It All Comes Down to This…

The last day of baseball, still the national pastime even though NASCAR and football, brutal sports, have edged the boys of summer in popularity.

Baseball is now and forever will be the most lyrical and folkloric of all sports.  Who hasn’t heard or read the poem about "Mighty Casey"?

But I had the honor and privilege today of tuning in to the legendary baseball announcer [tag]Vin Scully[/tag], who quoted this from long-gone baseball commissioner [tag]Bart Giamatti[/tag], the man who fought [tag]Pete Rose[/tag] and won:

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.

"Just so," as my Irish ancestors would say.

Word Abuse: ‘Very Personal and Poignant’

Just a few minutes ago as I flipped over to ESPN to catch the Phillies-Braves baseball game, the announcers turned the discussion to the Sunday altercation between San Diego Padre [tag]Milton Bradley[/tag] and an umpire, which umpire has since been suspended.

Referring to the umpire, commentator [tag]Orel Hershiser[/tag] said what got the ump suspended was not just his use of profanity but the fact that it was "personal and poignant."

Since I’m dedicated to pointing out abusers of the English language here, I must suggest that I believe Hershiser meant "pointed."

I doubt poignancy would get an umpire suspended.

When Is Good English Bad English?

Answer:  When you’re sitting at a bar having lunch and a loudmouth next to you is trying to score on the woman half his age next to him.  His English was grammatically fine, but I felt sorry for the young woman’s having to endure all his literate and literal nonsense.

Solution:  Don’t eat lunch at bar counters; take a table by yourself.

‘U.S. Americans’: I Can’t Let This One Go By

I swore I wasn’t going to bring up the topic of Miss Teen South Carolina’s bumbling question response, in which she concocted the NotPhrase U.S. Americans and generally managed to show an ignorance not only of English usage but also of world history.  To wit:

I personally believe the U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh…people out there in our nation don’t have maps, and, uh, I believe that our education like such as South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like, such as and…I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., err, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our….

After hearing this the first time, I just felt bad for [tag]Lauren Caitlin Upton[/tag], but as time has gone on, her utterances have burrowed their way into our culture.  A local radio station here in Los Angeles even uses an imitator to run promos, urging "U.S. Americans" to tune in for this and that show.  It’s funny.

Now that she’s become legend, I’ll weigh in by offernig a video of her speech.  Enjoy:

(If the Flash doesn’t work, here’s a link to click.)

Tempest in a Teapot Over ‘B’ Word

In court testimony, New York Knicks General Manager [tag]Isiah Thomas[/tag] answered a question about the use of the word bitch in descriing or addressing a black woman.

Basically, he testified that it was less egregious if a black man used the "B" word on a black woman than if a white man did.

Now, to my way of thinking, this is true in certain usages, as black people often use the "N" word in addressing each other and certainly use the "B" word in rap music.  However, there is a whole brouhaha erupting over his testimony, with many commentators calling for Isiah’s head.

I thik this is definitely going overboard.

Interestingly enough, leaving this controversy aside, a man named [tag]Isaiah Thomas[/tag] was considered one of the greatest publishers of 18th century America and was a contemporary of fellow publisher [tag]Benjamin Franklin[/tag].

NotWord ‘Mines’ a National Problem

I have to apologize for my inactivity on the blog here, but I’ve been on a quick but arduous jaunt to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

It was in the latter city that I heard an utterance of "mines," confirming my fears that this vermin has infested the entire country.

In America, grammar does indeed suck, at least in terms of its practitioners.

New Sports Talk NotWord: Hyperbosity

While I was driving to lunch, I turned on ESPN radio when two sports jocks were discussing some now-long-forgotten topic, but one interchange stands out even after the topic has been forgotten.

Sports jock number one complained about "hyperbole" on a certain sports topic.  A few minutes later, his partner lamented the "hyperbosity" in sports talk.

Now, I’m assuming sports jock number two was combining hyperbole and verbosity.

So, there you go, a new NotWord–hyperbosity.

I’m Thruw With NotWord Thru

The basic problem with people’s learning English, even those born in an erstwhile English-speaking country such as the United States, is that they no longer learn their grammar and spelling through reading great works of literature and doing rigorous classroom exercises but through media and fast food exposure.

Maybe I’ll call my book Fast Food English instead of Grammar Sucks, a title which someone has already purloined.  How about just Fast English?  Does that convey my meaning? Nah, it sounds like a promise to learn English quickly.

Anyway, as I was grading more university-level papers today, I was shocked at how many people with otherwise sound mental capacities cannot spell through and indeed don’t even know the word exists. 

No doubt the cop-out idiots at the Oxford English Dictionary will soon–if they haven’t already done so–recognize thru as a proper English word.

New Words: Dooficity and Doofisms

My new word dooficity is a natural derivative of doofus/doofae (singular and plural).  It refers to the utterances and general thinking (oxymoron?) of doofae.

Who are the doofae subject to uttering doofisms (another word of mine)?

Politicians, actors, celebrities and the like, plus anyone who actually pays attention to these people and what they say and believe in.

Unfortunately, that covers a huge swatch of humanity.

Doofae of the world, unite.  There really aren’t a whole lot of non-doofae left.

A New Look, Again

I hate to keep changing the look of my site.  I actually liked the last theme I used, but it had so many bugs in its coding that I couldn’t keep up with fixing it, so I’ve switched to this new look.

I like the blue, and everything seems to work fine on both the front and back ends, so I’m dedicated to sticking with this look for the long term.

I hope you enjoy the new look and feel of Grammar Sucks.