GrammarBlog

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Random Factor (like a tractor)

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I've previously documented my dislike of the current trend for misusing the word 'random'. I was pleased, therefore, to hear Matt Forde vent on this topic on the Jon Richardson Podcast.



video

I thought I was alone in cringing at sentences such as the following.

OMG you are like so RANDOM today, look at your random hat!!!
No, no, no! You are allowed to call my hat choice random only if I arranged to have 1000 hats dropped on my position and I emerged wearing said hat. Otherwise it's a deliberate, non-random hat choice. And while we're discoursing on the topic of clothing choice, can I suggest that you take off those massive furry boots? They look silly. And when will you learn that leggings and a long cardigan aren't enough to hide the fact that you haven't got any trousers on? And take your stupid rat-dog out of your handbag before I punt it into the river.

I feel better after that rant. I'm fine now.

Tangentially, can anyone identify what the title of this post refers to? There are shiny GrammarBlog points up for grabs.

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Monday, 29 September 2008

Gordon Brown: texture like sun

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Thanks must go to the spiffing chaps of the Rissington podcast for pointing me in the direction of Speak you're Branes.

The premise behind the blog is wonderful in its simplicity. The BBC website allows members of the public to comment on selected stories in a dedicated forum section called Have Your Say. As with most forums this attracts all manner of idiotic fuckwittery including the usual suspects: sheer ignorance, blustering arrogance and your common or garden variety racism. These thoughts are usually delivered with scant regard for even the most basic laws of grammar.

If you don't wish to trawl through the BBC news section searching for these hilarious nuggets of buffoonery, Nelson and Alex of Speak you're Branes (God, I hate writing that) are dedicated and gracious enough to do it for you.

Get a room, Gordo!My very first visit unearthed this gem from Acrobatickenny1, Scotland, in response to Gordon Brown's dogging display - I mean speech - at the Labour party conference here in Manchester.



to be honest i dont care anymore, no matter how much we moan how much this country actually hates labout we will never be able to push them out, they will decide when the election is and nit us, so i just laught now, bleed me dry and penalise me for not being a muslim for not being gay and for not being a pregnant junckie because lets face it these groups get everything from this lot, i just laught as karma is a wonderful thing
[acrobatickenny1], scotland

Great stuff. Speak You're Branes is now in our list of friends.

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Thursday, 25 September 2008

I do exclaim!

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The overuse and misuse of exclamation marks has been previously discussed with enthusiasm and significant literary skill by Dan. 

When I saw this slice of crazy in our flickr group I just had to share it.


exclamation, originally uploaded by laika_one.

P.S. I know it's incorrect to use 'crazy' as a noun. I just like the phrase "slice of crazy", OK?

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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Graffitti

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Graffitti will not be tolerated
"Graffiti", originally uploaded by Trevor Coultart.


As well as the poor spelling, this gets extra hate marks for the rainbow-striped lettering – a sure sign of a psychopath.

It's an interesting word, graffiti. It's the plural form of graffito (rarely used in english) and Italian in origin, as you would probably guess. It derives from the Italian word graffiato meaning scratched.

It originally referred to inscriptions or carvings that were scratched onto walls, statues and tombs.

Anyway, it's spelled with two Fs and one T, capisce?

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Saturday, 20 September 2008

It's a poo of two halves

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We all love a sniggery typo - especially on the bastion of decency that is the BBC website.




GB's own Gez excitedly brought this to my attention (although I would expect that the Beeb staff have found it by now).

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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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Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Student's for McCain

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I don't know if any of you are aware of this, but there is quite an important election approaching in the US of America. The media are keeping quiet about it but I managed to get the scoop. Apparently there is a guy called Derek Obama who seems to be the answer to all the world's problems. He's clever, has sensible sounding policies and seems like a good guy. Of course he'll probably end up being the US version of Tony Blair i.e. just another smooth-talking careerist politician. Except he won't get in because his name sounds vaguely Muslim and the landlocked bits of America wouldn't stand for that even if he was white.

And then there's this other guy, McBain, who was in 'Nam but he doesn't like to talk about it (YOU WEREN'T THERE, MAN!). He's 94 years old and needs helping out of the bath by his gun-toting, rabidly right-wing nurse, Sarah Palin. Her MySpace page lists her likes as "Killing, judging, lipstick, drilling for oil, Keeping America SafeTM and Jesus" and her dislikes as "Science, logic, kindness, the environment, homosexuals and that scrote who pregged-up my daughter".

I hope Derek Obama wins; allow me to explain why.

Firstly, on a selfish level, I don't live in the USA and my chances of being bombed to death would be greatly reduced if Obama was in charge.

Secondly, the Daily Kos reported on this example of punctuation butchery in McCain's campaign store.
Student's for McCain
Pass me the bamboo skewers, that wrinkly bastard is about to have a very realistic flashback.

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Monday, 15 September 2008

Newcastle fans "boycoutt" their club

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As is frequently mentioned, Newcastle is a city close to GrammarBlog's heart as it is there that the founding members met. Geordie football fans are a breed unto themselves.

The protest's organiser later went on to give an interview to Sky Sports in which he lamented the fact that the recent troubles with the organisational structure of NUFC was turning the club into a laughing stock.
I'm not sure this helps matters. Priceless.

This is all the better for the sweary, Geordie commentary.

If any American readers require a transcript of the commentary, let me know.

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Sunday, 7 September 2008

Fast food with pizzazz

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I've often thought the modern take-away industry lacks an element of flair and flamboyance, so was relieved to stumble upon an establishment in Manchester which seeks to redress the balance.



A brief glance at the other side of this sign delivered some more top-notch spelling.

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Friday, 5 September 2008

I like her big brains...

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In case you haven't seen HotForWords on YouTube, here is a sample.


She makes me feel funny, like when we used to climb the rope in gym class.


As is mentioned in the video, nincompoop was voted the UK's favourite sounding word last year. Runners up included discombobulated, squishy, onomatopoeia and incandescent. Now they're some words to get hot for.

**Update: Tom made me laugh by reminding me of this clip from Dumb and Dumber.

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