Everything Language and Grammar

Archive for the ‘off topic’ Category

Subjunctive as a Way of Life!

Posted by languageandgrammar on December 30, 2012

st patrick's day banner

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

We’ve written about the subjunctive a couple of times (Subjunctive Uses Were, Not Was and I Wish I Was Wrong, But I’m Not), so this is a more philosophical post on the topic.

The subjunctive is used when we wish things were different from the way they actually are, and based on what I see in life, that seems to be how we live our lives–wishing things were different.

It’s December 30, meaning that New Year’s Day has not arrived yet, but the stores are brimming with candy and decorations for Valentine’s Day. A local grocery store even has candy out for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter!

I know that retailers need to plan ahead and get merchandise ready to sell, but we, as a society, seem obsessed with whatever is next, as if whatever is now is not good enough.

The reason Christmas is only a six-week obsession is that Thanksgiving slows down the train a little, but it’s depressing to me to start thinking about spring already. Winter just started. Sure, maybe people don’t like the weather as much as I do, but still, we don’t have to subjunctive our lives away!

(Image from http://heiditunnellcatering.com/st-patricks-day/)

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Hollywood Continuity Mistakes

Posted by languageandgrammar on February 14, 2012

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

hollywood image

(Image from 123rf.com)

There’s not that much of a difference between editing text and ensuring that continuity is maintained in a Hollywood production, so I thought we could take a look at some of the Worst Movie Mistakes: Date Night Edition in honor of Valentine’s Day.

I’m sure that’s how St. Valentine, the saint of love, young people, and happy marriages would’ve wanted to be remembered.

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Don’t Fall For It: Super Bowl Commercials are Just Commercials

Posted by languageandgrammar on February 5, 2012

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

I know I’m in the minority here, but think about it: Are commercials during the Super Bowl really less annoying than commercials during the rest of the year?

No, of course not. Sure, we’re seeing them for the first time–of many–and advertisers have somehow duped us into thinking that they’re must-see tv, but they’re commercials–plain and simple.

Do what you do normally during commercials–grab a snack, phone a friend, flip a channel, or go to the bathroom. But, please, I’m begging you, don’t make them seem like the show itself.

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Weather Talk on Science Friday

Posted by languageandgrammar on January 5, 2012

By Paul Yeager, author of Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities

Just a quick (off-topic) note to let you know that I’ll be on NPR’s popular Science Friday show tomorrow to join host Ira Flatow and fellow guests Andrew Fraknoi and David Mizejewski. The segment will be called Winter Wonderland? Wonder No Longer.

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Creepy Christmas Carols

Posted by languageandgrammar on December 13, 2011

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

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we here at Everything Language and Grammar tend to think that we’re too obsessed with Christmas and that too many of us forget that Christmas isn’t celebrated by everyone (last year’s public service announcement).

It doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy parts of the Christmas season, such as the annual cavalcade of Christmas shows.

The music, though, can be so grating. It’s difficult for non-stop music of any type to not be repetitive, but it’s especially so since there are only about 30 Christmas songs——–and most are sung in such an over-the-top way that they sound so sad and whiny. I mean, seriously, has any version of Dreaming of a White Christmas not brought tears to your eyes–in a bad way.

Well, we’re not the only ones who aren’t fond of Christmas songs. Here’s a Gawker post highlighting Creepy Christmas Carols for a Less Cheerful Holiday.

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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!

 

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Autumn in Central Pennsylvania, Part Two

Posted by languageandgrammar on October 30, 2011

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

It was just two years ago that we shared some pictures of snow in central Pennsylvania during autumn, and here we go again. Snowfall amounts on Saturday (October 29) ranged from roughly 3 to 7 inches across the local area, turning what had been a fairly long-lasting fall into a winter scene.

Here are a few images:

Red Oak in snow

Red Oak in October snow

Halloween decorations in October snow

Halloween decorations in snow

October snow scene

October snow scene

Neighborhood in snow

Neighborhood in snow

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Happy Halloween and Fall!

Posted by languageandgrammar on October 24, 2011

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

What better way to celebrate the undead than with free candy for everyone, which is why Halloween is a great holiday. It also occurs during the best season of the year, fall.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share a couple of Fall/Halloween pictures.

By the way, do you know what is a vampire’s favorite fast food? Why, a man with very high blood pressure, of course.

For more Halloween humor, please see Joy in the Rain: Halloween Puns.

fall tree

Fall tree image

Fall/Halloween window

A window decorated for fall and Halloween

pumpkins

Fall pumpkins, including a jack-o-lantern

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Palmero’s Pizza Not-So-Organic Cooking Instructions

Posted by languageandgrammar on June 12, 2011

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

I know that all cooking instructions leave some room in the directions for the variability of ovens, individual done-ness preferences, etc., but Palmero’s Organic Pizza seems to have taken it to extremes.

Cooking instructions are “bake for 11 to 17 minutes, or until crust is light brown and cheese is melted and golden brown.”

The time range is wider than most instructions, and it includes a version of the standard “or until done” line. In addition, they include a note that “ovens vary, rely on appearance.”

And everyone makes fun of meteorologists (like me)?!?!?!! I’m not going to let this test kitchen get away with that.

They obviously have no idea how long it’s going to take; it might be 11 minutes (or less if your over runs hot) or 17 minutes (unless your oven runs cool), so why not just make it simple and go with 8 to 20 minutes or until done.

I will say this, though. Palmero’s is the best frozen organic pizza we’ve had, with plenty of cheese and a fresh-tasting sauce. So, if Palmero would like to send any coupons for free pizza to writers of wildly popular blogs who happen to like their pizza, check out our About Us page.

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