"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she disparaged him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb political statements" about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":

Donald Trump wrapped up his public tryout of potential vice presidential candidates in Indiana Tuesday night with Gov. Mike Pence giving the final audition.

The Indiana governor's stock as Trump's possible running mate is believed to be on the rise, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also atop the list. Sources tell NPR the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is close to making a decision, which he's widely expected to announce by Friday.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The unassuming hero of Jonas Karlsson's clever, Kafkaesque parable is the opposite of a malcontent. Despite scant education, a limited social life, and no prospects for success as it is usually defined, he's that rarity, a most happy fella with an amazing ability to content himself with very little. But one day, returning to his barebones flat from his dead-end, part-time job at a video store, he finds an astronomical bill from an entity called W.R.D. He assumes it's a scam. Actually, it is more sinister-- and it forces him to take a good hard look at his life and values.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Contestant Lipograms: The Best Of The Best

Jun 29, 2012
Originally published on December 19, 2012 5:43 pm

Think you have what it takes to be a contestant on Ask Me Another? First, you have to prove you know your stuff.

We subjected our Season 1 contestant hopefuls to an Ask Me Another Contestant Quiz—a 17-question blitz to test their knowledge of art, literature, science, math, international "goat suckers," and female actors in the Ocean's 11 franchise.

The part of the quiz that drew the funniest and strangest responses was the final question. Here are the original instructions:

A lipogram is a written work in which a particular letter or group of letters is intentionally omitted. For example, Ernest Wright wrote his 1939 novel Gadsby without the letter "e," and his book was 50,000 words long. With that in mind, write us a paragraph or two without using the letter "i". Funny, clever, and coherent is worth as much as length; please don't submit more than 200 words.

Some wrote us poems and stories. Others crafted meta-accounts of what it felt like to type without the letter "i." We received some short autobiographies and there was an oddly large number of lipograms about pirates.

We decided to post a few of our favorites from folks who went on to become contestants on the show.


Rachel Wilson:

Q: What do you call a sea-based, non-ambulatory creature that has no eyes?
A: Fsh.

Todd Etter:

Suppose you never had the letter before J
Language would be tough to speak or say.
For you'd have to take a common word
And make a change that was absurd.

Subtract one from ten, and then you'd have NONE
You'd ask a bartender for a shot of GUN
Plumbers would have to mend leaks from POPES
And customer support would handle GROPES

Dorothy would have fought the WATCH of the West
Savants would take a GQ Test
Students would read about great Moby DUCK
And harlots would hope to turn a TRUCK.

There are other letters that could be banned.
Such as N, for there's not much demand
Although t'would be strange, on the stereo of your car
To hear a broadcast on CPR.

Bill MacDonald:

No eyes! The wretched creatures had no eyes! The beam from my torch swept through the cavern and revealed more than a dozen of them. Untold aeons spent many leagues underground had forced the clan of beasts to evolve to resemble blanched, warped apes — except that they had unnaturally large foreheads, alabaster as bone and unbroken by brow or lashes, cornea or aquaeous humour. Now the monsters stood between my team of spelunkers and our only way out of these godforsaken caverns.

Wyntonham-Smythe — the cursed fool! — called out smugly, "We can just creep past them! They cannot see! They're bl—" He never completed the thought. The creatures – apparently possessed of the same preternatural powers as the bat – had located the overly garrulous explorer through the sound of the poorly-chosen exclamatory remark. Scarcely three heartbeats passed between the start of the utterance and the gruesome end, as one of the creatures wrenched a stalagm— . . . no, hold on, a stalact— . . . oh, blast! Always confuse those two! ... a spear of stone from the wall of the cave and hurled the weapon across the cavern and through Wyntonham-Smythe's puffed-out chest.

Erica Johnson:

MeeMaw was a real character. She could shoot skeet, translate Portuguese to Dutch, dance the Charleston, and dress a deer. Hand her jewelry, furs, makeup, and a tutu, and she'd gussy up a deer that could out-fox any Hollywood star. She called them her deer dolls. That's what happens you grow up poor, motherless, and surrounded by four brothers, and go on to have seven sons. She called me, her only granddaughter, a dream come true. My prom dress was based on one of her deer looks.

Brian Herrick:

To compose a ballad bereft the letter "eye,"
Can be cumbersome, arduous: why even try?
What would the stakes need be? Stardom, wealth, or glory?
Or just an endeavor that makes a good story?
Perhaps just a task for a wry educator,
Or maybe the decree of a vowel hater.
No matter the reason, the task can be managed.
To know many words, a palpable advantage.
So here reads a poem, for your puzzly pleasure,
That, to my best, rhymes, measure for measure.
My goal was to pen a work that deems me worthy
And please, feel free to ask me another query.

Give it a shot! Compose your own lipogram and leave it in the comments section or email it to us at askmeanother@npr.org.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.