact your editor and make sure that this mistake is corrected in reprints/paperback versions.


You seem oddly invested here.

(or, honestly, I could do it myself since I work at the company that published his book).


Well, somehow I doubt they make too many edits to already-published books based on quibbles from random employees at the Christmas party.

but it is a fact (not just my presonal preference) that the name of the animal is a koala. Period. It is not a koala bear.


Wrong. Well, you're right of course that koalas are marsupials, not bears, but this is like complaining that kangaroo rats aren't technically rats, or lightning bugs aren't technically bugs. From Merriam-Webster: "an Australian arboreal marsupial...called also koala bear." If people and dictionaries call it a koala bear, the problem is clearly society's, not Brainiac's.

As you continue your lonely crusade for correct koala nomenclature, please please please keep it mind that this is a "presonal (sic) preference" of yours after all. Others will appreciate your broad-mindedness.
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Postby aps » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:47 am

Your response surprises me, Ken. I will "keep it mind (sic)" that you are not as interested in actual facts as one would expect of a trivia buff.

Also, edits are made in reprints of already-published books all the time. That was my suggestion (or, to wait for the paperback).
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Postby Ken Jennings » Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:28 am

aps wrote:Your response surprises me, Ken. I will "keep it mind (sic)" that you are not as interested in actual facts as one would expect of a trivia buff.


It's true, I'm not as anal as the average trivia buff. But that's because I don't think that's the most attractive characteristic of the average trivia buff.

If the question had asked, "True or false: koalas are bears," and I'd said "true," then you're right, there's a factual error that impacts the trivia. It would need to be corrected. But there's no problem with playability here. Your contention was that "koalas aren't called koala bears!" and the dictionary we used as our spelling/usage guide flatly disagrees with you.

Also, edits are made in reprints of already-published books all the time. That was my suggestion (or, to wait for the paperback).


And we'll be making them, for a good dozen errors. Not for non-errors/presonal pet peeves, though. Sorry.
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Postby cadams35 » Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:13 pm

Ken Jennings wrote:
but it is a fact (not just my presonal preference) that the name of the animal is a koala. Period. It is not a koala bear.


Wrong. Well, you're right of course that koalas are marsupials, not bears, but this is like complaining that kangaroo rats aren't technically rats, or lightning bugs aren't technically bugs. From Merriam-Webster: "an Australian arboreal marsupial...called also koala bear." If people and dictionaries call it a koala bear, the problem is clearly society's, not Brainiac's.


Also, it's like saying that the pineapple is neither pine nor apple, but berry. Or that the titmouse is actually a bird. And so on.
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Postby ArtVark » Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:35 pm

aps wrote:Koalas are simply koalas. They are NOT bears.


Koala Bears are not bears.
Ant bears are not bears.
Water bears are not bears.
Bug bears are not bears.
Paddinton bears are not bears.
The Chicago Bears are not bears.
Paul "Bear" Bryant is not a bear.
Jack the Bear is not a bear.
Bear markets do not sell bears.

I can't bear it anymore...
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Postby econgator » Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:55 pm

ArtVark wrote:The Chicago Bears are not bears.



But they are .... DA Bears ...... :)
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Postby cadams35 » Sat Dec 02, 2006 2:46 pm

econgator wrote:
ArtVark wrote:The Chicago Bears are not bears.



But they are .... DA Bears ...... :)
'

GO PACKERS!!!!
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Postby cadams35 » Sat Dec 02, 2006 2:47 pm

ArtVark wrote:
aps wrote:Koalas are simply koalas. They are NOT bears.


Koala Bears are not bears.
Ant bears are not bears.
Water bears are not bears.
Bug bears are not bears.
Paddinton bears are not bears.
The Chicago Bears are not bears.
Paul "Bear" Bryant is not a bear.
Jack the Bear is not a bear.
Bear markets do not sell bears.

I can't bear it anymore...


Neither can I.

Flea markets don't sell fleas.
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Postby BobJuch » Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:02 am

Omnicron wrote:
Ken Jennings wrote:Ride/attraction: you've got to be kidding.

Why? I didn't know or care, but after reading that explanation it makes sense. That kind of distinction is typical of trivia detailing.

I can back up that's the official Disney line. Anyway, how could one call the "Millionaire" attraction a ride when it doesn't go anywhere? :roll:
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Postby Ken Jennings » Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:09 am

BobJuch wrote:I can back up that's the official Disney line.


As can I, but see my first post on this page.

Anyway, how could one call the "Millionaire" attraction a ride when it doesn't go anywhere? :roll:


That's true--I should have put "ride" in quotes to ironically and, hopefully, humorously emphasize its non-ridey nature. Oh, wait! That's actually what I did (pg. 70).
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Postby cadams35 » Sat Dec 23, 2006 12:37 pm

I can't remember where you said this, but you said a lot of people spell Brainiac in weird ways, like Braniac and Brianiac. The irony of this is that, in your most recent blog (Collision course), you misspelled Brainiac as Brainaic. Oh, the irony!!
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chap. 4/p. 59 (question-and-answer columns "long extinc

Postby gringuita_1 » Tue Dec 26, 2006 4:10 pm

When I was visiting my parents in rural Oregon a year or two ago, I was surprised to notice that their local newspaper's entertainment section still ran a syndicated column answering the types of questions that I thought everyone was already using Google or IMDB to answer for themselves.

After reading the sentence in "Brainiac" (p. 59) that states, "America's newspapers were the source of another important trivia precursor, now long extinct: the question-and-answer column," I tried to check that newspaper's webpage to see if they still run the column. I wasn't immediately able to determine for sure, but in my googling I did come across a page for a syndicated entertainment columnist who answers these kinds of "What movie does this line come from?" questions: <http://www.unitedfeatures.com/ufsapp/viewFeature.do?id=155>

This columnist is male, and I seem to remember that it was a woman who wrote the Q&A feature I had seen. At any rate, I would imagine that there are still a few other similar columms out there, both entertainment-specific and more general.

So, while I think most everyone would agree that the days are numbered for these types of columns (largely because of the ease of accessing info online, of course), I think it might be a bit premature to describe them as "now long extinct"-- more like "now relegated to piddly backwoods papers whose readers still don't know how to use that there new-fangled Internet doo-dad...."

(Anyway, I'm just writing because I thought this was interesting, not because I think this is some sort of horrific error that absolutely has to be rectified in future editions.)

Thanks
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Re: chap. 4/p. 59 (question-and-answer columns "long ex

Postby cadams35 » Tue Dec 26, 2006 7:38 pm

gringuita_1 wrote:When I was visiting my parents in rural Oregon a year or two ago, I was surprised to notice that their local newspaper's entertainment section still ran a syndicated column answering the types of questions that I thought everyone was already using Google or IMDB to answer for themselves.

After reading the sentence in "Brainiac" (p. 59) that states, "America's newspapers were the source of another important trivia precursor, now long extinct: the question-and-answer column," I tried to check that newspaper's webpage to see if they still run the column. I wasn't immediately able to determine for sure, but in my googling I did come across a page for a syndicated entertainment columnist who answers these kinds of "What movie does this line come from?" questions: <http://www.unitedfeatures.com/ufsapp/viewFeature.do?id=155>

This columnist is male, and I seem to remember that it was a woman who wrote the Q&A feature I had seen. At any rate, I would imagine that there are still a few other similar columms out there, both entertainment-specific and more general.

So, while I think most everyone would agree that the days are numbered for these types of columns (largely because of the ease of accessing info online, of course), I think it might be a bit premature to describe them as "now long extinct"-- more like "now relegated to piddly backwoods papers whose readers still don't know how to use that there new-fangled Internet doo-dad...."

(Anyway, I'm just writing because I thought this was interesting, not because I think this is some sort of horrific error that absolutely has to be rectified in future editions.)

Thanks


It is interesting. Maybe I'll have to do one of those columns for my newspaper.

At any rate, those columns that still exist probably are of the "Stump So and So" variety.
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Postby JD » Wed Dec 27, 2006 11:31 pm

These may not be typos/corrections, but are points of interest, so to speak:

p. 187: In Associated Press and "roadgeek" style, "Highway 39" would be "Interstate Highway 39" or "Interstate 39." (The road is still commonly referred to as "Highway 51," since U.S. 51 was there a long time before I-39 was added.)

p. 59: "Is there any word in any language in which the letter y is doubled?" (No)
1. What about Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan? (Or is that English transliteration only?)
2. I suppose the planet Kashyyyk doesn't count, since a) it's fictional and b) the y is tripled.
Admittedly, both of these cases came long after Southwick's book.
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Postby bwouns » Wed Dec 27, 2006 11:40 pm

JD wrote:p. 59: "Is there any word in any language in which the letter y is doubled?" (No)
1. What about Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan? (Or is that English transliteration only?)


I was thinking along similar lines when I read that. My example was Omar Khayyám. Apparently khayyam is not just a proper name. It is also an Arabic word meaning tentmaker. However, I suppose that the transliteration is open to interpretation.
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Postby cadams35 » Thu Dec 28, 2006 5:38 am

JD wrote:2. I suppose the planet Kashyyyk doesn't count, since a) it's fictional and b) the y is tripled.


Well, once I found out what Kashyyyk was, I would say it has to count. It's part of the basic STN's (Star Wars Nerd) vocab.

As to the part about the y being tripled, I prefer to see it as a pair of overlapping double y's.
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Another Typo

Postby asumiguel » Wed Jan 03, 2007 5:21 pm

A minor typo, but since no one else has mentioned it...

On p.75, it says "The 1995 film Quiz Show..."

I believe Quiz Show was released in 1994 (IMDB and Wiki), as it was a nominee for the Best Picture Oscar the same year as Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption, and Four Weddings and a Funeral.
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