Complete And Correct

Calipers

Used properly, the English language is one of nuance and precision.  Used as many of the great unwashed do….it’s a wonder that even the pizza order is correct.

I have quoted Mark Twain’s admonition that “There’s a mighty difference between lightning, and a lightning bug.”

I recently stumbled across a blog post about euphemisms;

Euphemisms are generally used to change something icky into something more palatable. As George Carlin said, “Sometime in my life—no one asked me about this—toilet paper became bathroom tissue. The dump became the landfill. And partly cloudy became partly sunny.”

I heard Carlin’s debut album, shortly after it came out.  It was funny.  His later work – not so much.  It’s difficult to be funny for 40 years.  He began to make fun of the English language.  I didn’t find it terribly funny, because it was neither complete nor correct.

None of the above are euphemisms.  Early toilet paper was paper….like pages from a Sears catalog.  It beat using a corn cob. Soon, it was transformed into soft, absorbent tissue, used all through the bathroom, for applying skin cream, removing makeup, blotting lipstick, (a single square is faster and cheaper than an entire Kleenex) blowing your nose, or as emergency feminine hygiene material.  It is no longer paper, used only on the toilet.

We used to just dump and abandon garbage – hence, DUMP.  Nowadays, waste is shredded, some is incinerated, compost starter and soil is added and mixed, and the lot is bulldozed and landscaped into a re-usable landfill.

Media weather language is precise.  There are seven words to describe skies – from overcast, to cloudy, to partly sunny, to scattered (clouds), to partly cloudy, to sunny, to clear.  Partly sunny is 10% open sky.  Partly cloudy is 10% cloud.  They are not even vaguely the same.  One did not turn into the other, no matter what George falsely claims.

George lost me as a customer when he claimed that there were 3 words – flammable, inflammable, and non-flammable.  “Why 3??  Either it flams, or it doesn’t flam.”  Just a minute George, flammable means that something will burn.  Inflammable means that it will immediately, vigorously burst into flame.  A block of wood is flammable.  An open pail of gasoline is inflammable, so, there are 4 words, flammable – non-flammable, inflammable – non-inflammable.  If you’re going to bitch about something, even for comedy, it really helps your credibility if you know what you’re talking about.

I was in a medical center the other day, where an information station was set up under an umbrella. Emblazoned on the umbrella were the words SERVICE AMBASSADOR. I find nothing distasteful about the word INFORMATION, but I am entertained by the thought of a group meeting to find a supposedly better (and definitely more pompous) description of the services offered under that umbrella. SERVICE AMBASSADOR: Do you suppose the, ahem, ambassadors who staff that desk need congressional confirmation?

Like ‘toilet paper’, above, ‘Information desks’ have developed to provide far more services than mere information.  Every English-speaking country in the world has Ambassadors.  I can only hope that it was a vain attempt at humor, and not narrow-minded American provincialism that she felt any of them require U S Congressional confirmation.

Loblaw’s food chain came forward, and admitted to price-fixing on bread.  A letter to a newspaper complained that their fraud conviction was ironic.  1 – By voluntarily admitting wrong-doing, they received immunity from prosecution – so, no conviction.  2 – The bread was exactly as advertised, just too expensive.  What they did, was price-fixing, not fraud.  3 – What is ironic, is that the guy who complained, hasn’t got a clue what he’s talking about.

Come on people, Stop, Think, Understand!  English is a beautiful, accurate, expressive language.  Please learn to use it correctly.  That’s what I ask for.  What I’ll probably get….is that guy’s Hawaiian pizza.  😯

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DON’T SAY ANOTHER WORD!

Use the correct one.

They’re practicing English without a licence again. Hang onto your dictionaries and thesauruses, kids.

Grammar Nazi

Pros

something about her physiognomy which helped her beat the illness – here’s a two-bit writer, trying to use an eight-dollar word. Physiognomy is a face, or outer appearance, which some pretentious Brits tried to use, and failed, and shortened to ‘fizz.’  He wanted physiology, or inner construction.

In an article about expensive typos – Officials site a missing hyphen in the code – Even GrammarCheck insists that it is cite.

Same article – Enjoy these spelling mistakes from passed and present – What’s passed is past.

This section totes up a variety – to be totes honest, it tots (tawts) up a variety of errors, even though that word means totals, or adds.

It’s a tough road to hoe – and a row of angry gardeners with hoes, don’t know whether to blame a city works crew, a drugged-out old rocker, or the entertainment columnist who interviewed him.

She gave her heighth in centimetres. – You can give length and width, or even have an eighth, but it’s height,

He was the hooten and holleren champion – No, that was me hootin’ and hollerin’, because you can’t handle apostrophed abbreviations.

the kids’ “hot water challenge” has them dumping scolding water – and I’m scolding them for not using ‘scalding.’

Man wins the open sheath throw contest at the Highland games – Most Highland Game events were originally Army contests.  While still showcasing Scottish brute strength, this one though, began as a county fair display.  Originally using an agricultural implement to throw large bundles of harvested grain up onto a wagon, it is a sheaf throw contest, open to all contestants.  A pitchfork is used, rather than any edged tools/weapons, so there is no sheath, open or otherwise.

all those fellow suffers of the writing bug – How many sufferers of her second 80,000 word novel will there be?

The Norsemen made 4 journeys around 1000 BC – not an incorrect usage, as such, just a newspaper writer who made a 2000-year mistake by not knowing BC from AD.

Link bellow for descriptive video – This one, obviously, should be below.

Smoke had begun to bellow from the bow of the ship – No smart-ass comment – just billow.

The stunted trees are not like the soaring furs of the Cascades – These soaring furs better be worn by RuPaul, ‘cause the Cascades evergreens are firs.

I know that proofreaders are as extinct as dinosaurs, and spell/grammar-checkers won’t catch most of the incorrect homonyms, but, the above two examples are from two successful, well-known authors. I am dazed as to why/how they could use these incorrect terms, without noticing.  Data-entry transcribers are about as aware as earthworms, but didn’t an editor (whose job it is to notice these things) notice these things?

Amateurs

I saw the term being banded about – I know that bandied isn’t common, but ‘banded’ makes no sense.

I am defenetly sure – that you’re definitely wrong.

The best story teller is defiantly Jesus Christ. – Jesus Christ!  I’m definitely sure you’re related to defenetly.

Sue me yah shitty resuraunt
you’re food I don’t want –
Shut up, yah shitty language user
you’re just an English abuser.

but I won’t you to get used to it kinda not being there – And I want you to stop writing in hillbilly.

I just did a poppa wheelie with my bicycle – and yo’ momma wants you to pop a wheelie.

I opened the book to an unformiliar question. – Open a dictionary to ‘unfamiliar,’ which comes from the word, ‘family.’

other ways the homo Sidle maniac could think up – That homo, Sidle, became homicidal because of usage like this.

The government should release how stupid this is. – Why??  You don’t realize how stupid release sounds.

I don’t mean this as a depreciation – you should mean it as a deprecation, once you take the ’I’ out of it

the juggle is nature’s most biodiverse area – too diverse to juggle a SpellCheck, it’s a jungle out there.

The gold band was diamond-stubbed – and your attendance record at your English course was studded with absences.

everyone was present an (sic) accounted for – sic, sick, sick

Grainy was my favorite character on Beverly Hillbillies – That one explains itself.

I can understand why to some extinct. – I understand why dictionaries are extinct, to some extent.

Do things like these grate on your nerves??  Tell me about it!   😈

 

Well Said – Poorly Written

Grammar Nazi

Another list of things that went into people’s ears, but not through their brains, before they fell back out onto paper, or the computer screen.

PROS

the power of the social medias medium is singular, media is plural, medias is illiterate, stupid, and lazy

the ship was healing over – It needed a bandage, because Clive Cussler’s ghost writer doesn’t know about ships heeling

thats also okey – That’s not okay, how did they manage to screw that one up -twice?

Causal Elegance Sheets – with a casual name misspelling

The ‘author of several books’, wouldn’t hard a fly – but I am hurt

all and all, it seems – all in all, it seems as if you don’t know English very well.

Served up by my friend Ted, at SightsNBytes, a big slice of lemon morang pie – from the moron who printed the local diner’s menu.

From a teacher, seeking a position to teach other teachers how to teach English as a first language to elementary school students – My withdrawl of the application …  I gibed her that, unless she lives in the Deep South, she should teach it as ‘withdrawal.’  She laughingly replied, “I’m from Georgia, but thanks, I’ll fix that.”

and nary the twain shall meet – Don’t misquote, and never use nary, (none) to mean never.

in which six men were shot and killed in the back while they prayed – What an awkward construction. ‘Killed in the back’, of what, a van? their mosque? How about, ‘shot in the back and killed?’

Francis Bacon, Thomas Sprat and Isaac Newton were one of the first most influential leaders of the Royal Society; – Oh!!?  That’s just painful!

The muezzin’s call to workshop – I don’t worship autocorrect, but I do, proofreading.

‘Ambassador’ Sarah Palin would sure livin’ up Canada’s capital – And I could liven up an editorial meeting by swatting this headline writer with a copy of his own rolled-up newspaper.

wants to put the Genie back in the bottle, and he wishes he had left the bottle uncorked – Janus actually probably wishes that he had left the bottle either corked, or unopened

This plane was an enemies worst – No, an enemy’s worst fear was the single possessive.

Marine commandment condemns nude photosharing – and I’ll bet that the Commandant was pissed, too.

salads galore (greek, ceaser, garden mix) – Render unto Caesar, his salads – and capitalize them!

SNARK – Used as a verb, Dictionary.com cites the word ‘snark’ as a mysterious, imaginary animal.  (Who knew?)  Use it as a noun to refer to rude or sarcastic criticism.
Snark – a mysterious, imaginary animal (a person, place or thing), is a noun.
To use it to rudely or sarcastically criticize, is an action – a verb.  And the people who are supposed to know everything about words, get it exactly upside-down.   😳

AMATEURS

our marry little band of outlaws – If they’re married, our merry little band are in-laws, not outlaws.

beyond the soller system – Somewhere in the solar system, Gene Roddenberry’s ashes are rolling over in orbit.

Canada is the world’s number one air polluter. I could go on and on ad nozium – I could go on and on, ad nauseam, about ‘alternative facts.’  Canada isn’t even in the top ten polluters, oil sands or not!

don’t feel any embracement – You should feel embarrassment that you can’t spell it.

bury the whole sorted mess – This lack of dictionaries is a sordid mess.

in the time of the ancient pharos – Did the word pharaohs look like that when (if) you read it?

a little store bot deli meat – Ya coulda bought a dictionary.

(Poem title) The Word’s He Spoken – The words (s)he got wrong….2 out of 4

milk, eggs, lard, bannans – I go bananas when I see monkeys people who can’t even spell the food they eat.

Some days will just stay in the house – where we’ll study a grammar text

though the exterior belays this – belay that garbage! The word is belies! be lies!

a guy side swapped my Excursion – Single word! Sideswiped

I’ll pay your way once and awhile once in a while, know what you’re talking about

Trump has put a band on immigration – It was the one that played at his inauguration.

I hung around with a cliché of my friends – high school cliques are so cliché.

death from potato salid – Must be homemade. Store-bought salad has properly-spelled labels.

Just bud in front of people – Well, little flower, you’ve discovered another way to hide your butt.

a final preface – for a pre-recorded, live program? For those who wonder, I believe he meant ‘presentation.’ A preface is at the beginning, not item number 5 of an extended-rant blog-post.

from time immortal – The phrase is ‘time immemorial,’ so far back that no-one can remember. Of course ‘time’ is immortal, although a lot of people try to kill time.

Equivalent awareness is actually being shown to your garden to boost becoming up to they typically do with the indoor areas in their home. W! T! F! I know the meaning of every word, but haven’t a clue what this guy was writing about.

CROSSWORDS

Shadowbox = spar This is like sex. It’s the difference between masturbation and intercourse.  It depends on how many people are present.  Shadowbox is one.  Spar is two.

 

 

10 Q

tagged

to Benzeknees for sharing these four blog awards with me, and 10Q to the rest of you who have stopped around to read my silly posts.  Hands up, those of you who figured out where I was going with the strange titles.

This is the last acceptance speech, for the final (for now) award.  Keep those hands up!  Stop all that clapping!  This is the “I’ve Been Tagged Award.”  Benze tagged me, fair and square.  I hope this is for a writing award.  I’m too weak/tired/out-of-shape to be wrestling.

What book are you reading right now?

The old man with no attention span is reading three books at the moment, Wretched Earth by James Axler(?), Fire Ice by Clive Cussler, and Sinai Secret by Gregg Loomis.  I read a chapter of one, and then go blog, a chapter of the second and feed the cats and dog, and a chapter of the third, and help with supper.  Repeat, ad infinitum!

What mini-vacation (0-100 miles from your home) have you particularly enjoyed within the last year?

I took the wife and grandson to Detroit for a weekend last October, and the son to Detroit again just a couple of weeks ago.  The excuse was knife shows, but there was lots of other stuff to do and see.  I just finished posting about the most recent trip.

What is your favorite form of entertainment?

Old Mister No-attention-span flits from one diversion to another.  Reading and writing blogs has cut down on my book-reading a bit, but I still seem to average a book a week.  We watch 2/3 hours of TV on weeknights, Bones, Castle, Hawaii Five-O, NCIS, NCIS-LA, Body of Proof, Criminal Minds, CSI, Elementary, Poirot, Lewis, Dr. Who, Midsomer Murders, which is about to end its season and be replaced by Miss Marple.

Of what accomplishments are you the most proud?

My various deficiencies have prevented doing much that I am “Proud” of.  Getting through over fifty years of working with (barely) enough to retire on.  Almost 50 years of marriage to one woman.  Raised two intelligent and well-mannered kids, and am helping with a similar grandson.  I regard my blog-writing as prosaic, but receive the occasional accolade from some readers who should know.  That pleases me!  The wife insists that I tell you that I taught her how to tat (make lace).  It involved an eight-foot, heavy, black plastic telephone cord, and I had no idea what I was doing.

Who has been most influential in your life in the past year?

No one person, although I’d like to mention my first two followers, BrainRants and H E Ellis.  They, along with many other bloggers have greatly improved my quality of mental life.

If you were raising money for a favorite charity, where would you direct our checks?

On a small scale, I’d recommend the Archon Family Improvement Foundation.  Both the semi-handicapped wife and daughter could use some assistance with mobility, medical procedures, housing, transportation, in-home support.  A few thousand directed toward that might allow me to pay off my still-mortgaged house.  On the big scale, money could be directed to medical research, including stem-cells.  Our love of animals would ensure payments to Humane Society and SPCA.

If you weren’t doing the work or career you are in, what would you like to be doing?

I’ve worked long and hard to become retired, and I want to continue in that, hopefully healthy, mobile and reasonably pain-free.

If you could have named yourself, what would your name be and why?

Unlike many others, I am happy with my complete name.  It’s a good, solid, unpretentious, 1940s’ name.  I was to be “George John Smith” but the first-name-last, last-name-first form confused my mother, and I accidentally became “John George Smith.”  Still works!  In effect I have renamed myself by adopting the blogging cognomen of Archon.

What would you most like to tell your children, or important young person in your life but haven’t?

Something I haven’t told someone??  Not likely to happen!  You can’t get me to shut up.  I’m just full of unsolicited advice and opinions.  My youngest child is 42.  My grandson is 21.  The only thing I tell young people these days is, “Get off my damned lawn!”

How do you change your mood when you are grumpy?

Change my grumpy mood??  Whatever for?  I’m a carrier, like Typhoid Mary.  I spread it around.  I revel in it.  Everybody gets to share.  When someone or something bugs the shit out of me, that’s when I do my best thinking.  Then, out comes the blog, and another pissed-off post gets published.

What particular skill could you teach us on your blog?

My resources and abilities are severely limited.  I could let you talk to my highly creative and productive wife and daughter if you’d like.  I could demonstrate logical thought, concern for others, respect, even good English usage/composition ability, but, if you don’t already know these things by the time you read my blog, it is unlikely that I can teach, those who will not learn.

I would like to throw out another big Thank-You, especially to Benze, for honoring me with all these awards and giving me the chance to open my heart and mind.  I would also like to thank all who came here to read, and comment, and like, and support me, by putting up with my silliness.  The grumpy old dude will return soon.

 

Facts And Friction

From the beginning, I have worked to improve my proficiency with the English language, simply to please me.  There was a time when I hoped that, by knowing the details and nuances, I would be able to communicate easier and more clearly.  As I added the study of psychology, I realized that my goal would never be attained.  Communication is two-sided.  It is not just what I say, and how clearly I say it, it depends even more on the mental filter of the person who receives the information.  What we “hear” is influenced strongly by what we already believe.  Democrats hear that Republicans are interfering fools.  Muslims hear that Jews are treacherous, heathen, baby-eaters.  Some Crackers still hear that Niggers are sub-humans.

This head-in-the-sand, hear only what makes you feel good, attitude extends across the entire social interaction spectrum, but is worst in the political and religious arenas.  Only a couple of years ago, “Global Warming” was the buzzword.  There were those who would have had our countries bankrupt themselves to solve this “manmade” problem.  Steadily though, it was found that – this study was flawed – that report was biased – this data was manufactured….by Believers who wanted us, to believe as they did.  Now, “Climate Change” is the new term, and Nature is the culprit.  It seems that the Chicken Littles were a bit overzealous.  The handbasket isn’t heading for Hell quite as fast, and mankind’s actions aren’t pushing it as hard as they claimed.

My current computer skills are pretty much limited to, Push On button, Poke keyboard randomly, Hope for the best.  Thirteen years ago they weren’t even that good, so I didn’t have enough information to evaluate the Y2K threat.  It seemed to me though, that the panic was being propagated by the usual gullible, who will believe the worst, at the best of times, and the guys selling bottled water, MREs, and Honda generators.  The year 2000 came and went with only a whisper, and lots of want-ads for cheap generators, “Never used.”

The ones who saddened me the most, were the Good Christians, convinced of the imminent return of their savior because of some arbitrary number.  The first problem with their belief was the fact that they couldn’t count.  The end of the second millennium was the end of the year 2000, not the beginning.  That’s why the title of Arthur C. Clarke’s book is 2001, A Space Odyssey.  Christ’s birthday isn’t on Dec. 25th.  Even if it were, the rapture would occur on Christmas, not the following New Year’s Day.

The next problem was, the calendar-keeping monks in the Middle Ages couldn’t count either.  They lost a bunch of years.  Best scientific estimate is that Jesus was born on April 16, 4 BC, so the Millennium had already come and gone like Y2K, quietly, un-noticed.

One day at work, there was a mechanical problem with some of the equipment and the line was down while Maintenance repaired it.  Four of the women, all in their twenties, huddled around an inspection table, deep in discussion about something.  After a while I wandered over to hear what had them so engrossed.  I thought maybe someone was having a baby.  I heard, “I go to Our Lady of the Off-ramp, and say a hundred Hail Marys.”  “Well, I go to the Sacred Heart of the Down-town Butcher, and say two hundred Our Fathers.”  Another says, “Oh!  I go to the Blessed Sacrament of Veterinarians, and say five hundred Novenas.”  They’re all worried about the anticipated return, and working like Hell (Oops), to get off the naughty list, and onto the nice one.

The Newfy girl, who lived down the street from me, looked up and asked what church I went to.  I told her I didn’t, because I don’t believe in churches.  “Well, if you don’t believe in God, where do you think we go, when we die?”  I didn’t say I don’t believe in God, just that I don’t believe in Churches.  “Why not?”  Because they’re full of consistently wrong people like the one who just misinterpreted my answer, and who want me to live my life according to their mistaken opinions.  I regaled them with the above information about incorrect dates, to lift their fears.  Deer in the headlights time.  It never occurred to them that they might be wrong, and I could almost feel the denial.

I should have stopped there and shut my mouth.  I should have known better, but, the question had been asked, so I answered it as I saw things.  Her mental picture of Heaven was different from mine and from each of her three friends, and the official Church view, so, if she went to Heaven, it wouldn’t be what she anticipated.  Science, often declared an enemy of the church, even when it doesn’t want to be, says that there are dimensions that we humans don’t experience.  Perhaps when we die, that’s where we go to live(?), and meet God.

Then I committed my worst faux pas.  I suggested that, when we die, maybe we just die.  She persisted, “But where do we go?”  Like Spock, from Star Trek, it was an exercise in pure logic, but neither she, nor the other gals was ready for it.  They wanted reassurance, not logic.  I answered, “Maybe, like the light, we just flicker out, and don’t shine anymore.”  I could have kicked their puppy and they wouldn’t have looked as sad and disappointed.

I felt badly for them, and sorry for upsetting four already apprehensive young women.  Any of my readers who are disturbed by this tale, please remember, your belief (opinion) is as valid as mine.  I only ask for the right to hold my opinion until God tells me it’s wrong.

And Away We Go

Oh good!  Another blogger with nothing to say, but determined to say it.

I’m here because of BrainRants. so I thought I would see what his first blog looked like, plus a couple of others.  Nobody had a big start, they just started publishing.  I thought that my first post should be like a mission statement, and give an idea of who I am and where I’m coming from.

I’m a 67 year-old white male from the wilds of central Southern Ontario.  I have a Mensa-level IQ, the curiosity of a magpie, and the attention span of a gnat.  I research things which can do me no good at all.  When the memory isn’t failing me, I have a head full of interesting and hopefully amusing trivia, which I hope to share with what will soon be an enormous following.

I have done a bit of travelling.  I have been in two provinces, fourteen states and two time zones.  If you haven’t been to BrainRants site, I strongly recommend it.  If you have been there, this may turn out to be quite similar, not as a rip-off, or even as an homage, but simply because he and I seem to think and feel much the same.  I hope to be as entertaining as him.  It may take some practice.

I may rant from time to time about English; spelling, wrong words, definitions and construction.  I’m only a bit of a word-Nazi, with just enough flexibility to accept the inevitable evolution of the language.  I hate lack of consideration for others, and an all too common feeling of entitlement.  I don’t hate stupidity.  You can be as dumb as a sack of rocks and still figure out how to get out of the sack.  What I hate is people who seem to have intelligence, but simply can’t, or won’t, apply it to what will happen next, especially for the people behind them.

A case in point, for my first rant.  I went into a supermarket today to pick  up a copy of the regional newspaper.  I went to the express lane to check out.  An oriental man waved the young fellow in front of me, and me, to go ahead of him.  I gave him two points for kindness and good manners, but then took one back, when his wife showed up with another couple of items.

The young guy has two quarts of orange juice, a two quart jug of milk, and a big bag of ice, all held in his arms.  He doesn’t want to hold all that cold stuff, so he puts it down on the end of the feed belt.  The distinguished gentleman in front of him has two items, a small bottle of mouthwash and a pack of gum, probably a hot date tonight.

Instead of putting his stuff on the belt, he stands there with it in his hand.  When the last item from the woman in front of him is scanned, the belt begins to move forward, carrying the kid’s stuff past him, to stop at the sensor light.  But he wants to be first!  So, instead of just putting his things down just the other side of the light, he reaches down and pushes the orange juice back.  Of course, by the time he turns back to deposit his things, the belt has moved forward again.

I watched him and thought, “Dear God, he’s not going to do it again.”  But he did…same result.  Finally the checkout clerk took pity on him and reached out and took his things and scanned them, or we’d have been there all day.

Is anybody out there?  That’s all the fun I can take for the first day.  Be back soon.