September 04, 2006

Till the cows come 'ome

Type "jeopardy" in the search field on the main Language Log page and you'll find several posts (most of them by Bill Poser) discussing how language and linguistics are represented on the TV quiz show Jeopardy: mostly badly, but occasionally OK.

Type "wait wait", though, and you'll only get one result: a relatively recent one by Geoff Pullum on how the research staff at Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! seemed to have been a little late to the game of making fun of Powergen Italia's old URL

The good folks at Wait Wait seem to be a little more on the ball these days, but it's clear that they haven't been reading Language Log. Here's an excerpt from the Monday, August 28 podcast edition of the show.

(You can also listen to an archived edition of the show here (broadcast on August 26); the lovely Rita Rudner is the guest celebrity who (very entertainingly) plays the Not My Job game. If you're just interested in the segment at issue, click on the "Panel Round Two" link, subtitled "The new musical, My Fair Guernsey.")

[ Comments? ]

[ Update -- John Wells writes:

Interesting that the people on the sound clip imagine that west-of-England = Cockney. This is presumably because Americans have a stereotype of a Cockney accent, but none of a West-Country accent - unlike us English. For us the chief stereotypical characteristic of a west-of-England accent is that - like most Americans but unlike the rest of us - it is rhotic, i.e. there is an /r/ corresponding to every orthographic/historical r. The stereotyped west-of-England interjection is "ooh-aar". (western aar = everybody else's ah) For cows to have a Cockney accent would be ridiculous!

-- end update ]

Posted by Eric Bakovic at September 4, 2006 11:01 PM