Category: News

Commas Do Matter, at Least in Court

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The Oxford Comma is the last comma before the final item in a list, for instance: dogs, cats, birds, and fish. The comma before “and fish” is the Oxford Comma.

Now in modern American English, use of the Oxford Comma has been denigrated, meaning that it’s optional in most cases. I personally tend to eliminate it unless doing so would render the sentence harder to understand.

A dairy in Maine will now have to pay $5 million in back overtime wages because of a missing Oxford Comma in a state law, which stipulates that workers are exempt from overtime when in the process of “…marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of” products.

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Categories: Grammar Sucks News

Peoplekind, Unite — You Have Nothing to Lose Except Your Gender

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Canada, which this year purged its national anthem to make it gender-less, is now leading the charge toward political correctness.

You may have seen the video in which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau corrects a young woman who uses the word “mankind” and advises her to use “peoplekind” instead “’cause it’s more inclusive.”

The woman — and the audience — agreed with smiles and cheers.

When his own nation turned on him for the comment, a week later Trudeau said it was all “a dumb joke.”

“Dumb” I agree with, and “joke” seems to apply to the office of the current prime minister of Canada.

Categories: Grammar Notes News

‘Once in a Blue Moon’

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This Jan. 31, you’ll be able to experience something that hasn’t happened in 150 years — a Super Blue Blood Moon.

blood-moon“Which is?” you ask.

A Supermoon occurs when the orb is closest to the earth. A Blue Moon transpires when a Supermoon occurs a second time in the same month.

As for Blood, that indicates the Blue Moon is being accompanied by a total lunar eclipse.

The last such occurrence was in 1866, and there won’t be another until 2047. So this Jan. 31 is an optimal time to take in a rare Super Blue Blood Moon.

The eclipse will reach totality at 5:29 a.m. PST / 8:29 a.m EST, giving the Moon an eerie red appearance.

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Categories: News

‘Be Polite, Be Professional, But…’

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You gotta love a public servant with the savoir faire to be famous for this saying: “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”

Meet James “Mad Dog” Mattis, the four-star retired general whom Donald Trump has chosen to be his secretary of defense, God, Hillary and Harry Reid permitting.

(Oops, I almost forgot, but for years the latter two were the first. Nietzsche has finally been proven correct: “God is dead.” Long live the Deplorables, me included.)

I assume Mad Dog means his “kill everyone” aphorism both literally and figuratively. Kind of like “take no prisoners.”

While we’re at it, let’s play “Taps” for political correctness. Long may it rest in the dustbin of history.


Categories: Grammar Notes News

Their Finest Hours Came at the End

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Goodbye, and many would say good riddance, to Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, victims of billionaire groper (if you follow the liberal media’s assessment of his only qualities) Donald J. Trump, who’s now been elevated to the exalted position they both craved for reasons that made no sense to anyone but themselves and their cronies.

The thing that struck me the most was that neither sounded the least bit presidential until they were forced to throw in the towel at Trump’s hands.

Jeb, of course, was dubbed “low energy” by Trump, and he went out of his way to live up to the moniker throughout his $100-million primary campaign.

Hillary (or Billary, as the result would have been) didn’t have to do much after 30 years in the public eye to prove Trump’s characterization of her as “crooked.” But one would’ve expected her to at least put forth a reason to get elected president other than she a) wasn’t Trump and b) would be the first female president.

Jeb, of course, like Hillary, failed to produce a single valid reason, other than (again) not being Trump, for voters to elect him.

Oh, but I almost forgot the most important point: They both suffered from the notion of noblesse oblige — “Folks, this office is mine by dint of Royal Birth.”

Then came the relief, and realization, of defeat: Both Low Energy and Crooked One finally sounded presidential when it no longer mattered: for Jeb, when his overpriced primary bid came crashing down, and for Hillary when the electoral college said “only New York and California want you.”

See and hear for yourself:



Had those two people shown up when it mattered, one of them might now be president-elect.

Categories: News

PC Madness on the Subcontinent: ‘Differently Abled’

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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.

Categories: Grammar Notes News

Hie Ye to Riverside for the Dickens Festival

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‘Trial of Jack the Ripper’ held on the steps of the Riverside County Courthouse as part of Dickens Festival.

I literally stumbled upon Riverside’s 21st annual Dickens Festival while I was downtown for a BLT and IPA (both yummy).

The festival is replete with costumed Dickensian characters and stagings of scenes from Dickens’ many works.

The festival covers about three blocks of booths, food, fun and camaraderie. If you’re anywhere near Riverside, I highly recommend that you “hie” yourself to the city before 5 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 23).

I’m right now attempting to buy tickets to the event’s Tea Time Tasties and Show with Mr. Treacle.

Categories: News

Not Quite the Information Superhighway We Envisioned

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Restore the Fourth-Utah demonstrators line Redwood Highway on July 4 near the NSA data center.
Restore the Fourth-Utah demonstrators line Redwood Highway on July 4 near the NSA data center.

Restore the Fourth-Utah, a group opposed to National Security Agency (NSA) spying on U.S. citizens, has adopted the highway next to the state’s infamous NSA data center, where it staged a massive rally on July Fourth clogging the very lanes of that highway.

On that occasion, the demonstrators were forced off the road because, according to state troopers, it belonged to NSA.

Redwood Road, shown in the picture above with anti-NSA demonstrators lining it, has now been approved for adoption by the group by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT).

UDOT spokesman John Gleason said the final paperwork will be completed within days. Gleason added that UDOT will probably erect one sign in each direction with Restore The Fourth-Utah’s name within a few weeks. Restore the Fourth-Utah will also be responsible for cleaning up the highway at least three times each year.

Adopting the road “brings light to the fact we are fighting for Fourth Amendment rights for all people,” Restore spokesperson Lorina Potter said.

When asked for comment, NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines replied in an email to The Salt Lake Tribune: “Highway adoptions are not a part of NSA’s federal mission.”

I don’t want to stir any controversy — commentary, yes — but I consider Edward Snowden a hero for his revelations about NSA and official Washington spying shenanigans. Long live the Fourth Amendment  — and the First. ♦

Categories: News

At Least Milton Had a Stapler

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Does art imitate life or life art? In the case of “Office Space,” the classic movie from 1999 that refuses to be outdated, there really is no art in corporate (cubicle) life. There’s just, well, life as usual.

The picked-upon, get-even guy in “Office Space” is named Milton Waddams (classic scene in the YouTube video clip below), whose life definitely imitates life, if not the art of corporate politics. Let me explain.

One of my favorite films for commiseration about American corporate culture, “Office Space” found its real-life parallel recently in the absurd case of a whistle-blower named Walter Tamosaitis. Just call him Milton Redux.

Tamosaitis had the nerve to publicly question the safety of some procedures at the Hanford (Wash.) nuclear plant two years ago. First — catch this — the plant’s parent corporation took away his staff (he was an engineer) and assigned him to a basement office without furniture or a telephone. (Did he have lights? One would hope so.)

A week ago, Milton — er, Walter — was terminated in what was called a cost-cutting move.

All I can say is that at least the filmic Milton had a stapler, for a while anyway:

Categories: News

For What It’s Worth, Here’s How to Twerk

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I heard that twerk had been added to the Oxford Dictionary Online and soon found Kornheiser and Wilbon joking about “twerking,” so I figured it was worth 20 seconds of research.

Turns out that it’s a dance, maybe or maybe not associated with Miley Cyrus (who she?). Said dictionary says to twerk  is “to dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.”

Nuff said.