Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oz in Jeopardy! But—

It's been a little while now since there's been an Oz clue on Jeopardy! but there was one last night. But wow, did they get things wrong! There were not one, but two mistakes in the clue. So, let's take a look first, shall we? It was the first round, and the category was 1920s Lit. Under the $800 window, Saad, one of the challengers, uncovered the Daily Double. This meant he could bet any of the money he'd earned up to that point, so he bet $1000. And here's the clue:

Saad clearly had no clue, and finally responded with, "Who is Booth Tarkington?" and lost $1000. Of course I don't need to tell you that the correct response would have been, "Who is L. Frank Baum?" (and kudos to Alex Trebek for correctly pronouncing his name yet again). But it was early, and Saad did well enough to win the game anyway.

So what were those two errors? If you've read the book, the first one is pretty easy, as the people opposing the Flatheads are called the Skeezers, not the Skeeters. The other error is a little more subtle, and is more of a problem with the English language than anything else. Baum couldn't have published Glinda of Oz in 1920, because he had died the year before. It was actually published by Reilly and Lee. Yet how else can it be phrased, except in the passive voice? Ah, well. At least these errors didn't affect the outcome of the game. And yes, I'm writing a letter to the Jeopardy! people pointing out their errors.

No comments: