Headlines are NOT Expository Writing!

rogersgeorge on February 14th, 2018

The  point of a headline is to get someone to read what follows, so the more sensational, the better. I could take about any headline nowadays: newspaper, magazine article, or on-line item for an example. Expository writing has the goal of explaining as plainly and accurately as possible. So here’s an example of a headline appropriate for the day:

Mallard Fillmore - 02/11/2018

I leave it as an exercise for the reader to re-write a headline as a piece of good old plain exposition. Post some in the comments.

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Valentine parodies

rogersgeorge on February 14th, 2014

This blog is about writing, but today is a holiday for romantics, so let’s see if we can combine the two. A parody is something that is a recognizable imitation of something else, but also recognizably changed, usually to humorous effect, although the motive can be ridicule, occasional (that is changed to suit an occasion), and even for plain old commentary. I suppose songs and poems are the most common parody, but I have heard of plays, a person’s mannerisms, and movies being parodies, too. No doubt a clever enough person could parody about anything.

Lets stick with Valentine’s Day poems.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Sugar is sweet,
And so are you.

This bit of doggerel is so familiar, all you need is the first line (or a suggestion of it) and a suggestion of the poem’s structure to make a parody recognizable. Here are a few:

Roses are red,/Onions are green,/you are the sweetest/that I’ve ever seen.  (Maybe the onion is a Vidalia)
Roses are red,/Daisies are white./When we are kissing/it feels so right.
Roses are red,/Arranged in a vase./I am in heaven/When I look at your face.
Violets are blue,/Roses are red./When I’m with you,/I want you in bed!
Cell phones are here,/computers are too./I hope no one calls/when I am with you.

Just be sure not to end that second line with month, orange, purple, or silver! I invite you to add your own parodies in the comments.

This is as close as I could find of a parody of a Valentine’s Day heart.

…and here’s a parody I found on Valentine’s Day, from Jorge Cham’s clever strip, PhD:

In honor of Valentine’s Day—sort of

rogersgeorge on February 14th, 2012

The Oatmeal is a comic I follow, partly because the writer is a grammar curmudgeon, as I am. He also attracts a fair number of like-minded souls who also hate bad grammar, and who aren’t averse to adding the occasional comment. Even though The Oatmeal uses far more profanity than I, he’s correct on a lot of issues, and quite good at explaining grammar. Check out the site.

Recently (I think) he posted a comic called The worst thing about Valentine’s Day. Someone commented using incorrect grammar, and it spawned a series of comments that I thought were worth repeating. I haven’t gotten anyone’s permission to repeat their remarks, so if you are quoted here and don’t like it, let me know, and I’ll remove your portion.

Bobsagetjustcuz22: less long comments, more sexy rumpus

Kannma1717: Fewer long comments.

Paul Nelson Schofield: Less grammar police.

Toasty: *Fewer grammar police, Less grammar *policing.

Corey Danger: If there’s, one thing that, grammar police, hate it’s comma, splices. And sentence. Fragments.

Branrules101: I’m going to need back up for this serious offender.

Mrs. B.: If theres two thing’s that grammar police hate, even more its poor punctuation…. ellipse’s…. apostrophe’s used wrong and incorrect adverb usage.

ostyCollapse: not to mention runon sentences with no capitalization or punctuation or breaks of any kind they just go on and on and on talking about stuff that nobody cares about or can even read let alone discuss intelligently am i right

Can you find all the mistakes?    Happy valentine’s Day to you all.