Monthly Archives: July 2010

Infuriatingly refudiating

I must extend my thanks to Ms. Palin for inspiring this post. I suppose it is a sequel of sorts to discuss (more like I write and you agree) erroneous grammatical usage and spellings that set my teeth on edge. I have to tip my hat to the woman; she came up with a new one that vexed me before I even had a chance to drink my morning tea. But, like rolling out the red carpet—since she had a cameo in my first post to this blog—I’ll save that one for last.

No, it’s not alright

Think about the origin of this word, which is actually two words that unfortunately many like to shmoosh into an idiotic mess. When one says that everything is peachy, that would mean that all is right, i.e., it is all right. Doesn’t that make sense? Then who the hell truncated the damn thing? It was just fine and dandy the way it was, then some lazy ass comes along and fatigues at the thought of that extra letter and space. Poor thing. I understand that tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome are major concerns in this computer age, but find it somewhere in your heart of hearts to hit those two extra keys so you don’t piss me off. Really, you don’t even need to press that hard. Here, I’ll show you: l . There, it took a fraction of a second. Okay, I did put in the extra effort to highlight it and click the italics button. But, this is important to me and I must drive the point home. Still, there is nary a ghost of the sensation from the keys pressing on my ring finger and thumb, respectively. I am haunted, however, everytime I see this idiom spelled incorrectly. I won’t be all right until “alright” is exorcised out of the written lexicon.

How do you qualify the unqualified?

I refuse to pull any punches with this one. A kitten howls in mortal agony everytime someone attempts to throw an adverb or adjective in front of a certain adjective. Okay, it probably is acceptable to do that under many circumstances, but I am rendered dumb by the inanity of this assault on such a straightforward concept, and can’t think of any examples as I focus on one in particular: unique. It is what it is, and it is one of a kind. How can there be different degrees of it? Nothing is fairly unique, very unique, somewhat . . . I can’t go on. The cacophony of tortured kittens is causing my inner ear to bleed out. If you really don’t want to commit to labeling a person, place, thing, etc., as unique, ple— nah, I don’t need to ask nicely—just be specific, dammit. Here are a few examples of the wrong and right ways to use this word:

Wrong: The music is kinda unique.| Right: The music has a unique rhythm. 

Wrong: I will approach this in a fairly unique way. | Right: I will approach this in an unusual way (This is a real example, and it annoyed the crap out of me, especially since I couldn’t stand the bitch who said it and she was trying to nail me against the wall for something I didn’t do). 

Wrong: This person is pretty unique. | Right: This person has some unique traits. 

I really hope I have made my point crystal clear. The kittens will purr their gratitude, assuming the absence of their pain is indeed pleasure.

Irregardless

Yes, that is all the introduction this one needs. Quite frankly, it doesn’t deserve a clever title. Irregardless is not a word. Don’t use it. Ever! You are trying to create a new word containing “regardless” with “irrespective” as its parasitic conjoined twin. I assure you; you will succeed only in sounding stupid. Plus, if you saw a person with a parasitic conjoined twin walking down the street, what would you do? I rest my case.

Don’t focus on the double negative

That does not mean I promote eternal optimism. I’d probably have to slap the beatific grin off your annoyingly cherubic face. But that’s neither here nor there (what does that phrase mean?). Anyway, I am merely suggesting you be so kind as to say what you really intend to convey. If you can’t get no satisfaction, am I to assume you do get satisfaction whether you want it or not? Unless you clarify, I’ll go with the literal and grant myself carte blanche to commence spewing my sour grapes all over that smug mug of yours. Oh wait, you meant the opposite of what you said. Oh, I get it. You can’t get satisfied, and you were just being cool about it, you torpid little tool. You still deserve to be beaten. Sucks to be you.

Now there their they’re

All right (see how much better that looks?), I make this mistake sometimes. However, it is not due to ignorance, it is just because I am human and prone to making mistakes. I write a lot, and do get fatigued on occasion and slip up. Sue me. Go ahead, I dare you. But make no mistake: I know when to use there, when to use their, and even when to use they’re. The logic is really simple, and I beseech you to embrace it. When you are referring to a location or direction, it is there. When speaking of a possessive, it is their/theirs. They’re is a contraction of they and are. Why am I having this conversation? Man up and figure it out for yourself. Google these three words, and I trust you will get many hits . . . hang on, I’ll check myself . . . holy crap, I got 3,770,000,000 hits! Apparently, I am not the only one in the English-speaking world who is passionate about this. I guess that about covers it, then.

And the winner is . . .

Sarah Palin gets the award for being the most educated dumb person. Apparently, she pulled the same irregardless logic and combined “refute” with “repudiate”. We all know what she meant, but it is more fun to watch her stick her right wing into her mouth and suck on it. Hard. She gave us the fodder and cooked it up for us, so I guess there is nothing else that could be said. I’ll give her credit, she is thorough.

Riddle me this: If she became pregnant again, and the doctor told her without fail, i.e., she would not be able to refute, repudiate, or even refudiate it, she would give birth to a baby with a parasitic conjoined twin, would she go through with the pregnancy? Just curious.

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Smile for the cellphone camera and say “Bees!”.

Can you fathom life before cellphones? Certainly, anyone born before the 90’s has a good idea, yet more likely than not it is a distant memory. While we survived before them, life is enriched to the point where many of us might get a sinking feeling when faced with the possibility of having our phones yanked permanently from our hands before they are cold and dead.

Technology is pervasive and has a knack for influencing us in irrevocable fashion. Society shapes and molds itself around what technology has to offer. Removing that foundation leaves an amorphous mass of helplessness. I can’t live without my iPhone! Its fallibility does test our will on occasion. However, we can bite our nails knowing that it will be only a temporary setback; all the fun but useless apps will be available again in short order.

While I don’t consider myself a Luddite, as I do embrace a lot of what the digital age has to offer, a recent study has scored a point in my quiet pursuit to vilify the advancement of technology. Why? Because, it has a way of stinging us in the ass.

I am talking about bees, and they really don’t care whether the world much outside of their hive is round or flat. They just want to cross-pollinate, produce their own food, make baby bees, and attack anyone who threatens their existence. Yet, one of their more sinister enemies may be immune to their primary weapon. It turns out that everything they do to survive is impeded while in the presence of cellphone frequency. They become confused and unable to go about their business. Yay, we might have found their Achilles heel. But what can we do about it? Like the Kryptonians, they may need to colonize elsewhere.

The precipitous drop in the bee population has been a major cause of concern. While the jury is still out on determining all the causes for this dilemma, the consequences are unsettling to contemplate. It is easy to stroll down the primrose path and wonder where the honey for our morning tea will come from. That should be the least of our worries (although, I do get peckish without my raw honey and Greek yogurt). It is the knack for cross-pollination that bees have that makes them so invaluable to our “green” planet. Meaning, they are vital to sustaining our vegetation—one of our primary food sources.  

I suppose we could compensate by developing technology to pollinate in their stead and/or find alternate ways to preserve plant life, thus blowing a hole in my argument. If technology fails, create something bigger, stronger, and faster to pick up the slack. It is like the pharmaceutical industry’s pesky little habit of solving the problems with side-effects from drugs by creating more drugs to mask them. Sadly, it is a superficial approach under the guise of a multi-layered solution.

Lest we are incapacited along with the bees in an amber cocoon as fate banishes us back to landlines, the brainiacs charged to improve upon this technological wonder must step up their game. Basically, technology needs to be tweaked so that the bees aren’t disrupted by our indulgences. Sounds easy, right? Perhaps not.

So, what is the frequency, Kenneth? What if there is no alternative way to have our cake and eat it too? Then what? We could continue down another primrose path and wish the problem away. That would work for a spell, maybe even for the next few generations. But, I’m afraid that Mr. Hobson isn’t that generous. If we wait too long, we may not have a choice.

Meh, cellphones may be scrambling our brains, as well. So it’s all good. At least this technology doesn’t playing favorites.