Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Smart People, Foolish Typos

In his new blog on the Baltimore Sun site, John McIntyre explains the dangers of having a brain.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

If Pythagoras Wrote Headlines

What I like about this hed is that AUWI2 + Immunity2 = odpy2.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

What's Wrong With This Picture?

From the November issue of Esquire:

Give up?

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Slotrexin isn't for everyone, including people with liver problems and women who are nursing or pregnant.
Why, yes, those are examples of the people who fall under the "everyone" category! How about:

Slotrexin isn't for everyone. People with liver problems should not take it, nor should women who are nursing or pregnant.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

More, Ahem, Sticklers

Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema's weekly chat has been bombarded recently with complaints about restaurant servers' use of "you guys" (covered in this space) and "no problem."

Today, a final word (yay!) and a verdict in the sticklers' favor (boo!):

Kingstowne, Va.: Can you stand one more comment on last week's issue about whether a waiter or waitress should use the phrase "no problem"? Seems to me that this is a silly phrase to use because it should be assumed that there is no problem--that is, if carrying out diners' requests is a problem, then the person needs to find another job!

Tom Sietsema: Agreed!

End of discussion. Case closed. Let's move along, people.
Repeat after me, people: Figure of speech.

Does "You're welcome" really make any sense as a response to "Thank you"? And what's the deal with "How do you do"? (I liked Kramer's response: "I do great!") Figures of speech. If "no problem" is a problem for you, you have some significantly bigger problems.

What Happens to a Rant Deferred?

Some tidbits:

  • I was all set to lash out after being bombarded, first in the U.S. Open tennis coverage and now in a Saab commercial, with the moronic techno-whatever song whose main (only?) lyrics are a muffled "ready steady go." (Are today's youth so callow that "ready, set, go" is too much to comprehend?) But a Google search (due diligence isn't dead, folks) revealed something I apparently should have known: The phrase has a long and illustrious history. I still don't get it.

  • I feel a little slimy about reproducing this bit of e-mail correspondence, even though I am steering clear of any identifiable details, but it's just too good. Apparently I'm Mr. Permissive! (This, no doubt, is what Stephen Jones's rebellious child would sound like.)

    I just have to say something [about "Rules That Aren't"]. Being an editor do you not need to be a "stickler" in grammar? It is not what sounds best but what is grammatically right. That is what is wrong with the students coming into the colleges today. People are not focusing on grammar but what sound right. This is not right. Some children learn to read from the parents reading articles in the newspaper. So, if you write it wrong they learn the wrong grammar at such a early age.
    My reply was patient and helpful, in case you're wondering.

  • I know somebody who lives in a building named after Langston Hughes but isn't all that clear about who Langston Hughes was. This is à propos of nothing, but I just had to find something to tie things together with that headline. (Also, if you don't know the poem I'm alluding to, learn it. If you know "raisin in the sun" only out of context, you're missing out.)