I Kan’t SEE a Thing

July 23, 2017

Word

Resently, the SEE key on my MakBook stopped working. This is annoying, but it kould have been worse. As you kan see, a ‘k’ or an ‘s’ is easily substituted, and for more formal kommuniation, I have taken to kopying and pasting the letter SEE. This takes up a bit of time, sine I kan’t just hit Kommand-SEE to kopy.

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Legendary Heroes: Top 5 Overused English Words of the 21st Century

June 28, 2016

I hate introductory paragraphs, so let’s get right to the list.

Legendary. This moniker applies to every famous defunct band, dead entertainer or artist. I think people mean “iconic” when they say “legendary.” In any case, Let’s make a rule: From now on, someone has to be remembered 700 years after their death for them to be considered “Legendary.”

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“Hey Guys!”

August 22, 2014

What is with “Guys”? More specifically, why do young adults now address every group of people as “guys”? I was watching The Next Food Network Star and one of the finalists began their demo pilot show, the audition used to compete for their own show on the Food Network, with “Hey guys!” It’s as if she thought that the entire, diverse TV audience were a small group of her friends. But they weren’t.

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Higgy Piggy Meets Fat Cat

September 10, 2013

a fat cat

Fat Cat is a rhyming game in which one person supplies a clue, such as, “a rodent abode,” and the other must come up with a rhyming response, like, “mouse house.” I grew up calling the game “fat cat,” but a quick internet search reveals that everybody else calls it “Hig Pig,” or “higgy piggy.”  What’s a “hig”? What’s a “higgy”? I don’t know.

In previous posts, I’ve brought you Fat Cat rhymes sure to impress your linguistic lackeys. In this post, I delve further into the realms of top level Fat Cats that should only be used in emergencies, against your highest level opponents. Here they are; use them judiciously.

A subtle crook: A Subliminal Criminal

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Words and Such

May 2, 2013

 insertpicturehere

Without your innate ability to urinate, you’re in urine trouble.

Which leads us to this list of dreadfully important new words:


What Words Reveal

April 25, 2011

To father a child and to mother a child have very different meanings. Father is used as a verb to mean create or procreate, while mother means to take care of the child after it is born. How can we escape the legacy and expectations of patriarchy when it is so embedded in our language?

Words and expressions reveal the basic values of a culture. It’s not all bad – our culture has some good values. For example, the fact that treating people humanely means to treat them with kindness and respect implies a deep-seated belief that the nature of humanity is kindness. This belies the common assertion one hears that human beings are basically selfish and violent. Read the rest of this entry »


Ten things that Bug Me About English

February 15, 2010

This year, I teach a combination of civics, social, and academic skills to seventh and eight graders and I get a queasy feeling when I teach them how to best do homework. This is because I believe that homework does more harm than good. Last year, I would get a similar feeling as a second grade teacher every time I had to pretend that the English language made some sort of sense. I taught all sorts of awkward “rules” forced out of coincidences in the language even though I knew the rules were inconsistent and due to their complexity were unlikely to be remembered.

I think that English spelling and grammar is something a person can develop an intuitive feeling for, but is foolish to try to make too much sense out of.

To pretend otherwise to children seems dishonest. What if you were a science teacher and were instructed to teach that the world is flat? Eventually, you would either convince yourself that the world was flat, or develop a stomach ailment from the stress of promoting a falsehood to developing minds. My guess is that there are a lot of English teachers who are sick to their stomachs.

Here is my list of top ten things that bug me about the English language. The alternative title is: Read the rest of this entry »


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