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Panel Questions

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Mo Rocca, Maeve Higgins and Alonzo Bodden. And here again is your host, whose new casual Friday attire is NSFW, Peter Sagal.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill. In just a minute, Bill has his annual appointment with his rhyme-cologist (ph) in our Listener Limerick Challenge. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924.

Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. Maeve, according to some new advice we read, what isn't the terrible idea that it's made out to be?

MAEVE HIGGINS: Socialism.

SAGAL: No.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: No, not socialism.

HIGGINS: It's good.

SAGAL: This is something I should say, again, that younger people have been forced to do during the pandemic and the economic collapse.

HIGGINS: Oh, be unemployed.

SAGAL: Not exactly. I'll give you a hint. The author debunks myths while moving back into her old de-bunk bed.

MO ROCCA: Oh.

HIGGINS: Oh, living in an intergenerational family.

SAGAL: You live with your parents. Right, yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Moving in with your parents. If you've recently moved back home, it's fine. No, really, it's fine. In an article in Quartz News that was so long we actually got carpal tunnel syndrome scrolling to the end of it, a writer argues that living with mom and dad doesn't deserve its bad reputation, has serious benefits, like saving money by spending your mom's money instead.

ROCCA: Did you say Corpse magazine?

HIGGINS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: I said Quartz News - quartz like the crystal.

ALONZO BODDEN: So they didn't interview any parents for this article.

SAGAL: No, apparently not.

BODDEN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: The writer, in fact - this will be a surprise to you all - currently living at home with her parents. She explores the importance of multigenerational housing, as you put it, Maeve, and definitely did not write the article to make yourself feel better, not at all.

HIGGINS: (Laughter) I lived with my parents for a few months during lockdown, and it is really lovely. It is a really fun thing to do.

SAGAL: Is it really?

HIGGINS: Yeah because they just - you know, they, like, grow tomatoes, and they talk to you about yourself. It's really hard to find people my age who want to talk about me 'cause they just want to talk about them.

SAGAL: Right.

HIGGINS: So it's actually really nice to have older people who are like, how are you, love? And then they actually listen.

BODDEN: Here's a phrase you'll never hear. Wow, you're 30. So glad to have you back.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It's true. Mo, linguistic experts have determined that if you don't want to scare off that person you're texting, you should avoid using what?

ROCCA: Ooh, an exclamation point.

SAGAL: You're close.

ROCCA: OK.

SAGAL: But you're not - it is a punctuation mark.

ROCCA: Oh, is it a question mark 'cause it makes you feel insecure?

SAGAL: It isn't. No, it isn't.

ROCCA: Oh, a semicolon because it makes you seem like a real jerk, like overbearing.

SAGAL: No.

ROCCA: OK. Is it in Oxford comma because it seems sort of snooty? Is it...

SAGAL: No, think simple.

HIGGINS: What about those three dots, the ellipsis?

SAGAL: It's not all of the ellipsis.

ROCCA: A period.

SAGAL: Yes indeed, Mo. Periods.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Apparently, young people are becoming more and more, quote, "intimidated" by periods at the end of texts. Hear that, curmudgeons? You want those kids off your lawn, just show them a little dot. Apparently, with texting, people feel you don't need a period at the end of a message because it's obvious that the text is over, so periods aren't necessary. Those 12 emojis at the end, though? Totally necessary.

ROCCA: Is it that a period seems sort of severe and definitive?

HIGGINS: Yeah, like fussy.

ROCCA: It's very Germanic.

SAGAL: Yes, that's exactly right - severe, definitive, Germanic, all those things. So the idea is that I want you dead, period, is so much meaner than I want you dead.

ROCCA: Dot, dot, dot.

SAGAL: You see what I mean? You see what I mean?

ROCCA: Yeah.

BODDEN: And that would eliminate the six more texts that come after the conversation is over? Because I'm going to step up my use of periods if that will shorten those conversations.

HIGGINS: (Laughter).

ROCCA: Alonzo, that's a great idea for the period to be deployed to sort of say, OK, we're done here.

SAGAL: We're done.

HIGGINS: I feel like, Alonzo, you would actually, like, write out the word period to make people stop texting you.

BODDEN: Oh, I'm slamming periods at the end of every text. It just fascinates me because text conversations cannot end. Like, some people just keep going.

ROCCA: This happened with phone conversations, too, though. You had to get - OK, you first. You first. OK, you hang up first. It's not easy.

BODDEN: Oh, it is. I always hang up first. I got no problem with it, Mo (laughter).

SAGAL: You do the, like - you do the movie hang-up. You don't even say goodbye. You say thanks. Click.

BODDEN: (Laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I LOVE YOU PERIOD")

DAN BAIRD: (Singing) I love you, period. Do you love me, question mark? Please, please exclamation point. I want to hold you in parentheses. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Hey, thanks for reading.
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