J! archive - questions about clarification notes on clues

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hbomb1947
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J! archive - questions about clarification notes on clues

Post by hbomb1947 »

I was going through some old clues on the archive and came across this FJ clue from December 4, 1984:

"President elected to 2nd term with 523 electoral votes, the greatest number in any election"

http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=355

The correct response was FDR, who amassed all those EVs in the 1936 election.

The issue is that exactly 4 weeks before the episode aired (but presumably after it was taped), Ronald Reagan received 525 EVs in his landslide victory by which he was elected to a 2nd term. Reagan's total remains the record today. So the fact that FDR was re-elected with 523 EVs in 1936 didn't change, but it was (and is) no longer true that his EV total was "the greatest number in any election."

Now of course, the archive is simply a historical record of what happened on the show, like baseball box scores. But some people do use the archive to study for the show or just to look up old episodes or clues out of curiosity. So I was concerned that someone who stumbled across that clue in the archive might get the misimpression that FDR, and not Reagan, is still the candidate who garnered the most EVs in a Presidential election. Thus, while the listed response in the archive shouldn't change (since it reflects what actually happened on the broadcast and was correct when written by J!'s writers), I felt that a clarification appended to it could be beneficial.

So I submitted a comment: "The listed correct response to the FJ clue would have been accurate when the episode taped, but by the airdate it no longer was. In November 1984, Ronald Reagan was elected to a 2nd term with 525 electoral votes, exceeding the 523 EVs that FDR won in 1936." This wasn't intended to be inserted into the archive verbatim, but rather as an explanation to the archivists of why I felt there should be a clarification added in the archive.

I received an email with the following response from the archivists' team:

"An archivist has reviewed and rejected your suggestion . . ."

The email went on to specifically address my comment: "Well, TECHNICALLY... [You were the third person to suggest this. The first person, back in 2013, had the best-worded clarification. The clarification suggestions just got worse from there.]" (ellipsis in original)

While I am extremely appreciative of the indispensable work done by the archivists and their generosity in contributing their time, the insulting tone of this response is unfortunate. Also, there's nothing "technical" about the fact that Reagan, not F. Roosevelt, holds the record for most electoral votes won in a re-election to a 2nd term as POTUS.

Anyway, my question is: why have the archivists declined 3 times now to post any clarification to this FJ response? I realize that in a quiz show that's in its 37th season there are probably many, many clues that have become obsolete over time; and maybe the archivists feel that it would be too gargantuan a task to be appending clarifications every time this occurs and that users of the archive should take a "caveat emptor" approach and understand that a clue can only be expected to have been accurate at the time it appeared on the show. OTOH, maybe it wouldn't be so overwhelming if they only clarified obsolete responses when specifically asked to by archive users.

What is the archivists' official policy on this type of situation? (And I apologize if this is already spelled out somewhere.)
Last edited by hbomb1947 on Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: J! archive - questions about clarification notes on clues

Post by Bamaman »

The archive currently has a comment about the 1984 election but notes the EC hadn’t officially voted yet.

While the clue writers didn’t own a crystal ball it was a poor choice given the answer could be wrong by the time the show aired. I would have put it on the November 4 episode where an election related FJ would be relevant.

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hbomb1947
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Re: J! archive - questions about clarification notes on clues

Post by hbomb1947 »

Bamaman wrote:
Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:40 pm
The archive currently has a comment about the 1984 election but notes the EC hadn’t officially voted yet.

While the clue writers didn’t own a crystal ball it was a poor choice given the answer could be wrong by the time the show aired. I would have put it on the November 4 episode where an election related FJ would be relevant.
How do you know the clue writers didn't own a crystal ball? :lol:

I'm pretty sure that clarification was added to the archive after I submitted my comment - and I'm glad to see it there. That does make the email response that I received surprising.
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Re: J! archive - questions about clarification notes on clues

Post by econgator »

hbomb1947 wrote:
Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:07 pm
I'm pretty sure that clarification was added to the archive after I submitted my comment - and I'm glad to see it there. That does make the email response that I received surprising.
Whatever is submitted as a correction is what is, verbatim, added to the clue, so the only real possibility is to reject it and then make custom notes.

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Re: J! archive - questions about clarification notes on clues

Post by Robert K S »

The "well, technically" referred to the fact that Reagan had not received, as you contended, any electoral votes at the time of the airdate. As we are all well aware in 2021, electoral votes are not cast or counted on election day.

The note was added to the Archive as a result of your correction suggestion.

My reply to you was not meant to be condescending, only to point out that what you said was not technically correct, and that others before you had been more correct in the wording they were asking to be entered. (I honestly thought that you would have understood what "well, technically" meant when you re-read the text of your submission and would have been able to note its technical inaccuracy.)

I should have added the note with the first correction submission several years ago, but I guess I misinterpreted it at the time. I thought it was only contending that the correct response had changed since the airdate. Obviously, the Archive will not be going back and making notes on all the obsolete trivia that is no longer correct since the airdate. That would be a never-ending chore. This case is a little different.

Thanks for your submission.

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