Everything Language and Grammar

Posts Tagged ‘off topic’

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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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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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


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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The World Is Still Going to End, According to Camping

Posted by languageandgrammar on May 23, 2011

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

I know this has nothing to do with language, but I thought that you’d like to know that the world is still coming to an end, at least according to self-proclaimed prophet Harold Camping.

Apparently, Camping never learned the philosophy of quitting while behind!

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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?!?

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Super Ad Sunday–Greatest Advertising Scam in History

Posted by languageandgrammar on February 4, 2011

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

The commercials during the Super Bowl have seemingly become so important that perhaps we should call the day Super Ad Sunday, but I don’t understand the one-day obsession with the ads.

It’s the biggest scam of the advertising world:

  • Commercials are annoying–365 days per year: Every other day of the year, the commercials (many of which were first shown during last year’s Super Bowl) are avoided because they’re annoying interruptions, but we can’t wait to see them on the day of the big game. Why?
  • Commercial Premieres–are you kidding me? The value of a premiere of anything that’s going to be available time and time again has questionable value, but the concept of caring about a commercial premiere is inconceivable to me. You’re going to be sick of the commercial by the end of the month.
  • Dumb and Dumber and Dumberer–The very concept that commercials are important has led to the goal of making more and more outlandish commercials each year, meaning more juvenile, sexist, or dumb commercials (or all three in the case of beer ads.)
  • Repetition Backfires–Anything clever (or in most cases when dealing with commercials, tries to be clever and fails) quickly loses its charm after incessant repetition–you know, like how commercials are run.
  • Cost–Stats about how much Super Bowl ads cost are cited more often than player stats, with many of us marveling at the cost. In a capitalist society, the cost is passed on to people who buy the products being advertised, which are the people watching the game. In other words, we’re being handed a roughly $300 million bill to be paid in full with future purchases. Our excitement by this something is to marvel at.

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Off Topic: How to Use Snow to Your Advantage

Posted by languageandgrammar on January 20, 2011

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

This is completely off-topic, but since so many of us have had to deal with more snow than we may like, I’m here to help.

Use snow as an excuse to get out of something that you don’t want to do in the first place (such as work): Top 10 Snow-Related Excuses.

You’re welcome.

car stuck in snow

car stuck in snow

Of course, if it’s that bad, then you don’t need any excuses!

The above image is from RTE 2fm

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