Posts Tagged ‘Jeopardy!’

One Jeopardy! contestant does not = THEY or THEM!

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Jeopardy!_Season_30_title_card  JEOPARDY! is about to start its 2015 Tournament of Champions, which I always enjoy watching. The email announcement the program sent out is not, however, a champion as far as good grammar goes. Consider these two sentences:

"When the dust clears, one contestant will be crowned the TOC Champion. Alex Trebek will present them with a check for $250,000, and they will hold on to bragging rights for the following year."

Whoops! Only one contestant wins the tournament. THEY and THEM refer to more than one person, and the prize money is not going to be split. However, what to do with the sticky problem of using HIS or HER or (shudder!) HIS/HER because we don't know if the winner will be male or female. Not an easy problem to solve, but here is my best suggestion:

When the dust clears, one contestant will be crowned the TOC Champion. Alex Trebek will present that champion with a check for $250,000, which comes with bragging rights for the following year.

For another example of an agreement problem, please check out today's Grammar Glitch Central entry on Facebook.