Good Questions: Seasonal Allergies, Police Ticketing, ‘X’

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Natascha from Bloomington wants to know: Why do some people have seasonal allergies and others don’t?

According to Dr. Thomas Helm, an allergist with Allina Health Clinics, much of it comes down to genetics. If someone has one parent with seasonal allergies, he or she has a one-in-three chance of developing seasonal allergies. With two parents, the chances jump to 70 percent.

Marna from Blaine asks: Can police officers issue tickets outside of their jurisdiction?

Yes. Police officers in Minnesota are licensed with the state, so they have jurisdiction statewide. Tickets in other jurisdictions tend to be rare because the officer would have to appear in court in that jurisdiction. If the violation is egregious, like blowing through a stop sign, the officer is more likely to stop you.

Jim from Minneapolis wants to know: Why do we sometimes pronounce “X” like a “Z”?

According to Anatoly Liberman, a professor in the German, Scandinavian and Dutch department of at the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts, the English “x” came from two letters — the ksi and the Greek zeta. When the “x” is the initial letter of a word, it is the zeta version — hence the pronunciation of “z.”

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