Jeopardy 09/23

I had a good laugh during “Jeopardy!” tonight. One of the clues (in a category related to grammar, I believe) contained the phrase, “It was as if an occult hand had. . .” I wish I remembered more about the clue and category, but I’m afraid I didn’t catch anything else for the next minute or two, as I was busy laughing, and then I had to explain to others WHY I was laughing.

As many of you probably already know, the Order of the Occult Hand, is a “secret” society (of sorts) formed by journalists, and the requirements for being a member was working the phrase “It was as if an occult hand had” (or something very similar, it seems the standards are loose) into print. Apparently, they thought it was an odd enough phrase that it would be fun to see how often they could sneak it into the media.

Seeing it on the Jeopardy! board shocked a laugh out of me. . .then I realized that the clue was not related to the Order of the Occult Hand directly, it was just a phrase they used, and the contestants were supposed to supply a question related to the grammar of the phrase. That meant that the writers on the show had just made their bones and were now members of the Order. Then I laughed harder.

I’m so easily amused. :slight_smile:

Anybody else catch this?

Well, I saw it, but I was unaware of the reference. The topic was “Grammar”, by the way (you recall correctly), and they were looking for the part of speech represented by “occult” (adjective, of course).

But now I know something a little obscure myself (Order of the Occult Hand, indeed!). :cool:

That’s really cute. Jeopardy throws a lot of little things in for the amusement of the writers, though - a recursive kind of Jeopardy-specific joke is “those darned Etruscans”, for instance. That makes me such a super-nerd.

If you liked that, you should listen to the fourth act in this episode of This American Life. called “A Tough Room”. It’s about a contest between Malcolm Gladwell and another copywriter, for the Baltimore Sun, iirc, trying to slide phrases into their stories to fight boredom.

FWIW, the story is just a Tall Tale, but it’s more fun if you don’t think that to be true.

Thanks, Just Ed. I didn’t catch the title of the category, and then I had to stop laughing and explain my odd reaction to those in the room. Jeopardy! doesn’t usually deliver gut-busters.

Zsofia, I often wondered why some categories seem to make repeated appearances with just a slight change of name. They’re Jeopardy!'s version of “Hi Opal”, I guess. Silly in-jokes.

ShibbOleth, was thisthe link you tried to post? You ended up posting a link to reply to this thread. Wrong tab, I presume :slight_smile: