Listen This Week For Our 22nd Season Premiere!

Says You! kicks off its 22nd Season this week! One of the longest-running game shows in American history, Says You! takes pride in being as ‘fresh’ as ever. This season promises to excite with featured guests from last season, including Lexicographer Erin McKean, Filmmaker Alex Horwitz, Playwright Deb Hiett, and world class music from groups around the country, including Juice of Boston, Lydia Luce of Nashville, and Free Planet Radio of Asheville.

Our season begins with episodes from the island of Martha’s Vineyard, starring our original cast – Playwright Arnie Reisman, Award-Winning Broadcaster Paula Lyons, Culture Critic Carolyn Faye Fox, Playwright and Broadcaster Tony Kahn, Producer Francine Achbar, and Veteran TV Journalist Barry Nolan. This makes the first time our debut panel has played together in more than four years. To begin our season, Says You! Head Writer Dave Zobel steps up to the lectern. Serving up everything you’ve come to expect from Says You!: brainy, challenging, hilarious, and erudite fun.

Season Twenty Two of Says You! airs on Public Radio stations across the country beginning this Friday, September 28th. To listen on your public radio station, visit our Find A Station page here:

Thanks for listening and as always – we’re at our best when we get your questions, when we get your comments, and most of all, when you show up!

Spotlight Round: “Golden-Tongued Devils”

Celebrate a new season with a spotlight round of “Golden-Tongued Devils”

Some of the great catchphrases of our past come from Madison Avenue bon mots and malapropisms.
See if you can discern from the following clues which popular phrase might be recalled by the following paraphrasing: An example – “Bovine triangulation” might recall “Where’s the beef.”
An exterminator’s redundancy
An endorsement for uxorial continuity
A plea for matriarchal laissez-faire
Urge feline encapsulation
An extension of interpersonal tactility
Over-indulgence and skepticism
Figure it out yet?

Raid – “Kills Bugs Dead”

2. Geritol – “My wife, I think I’ll keep her”

3. Anacin – “Mother please – I’d rather do it myself!”

4. Exxon – “Put a tiger in your tank”

5. AT&T – “Reach out and touch someone”

6. Alka Seltzer – “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing”

This round and more found in paperback: The Scripts and Quips From Says You!

A Paper Route Discovery

Karen from Highland, WI, sent us a message we had to share:

My husband and I were delivering newspapers (Shopper Stoppers to be exact) on a Sunday morning. We were listening to our local PBS station, WWHI from Highland, WI. And what comes on but Says You! We were hooked. This program got us through delivering papers in the rural countryside around the Baraboo hills, in all kinds of weather. It made our Sunday morning bearable. We gave up that paper route years ago. Now it’s Sunday morning in the parlor, our coffee, my knitting (and the hubby’s Sunday paper), what else – Says You! on the radio. No one bothers me on Sunday morning until Says You! is over. Still listening and loving it after all these years.

Do you remember the first time you heard Says You!? Let us know!

You’re Saying It Wrong!

Says You! host and KUOW Seattle weekend announcer Gregg Porter joined Kathryn Petras, co-author of the book “That Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means,” in a conversation with Bill Radke on KUOW’s The Record all about misused words. Take a listen below!

Kathryn Petras and her brother Ross have written many books on word usage, including the New York Times bestseller “You’re Saying It Wrong,” “That Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means,” as well as “Very Bad Poetry,” and “Wretched Writing.” On the bi-weekly podcast You’re Saying It Wrong, Kathryn and Ross discuss mispronounced words with KMUW’s Fletcher Powell.

Very special thanks to KUOW for the audio and to segment producer Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong.

A Says You! Spotlight Round: Mnemonic Memory

This round of Mnemonic Memory originally appeared in episode Eighteen of Season One. See if you can remember and define the following mnemonic devices:
Every good boy deserves fudge
Roy G. Biv
My very excellent mother just served us nine pizzas
Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived
King Philip came over from Germany somehow
The legend of ‘Hesheweiyouitthey’
Figure it out yet?

The notes/lines on a musical staff – treble clef.

2. The colors in the spectrum – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.

3. The nine planets of the solar system, in order out from the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto. Other mnemonic devices have been suggested to include the dwarf planets Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Haumea, and Makemake. In 2015 the New York Times suggested, “My Very Educated Mother Cannot Just Serve Us Nine Pizzas—Hundreds May Eat!”

4. The fate of Henry VIII’s wives.

5. The scientific classifications in botany and zoology – Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.

6. The personal pronouns: he, she, we, I, you, it, they.

This round and more found in paperback: The Scripts and Quips From Says You!

Picking a Puppy is Heart and Science – Arnie Reisman

It’s been more than five years since our yellow lab Floyd padded off to the Rainbow Bridge. Okay, that’s as sappy as I want to get. But the point is my wife and I still miss him and we’re still in debate about getting another dog. The debate is not between, but within us. We’ve enjoyed our dog-less time together, sometimes even feel selfish about sharing it. Then someone comes to the house with a four-legged fur-friend and we melt into mezzo-soprano cooing and wooing.

The pros and cons pile up daily. Interestingly enough, the aging process weighs on both sides. We’re getting up there, so why complicate life by bringing a dog into it, something dependent that needs care, something that can curtail travel plans? Then again, why not bring something into your life that they say could add years to it, give you a reason to get up in the morning and bring you slippers and joy?

Of course, this is followed by the other debate — if we get a dog, what kind? Should it be large or small? Large can knock you down. Small you can trip over. Long-haired, short-haired, smooth, curly or hypo-allergenic? Should it be a swimmer or a sailor? Better yet, should it be a puppy or rescue?

Once we start going down this rabbit hole, my wife goes into another room, tears open a bag of popcorn and starts playing solitaire on her phone. I, on the other hand, find a neutral corner and assume the fetal position.

Actually if we so choose, I’d like to get a puppy, a perfect puppy, just like the one that grew into Floyd. I say this because I know how to pick a puppy. Let me explain.

Back in 2000, having never owned a dog in my life, I was given the job of producing for a PBS series called Woof! It’s a Dog’s Life. This was a series of half-hours devoted to training as conducted by “Uncle Matty,” the pet name Matthew Margolis used in his role in LA working with such dog owners as Madonna, Elizabeth Taylor, Merv Griffin and Goldie Hawn.

For one segment we went out on a shoot to a Pasadena boxer breeder. Here Uncle Matty set out to show America and me how to pick a puppy. He had a test. Before us was a litter of five-week-olds. He held down each one, placing his hand under its collarbone. He wasn’t hurting the pup, just pinning it.

Matty said it would give one of four responses: it will fight you like crazy (energetic, needs good amount of training at the start); it will give up in five to 10 seconds (submits to you being the Alpha, easy to train); it will just lie there (potentially lethargic, you’d be buying a carpet that eats); or, it goes into a fetal position, tucking in its limbs as protection, because it’s been kicked a lot unintentionally by mom and siblings (afraid of touch, needs good amount of training, period).

When we wrapped the shoot for a half dozen episodes, I realized I had learned a lot about living with dogs. I certainly learned that the human needs as much training as the animal. Right before we parted, Matty gave me a soulful look.

“You should have a dog,” he said. “You’re totally comfortable around them and they’re totally comfortable around you. What are you waiting for?”

A few months later, 9/11 happened. And so did a litter of six yellow Labrador puppies in West Tisbury at the home of Patty Linn. Time appeared to be running out for excuses. Time also seemed to be precious, given the global disorder. Time to get a dog.

When I tried the puppy test at Patty’s, each gave up in about five seconds. I called Matty and told him my dilemma.

“What are you with, a bunch of Labs?” he asked. “Forget it, the test won’t work. Labs will do whatever you want. Why do you think the breed is consistently Number One in popularity?”

“Is there a runt?” he asked.

Yes there was. In fact while his siblings were jumping up and down, the runt was across the room staring at a bookcase. My mind raced. Stephen Hawking reincarnated? Mentally defective?

“Call me back when it’s feeding time and let me know what the runt does,” Matty said.

As it turned out, feeding time was then and there. Mom walked into the pen and the runt made a beeline dash for her nutritious underside. A startled me gave the play-by-play to Matty.

“Buy him,” he said. “He’s using his brain. He wasn’t the first one on in the first four weeks.”

And so the runt became Floyd, our wonder dog — calm, inquisitive, responsive, stoic, funny and smart. It had been said he would do calculus for a treat.

So I’d be a damn fool not to remember what I learned being with Matty and Patty if there is a next time to get a dog. I should be looking for that puppy who doesn’t totally act like a puppy. Preferably one that’s light-coated so it’s easier to spot a trespassing tick. If there is a next time.

This essay originally appeared in The Vineyard Gazette. Visit for more commentary by Arnie.

What Grinds Your Ears?

Michelle, a new listener from KUOW in Seattle, is chiming in with some terms that really grind her gears.

Today I heard “Says You!” for the first time. I get very poor radio reception where I live.
I heard where people were asked what word or phrase improperly pronounced or grammatically annoyed them the most.

For me, the word “extinct” is misused so often it drives me crazy. The term “going extinct” or “went extinct” is proper. But so often, you hear “becoming extinct.” Well, that is just wrong. It’s almost as bad as another, where something was “found to be missing.” How can something be found if it’s missing?

Love ’em, Michelle! But don’t let poor reception stop you from listening. Catch up on new and classic episodes of Says You! anytime on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and anywhere else podcasts are found!