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Kid Spells Emanciptation On Jeopardy And Expects To Win!

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  • Aug 7th, 2013 2:41 pm
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Jan 7, 2007
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Poormond Hill

Kid Spells Emanciptation On Jeopardy And Expects To Win!

What is wrong with kids today? If you can't spell, you can't win!

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/20 ... -spelling/
A Connecticut eighth-grader who misspelled the correct answer to a "Jeopardy!" question and lost money over it says he was cheated.

Thomas Hurley III correctly answered the Final Jeopardy question about the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln. But Thomas spelled it "emanciptation" and was ruled out by host Alex Trebek.

He bet $3,000 of his $9,600 in winnings and finished well behind a rival who amassed $66,600.

"I was pretty upset that I was cheated out of the final 'Jeopardy!' question," he told The News-Times of Danbury. "It was just a spelling error."
A life spent making mistakes is not only more memorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
21 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 1, 2009
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Well.. if the rules say that proper spelling is a must, I suppose... But honestly, this is the first time I knew about it. I always thought of Jeopardy as a "how much you know" test (as opposed to spelling, intelligence, etc. etc. test). Well, I guess it's a spelling bee also then.

If I had to make the rules, I would have a "reasonableness" test in terms of the spelling. This one looks pretty close.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 6, 2007
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Considering Jeopardy is a game show completely based on intellect, I'd say on top of answering correctly, it should also be spelt correctly. You've seen peoples' answers get discredited if they don't answer in question form or improper pronunciation so improper spelling should also be discredited.
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Phoenix3434 wrote:
Aug 6th, 2013 7:31 am
Well.. if the rules say that proper spelling is a must, I suppose... But honestly, this is the first time I knew about it. I always thought of Jeopardy as a "how much you know" test (as opposed to spelling, intelligence, etc. etc. test). Well, I guess it's a spelling bee also then.

If I had to make the rules, I would have a "reasonableness" test in terms of the spelling. This one looks pretty close.
They've done it many times before. Plus words can still be spelled incorrectly as long as they don't add or subtract anything that would change the pronunciation at a certain degree - usually via consonants . Like "imancapation" would have likely been accepted, as would "emancipashun" or "emancipaition", but what he wrote or even "enancipation" wouldn't.

Edit: From Ken Jennings - "Jennings agrees that the ruling, however frustrating, was fair. “I feel bad for Thomas, of course,” he told Parade.com. “But the unwritten rule on Jeopardy! has always been that your Final Jeopardy answer doesn’t have to be spelled right, but it has to be the same phonetically as the right answer. If he’d spelled it ‘Emansipation’ or even ‘Immancipation,’ he probably would have been okay,” Jennings explained. “I once spelled Grenada as ‘Granada’ and Alex let it slide. But add a new consonant sound, like Thomas did, and that’s ball game.”"
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Nov 20, 2005
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^

Yup - pretty much summed up my thoughts.

To put it simply:

"Silicon" - correct
"Cilacon" - correct
"Silacon" - correct
"Silcon" - incorrect - lost a syllable in the spelling.

I saw the same thing where the contestant misspelled "Mediterranean" by adding an extra "a", and was deemed incorrect. While another contestant who simply dropped an "r" was correct.
Deal Addict
Jul 14, 2010
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On one hand, double and triple check when your spelling is worth $6000.

On the other hand, if I was writing franticly I could see myself easily making the same mistake.
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Apr 16, 2001
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Oshawa
I expect the only people who take issue with Trebek's decision will be the ones who can't spell.
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Nov 17, 2007
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I saw the episode and the kid really didn't take it well. You could see how upset he was as he was on the verge of tears. His parents need to tell the kid to suck it up as life is full of disappointments. He wasn't even close to winning, whether they accepted his spelling mistake or not.
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Nov 22, 2008
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North York
^ yup, he wasn't even close to winning the game.
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Oct 1, 2011
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Fair's fair. As others have mentioned, even completely correct answers will not count if not put into a question form. He should learn to laugh it off.
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Dec 7, 2003
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I don't get what the big deal is. He still would have been in second place even if they called it correct.
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MasterAvatar wrote:
Aug 6th, 2013 7:25 pm
I don't get what the big deal is. He still would have been in second place even if they called it correct.
The big deal is that mommy and daddy can't handle the fact that their little boy had his feelings hurt. They want him to grow up feeling that the world is all butterflies and rainbows and that he'll always be number one and there is no such thing as him ever losing anything. :evil:
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