Everything Language and Grammar

Posts Tagged ‘humor’

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 »

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 »

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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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

Posted in humor, off topic, weather | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Trite Trophy Winner 2010: At The End of The Day

Posted by languageandgrammar on December 26, 2010

Gene Collier, a sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, has awarded the “Trite Trophy” to a deserving sports cliche for the past 27 years. In the column, he mocks commonly used sports phrases and mixed cliches in what has become a literary tradition of sorts in the ‘burgh.

Based on the column (Trite Trophy: A cliche for all (sporting) seasons), he’s a man after my heart. This year’s deserving winner, “at the end of the day,” appears in my book (Literally, the Best Language Book Ever). He also mentions a few others that made my book.

In this year’s column, Collier lists more cliches than I can count–ok, not more than I can count–more than I bothered to count. It looks like at least 75.

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Interview: A New Definition, Thanks to Randy Moss

Posted by languageandgrammar on November 1, 2010

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

I love it when professional athletes talk. If it’s not a humorous mixture of mangled cliches and mixed metaphors, then it’s some outlandish, self-centered statement that only a media person trying to make a name for himself is interested in hearing.

Now, one  professional athlete, Randy Moss, has decided to redefine the word interview:

If it is going to be an interview, I am going to conduct it. So, I will answer my own questions and ask myself the questions and give you the answers. So from here on out, I am not answering any more questions the rest of this season.

Interview used to mean “a meeting or conversation in which a writer or reporter asks questions of one or more persons from whom material is sought for a newspaper story, television broadcast, etc.”

Now, thanks to Randy Moss, it’s a one-man show!

Maybe Randy will also redefine the word pompous to mean “regard with the utmost esteem.” If he does, then he’ll have plenty of company from the world of professional sports.

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Don’t Let Your Kids Shop and Drive

Posted by languageandgrammar on September 11, 2010

This is an off-topic post about the most annoying invention in the grocery store since the little sprinklers that turn on every time you reach for a carrot: the oversized shopping cart that allows a child to pretend to drive while mommy or daddy shop.

Oversized grocery shopping cart

Oversized grocery shopping cart

Let’s take a quick look at what parents believe people are thinking about them versus the actual thoughts of other customers:

  • Parents: Billy is so cute pretending to drive.
  • Customers: That freaking cart is larger than my car; move it—and that overly indulged child–out of the way so that I can shop.
  • Parents: Billy is going to be a good driver, just like me.
  • Customers: The way you make turns and maneuver through traffic with a shopping cart, it’s no wonder the parking lot is like a demolition derby competition.
  • Parents: It’s nice that Billy can be distracted while I shop.
  • Customers: Why do parents always feel the need to entertain or distract their children? Our parents taught us how to behave when we were young, not looked for more and better ways to distract us. What’s next–a DVD player in that thing?
  • Parents: It’s nice that Billy doesn’t pull food off the shelves while I shop.
  • Customers: I’d rather he knock a can of corn off the shelf that you have to pick up rather than block all of the cereal from Alpha Bits to Fruit Loops while in a cart half as long as a football field.
  • Parents: I never hear Billy whine when he’s one of these carts.
  • Customers: Can’t you hear you child whining? Oh, wait, probably not since he’s 10 feet in front of you and aimed the other direction. He’s whining at me, and I don’t care!
  • Parents: These carts make shopping a pleasurable experience; I only wish there were more of them.
  • Customers: Which aisle is the dynamite in?


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Humorous Resume Mistakes

Posted by languageandgrammar on July 28, 2010

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

Who doesn’t enjoy a little humor related to funny typos, mistakes, and wacky statements on a resume or cover letter–except for those who made the mistake and didn’t get the job, that is?

We all make mistakes–believe me–but when I see some of these things I wonder if they’re not made up. 

I mean, seriously, who would put “Exposure to German for two years-but many words are inappropriate for business” as a language skill?

Follow the link below to see the AOL (I love AOL for some reason…) article:

Resume Mistakes That Keep Hiring Managers Amused But Cost You the Interview

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