Did I miss something?

Gary from Littleton, CO, and a loyal listener of KQED, wrote us about a bonus question:

Back in February 2018 I attended a taping in Palo Alto, CA. One of the rounds had the following songs as answers:

I Heard It Through The Grapevine
Respect
Good Vibrations
Like A Rolling Stone
Little Old Lady From Pasadena
Glad All Over

As a bonus question, the host asked the audience what those songs had in common and said that the answer would be given on air. I don’t recall ever hearing that answer. Do you recall what the common thread was?

The common thread was that in each case, the lyrics were taken from the second verse of the song. Hence the round title: “Verse Comes Two-Verse.” We never said we would reveal the answer on air though, so we won’t blame you for missing it!

Minding our -Kees and -Ques

Chris from Monroe, WI, listens to our podcast and hits us with some local knowledge:

I was listening to the show this morning and there was a question about Waunakee being the only Waunakee in the world because the one in New Jersey – Wanaque – is spelled differently. I now live in Wisconsin, but grew up in New Jersey and actually lived in Wanaque for about 3 years. Waunakee can definitely claim that they are the only Waunakee, not just because of the spelling but because of pronunciation – Wanaque is pronounced Wana – queue not Wauna – kee.

While it seems that most people pronounce it “-cue,” we did uncover a number of sources supporting the “-key” pronunciation. Take a listen to Barry’s question in round 1 and let us know how YOU say it!

Snookered Again?

In a recent rebroadcast, a definition caught the attention of Kqed listener Michelle of Hayward, CA:

I am writing in the hopes of getting a bit more information on a word that was defined on your “A Fall Festival of Gerunds” episode. In this episode, during the “Bluff” segment of the show, the panelists were asked to define the word “blimbing.” I was quite excited when I learned that the definition of the word was “a two-rail kick in billiards” as my spouse is a master-ranked pool player part of the Billiards Congress of America (BCA) as well as Cue Sports International (CSI). Aster the show, I immediately called him and asked him about the word. To my surprise, he had never heard of it until that moment. Curious, he began asking around at some of his Bay-area pool leagues and at billiards tournaments; however, no one with whom he has spoken has heard of this word either.

We have “Googled.” We have “OED-ed.” And we have found nothing on “blimbing” as defined as a two-rail kick in billiards.

So, Says You, have you bluffed us? Or, is there a place to which you can point us to learn more about this word, its origins, and its usage?

Since another name for the game of billiards is “carambole” (from which we get “carom”), some say that “blimbing” is a play on words: the blimbing and the carambola (note the final “a”) are two closely related species of tree. Sound plausible? Let us know what you think.

The Shurley Method?!

KUAR listener Travis from Little Rock writes in with questions and comments.

Hi! I’m writing in response to a recent “Says You!” episode: Original Syntax.

I listen to “Says You!” every Saturday, and have been an ardent fan from the age of 15 (now 29, for what it’s worth). This is my first time writing to you. A phrase said by Dave Zobel triggered a very deep memory. While I’m writing, I will mention one (rather insignificant) comment, then ask my burning question.

First, the comment:
I noticed that Dave stated that “whatever” is not an adverb. However, this is untrue. According to Merriam-Webster, the Cambridge English dictionary, and the Oxford English dictionary, whatever may be used as an adverb.

Now the (far more important) question:
When David suggested that “whatever” was not an adverb, he explained that it’s not, as it does not modify “a verb, adjective, or another adverb.” This particular phrasing gave me a sudden flashback to the fourth grade, in which I was taught grammar via the “Shurley Method,” in which jingles are used to teach English grammar. This exact line is in a song defining adverbs. “A verb, adjective, or another adverb.” Can you PLEASE check with Dave and see if he experienced this same training. I realize it’s a long shot to suggest that David remembered this due to his elementary schooling. However, the fact that he uses the exact phrasing as the song does leave me quite curious. At any rate, can you check on this?

Travis is correct that “whatever” can sometimes function as an adverb, but when Dave said, “It does feel like an adverb, but it’s not, because it doesn’t modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb,” he was talking not about “whatever” but about “whatsoever.” (Tony had just said, “‘Whatsoever’ — it sounds like an adverb, it feels like an adverb.”)

And to answer Travis’s far more important question: While Dave has been known to hum the occasional grammar-related jingle -we’ve yet to hear him belt out any of the Shurley Method’s greatest hits.

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!

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!

Debunked Origins

Sarah from Somerville, MA, listens on our podcast and shared the findings of her piqued curiosity:

I was listening to your “Dog Day Definitions” episode, wherein you have a letter from a fan asking about “Saved By the Bell,” and I too wondered when you played the related game if you weren’t confusing it with the classic story about “Dead Ringer.” But beyond that I went and looked up a different clue in that game that I felt dubious on (Upper Crust) and found this article that covers both – er… sort of all three.

6 Widely Repeated Phrase Origins – Debunked!

Is there a round that has inspired you to search the web for more answers? Write in and let us know!

When will the shows I attended air?

Michael listens on WGBH out of Boston and joined us at our most recent taping:

Thank you for a wonderful and hilarious afternoon taping on Martha’s Vineyard. I’ve been a fan of the show for years, but seeing you all together in person added a whole new appreciation for the program. It was clear that you all are quite the family, still grieving the loss of Richard Scher, and his continued presence with you was felt by everyone in attendance.

When will these shows air?

Soon! Two episodes were taped on Martha’s Vineyard and will be broadcast within the next month. To make sure you don’t miss out listen every week!

 

 

As Fresh as it is Classic

After working with our customer service team, KQED and podcast listener Samantha sent us this note:

Thank you very much for your thoughtful and extensive reply. I’ve tested the steps and they work for me. 

I don’t much care about the broadcast date — your shows are always a lot of fun, even if I’ve heard one before.  Unlike Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me, you are not so topical that segments go stale.

I love both of those shows, and thank you for making it possible for me to listen.

A tenet of our show is that you can listen to a round from 2018 or 1998 and have just as much fun – language does change, but it takes a while. Listen to the Says You! podcast for episodes from this season and beyond!

 

 

Sundays are for Says You!

Podcast listener and Mountain View, California resident Pat shares her first time listening to Says You!

Several years ago, I was hauling stuff to the recycling center, when the KQED program I was listening to went off, and Says You! came on. Since I was driving I wasn’t going to fiddle around with the radio, so I kept the show on as background noise… until your first bluffing word, which had been contributed by Lis Riba. Since I have met Ms. Riba (who is as cool and interesting as the words she submits would suggest), I listened to and laughed through the round, and then the rest of the game. The next week, I tuned in again. Within a month I was organizing my Sunday afternoons around your show. Within six I had downloaded the mobile app so I wouldn’t miss any episodes.
You bring light and humor into my life, which in these times I greatly appreciate.