::Cries Inside::

August 26, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | 1 Comment
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No, it’s fine. Punctuation is not really that important, Kate Spade. It’s not like you’re a major national brand or anything, and it’s not like this is the way your official website appears when searched on Google. I mean, what’s the big deal, right?

Is this phenomenon becoming more pervasive, or am I just becoming more paranoid and alert?

[ image from Google ]


Grammar Rant

August 6, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | 1 Comment
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Here’s what I want to know: is it really that hard to figure out the rules for when you should and shouldn’t use an -‘s at the end of a word?!?

This is the grammar error which, more than any other, sends me into a fiery rage of incoherent ranting.

A blog I frequent (not to be named) is a particularly egregious offender, throwing apostrophes hither and thither without much thought or consistancy. I’ve mostly been able to ignore it so far—thus allowing myself to control my RAGE—but today, I’ve had it. The headline of today’s post reads:

Blow Outs | Curly Fro’s and Twist Outs

Three plural nouns: two pluralized correctly and one incorrectly. Can anyone explain why anyone, ever, anywhere, at any point in time, in any situation, ever would think it was appropriate to pluralize one word out of three with a different pattern??

I’m serious about this. It is making me consider removing this blog from my Google Reader—that’s how upset it makes me!

I am becoming my mother.

May 26, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness, Me | Leave a comment
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We got this ad flyer in the mail at work today, and before I tossed it in the recycling bin, I read the first sentence of copy. And then I read it again. And then I read it a third time, because I was sure I was missing something because there was no way that the sentence I thought I was reading was actually printed on a piece of professional advertising material, because it was so grammatically illogical it made my head hurt. But no, I eventually decided, I was wrong: it was, in fact, that illogical:

As the owner of [your business], you may have already discovered, that it can be overwhelming, and time-consuming trying to find the products and services you need…within your budget and timeline.

Now, I’m a proud advocate of the multi-clausal sentence and the insertion of commas, but damn! How could anyone read—let alone write—that staccato mess and think it made any sense?? There are three commas and one set of ellipses in that sentence. How many does it actually need? I’d go with ONE COMMA. Seriously, ad copy writers, get your shit together! My mom—who spent my childhood getting angry about inappropriate apostrophe use and people saying “less” when they meant “fewer”—and I are OUTRAGED!

The English Language: WTF

April 11, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | Leave a comment
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It’s not revolutionary for me to say that English spelling and pronunciation are pretty ridiculous. Most people who spend even a brief amount of time in the company of a foreign language (such as Spanish or French) will come to the same conclusion, and begin casting a critical eye on our mother tongue. I was reminded of this fact this morning when I read the following lead-in sentence to a Jezebel blog post: (emphasis mine)

“Of course you read Sassy, and now you can still read editor Christina Kelly — on her own blog.”

Let’s parse this thing: read #1 is the past tense conjugation of the infinitive to read, and is pronounced [rεd] (that is, “reh-d”); read #2 is the present tense conjugation of the same infinitive, and is pronounced [rid] (or “reed”).

So far this is obvious, and any elementary school student could probably explain the different between the two conjugations. What makes this sentence confusing is that when one begins reading the sentence, there is no contextual clue in “Of course you read Sassy” to indicate if this read is past or present tense, thus sending the reader down a pronunciation version of the linguistic garden path. It is only once you read the entire sentence that you can decide the correct pronunciation for read #1 was its past tense version. This demonstrates my point: as a writer, it is not desirable to force your readers to do such inefficient backtracking to understand the meaning of what you have written.

So, you might be asking at this point, what’s the solution? How can writers make their prose more transparent? Unfortunately, for a word like read, it is difficult to find a solution, since there are few (if any) synonyms for the verb to read that a writer could choose to communicate her tense more clearly. I suppose you could do something like this, which, in making the tense clearer, actually changes the meaning of the sentence slightly:

“Of course you subscribed to Sassy, and now you can still read editor Christina Kelly…”

And is that really what you want to say? Perhaps what you really want to say is this: “Curse you, English language, for your opacity!”

This is what I’m talking about!

March 17, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | Leave a comment
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I knew I couldn’t be the only person afraid of raccoons!

[ comic from Dinosaur Comics ]


February 19, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | Leave a comment
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I sent this picture to my boyfriend. His response: “Should I get you one for your birthday?”

[ image from People of Walmart]

Comic Sans as Insult: Nerd Win

February 15, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness, Me | Leave a comment
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These comments were in response to this awful cartoon called Getting Over Him in 8 Songs or Less, as posted on Jezebel. Bu this post is not about the content of the video—if you really want to (read: if you dig “Cathy” comics) you can watch a clip of the cartoon in the Jezebel post—but the insult delivered by user suddenvalley: “This is like the Comic Sans of animation.” Zing!

I’m not saying that, in order to be a classifiable nerd, you have to hate Comic Sans, but if you’re not at least aware that Comic Sans provokes vitriol in many people, I might just have to come over to your house and take your nerd card away. The campaign against Comic Sans has spawned a website, a Flickr pool, and (I’m sure I’m not alone in this) a strong urge to photograph any egregious use of Comic Sans. Exhibit A:

I took this photo in Barcelona last July. I actually made my friends stop and wait for me while I captured a travel agency not simply using Comic Sans as signage, but using it IN ALL CAPS. WHY. Seriously, why?

Whether you love Comic Sans or you hate Comic Sans (or you love to hate Comic Sans), I hope you can appreciate the metaphorical spark of nerd wit that suddenvalley dished out. Wins for everyone!

[ screenshot from Jezebel ]

The Raccoon: Nature’s Asshole Criminals

February 6, 2010 at 1:10 am | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness, Me | Leave a comment

I am afraid of exactly three things: death, needles, and raccoons. As such, this article from The Onion constitutes my worst nightmare: trapped in a confined space ship… with a raccoon on the loose!

[ image from Vague But True ]

I mean, COME ON.

January 31, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | 1 Comment
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If this is what passes for street style these days, there really is no hope for me. I know it’s Paris, and it’s not just Fashion Week but Haute Couture Fashion Week, but still: is she kidding with those shoes?!

P.S. On a happier note, this lady is a total badass:

Ride it out, girl!

[ both screen shots from Seine Stealers slideshow on Style.com ]

Rant: People Who Capitalize Every Word

January 29, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Posted in Internet Sleuthiness | Leave a comment
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Can someone explain this phenomenon to me? First I noticed a guy capitalizing every noun he wrote, as though he forgot he was writing in English, not German. Then, I saw this answer to a post on a Flickr group about sewing:

Capitalization upgrade: all Nouns –> All Words (including words like “is” that are typically not even capitalized in titles!)

The final straw? This Facebook exchange posted on STFU, Marrieds:

It seems clear that Cynthia’s first response is not simply an aberration; her unwavering dedication to the All Capitalization All The Time Lifestyle is solidified by her second response. Also, isn’t the time you save by typing “U” for “you” sort of negated by the time you spend moving your pinky finger over to Shift every two to five characters?

[ images from Flickr and STFU, Marrieds ]

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