I realize this question may sound a little weird. The reason I am asking is the following:

In a question I answered, someone linked to this Wikipedia entry about a certain game show.

In this article, the term "to log in" is used to describe the process of selecting one answer out of a number of possible answers. In fact it feels like in the following quote "to log in" could be replaced with either "chosen" or "selected".

The exact quote:

[...] On the video wall, six precise categories (e.g. Africa, Olympic Heroes) appear, picking one of them triggers a four-choice question worth £ 2,000. As soon as all Pack Members have logged in their answer, the Control Player marks his move: [...]

I did not know the term "to log in" could be used this way. I couldn't really find anything about it, so I decided to check how many hits a Google search for the strings "to log in an answer" and "log in an answer" respectively yields. I was hoping I could use this information to determine how often "log in" is being used in this particular context.

A Google search for the string "to log in an answer" yielded only 7 (!!) hits.

A Google search for the string "log in an answer" yielded about 600.000 hits, but every hit I checked in the end turned out to be a mistyped version of "log in and answer". So that was not really helpful.

And while I generally trust Wikipedia as a source, this particular entry appears to be somewhat of a niche article as it's about one specific quiz show that ran for about a month.

So my actual question is this: Is "to log in" being used correctly in this particular context or not?

Also I'd like to point out that this is my first question, so criticism is much appreciated.


It is not a phrase I would use in that meaning, or would understand without context.

Listening to a clip on the BBC website, it is clear that the phrase they used in this show was "lock in", not "log in". This also does not have the general meaning of "answer a question", but relates to how the particular game was played: once an answer is locked in, it cannot be changed.

I would correct the Wikipedia article, but since it is completely devoid of references, and I have not found any significant sources that discuss it, I am going to propose the article for deletion anyway.


The phrasal verb "log in" used in the sense of signing in to a computer system, was derived from the verb "to log" which means to make note of something as an entry in a journal or record (the log). The quiz show host apparently forgot the original verb. He meant "log" their answers. So no (if the quote is accurate) the host was not using "log in" appropriately. Or, let's just say that in the sense he was using it, the "in" was superfluous. Possibly, the writer of the Wikipedia article misrendered the quote; you'd have to find video of the show to be certain.


It's a common practice in British television game shows for contestants to have a period when they have answered but not committed to an answer, after which they "lock in" their answer and cannot change it.

Different variants have different advantages, whether in allowing for tactical decisions to change, or just to increase the period of "are they right?" suspense.

"Beat the Pack" is one such show, and "log in" was a mishearing or mistyping of "lock in". See for example this transcript.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.