What was the question being asked?

At work, we have this thing we do where someone will write a trivia question on the whiteboard, and whoever gets the question correct (or closest, as judged by the questioner) writes the next trivia question.

We’re having an argument over the meaning of a recent question. It was something like “This show’s host interviews celebrities while eating hot wings.” Everyone was guessing the name of the show, but the person who wrote the question said they were looking for the name of the host and is adamant that this is obvious from the wording.

So, what do you think is being asked from that phrasing? Is it the name of the show, or the host?

I think this will be a lopsided poll. I mean the question can be equivalently rewritten to “The host of this show interviews celebrities while eating hot wings.”

If the name of the host was the intended answer, the phrasing should have been something like “This host’s show has them interviewing celebrities while eating hot wings.”.

When reading the OP I thought the question was going to be about who is eating the hot wings, the host or the celebrities, which is at least somewhat debatable (though I still think it’s pretty clearly the host, and I have never seen or heard of the show in question). But the OP’s actual question isn’t even close. Is the question-setter a native English speaker?

I would still interpret your version as asking for the name of the show.

Looking at the question I’d say the name of the show’s host.

However if you’ve been doing Jeopardy question rules as part of the game then I’d say it’s Name of the Show.

That was my point. Sorry if it wasn’t clear.

The whole ‘question’ seems a little jeopardy-ish.

Tempted to say, sorry you didn’t put it in the form of a question!

It’s “this show”, not “this host”.


“This show” means you want the show.

If you want the host you ask, “This TV host interviews celebrities while eating hot wings.”

Yes, the question-writer is a native English speaker, and the Jeopardy-esque way it was written doesn’t help, either. We were unanimous in the belief that he was asking for the name of the show, hence the confusion.

The only way to interpret it is as a Jeopardy “answer”. It’s certainly not an ordinary question, grammatically. I don’t see any way to interpret the “question” in the OP where the host would be the correct answer.

What show if named wouldn’t lead right to the host’s name?

If it’s just a question of grammar then the guy is just flat out wrong and kinda goofy too if he doesn’t realize that.

“This show…”

Unquestionably asking for the name of the show.

Phrasing like this is common on Jeopardy! People shouldn’t have a problem with this.

Both the host & the interviewee eat the wings. They concentrate more on the interviewee since the hot wings are old hat for the host by now.

You could parse it as “This (show’s host) interviews…”, i.e., asking for the host.

But it’s much more natural to parse it as “(This show)'s host interviews…”, i.e., asking for the show, because we don’t usually refer to a person as a “show’s host”.

I would only parse it that way if the possessive was omitted, turning “show” into an adjective, like “home” in “home owner.” So you’d write it as “This show host interviews…”

If he wanted to host he should have dropped the apostrophe s.

“This show host interviews celebrities while eating hot wings.”

Actually, I could interpret it either way, although I would tend towards asking the name of the show.

What’s the answer anyway? Googling shows that more than one host has done this although I assume only one is known for doing it regularly?

Oops. Never mind, I assume its Hot Ones, hosted by Sean Evans on YouTube. For some reason I was assuming it was one of the late night shows.

Just replace “this” with “what” to change these types of statements into actual questions.

What show’s host interviews celebrities while eating hot wings?

Seems pretty clearly about the show to me. Maybe that would help them see why most people interpreted it the way they did.