straight dope

The Straight Dope

The Straight Dope is a popular question-and-answer newspaper column published in the Chicago Reader, syndicated in thirty newspapers in the United States and Canada, and available online. The column derives its name from the American idiom meaning roughly "the honest truth" and covers many subjects, including history, science, old wives' tales, urban legends and inventions. The column appears under the tagline "Fighting ignorance since 1973 (it's taking longer than we thought)".

First published by the Reader in 1973, the column is written by Cecil Adams. To date, Adams has published five collections of his columns, and his "assistant" Ed Zotti has published a children's collection in the Adams style, Know It All. Adams has also published several collections of material from the column into paperback books.

The columns are archived at the Straight Dope website, which also hosts an active message board.


In 1996, the A&E Network briefly aired a show based on the column called The Straight Dope, hosted and co-written by comedian Mike Lukas.

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