Everything Language and Grammar

Archive for the ‘humor’ Category

How to Write Good

Posted by languageandgrammar on March 20, 2013


A friend sent this along recently, and it’s worth a look (and maybe a laugh).

humorous list of language errors

Posted in grammar, humor, language, writing | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Descriptivism Versus Prescriptivism

Posted by languageandgrammar on January 14, 2013

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever and Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities

This sounds more like the wars the erupt between descriptivists and prescriptivists to me: 4 Copy Editors Killed In Ongoing AP Style, Chicago Manual Gang Violence.

Posted in humor | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Managing Expectations

Posted by languageandgrammar on December 4, 2012

Managing expectations is one of the business terms that is effectively a trendy way of saying something in an indirect manner.

I thought of the term today when the general manager the team with the longest consecutive streak of losing seasons in professional sports history, the Pittsburgh Pirates, talked about how the trade value for the best relief pitcher isn’t as great now as it would have been during the season. They didn’t use the term managing expectations, but the mighty Buccos seem to have been saying: Sure, we’re going to try to trade Joel Hanrahan (the pitcher in question), but don’t expect much.

In other words, they were managing expectations.

The term is used regularly in the business world, when results might not match expected results. (We need to manage customer expectations.) It might also be used by managers when dealing with workers. (We need to manage employee expectations about raises this year.)

This Dilbert cartoon exemplifies the term as well as anything:

managing expectations image--Dilbert cartoon

Posted in grammar, humor, language | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

What Are They Trying to Say?

Posted by languageandgrammar on December 11, 2011

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever and Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities

First Night State College

First Night activities are a great way to spend New Year’s Eve without alcohol, but I’m not sure that having the First Night 5K Run be sponsored by someone who promises “Great Care Fast” is the best idea in the world.

Well, I guess it is a good idea if your New Year’s resolution is something like “I promise to turn my ankle this year, and I’m not going to procrastinate getting treatment.”

Posted in humor, off topic | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fritters

Posted by languageandgrammar on November 28, 2011

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever and Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities

It’s time for my semi-annual reminder that not all Americans celebrate Christian Holidays (Easter Is a Religious Holiday and Not Everyone Celebrates Christmas), and I’ll do it by reminding you that other holidays exist, such as National Fritter Day, which is under attack by grease-hating liberals everywhere!


Posted in humor, off topic | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Starprise Entership?

Posted by languageandgrammar on November 16, 2011

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever and Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities

Starprise Entership cake

We all make mistakes, but when they’re public and funny, we’re talking about perfect blog material. The above image of the famous USS Starprise Entership is one of the many entries included in the English Fail Blog.

Not surprisingly, not all of the examples in the blog are tasteful, so they might not be appropriate for children or even adults who don’t like off-color humor.

Me? I think they’re funny.

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Opening Night of Football and Football Cliches!

Posted by languageandgrammar on September 7, 2011

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

Charlie Brown and Lucy van Pelt

The NFL season opens tomorrow with a special Thursday edition of Sunday night football on NBC. Or, is it a special Thursday edition of Monday night football on ESPN? Or, is it a special preview of the upcoming Thursday night football telecasts, which kicks off (nothing begins in football–it always kicks off) on week 10 on the NFL Network (meaning that most people won’t be able to watch)?

I’m not sure, but since we here at Everything Language and Grammar enjoy football, we’re glad it’s here.

Unfortunately, it’s not always a joy to listen to the announcers because of their tendency to use cliches or make grammatical mistakes. I mean, seriously, if you want a good drinking game, then take a drink every time Troy Aikman says “what” (or “watt” as he says it) when it doesn’t belong in a sentence, such as “That’s a longer pass than what he normally throws” instead of simply “That’s a longer pass than he normally throws.”

You’ll be more tipsy than Joe Namath during a Suzi Kolber interview by the middle of the second quarter.

Speaking of football cliches, here are a few of the worst 20, according to the Bleacher Report:

  • The other team just wanted it more.
  • He’s deceptively quick.
  • We have to play a full 60 minutes.
  • They have to take care of the football.
  • That guy’s a throwback.

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Call the Police!!!!

Posted by languageandgrammar on August 23, 2011

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

I’m of the opinion that one problem with using too many exclamation points is that it doesn’t work–the intended excitement is turned into melodrama. I wasn’t aware of this other potential problem: thievery.

According to the Centre Daily Times, thieves stole letters from a volunteer fire department sign, including four exclamation points. (Spring Mills is an exciting place, apparently.)

No exclamation mark

No exclamation mark

It’s no laughing matter, of course. How will they be expected to properly show the excitement that is Friday night bingo if they have no exclamation marks left?

Tell me. How?!!!!

Posted in grammar, humor, language | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tween a Rock and a Made-Up Word

Posted by languageandgrammar on May 20, 2011

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

Using overly trendy language can lead to all sorts of problems, such as lengthy conversations and  strained relationships. To make my point, here is a hypothetical conversation between a mom who thinks she’s hip and a friend who prefers to use normal language:

Mom: “I don’t know what to do. Now that Sarah is a tween, she’s getting more difficult to handle.”

Friend: “Sarah is 13 already? I thought she was 11. I thought her 10th birthday was just last year.”

Friend (agitated and concerned) continues: Geez. I’m getting old fast. Maybe it’s dementia. I’ve got to see a doctor.”

Mom: “No! She’s 11, not 13. Why do you think she’s 13?

Friend: “Because you just said she’s a teen!”

Mom: “I didn’t say that! Aren’t you listening?”

Friend: “Oh my God. It’s worse than I thought. Now, I’m hearing things. I could have sworn you said that Sarah is a teen. Maybe I can call Dr. Phil or Dr. Drew.”

Mom: “No, I said ‘tween,’ not ‘teen.”

Friend: “Dr. Oz. I like Dr. Oz. He can help me. Yeah, Dr. Oz.”

Friend (catching up to the conversation):”Tween?!?!? What the CENSORED does that mean?”

Mom: “There’s no need for that tone. A tween someone who’s not yet a teenager but isn’t exactly a child, either.”

Friend (laughing): “Oh, so you meant to say pre-teen, but you accidentally invented a new “word.” That’s funny.”

Mom: “I didn’t make it up. Everyone is saying it. It’s either tween or tweenager.”

Friend: “No–not everyone. That’s stupid. I call them ‘pre-teens’ like I always have–and so does everyone else I know.”

Mom: “Well, you don’t have to call me stupid. You’re the one who doesn’t know the new words.”

Friend: “It’s not a word. The only time I’ve ever heard tween was when someone was too lazy to say between.”

Don’t let this happen to you!

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Cancel the Ham, and Call Dominos Because Jesus Loves Pizza

Posted by languageandgrammar on April 4, 2011

According to the photo gallery in an AOL News story (Praise Cheesus! Face of Jesus Appears in Three-Cheese Pizza), Jesus loves pizza (perfect for Easter dinner). Jesus also loves:

  • Christmas candy (who doesn’t?)
  • Slightly overcooked chicken. (Why don’t Foreman grills come with a temperature control? I mean, you put the chicken in, but you can’t control the heat. The next thing you know, you have a picture of Jesus–but, more important, you’re still hungry.)
  • Dry toast (although…the pictures have a decidedly Statue of Liberty look to them, so Jesus does, indeed, love America more than other countries!)
  • Bacon grease (That can be cleaned with baking soda, which must means that bicarbonate of soda is the devil.)
  • Jar of Marmite (whatever that is)

I know. I know. This is completely off topic, but if Jesus sightings in food isn’t non-denominational off-topic entertainment for everyone, then what is?!?

Posted in humor, off topic | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off


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