Jeopardy! rule on correcting yourself to stave off judges' reversing Alex's incorect ruling

This is a hypothetical. I don’t know if the situation has ever occurred on the show. I imagine it might happen to me if I’m ever a contestant because my tongue often trips me up when I’m playing along at home. The general rules of the game are easy enough to find, but I’ve never seen the complete rules posted or printed anywhere. Perhaps some of the former contestants here have access to more detailed rules.

Suppose I’m a contestant, ring in, and give the response “What is Saudia Arabia?” in place of the correct “What is Saudi Arabia?” (A mispronunciation I made today, incidentally). If I correct myself before Alex rules, no problem. But suppose Alex mishears and incorrectly rules in my favor before I can correct myself, and suppose that Alex is not immediately overruled by the judges. I know I have mispronounced the name, and suspect the judges will review the tape and eventually rule against me. Should I correct my response before picking the next clue, or is it too late under the rules of the game?

Did you say Saudia Arabia or did you type it? I would think that saying Saudia Arabia would work out okay since it’s indistinguishable from Saudi A-Arabia, which as a slight stutter should be OK.

As for your actual question, I have no idea.

While game shows admittedly straddle the forums, in this case I’m going to move to Cafe Society.

From my experience on the show, where it’s pointed out to contestants, repeatedly, that everyone involved is human, I think it would depend largely on the nature of your tongue-trip. If the answer was “Who is Sam Snead?” and you said “Who is Stan Snead?” and Alex said okay, that’d get batted back by the judges. If you said “Who is Sanmn Snead?” with a kinda muddy nm mashup sound, you’d probably get a pass, especially if you were visually tongue-tied.

Mispronunciations are frequently ruled okay, especially of non-English words and names. I recall a contestant once getting a correct answer when they pronounced “Goethe” as its spelled, rather than the proper German which sounds (IIRC) like “gerta.” Of course they got the smarmy Trebek clarification, but they got the dollars, which is what counts.

Everyone? WATSON may disagree with you on that. :smiley:

Yes, mispronouncing seems to be okay if you at least get the letters right. There doesn’t seem to be much of a hard and fast rule, other than “Well he got all the letters right but didn’t pronounce it as the Germans would but yeah, okay”. Like you said, mixing up Sam and Stan would be ruled incorrect, but I recall an episode where a contestant pronounced the French name Michel like we’d pronounce the name Michael. To me, that’s kind of iffy, but it’s hard to rule it incorrect, and they accepted it.

And correcting yourself to clarify is also sometimes fuzzy. Sometimes Alex will ask you to be more specific if the answer is, say ‘Ale’ and you say ‘Beer’. But on the first day of the Man Vs Machine challenge, Ken answered a question - er, questioned an answer? - about a gymnast with “What is a missing hand?”. If he had said “What is a missing hand, no wait, missing leg?” would they have accepted it?

OTOH, there was the time the answer was “Mary Baker Eddy” and the contestant pronounced it to rhyme with “speedy,” and was ruled wrong. I actually sent an e-mail protesting that, but of course it was to no avail. To me, the contestant demonstrated that he knew the answer; he did not add any letters, as if he’d said “Diego Riviera” instead of “Rivera.”

Re correcting yourself, it seems to be a question of if you can do it before Alex says anything.

I believe if you correct yourself before Alex gets a chance to respond, you’re golden. I’m pretty sure that exactly that sort of thing has happened before, but I can’t remember details.

Yes, but I think the question is, If Alex has already ruled you correct, but you suspect the judges wouldn’t, would it be okay to go ahead and correct yourself anyways?

That was bibliophage’s question, which I don’t have an answer to. I was responding to beartato’s question, as I did have the answer to that.

I saw an episode where a contestant answered “J.R. Tolkien” and the answer was ruled incorrect. Trebek then corrected the contestant with a smarmy “J.R.R. Tolkien”. The lesson I took away is to always answer with last name only.

That’s always good advice. In case there is an ambiguity, Alex always says, “Which one?” and gives the contestant another chance to clarify.

I think the rules are more relaxed in the first round, more strict in the double round, and most strict in Final. I seem to recall this being mentioned by Alex on occasion.

Good grief!

Is Trebek a SDMB member? :slight_smile:

Before I went on, Alex blew it and the judges corrected a “wrong” answer which was actually right. What they did, since the result didn’t affect the outcome of the name, was to record Alex saying it was correct, and showing the revised total, which was inserted into the tape of the show It was very smooth - when I saw it broadcast you’d never know it was fixed. I suppose the dollar totals were inconsistent, but I’ve never checked.

Did they stop recording instantly, in the middle, or wait until a break to confront and correct Alex?

Sorry. My bad.

I disagree with that ruling, because “J. R. Tolkien” isn’t actually incorrect, just incomplete.

For that matter, “J. Tolkien” is also correct, as is just “Tolkien.” Indeed, “Tolkien” (which would have been ruled correct) is more incomplete than the other examples (which presumably would have been ruled incorrect).

Within the rules of the game, why is “Tolkien” correct, but “J. R. Tolkien” or “J. Tolkien” or even “John Tolkien” incorrect?

Now, if the contestant had said, “J. A. Tolkien,” I can see ruling them incorrect.

So if I said “John Ronald Tolkien” would I be counted wrong? :eek: