What kind of drunk are you?
Oh, so many different kinds! Chatty, aggressive, melodramatic. It tends to be, I think, whatever aspect of myself hasn’t gotten a lot of air time recently. In vino (momentary) veritas.
What’s one of your language-related pet peeves?
This came up a while back, and I’ll just say what I said then:
Editors are supposed to have an endless list of these, right? So the stereotype goes. We are the gatekeepers of language and so on and so forth. And I guess we all do, probably. But if you look at the layperson’s language pet peeves (“they’re/there/their”! “your/you’re”!) and the editor’s pet peeves, the overlap would probably be quite small.
My personal ones these days are The New Yorker’s bizarre house style guide (coöperation? no thanks) and The New York Times’ practice of referring to heads of state with honorific titles instead of, simply, their names.
What would be a good question to ask people you’ve just met, if what you really want to know is what they’re passionate about? You know, an alternative to “What do you do?” or “How do you know so-and-so?”
I like to ask people to name a movie they think is overrated and a movie they think is underrated. The reasoning in their answers is often revealing, and sometimes you get a good recommendation out of the question to boot!
When you get home super tired and super hungry, do you usually eat first or sleep first?
Food always comes first. Food above all else. All hail food.
You’re taking an exam. You aren’t sure about the answer to question 5, but you know it’s either “lions” or “tigers.” You get to question 11 and realize whatever the answer to 5 is, 11 is the other answer. Do you write “lions” as your answer to 5 and 11, thereby ensuring you’ll get one of them right? Or do you write “lions” for 5 and “tigers” for 11, risking two wrong answers but giving you a chance at two right ones?
Oh, this game theory realness! Before I did anything else I would reflect on the question, maybe work on other parts of the exam for a little bit, take a moment to let my wander off the topic entirely. But if I did all of that and I still didn’t know, and didn’t have even an inclination either way, I think I’d go for “lions” for both.