Bingeism: The Netflix Disease Sweeping the World

Father forgive me, but I’ve become addicted: Addicted to TV series that you consume in one, two or three days of bingeing, all 10, 12, 13 or 18 episodes (even more!).

I’ve done “Narcos” this way, also “The Night Manager,” recently “Versailles” and “Goliath.” How about five seasons of “Person of Interest”?

I have so many empty celluloid bottles strewn around my house that this affliction resembles alcoholism, except that it’s the newest disease of modern humanity, this one borne by Netflix (and Amazon and video pirates), which I’m labeling “bingeism.”

We need a Binge-ers Anonymous, and I came up with a preliminary 12-Step Program this morning before departing for work and tearing myself away from yet another electronic device that has come to dominate my life, my PC. Here goes:

The 12-Step Binge-ism Recovery Program
1) Admit that video is not God
2) Turn off the boob tube and breathe again
3) Put all cellphones, tablets and computers on lockdown, to be used only for emergencies
4) If you have a family, reacquaint yourself
5) If you have pets, recognize their existence again
6) If you have a job, try going five days without calling in sick to finish a binge
7) If retired, volunteer on skid row
8) If wealthy, move to Uganda and join the Ebola fight
9) If a politician, admit your’re a lying piece of shit and resign (how’d that get in here?)
10) Take two aspirin and go to bed rather than turn on any electronic device
11) Go on a starvation diet so you have no energy left for any addiction
12) Prostrate yourself before the image of Steve Jobs and promise that you’ll use your iPhone only to download Apple music

Find the Errors

I saw an ad in today’s Wall Street Journal for a CD/DVD (one or the other) course called “English Grammar Boot Camp,” so I ventured to the website of thegreatcourses.com to check it out since it was on sale.

On the web page for that course, here’s what I found — a teaser to find at least five grammatical errors in the course blurb, to wit:

Attention: There are no less than five intentional grammatical “errors“ in this course description. If you can’t identify at least five, we recommend that you get this course!

I can find two. Anybody find the other three? (I hope they’re not suggesting a comma after intentional.)

Really: ‘40 Gigs of Limitless Data’?

Let’s see now: The last time I checked, limitless meant something like without a limit. So how can a cellular phone plan offer 40 gigabytes of data downloads, and then call those downloads limitless?

Chalk up this misleading/false advertising piece to Verizon, which is now selling four lines with “40 Gigs of Limitless Data” for $160 a month.

The ad always doesn’t specify whether these limitless 40 gigs are shared among the four phones or allotted to each line (you know it’s the former).

PC Madness on the Subcontinent: ‘Differently Abled’

I understand that the word disabled could have a sort of pejorative connotation, which is why we in the U.S. have come up with alternate expressions, such as physically challenged.

However, while I was recently watching TV news from India (as in the place on the Asian Subcontinent), a scrolling headline referred to an airline passenger who was differently abled and was provided a wheelchair upon arrival. (Not sure what the news angle was here.)

I can see our coming up with different expressions to avoid pigeonholing or denigrating people, but the whole political correctness nonsense in the U.S. is aimed at silencing anybody who disagrees with the liberal media and the liberal power merchants in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere.

Whatever his other virtues or egregious faults may be, Donald Trump would be a great president in terms of ending our nationwide PC madness (i.e., censorship), even if he does nuke Denmark, as Ted Cruz has warned.

French Forte v. Italian Forte

A job interview:Leyna Nguyen

“Tell me what your forte [pronounced for-tay] is.”

“You mean my forte [pronounced fort]?”

“No, this is not cowboys and Indians. I need to know your forte [fortay] for this position.”

Interview over, applicant walks out disgusted at the misuse of forte.

I confess, I have to thank TV newscaster Leyna Nguyen (pronounced “win,” as she explained during the same telecast) for the distinction between the French forte, meaning “strength,” and the Italian forte, for “loud” in musical rendition.

One’s strength is pronounced fort, and the musical emphasis is pronounced fortay.

But don’t tell your boss that if he or she asks you for your forte (fortay).

Just break out your violin, and play it loudly.

‘Phase’ or ‘Faze’: SI Doesn’t Know the Difference

Rather than giving me free flights, American Airlines subscribed me to a slew of magazines, including Sports Illustrated, where today I came upon this sentence referring to Miami Heat player Chris Bosh:

“Bosh will have to take on a new role in Miami, but such matters no longer phase the 10-time All-Star.”

Poor writing, worse copy-editing and nonexistent proofreading.

Here’s the definition of phase from dictionary.com: “to schedule or order so as to be available when or as needed.”

And here’s the definition of faze: “to cause to be disturbed or disconcerted; daunt.”

In my elderly phase of life, I was fazed by such sloppy English.

‘Zhuangbility’ May Be Banned in China, But It Fits Many Americans

Consider this: Zhuangbility (pronounced roughly “jangbility”) is a great Chinese fusion word meaning “pretending to be great.”

The word is so popular on the Mainland — I assume as a put-down of the high and mighty — that the Cyberspace Administration for China (CAC) is hoping to ban it from usage online.

Let them ban it. I can find voluminous uses for it stateside, without naming any names.

Diaosi, roughly “loser,” is also being frowned upon in Chinese cyberspace. But geili, or “awesome,” and dianzan, “like” as in a Facebook like, have been given the official imprimatur.

The CAC denies this is an attempt at censorship (“I’m shocked, shocked — censorship in China?”), but is designed “to create a comfortable living space for netizens.”

‘Even If You’re Right, You’re Wrong’

The above sentence was voiced by a female coworker today who was trying to convince a male row-mate how his wife could get mad at him over something that seemed so true and transparent to him.

I immediately chimed in with my agreement, remembering all the times in the past when my wife would get on my case despite my noblest of intentions and wisest of actions, or so I deemed that at the time.

I even ventured a step further and opined, perhaps sexist-ly, that “Men are born wrong.”

Anyway, I just wanted to throw this out there to solicit comments and reactions, and, I guess, to see if anyone really reads this blog.

Proposed New Words: ‘Doofitic’ and ‘Doofusotic’

I‘ve long used the adjective and noun doofitic to describe a person like me who is a certified doofus.

Now, I’m not sure if there’s a generally accepted definition (or spelling) of doofus, but let me generalize in saying that such a person routinely commits whacky, off-the-wall, unintelligible, even socially unacceptable actions — all harmless — without either control or consciousness of such actions. In my case, I’m conscious of my doofity but unable to control it.

As I was walking my three dogs this morning in 9 a.m.Riverside’s 102-degree temperatures, I pondered why the four of us  belonged so naturally together. It was then that the word doofitic re-emerged. We’re all doofuses, I concluded — in other words, a natural pairing. When we’re together, nothing else matters. We’re are own little world.

It was then that I got thinking of an alternative to doofitic to make it more readily understandable, and I came up with doofusotic. And now that we’re back from the dog park, another word comes to mind — doofusness.

Let’s add all three of these verbal morsels to the social lexicon.

And doofuses of the world, let’s unite. We have nothing to lose but our “who cares?” attitude!

Alibaba: ‘Just Be Who You Are’

Okay, all right, Alibaba the Chinese Internet portal didn’t proclaim “just be who you are,” but its founder, Jack Ma, did this morning on CNBC, just before his IPO sold 100 million shares at $92.70 in 10 minutes.

Of course, a Chinese company’s IPO is hardly English grammar stuff, but Mr. Ma, born and reared in China (but who did study in the U.S.), does speak excellent English.

I don’t recall the question, but Mr. Ma responded that, whenever he doubts himself, he watches “Forest Gump” the movie.

And from that, he derives the lesson, “Just be who you are.”

Sound advice. It’s impossible to be someone else, anyway. I know from trying and failing.