Alex Trebek will be retiring soon after nearly 30 years as the emcee of the Jeopardy game show. The show itself has been on the air for nearly 50 years. Instead of finding a replacement for Alex, it’s probably wise to retire the show with him.
The questions have begun to reflect the language deficiencies of a younger generation of writers.
Today one of the clues was “sounds like what you’d eat on a pita, but it’s part of the soil on a forest floor.”
The contestant’s response was accepted.
She said “hummus.”
The problem with both clue and question is that the vegetable mold found on a forest floor is humus. It does not sound like hummus (what you’d eat on a pita).
The words hummus and humus follow English pronunciation rules.
The u in humus has the long sound, as in human.
The u in hummus–followed by a double consonant–has the short sound, as in tummy.
Now that the linguistic rot long rampant in TV dramas and sit-coms has made it to Jeopardy, it’s time to retire what up to now has been an enjoyable, informative, and literate show.