YouTube Transcription #16 QI

QI is a BBC ‘panel show’. It’s basically a quiz, but all the guests are comedians (many of whom are graduates of Cambridge or Oxford). The questions are usually impossible to answer, and if somebody makes an incorrect answer, there is a loud siren, and the person loses points. People get points for interesting information, because QI means ‘Quite Interesting’. Many people finish the programme on minus points.

Stephen Fry: … Talking of which, who was the first president of America?
Alan Davies: Washington… oh another… (siren)
Fry: Who?
Davies: Washington.
Fry: No, surprisingly not. No, he was probably the fifteenth. He was the first president of an independent United States of America, but there had been many presidents of the United States in congress assembled; presidents of the Continental Congress of America, and the first one was called Randolph, Peyton Randolph. The second was called John Hancock. What does ‘John Hancock’ mean, (fingers on buzzers quickly), if you are an American? Oh, you got there, Dave.
David Mitchell: It means a signature.
Fry: Yes, I was just very alarmed when I first went to America and was told to put my… “Just put your John Hancock on the…” My what, where? “Just put your John Hancock down…” Whoa! But that’s what it means. They use it all the time.
Phill Jupitus: Well, it’s the reason being is that on The Declaration Of Independence they all signed it, and everyone went, sort of… that’s me. Hancock came along: JOHN HANCOCK! You can actually see it from space.
Fry: But you’re right. It was, his was, his is the biggest signature on The Declaration Of Independence. So there you are. There were thirteen others after Peyton, and then on the 30th of April, 1789, George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the independent Unites States of America.

Expressions used:
“… talking of which…” is used when you are talking on a subject which reminds you of a related subject. For example, “I was jogging in the park yesterday… talking of which, did you know the park is going to be closed for landscaping soon?”
“Whoa!” has two, related meanings. It means “Stop” when said to a horse, and then recently when said to anybody. It also is a show of surprise or shock.
“So there you are,” is a sign of the topic finishing, after the speaker is satisfied that he/she has explained enough.
“Swear in” means a formal ceremony when somebody takes a legal promise to do their public duty to the best of their ability. The verb “swear” alone means to say a very bad word.
Here is a cartoon joke using the double meaning of “swear”. In English people use symbols like @*%&# to replace a swear word: