Funny You Should Ask… – by The QI Elves

6 03 2022

The QI Elves are the wonderful people who write the questions for the TV show QI [Quite Interesting], and more recently they’ve also been doing a weekly segment on the Radio 2 breakfast show where people call in with questions for them to answer. This book is based on some of those questions, as well as some tangents from those, and some brand new questions. Most are just a page long, some are a couple of pages and there are a couple of occasionally three page answers, but most of those are ones with a lot of pictures in them! It means that it’s all very bitesize and easy to read.

The questions themselves are brilliant, they include things like:

  • Who alphabetised the alphabet?
  • Which fruit came first, the grape or the grapefruit?
  • Why does red mean ‘stop’ and green mean ‘go’?
  • What happens if you try to use superglue on a non-stick pan?
  • Why do Olympic racers run anticlockwise?

A lot of the answers finish with some random related fact, where I learnt wonderful things like

  • A group of ducks on water is called a paddling.
  • Four of the characters from Frozen – Hans, Kristoff, Anna and Sven – are named after Hans Christian Andersen, the author of the film’s main inspiration, ‘The Snow Queen’.
  • Sodium citrate is used in the production of nacho cheese and has the chemical formula Na3C6H5O7.

Some of the answers left me with follow-up questions, but that’s part of the joy of it I think, finding more things to learn!