No, seriously, don't tell me

| Comments (4) | Misc
OK, so I know this is trivial, but it still really annoys me.

NPR has this news quiz called Wait, wait... don't tell me. They have three comedians answer questions about the week's events. The last "event" is a "lightning fill in the blank" round where they have to answer as many questions as they can in 30 seconds (or whatever). [BTW, Win Ben Stein's Money was much better on this front, because the questions were the same for the contestant and for Stein]. Anyway, before the LFOTB round, the contestants are typically within two or three points, and each question in the round is worth 2 points. The contestants participate in order of increasing score, so what happens is that the first contestant (the one with the lowest score) always ends up with the most points as soon as he's gone. Carl Kasell then announces "Bob got 5 correct answers, for a total of 13 points and he has now taken the lead," at which point I can barely stop myself from screaming at the radio "No, no!" It's not sensible to talk about someone "taking the lead" when the other contestants haven't even gone yet and when if they get any reasonable number of questions right, they themselves will be in the lead.


Occasionally, you'll also find tennis commentators lapse into the same silliness, saying that one player has the lead after holding his/her serve in a set where both players have held serve during the entire set. Of course, this assumes that either this first set, or they're even at 1 or 2 sets all during at the point that the comment is made.

Except that it is true. Bob has taken the lead, for the next 60 seconds. The real information is "current score" and "points ahead".

And the reason they don't do it Ben Stein like is its not a real gameshow, but an entertainment show. The winning panelist gets a big, Stan Lee style NOPRIZE.

Umm, the whole contest thing is part of the joke. Taking the lead is just part of the joke.

Now when they do it covering, say, gymnastics at the Olympics, then indeed it is completely annoying.

Dude, you're *never* gonna get Carl Kasell's voice on your answering machine with that attitude.

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