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How Did You Know? - {day 5}

Play for your chance to WIN a $100 shopping spree in our store!

We're back with another 5-day trivia hunt!

First let's meet our current champions, and big $100 winners, Hoang-Kim Vu, Rosalyn Lorgus and Cara Vu, the mighty trio who've been on a roll lately. You can read all about them and see the answers to last month's final puzzle here.

As comments have been turned off for the length of the 5-day hunt, be sure to hit us up via e-mail with questions if you find something in the instructions unclear.

As always, it pays to play whether you're the first in with all the correct answers or not. In addition to the $100 shopping spree first-prize, we're also giving away a $50 shopping spree in our store to one random winner who has all the right answers but isn't the first to e-mail them in. Random winners sometimes submit all the correct answers/logic a full 48 hours after the closing bell, so don't worry if you're late or can't submit your final answers at 8 pm ET next Monday.

Have fun with it, and, as always, don't hesitate to work in teams and e-mail all your friends for help. Many, if not most of our past HDYK winners have been teams, not individuals.

If you're new to the 5-day trivia hunt, be sure to see the rules and regulations page here. Also, we've now got a Facebook page which we're going to use to drop cryptic hints and clues now and then. Don't worry, even if you're not a Fan of our Facebook page, you can still view it, and the clues. So go check it out over here.

Day 1 can be found right here Day 2, this-a-way, Day 3 down yonder and Day 4 is over here.

We collaborated on some of today's final puzzle with August 2008 HDYK Champion, Chan Stevens. A big shout out, and a big 'thank you' to Chan for his help and inspiration.

So are you ready for your final challenge? Click on through to get your Hunt On!

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How Do You Stress the Word: THANKSgiving or ThanksGIVing?
iStock
iStock

Here’s something else to stress about for Thanksgiving: where to put the stress in the word Thanksgiving.

If you’re from California, Iowa, or Delaware, you probably say ThanksGIVing, with the primary stress on the second syllable. If you’re from Georgia, Tennessee, or the Texas Panhandle, you probably say THANKSgiving, with the primary stress on the first syllable.

This north-south divide on syllable stress is found for other words like umbrella, guitar, insurance, and pecan. However, those words are borrowed from other languages (Italian, Spanish, French). Sometimes, in the borrowing process, competing stress patterns settle into regional differences. Just as some borrowed words get first syllable stress in the South and second syllable stress in the North, French words like garage and ballet get first syllable stress in the UK and second syllable stress in the U.S.

Thanksgiving, however, is an English word through and through. And if it behaved like a normal English word, it would have stress on the first syllable. Consider other words with the same noun-gerund structure just like it: SEAfaring, BAbysitting, HANDwriting, BULLfighting, BIRDwatching, HOMEcoming, ALMSgiving. The stress is always up front, on the noun. Why, in Thanksgiving alone, would stress shift to the GIVE?

The shift to the ThanksGIVing pronunciation is a bit of a mystery. Linguist John McWhorter has suggested that the loss of the stress on thanks has to do with a change in our concept of the holiday, that we “don’t truly think about Thanksgiving as being about thankfulness anymore.” This kind of thing can happen when a word takes on a new, more abstract sense. When we use outgoing for mail that is literally going out, we are likely to stress the OUT. When we use it as a description of someone’s personality ("She's so outgoing!"), the stress might show up on the GO. Stress can shift with meaning.

But the stress shift might not be solely connected to the entrenchment of our turkey-eating rituals. The thanksGIVing stress pattern seems to have pre-dated the institution of the American holiday, according to an analysis of the meter of English poems by Mark Liberman at Language Log. ThanksGIVing has been around at least since the 17th century. However you say it, there is precedent to back you up. And room enough to focus on both the thanks and the giving.

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Watch Boris Karloff's 1966 Coffee Commercial
TAKWest, Youtube
TAKWest, Youtube

Horror legend Boris Karloff is famous for playing mummies, mad scientists, and of course, Frankenstein’s creation. In 1930, Karloff cemented the modern image of the monster—with its rectangular forehead, bolted neck, and enormous boots (allegedly weighing in at 11 pounds each)—in the minds of audiences.

But the horror icon, who was born 130 years ago today, also had a sense of humor. The actor appeared in numerous comedies, and even famously played a Boris Karloff look-alike (who’s offended when he’s mistaken for Karloff) in the original Broadway production of Arsenic and Old Lace

In the ’60s, Karloff also put his comedic chops to work in a commercial for Butter-Nut Coffee. The strange commercial, set in a spooky mansion, plays out like a movie scene, in which Karloff and the viewer are co-stars. Subtitles on the bottom of the screen feed the viewer lines, and Karloff responds accordingly. 

Watch the commercial below to see the British star selling coffee—and read your lines aloud to feel like you’re “acting” alongside Karloff. 

[h/t: Retroist]

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