A Grammar Joke and a Rule

rogersgeorge on February 2nd, 2018

Here’s the comic:

(There ain’t no such thing as passive aggressive, but you know that.)

Here’s the rule: Try never to use the passive. No joke!

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Lesson in a Pun

rogersgeorge on January 30th, 2018

English is replete with words that are pronounced the same, but spelled differently, and have different meanings. Peek and peak, for instance. We call these homonyms. Here’s another one, not as common, perhaps, but I still recommend you get these right:

Thank you, Hägar the Horrible.

A Standing Joke

rogersgeorge on January 28th, 2018

The protagonist in Darren Bell’s strip Candorville is a writer. Hence, like me he’s somewhat of a grammar curmudgeon. Darren must figure that this lesson needs repeating, because I’ve seen this conversation before.

He’s absolutely correct, too.  Myself, I prefer to shop at grocery stores whose express lane says “15 or fewer items.”

Pet Peeves Make for Easy Posts

rogersgeorge on January 20th, 2018

My pet peeve for today, class, it the phrase “glossary of terms.”

A glossary is always of terms, so adding “of terms” is unnecessary (read “redundant”). You may, however, use “terms” if you include a limiting adjective. You might say “glossary of unnecessary terms,” for instance.

I like the strip Pajama Diaries. Once a month, though, Terri Libenson makes me cringe with her once-a-month series of that title. Here’s the latest:

If you care to see the whole series, here’s a link to them all. I think.

And “glossary” all by itself is just fine. Harrumpf.

PS: Did you notice that I repeated myself in that sentence just ahead of the comic? I don’t normally do that (it’s redundant), but it was a good chance to use the phrase “once a month” both as a compound adjective, and not.

 

 

A Poem I Enjoy

rogersgeorge on January 18th, 2018

Seems everybody is gloomy and pessimistic about the state of our culture. I first ran into this poem more than 50 years ago. (I suppose I ought to add a verse of my own, eh?) I ran into a couple variations of it; I think it dates to the early 1900’s. —Okay, I thought about it. The first two lines are mine. (My granddad was president of the National Livestock Exchange.)

My granddad, with his livestock hogs,
Said things were going to the dogs;
His granddad, viewing earth’s worn cogs,
Said things were going to the dogs;
His granddad in his house of logs,
Said things were going to the dogs;
His granddad in the Flemish bogs.
Said things were going to the dogs;
His granddad in his old skin togs,
Said things were going to the dogs;
So here’s one thing I have to state –
Those dogs have had a good long wait!

So don’t give up!