Ask Me Another
8:42 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Generically Speaking

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 3:06 pm

When you hear the phrase, "I need a Band-Aid immediately!" is your instinct to reply, "Actually, it's called an 'adhesive bandage,' Band-Aid is a brand"? Don't be that person--unless you're playing along with this game. Host Ophira Eisenberg offers the generic name and description of a particular product, and you must name the specific trademarked name that commonly describes it.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

And we've got our next two contestants - Erin Barker and Ben Lillie.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Erin and Ben, you host a science-related storytelling show called "The Story Collider." What is your background in science, Ben?

BEN LILLIE: I have a PhD in high energy particle theory.

EISENBERG: All right. I'm not here to hear you brag.

LILLIE: Mm-hmm.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Mm-hmm.

LILLIE: Yeah. I studied how you might find extra dimensions at the Large Hadron Collider. If they happen to exist, you could maybe find them there. It would be fun. They probably don't. So it was maybe a waste of time.

(LAUGHTER)

LILLIE: But it was fun. I had a good time.

EISENBERG: Erin, what is your science background?

ERIN BARKER: I have a bachelor's degree in journalism.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

BARKER: So we'll see who wins this.

EISENBERG: Yes. So you are also versed in fudging results.

(SOUNDBITE OF GROANS)

EISENBERG: Our next game is called Generically Speaking and in this round we're going to quiz you about trademark names that everyone uses to describe a particular product. I'll give you the generic name or description and you have to tell me the specific trademarked name that commonly describes it. Let's turn to John Chenaski, our puzzle guru, for an example.

JOHN CHANESKI: If the clue was adhesive bandage, you would say Band-Aid which is a trademark of Johnson and Johnson.

EISENBERG: All I need is the trademarked name. Gelatin dessert.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Erin.

BARKER: Jell-O.

EISENBERG: Jell-O. Exactly.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Best instructions of all time on how to make Jell-O when you read the package. You know that, Ben? You're nodding. Chill until firm. Oh, yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Absorbent facial tissue.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Ben.

LILLIE: Kleenex?

EISENBERG: Correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Reusable, resealable plastic storage bags.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

BARKER: Ziploc?

EISENBERG: Erin. Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Toy flying saucer for toss games.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Erin.

BARKER: Frisbee.

EISENBERG: Frisbee.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Cellular cushioning packaging material containing entrapped air or other gasses.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Erin.

BARKER: Bubble Wrap.

EISENBERG: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERS)

EISENBERG: There's nothing more frightening than finding out that Bubble Wrap contains other gasses.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Makes that popping game really competitive.

JONATHAN COULTON: You're rolling the dice.

EISENBERG: Surface coverings of manmade grass.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Ben.

LILLIE: AstroTurf.

EISENBERG: Yeah. You got it. AstroTurf.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Weapon delivering electrical current through muscle.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Erin.

BARKER: TASER.

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Which of course also gave us the quote: Don't tase me, bro. Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Don't deliver an electrical current through muscle, bro.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: It doesn't roll off the tongue.

EISENBERG: That didn't catch on.

COULTON: No.

EISENBERG: Masses of multicellular expanded synthetic resinous material.

COULTON: This can also be used as a packing - something for packing stereos or computers.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Ben.

LILLIE: Styrofoam.

EISENBERG: Yeah, you got that one.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: This is your last clue. Infant bodysuits. Extra clue — I'm wearing one.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Erin.

BARKER: A Onesie?

EISENBERG: Yes, Onesie.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: John Chenaski, how did our fine contestants do?

CHANESKI: Well, generically speaker, our winner is the human female known as Erin. Congratulations.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: A wonderful competition. Erin, you'll be moving on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

EISENBERG: Coming up, we've got a real Einstein in the house. Our VIP - that's Very Important Puzzler - is the professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University Steven Strogatz. In his book, "The Joy of X," Steven proves that math can indeed be very sexy. So stick around. I'm Ophira Eisenberg and this is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.