GrammarBlog

Saturday, 20 September 2008

It's a round-up, round-up, round-up

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We frequently receive questions and comments from you, our wonderful readers, so I thought I'd start a regular round-up.


Jill Jicha writes:

"My husband is a minister and many in his church conference insist on verbizing the word resource. They say they want to resource someone. Or someone or something resources someone else. I hate this. What do you think?"

I hate it too, Jill. I hate it despite the fact I don't know what it means. I also hate it because it's reminded me that the word 'resource' is routinely creeping into my day-job vernacular.


Sue McGee sends us this excerpt from a Barack Obama propaganda email, (purportedly from his wife Michelle):

It's hard to believe there are less than 50 days before Election Day.

It's hard to believe that you didn't pick up the difference between less and fewer during your time at Princeton and Harvard, you mad-eyed, pious arse.


Nerdy reader Tiffany Duening points out a vile error within the bowels of new Macs:

In the "Sites" folder, there is an index.html file telling the user how tostart a web page. Following the simple instructions? "Your done." YOUR DONE.
Blech.

I suspect that Steve Jobs, Apple Dictator and Keynote C*nt, is a stickler for grammar. If he sees this (and I'm convinced he's a GB subscriber), you can expect the guilty developer to be strung up at the next MacWorld.


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5 Comments:
Blogger JoseMonkey said...

"It's hard to believe that you didn't pick up the difference between less and fewer during your time at Princeton and Harvard, you mad-eyed, pious arse."

Whoa. Just lost a reader with that unnecessary bit.

Seriously, "mad-eyed?"

29 September 2008 at 17:47  
Anonymous Gez said...

I think Tom's comments were necessary in the interests of balance after my post about McCain and Palin.

Is "mad-eyed" really that bad a thing to say? It is better or worse than "pious arse"?

30 September 2008 at 10:10  
Blogger JoseMonkey said...

No, you're right; "pious arse" was the worst part. I just thought "mad-eyed" was particularly ridiculous. Maybe it's a British expression that just sounds weird to my American ears?

I suppose the McCain post was pretty harsh, too. Perhaps I should lighten up.

30 September 2008 at 12:30  
Blogger GrammarBlog said...

I think in the UK we tend to view all politicians with suspicion, and as objects of ridicule – even the ones we end up voting for.

Politics seems to be a more vehemently partisan (literally) sport over the pond.

For what it's worth I think Obama has lovely eyes and is a far better prospect for the White house than Tweedledee and Tweedledumber.

I just don't think he'll be any different from all the other back-stabbing careerist politicians out there. He's not the Messiah, but neither is he a very naughty boy.

30 September 2008 at 13:25  
Blogger such sweet thunder said...

In regards to Michelle O's use of "less" instead of "fewer" in reference to time, there may be usage differences between British English and American English.

American Heritage says:

“[L]ess is used in some constructions where fewer would occur if the traditional rule were being followed. Less than can be used before a plural noun that denotes a measure of time, amount, or distance: less than three weeks; less than $400; less than 50 miles.”

4 October 2008 at 01:17  

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