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.”

Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed

As Promised, Something Light

rogersgeorge on May 6th, 2017

Perhaps the dirtiest joke I’ve allowed on this site. Darrin Bell’s Candorville begins with “ain’t,” which is bad, and ends with a figure of speech called an “allusion.” (Hey I gotta put some grammar in here somehow…)

A Pair of Almost-Synonyms

rogersgeorge on January 18th, 2017

Darren Bell posts the occasional Candorville strip of the main character, Lemont, (who is a writer) correcting someone’s grammar. I have long held the opinion about the difference between “continual” and “continuous” expressed in this comic. It’s nice to see my opinion confirmed.

Readership or Audience?

rogersgeorge on March 17th, 2016

The comic strip Candorville features a fellow, who, like me, is a writer and somewhat of a grammar curmudgeon. This strip touches on one of my hobby horses. You, dear readers (all three of you), are my readership, not my audience. An audience hears, a readership reads. If you want to write to be easily understood, use the best word, not any old word that comes to mind.


(See the previous post, about ambiguity) In that last panel, is he referring to her question, or to what should be on his gravestone?


rogersgeorge on February 18th, 2014

Malaprops are incorrect words (or non-words) that sound similar to the intended word, often to humorous effect. They are named after a certain Mrs. Malaprop, a character in a Dickens novel (but I read recently she’s in something by Richard Brinsley Sheridan written in the late 1700’s. I’m too lazy to research it.) Here’s a more up-to-date example of this linguistic comedy:


From Luann, Feb 4, 2001.

Malaprop, referring to the humorous error, is called a malapropism by some, and this leads me to mention a more insidious error, one that occurs too often among educated folks, (who are more likely to read this blog than people who make malaprops). The error I refer to is pretentiousism. Pretentiousisms are grammatically correct words that are longer, harder to understand, or more obscure than plain, clear writing or speaking. I’ve mentioned pretentiousism in the past; you can search this blog for it.

Don’t add unnecessary syllables or Latinisms to your writing. Don’t say “utilize” when “use” will do. Don’t say “obfuscate” when “confuse” will do. Don’t say “malapropism” when “malaprop” will do.

Here are a few more malaprops, from the pen of the talented Darrin Bell, who writes Candorville: