The reason my appeal was turned down (http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3284
) wasn't that "beneath the sea" wasn't a valid translation, but rather because the category was "literary translations" and there are essentially zero English translations that use "beneath" instead of "under."
Though, the magical thinking part of me is certainly abuzz with trying to find ways to argue that if Scott comes back, I should too.
For what it’s worth, Bobby, I think you had a case, too. The full, accurate title of the work in question is Vingt mille lieues sous les mers: Tour du monde sous-marin
(“Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas: Underwater Tour of the World”). There’s nothing sacrosanct or “official” about any particular English translation of that title; different translators might render it differently. (Note that the commonly recognized English title changes “seas,” plural, to “sea,” singular.) If I were one of the Jeopardy!
judges, I would accept any plausible English translation of the original French title.
Consider Marcel Proust’s seven-volume magnum opus, À la recherche du temps perdu
(“In Search of Lost Time”). For decades, the canonical English edition was the translation by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, who chose to completely ignore the French title in favor of a phrase from one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, Remembrance of Things Past.
Did that make Proust’s actual title (or the direct English translation thereof) incorrect? (Moncrieff also took liberties with several of Proust’s individual volume titles: rendering, for instance, À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs
(“In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower”) as Within a Budding Grove, Sodome et Gomorrhe
(“Sodom and Gomorrah”) as Cities of the Plain,
and Albertine disparue
(“Albertine Vanished”) as The Sweet Cheat Gone.
) It wasn’t until the 1990s that a new English translation was published under Proust’s original title, In Search of Lost Time.
I would maintain that that should always have been an acceptable response to a Jeopardy!
clue about the Proust work, with or without the new translation.
Now, having said all that, it’s also true that every Jeopardy!
contestant signs a waiver acknowledging that all judging decisions are final and binding, and waiving any right to legal challenge. The show-runners are entirely within their rights to make any ruling they see fit, and immune from any legal action by a contestant who disagrees. But we also know that they make every effort to adjudicate fairly, and to offer redress to a legitimately aggrieved contestant. In your case, of course, I would think the statute of limitations has expired after 11 years (sorry!); but I do think Scott has a legitimate grievance, and in fairness I think he ought to be invited back to continue his run.