Judge John Hodgman Episode 174: Unreasonable Scorch and Leisure

Monte Belmonte

Hear ye, hear ye! The court of the Honorable Judge John Hodgman will be on a short summer recess and return with new episodes starting Wednesday, September 10! In the meantime, check out Judge Hodgman's tourdates beginning September 5 and if you're in the New England area... Listen to this episode to learn how to meet Judge Hodgman, the Bananaman and Guest Bailiff Monte in the flesh!

Steffen brings the case against his dad, Brian. Steffen enjoys spending time with his family, but says too much of their "together" time is based around pool parties. Steffen doesn't care for swimming or laying out, and wants the family to do more indoor activities together. Brian says pool time is a great way for the family to bond.

Who's right? Who's wrong? Only one man can decide.

Big thanks again to Joel Mann and community radio station WERU-FM in Blue Hill, Maine for hosting the Judge this summer!

Thanks to Michael Davidson Jr. for suggesting this week's title! To suggest a title for a future episode, like Judge John Hodgman on Facebook. We regularly put a call for submissions.


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Pronunciation of Ray Winstone's name

I don't know why it should be such a thrill--like a wonderfully refreshing draught of some rare and precious wine--when I was finally able to identify one of the Judge's obscure cultural references. But the fact is, it was and I was.

The delicious and unanticipated finish came when I realised I could also point to an actual foible in our erudite arbiter's usually impeccable elocution.

"Winston" is pronounced with a primary stress on the first syllable and a schwa in the second: /'wɪnstən/ not /'wɪnstoʊn/. (I.e. it sounds more like "Boston" than "alone".)



Technically, "It will be me and my girlfriend" should be "It will be my girlfriend and I," at least under the old-fashioned rules I learned in elementary school.

The reason is that "me and my girlfriend" is not an object, but rather a predicate nominative (also called a subject complement). The verb of the sentence ("will be") is a linking verb, and the noun phrase after the verb is describing or defining the subject ("It").

This is the same rule that calls for saying "It is I" or "This is she" when answering the phone. I'm not saying that people actually should follow this rule. It sounds outdated and stilted to me.

Also disagree

This bugged me. Any suggestion that the dad take the bullying/harassment down a peg was such an afterthought. And the dad's statement, "I'm sorry that he feels like I'm bullying him" is such a terrible non-apology. So, sure, while the son has the right to not get in the pool and to continue to sit around and get harassed by his dad, the judge's decision doesn't give the son much reason to want to be at his family gatherings. I just thought it was weird for the judge to get at the heart of the dad's reasons for not seeing his son's point of view (because he's a jock and his son is a nerd) and just shrug it off because parents have the right to be weird and harass their kids.

Jocks win!

While trying not to take this too seriously, I thought this was a poorly rendered decision. The Judge seemed almost as intimidated by the father as the boy is.

I disagree!

I disagree!