Smitty’s Loose Change #10

Smitty's Loose Change

A screenwriter was paid $25,000 for two days work, to produce an outline for a successful movie. A story reported that he was given 25,000 “Big Ones”.   Now, twenty-five thousand dollars can be described, in slang, as 25 Thou, 25 Grand, 25 Gs, or even as 25 Big Ones, but, if there are 25,000 of them, they’re not Big Ones, they’re all little ones. I’ve read writers like this described as knowing the difference between wet and dry, but feeling that it’s a fine distinction.

***

I recently discovered something even worse than helicopter parents. These are lawn-mower parents, who precede their children, and mow down every possible problem, obstacle and hindrance to their life. They conceal the realities of life for their unfortunate children and allow them no chance to mature and grow, to become self-sufficient, and to learn from experience and failure, and how to adapt.

***

The Universe of Politically-Correct speech continues to expand and grow. I recently read an account of a small-plane crash which killed three people, described as a shatter landing. No George Carlin bathroom tissue was involved.

***

The Grammar Check needs a slap as badly as the Spell Check. I typed I wonder what Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin tasted like into a one-liner comedy post, and got back, ‘I wonder what Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin is.’ 😯

***

Bag man, and bag lady, mean completely different things.

***

I recently bought myself a box of Wheat Thins crackers, as an occasional snack…. because I like Wheat Thins, and they were on sale. I opened the box, took a small handful, and sat down with a book. I popped one into my mouth and crunched it, and – What in Hell is this petrified wallpaper paste??!

My weak eyes and weak mind must have made me pick up the wrong thing. No. The box clearly says “Wheat Thins,” – but, as I look closer – under that, it says ‘Multigrain.” You assholes do know that oats, barley, quinoa and chia don’t make “WHEAT Thins”, right??! I would have been better off just cutting the cardboard box into small squares, and eating it. Now I know why they were on sale.  😯

***

I also recently astounded my chiropractor. The clinic where he practices also has two massage therapists. I took the wife in for massage, and sat out front waiting and reading a newspaper. When he stepped out of his office, his eyes went wide.

“In all the time I’ve worked here, I’ve never seen anybody read a newspaper here. They all have their noses stuck into the blue glow of their smart phones or tablets. They bring a book, or they leaf through one of our magazines, but I’ve never seen a newspaper in this waiting room.”

I told him that I never have to worry if the ISP is down, I don’t have to ask for the Wi-Fi password, and my batteries are never low – although occasionally I have to remember to sharpen the pencil that I do crosswords and word jumbles with.

***

WOW #3

Dictionary

This week’s Word Of the Week is;

CRAPULENT

adjective
given to or resulting from intemperance
suffering from intemperance; drunken

1650-60; < Late Latin crāpulentus drunk, derivative of Latin crāpula drunkenness < Greek kraipálē drunkenness, a hangover; see -ent 

The day after I discovered ‘katzenjammer’ as a word meaning drunk, or hung over, I was amazed to find, emerging from a crossword I was solving, another word meaning the same thing.  When I looked it up, I was even more amazed to find that it was a real word, and in the language since 1650.

I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised. I read once, that the act of being, or getting, drunk, has the largest number of euphemistic equivalents.  There are more than 50 slang ways to describe it, blasted, wasted, high, snockered, blotto, etc, some a little more creative than others, so it’s only reasonable to have a list of words to describe the aftermath.

This seems more like a word coined by THC-infused Wayne and Garth, in a Wayne’s World movie, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the crap that we’re more used to.  ‘Craps’ are actually small, unidentified objects.  ‘Shooting craps’ refers to throwing the small dice.  The ancestors of John Crapper, who perfected the flush toilet for Queen Victoria, probably produced small wooden or pottery items.

As soon as the toilet appeared, people started equating ‘crapper, and crap, and crapping’ with disposing of small brown things of little value (although, that’s not what ‘crapping out’ means) – people like the pop group The Barenaked Ladies, whose mental age is frozen at about 10 (but you could tell that from the name, right?), who sing, “I could hide out under there. I just made you say under where/underwear.”

They sound as if they’re under the influence of a lot of alcohol, but it’s me who has a headache, and a queasy stomach.

Please come back again. Better words are promised   😀

AutoPrompt – A Day In The Life

clock

Oh, you are in for such a treat!  First, let me finish where many of you begin.

My half(assed)-sister and I were always the night-owls of the family. Often forced during my working life to accept shift-times imposed by employers, since I retired, I find that my ‘normal’ schedule keeps me up until about 5:00 AM.  I’ve had comments from BrainRants on new posts, before I turn in.  He’s getting up today, when I’m going to bed yesterday.

I skip the morning TV shows and get up around noon/1:00 PM. Being retired doesn’t mean having nothing to do.  Normal aging of the wife, myself, and daughter LadyRyl has amassed an impressive list of doctors – GPs, specialists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths, and Podiatrists that I get to drive to.

The first half-hour of each day is spent feeding and watering – the dog, four cats, plus juice and pills for the wife and me – then on to cleaning out the litter box. The excitement hangs heavy in the air.

It’s probably a good thing that I spent the second half of my work-life in a physical-labor job. Since I retired I have gained some weight, but I’m still in shape – pear-shaped.  At least my legs get a good workout each day.  I don’t need one of those stair-masters.  I probably do 30 to 40 flights of stairs a day – up, and down.

I sit in the living room, reading the day’s paper. I faintly hear the wife call me from upstairs, where a head-cold has wrestled her to the bed.  I climb the stairs, because she can’t speak loud enough to be heard.  She wants a Keurig coffee.  I return to the kitchen.  There are no K-Cups of the requested flavor.  I go downstairs to the utility room, and bring some back up to the kitchen.  I take the brewed coffee upstairs up to the bedroom, and return to the living room.  1 cup of coffee = 3 flights of stairs.

After temporarily completing my catering and hand-servant duties, I usually get to sit by the front window and read today’s Waterloo Region Record and yesterday’s Toronto Sun.  I know, another weird-osity.

It started years ago when a co-worker friend used to give me his copy of the Sun at the end of a shift. When the shifts ended at 11 PM, or 7 AM, I read it ‘the next day.’  I only read the Sun for entertainment news, and the strange filler articles, like ‘Man Bites Meteorite.’  Along the way I take time out to do the two crosswords and word jumble.

I make ‘lunch’ between 2:00 and 3:00, sometimes for both of us, usually not the same thing, and often from leftovers in the fridge. Then it’s time to do the marketing.  Since the wife doesn’t often go out, we don’t go ‘grocery shopping.’

A local supermarket offers me a 50 cent or $1 discount on copies of the Sun, depending on the day of the week. I get home delivery of the local paper, but have to go out for the Sun anyway, so I add a few items each day as needed, to keep the cupboards stocked.

Late afternoon is devoted to the few chores I do – snow shoveling, lawn mowing, dish washing, preparing for evening meal. The computer room window faces west, and the sun-glare on the screen proscribes keyboard usage for a couple of hours.  This is when I might get some reading in….until one particular cat begins head-butting, and pawing – sometimes even pulling a flannel throw off the back of the couch – until I agree to cover us both and have a nap.

s6301035

Cultured people eat dinner. We have supper – any time between 8 PM and 10:00.  The son gets up at 9:00, we exchange some lies and brags, and he leaves for work just after ten.  Now the computer goes into overdrive.

I do my last, on-line crossword, read emails, compose posts, do research, visit websites/and comment, interrupted irregularly but frequently by both two-legged, and four-legged room-mates – coffee, cookies, cat treats, catnip, water, kibble, outside several times for the dog. I read some more while he’s out.  The cats are kept safe indoors, unless you read my Almost Catastrophe post.

I often play a bit of Solitaire and Mah-Jong for pattern recognition and decision making, to keep the brain sharper than a marble. With four cats, we have two litter pans.  The wife cleans one, and I clean the other, twice a day.  I get the one in the basement.

Suddenly it’s 5:00 AM again. I haven’t accomplished anything, and it’s time for another exciting day to draw to a close.  I’ll see you again tomorrow.  Don’t call too early.  😉

Criminal Assholed

Grammar Nazi

Alas, poor English language, so assaulted and insulted. You are misspoken, misheard, mispronounced, misunderstood, misspelled, miswritten, misprinted, misrepresented, misused, abused, confused.

The following are only a few of the ways that the more (or less) erudite have mangled the mother tongue recently, some of them professionally. We start with a couple of bloggers who felt the need to include their own definitions.

may the peace of the garden bewith you – Bewith, a word meaning – enchant, enlighten curiously

I think she was trying to define bewitch. Be with is two words, which mean ‘to enter your heart, soul or mind, and remain there.”  The next blogger defined….

gomble – a large risk with no guarantee of success  I’ll gamble that his Spellchecker doesn’t work.  Then on to….

My brain shut down oredi this week – and I’m already pissed that you mumble when you listen.

a still toddering child – toddling? tottering? They’re just making these up as they go.

we are directed, neigh commanded – A horse’s mouth neighs.  A horse’s ass doesn’t know that it’s nay.

My friend became a little two comfortable – because it takes more than one to make that mistake.

an interesting little trieste – in a treatise by a pretentious writer

Jack DeBrul, writing as Clive Cussler – was an instant from firing, before adjusting his site picture.  Stop web-surfing Jack, and see the sights.  He had an old fishing boat – held together with duct tape and bailing wire.  When bailing boats, use a bucket.  Only use wire when baling hay . Later in the story, he had a character ride a motorcycle and – swiftly turn the wheel to avoid a collision.  A steering wheel – on a motorcycle??  Maybe he needs to do that computer research!

choose to lye with the same sex – Ow!  That would smart – If only the writer was.

I remember when Cypress was ‘The War of the Week’ – I remember when Cypress was a large tree, and Cyprus was where Canadian peacekeeping troops went.

The Toronto Sun says ‘Toronto Mayor is not board at council meetings.’ – He looks more like a brick, but I’m bored.

They alluded authorities for weeks – and the correct word eluded the writer.

Dictionary

It never seizes to amaze me – that people don’t know that it’s “ceases to amaze me.”

A Toronto bus driver was punched in the face – over a fair dispute.  I wonder how hard he’d have been punched if it were a serious dispute – over a fare?

I corrected a blogger who published ‘low and behold.’  Damn you Autocorrect, which doesn’t know about ‘lo and behold.’

swallowed chick eyed as slight-of-hand trick – You made a slight mistake!  The phrase is, sleight-of-hand.

Serena ‘pushes the envelope’ with bare midriff, naval ring, – Hello sailor, new in town? – and then wore it in her navel.

Russian fishermen rescued from broken ice float – I’ll float the idea that it was a floe (not a flow).

the likely hood of a revolution – There’s a likelihood SpellCheck didn’t catch this.

Christmas is passed – No, no, laws are passed.  Christmas is past.

an undo emphasis on building walls – Undo your dictionary, and look up undue.

a homeless guy was stabbed in the juggler – by who, a Clown?

murder in disabaled daughter’s death – Another newspaper headline typo that proves that the last proof-reader, like the last dinosaur, is long extinct.

I think I’m ovary acting about this – Then you can’t be Chris/Caitlyn Jenner.

We find are selves back at square one – We should find ourselves back at that dictionary.

A Cambodian student has invented a robot to diffuse landmines.  With 10 million of them in his country, I think they’re diffused enough.  It stabilises the detonator and cuts it out….oh, it defuses landmines.

Crossword clue, cul-de-sac = alley.  No, no!  Alley narrow, open at both ends.  Cul-de-sac wide, closed at one end.  Crossword editor lazy – stupid – pissing me off!

Not an error, but in a recent post I wrote Superbowl as one word, instead of Super Bowl. SpellCheck offered me ‘Superb owl’ as an alternative.  I wish I owned a superb owl.  It could have watched me laugh till I almost peed myself in the dark.

 

He Said – She….Mumbled

Grammar Text

PENDARVIS’ THEOREM OF WHY THINGS WENT WRONG
It’s only a little bit off

As an OCD Word Nazi, I appreciate precision in all things, but especially in written and spoken English usage. I used to delight in watching the British comic, Benny Hill, not merely because he was a king of slapstick comedy, but because of his consummate control of language while doing it.

He also showed his dedication to linguistic precision with lines like, “When he said he was bent on seeing her, he meant he was bent on seeing her, not that the sight of her doubled him up.”  He complained that he had a bent wood chair in his dressing room; not a Bentwood chair, but a bent, wood chair, because of the damp in the basement.

A character with a funny accent could refer to the crime of man’s laughter, instead of manslaughter.  A skit might show an incorrectly hung sign for

Doctor Johnson, The
rapist

when it was really Doctor Johnson, Therapist.

I once had an aunt who was the epitome of imprecision. She often started conversations in the middle and worked toward each end, usually not reaching either.  It was common for her to toss out the likes of, “We went over to see him, but, of course, they weren’t home.  He wanted to go down there, but I said it was too late.  We walked to it, but I was right; it was Tuesday.”

(I hope)There was a lot going on inside her head that didn’t leak out through her mouth. I know there was a lot of alcohol involved, on both sides.  She was a ‘Lady’, and Ladies didn’t ‘drink’, although she wouldn’t refuse 6 or 8 medicinal toddies in an afternoon – or evening.  I often wondered if my Mother’s brother understood what she was talking about, or even cared.

Baby grammar seals

I recently read an article on the usages of ‘different from’ vs. ‘different than.’ It stated that ‘different from’ was accepted in all cases.  ‘Different than’ was considered proper usage only about 10% of the time – “so, one is more correct than the other.”

In the comments thread beneath, Polly Pedantic immediately struck like a stooping hawk. “Don’t you mean more nearly correct?”  No dear, they don’t!  If she’d paid a little more attention to both the article, and her own comment, she’d have seen that.

‘Nearly correct’ means incorrect, and the article plainly said that each was correct, only one more often accepted than the other.  It even gave rare examples of ‘different as’, and ‘different to.’

One single recent newspaper almost had me in tears. The headline read, ’Two youths killed when car sideswipes power pole.”  And there was the photo.  The car was wrapped around the pole in a C-shape, or a U, so, the writer doesn’t understand ‘sideswipe.’

The pole holds up a streetlight, and a traffic light, but there are no electrical wires attached to it. It’s a light standard, so the writer also doesn’t understand ‘power pole.’  The lone survivor was ejected through a rear window, which means he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, in contravention of the clearly-written Highway Traffic Act.  Stupidity, and lack of comprehension, carries the death penalty.

The next article spoke of ten intersections that would be closed for work on the new street railroad. They included King Street at Breithaupt, and King Street at Moore Ave.  This is where I worked for almost 20 years.  It’s only one location, another of Kitchener’s fabled K-intersections.  Two side streets each approach the main drag from opposing 45° angles.  Actually, Breithaupt runs into Moore, behind the McDonald’s, and only Moore reaches King.  Ten intersections closed??  I can’t count on precision.

A brief read, “Accident sends man to hospital south of Port Elgin.” There is no hospital ‘south of Port Elgin,’ but an “Accident, south of Port Elgin, sends a man to hospital.”

Then, on to the crossword, where the clue was ‘clammering up.’ Hmm??  Do they mean ‘clamoring,’ or ‘clambering?’  Apparently it was clambering, because the solution was ‘shinning,’ but clambering doesn’t mean shinning, in the same way that trotting does not mean galloping.

It’s only a little bit off??  I am bent on seeing this drivel – by which, I precisely mean that the sight of it doubles me up. Gaakk   😳

Now Just Back Up A Second!

Backspace

Why is there a backspace key on the keyboard? Actually, my PC doesn’t have one, clearly marked ‘Backspage’bBackspace’, handily located in the lower right corner of the keyboarkeyboard. Mine is an inconvenierinconverinconveniently located button in the upper right, vaguely labelled(?) with a left-pointing arrow.

The backspace key is obviously therthere so that we can go back and correct our typing errors. Mine usually gets quite a waorkoutworkout. I’d have never passed a high school typing test. With words or strokes being subtracted for errors, I’d have ended up owing words.

Mistype

As I get older, it gets worse. Sometimes it’s as if my hands have a mind of their own. This shows up especially when I’m doing crossword puzzles. Clue – wondrous….solution – epic. The mind says, “That’s spelled E>>>PE…P…I…C” – and I look down, and my fingers have already written the C where the E should be. When I’m typing, the lesftleft little finger really likes to add randonrandom a’s.

I recently read a post like this, where the author had been challenged to publish a document, with strikethroughs to show where mistakes had been made. Like him/her, in several cases, the hands automatically backspaced and corrected, but I then retyped thmistakesthe mistakes to show where they’d been.

How about you, my faithfifaithful readers? Are you all perfect typists, with no strikethroughs? Would any of you like to accept this secodsecond-hand challenge, and publish a little missive to show how much you go through to bring us your perfect prose?

Fat typist

 

Words

Dictionary

If I didn’t know that the English language has been around a bit longer than me, I might be convinced that we were born twins.  It has cocooned and cuddled and confused and comforted and confounded me since before I went to school.  We have played together since I began to read, before I was five.

I’m a bit of a dab hand with my commas and colons, and I know the difference between subjective and subjunctive.  Neither punctuation nor construction will help with comprehension though, if you don’t use the right words.  My love has always been with the words.  It is their small, strong bodies that we hook together to form phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs, and entire essays and books.

I am the contradiction to the expectation that ‘girls are good at language, boys are good at math’.  Words have been my constant companions my entire life.  They have bedeviled, bedazzled, befuddled, bewildered, bemused and bewitched me for years.  Especially doing three crossword puzzles a day, there is not a week, and often not a day that goes by, that I don’t learn another word, or a usage to one I thought I knew so well.

Chunter – to continuously complain, especially in a low voice
A good English/Scottish word, which I don’t recall ever hearing in my English/Scottish hometown.

Crossword puzzle builders often get a little loose or ‘creative’ with definitions.  “Prurient” means, having lascivious or lustful thoughts or desires.  Prurient interest is not “Sex”.  Sex is the subject of much prurient interest.  Sex is often the object also.

Ricer

Sometimes they seem to have no real knowledge of the words they use, especially with obsolete technology.  ‘Potato cutter’ does not equal ‘ricer’, which pushes cooked potatoes out through small holes.  The online dictionary gives sample sentences to illustrate context and meaning.

Arrange on remaining fourth of mound yolks chopped or forced through a potato ricer.
But that doesn’t mean that it can’t put out a ricer now and again, when it’s feeling froggy.
Fluffiest mashed potatoes may require that they be put through a potato ricer.

The first sentence’s meaning seems straightforward.  I don’t know what medications you’d have to be on to write the second.  Do you know what that means, from that context??  I don’t!  And sentence three simply shows how similar but different things are misidentified.

If you didn’t use a masher, the potatoes are not ‘mashed.’  If you used a ricer, they are riced potatoes.  I use a mixer, and my potatoes are ‘whipped.’  They all look and taste alike, but they got there down different roads.  A multi-colored arc or ring, seen through snow or rain while facing the sun is a sundog, not a rainbow, which is only seen while facing away from the sun.  I know, I’m the only one who cares.  🙄

I haven’t read any of the Hunger Games books, or seen the movies but, based on trailers and promotional photos, I’m pretty sure that Katniss Everdeen is not a “crossbow-wielding” heroine, as the Wachowski brother who is now a sister, seems to think.  (S)he probably also believes that David killed Goliath with a slingshot, built from an inner-tube off his chariot.

My subconscious often goes on little trips by itself, leaving the rest of my mind behind, a fact most regular readers are probably aware of.  When it returns, like a cat proudly presenting a dead mouse, many times it will drop a word for me to examine.

When I wake up in the morning, (actually, usually after noon) or when I’m in the kitchen, using the mixer to produce those whipped potatoes, I suddenly am aware of a word, usually English, but sometimes French, Spanish or German.  Most, I am familiar with the definition of.  Some need a little catching up, and some just send me straight to the dictionary program.  Now where did I run into that one??!  What’s the meaning of the name Hatcher?  Nothing to do with birds, they were gatekeepers.

I worked with a young woman in a shoe plant, who had delusions of ability in newspaper publishing.  When she heard of my affliction, she wanted me to share some of the more abstruse words, so that she could expand her vocabulary.  Each working day for over six months, I handed her a notepad sheet with three recent visitors – words like;
larrup – a Dutch import meaning ‘to thrash’
jocund – cheerful, merry, gay, blithe, glad
hoyden – a tomboy
Eleuthera – a Greek word meaning freedom, and the name of a Caribbean island
indolent – avoiding exertion, slothful, lazy
lagniappe – a small extra gift, like a complimentary restaurant salad
louche – dubious, shady, disreputable
mordant – biting, sharply caustic or sarcastic, as wit or a speaker

Each year, I publish a post in which I give a good larruping to the indolent writers, too lazy to learn one homophone from another.  “Moving to the back of the room, he found a laundry shoot.”  Is that like a skeet shoot?  Or a grouse shoot??  Laundry shoot??! It would explain the holes in my underwear.

I can barely change a light bulb, or a faucet washer.  The most useful thing I ever made from wood was campfire kindling, but words are my constant companions and tools.  They have inspired, infused, inflamed and informed me.  They weigh nothing.  They take up no storage room, and I can give them to others to use, and yet always keep them for myself.