Posts Tagged i am a huge nerd
I think this self-explanatory.
All that, and I’ve been totally sober all day.
Buzzfeed shows us The 20 Most Unforgivable Spelling Mistakes of the Year gleaned from Twitter, and there are some real gems on that list. It is because of errors like these that I give grammar advice and tear at my hair over spelling mistakes. This is why grammar nerds exist and why we want you to be aware of when you’ve spelled, punctuated or conjugated something incorrectly and how to do it correctly in the future. It’s because we want to prevent you from becoming one of those typists. It’s because we want you to communicate clearly.
To communicate clearly, you need to be aware of how a spelling error can change the whole meaning of a sentence, and usually not for the better. Some errors merely make the user look sloppy or uninformed, but some actually render the message incomprehensible. For clear communication, one should know the difference between COLON and COLOGNE. One should know that OVERREACT is a single word and OVARY has no place in that sentence. If you put EAGLE where you want EGO, I might not catch your meaning. If you’re going to use the expression “time heals all wounds,” you should know what it means, and if you don’t know the difference between WOUND and WOMB, you probably don’t understand the expression.
If you think there is an O in GENIUS, you are not a genius at anything that involves language. If you think there is an A in COLLEGE, you will not do very well in a lot of college courses.
If you have Internet access, you can find an online dictionary, which will show you that SILHOUETTE is not two words. Yes, I see that it’s a tricky word. If you can’t remember whether it’s one word or two, try using SHADOW instead. In this case, the meaning is close enough. I know that AMBIANCE is also difficult, so if you’ve never seen the word in writing, try using ATMOSPHERE to get the same meaning across. You might misspell atmosphere, too, but you’ll probably get the first letter right, and that will make the sentence much clearer.
Look up VICARIOUS in the dictionary. Now, look up BI-CURIOUS. Not synonymous, are they?
If you can type HIPPOCRATES with perfect spelling, you should know that a HYPOCRITE is something else.
Yes, I am aware that English is a non-phonetic, idiom-heavy language full of exceptions that only weirdos like me ever manage to learn. Except, actually? No, I won’t take the excuse that English is so incredibly hard. I’ve learned and spoken Spanish and Albanian, and let me tell you: there is a lot of shit that we English-speakers don’t need to worry about. We hardly conjugate our verbs at all, our plurals are nearly effortless, we don’t adjust our adjectives for number or gender, and in fact our nouns are all gender-neutral. If you don’t need to worry about hitting the right form of the imperfect tense for an irregular verb, or how to decline a masculine plural noun in the accusative case, you should know the difference between ORGASM and ORGANISM before you try to use either word in a sentence.
Greetings, brave readers! I am away with the fam today, celebrating the 100th birthday of my ferocious great-aunt. Therefore, I’m not around to post Sunday Storytime, so I will leave you with this new video instead.
Yeah. This happened.
Now I will tell you about the process by which I chose a name for my foster kitty. Since this was early Spring of 2007, it was a few months before the last Harry Potter book came out, so that was on my mind.
There is insanity (and more kitten pictures) after the jump.
How is that I never heard of The Oatmeal before? They come up with the most amazing example sentences!
First we have How to Use An Apostrophe. Their ultimate rule is, “When in doubt, DON’T use an apostrophe.” I appreciate this. Apostrophe abuse is so rampant nowadays, I’d rather see one missing than used inappropriately. We have this discussion here to show us that writers are not immune to the scourge of apostrophe abuse, either.
Then we have 10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling, in which they remind us that “If you put an A in ‘definitely,’ then you’re definitely an A-hole.”
I’ll make a confession: I tend to abuse commas. My last revisions on Charlinder’s Walk involved a lot of hunting down and excising unnecessary punctuation. Also, I genuinely love adverbs. It is, admittedly, a sickness.
Man, I just stopped reading in the middle of what was probably a very decent blog post on the recent anti-immigration law in Alabama when the author used the phrase “by in large.”
I’m sure it’s a mark of irrational bigotry on my part that I react so badly to spelling/grammar errors, but, fuck it, I’m letting my freak flag fly. Especially since the blog post in question was posted on a social network for writers. We should know better.
The phrase is “by and large.”
“By in large” makes no sense.
And don’t even get me started on using “of” in place of have. Perpetrators of would of/could of/should of, I am glaring unpleasantly in your direction.
The tickets all disappeared in, like, two days, but the UMD Society for Inquiry set up an overflow room in a nearby building with a live video feed, and I SAW RICHARD DAWKINS GIVE AN INTERVIEW TONIGHT. I was hoping to get my copy of The Greatest Show On Earth signed, and that didn’t happen because crowd control sucked and THE LINE WAS NOT MOVING, so I got the heck out of there before my bladder took its vengeance. But, I got to see Richard Dawkins tonight! (I made it there with plenty of time, managed to grab a snack beforehand so I wouldn’t suffer a panic attack halfway through the talk, and didn’t even have to pay for visitor parking!) There should be video online tomorrow. It was almost entirely about biology and evolution; very little to do with religion and atheism, which is fine. We get a bit more material on skepticism, cosmology and social changes in the Q&A session afterwards.
Four adults who obviously have far more spare time than sense dressed up in bee suits and protested a goddamn spelling bee:
Former elementary school principal Roberta Mahoney says the current construction of our language obstructs 40% of the population from becoming fully literate. “Our alphabet has 425-plus ways of putting words together in illogical ways,” she said. Mahoney would like to see that more words are spelled exactly how they are pronounced. For example, she believes “fruit” should be spelled “froot” and “slow” should be “slo.”
Well, I see you’ve really given this a lot of thought, Former Principal Mahoney! So, if the combination oo should be used to express the u sound in fruit, then how do you propose we spell words like book and look? For example, the Albanian language uses the letter y as a vowel sound which is close though not entirely comparable to the sound in should/could/would. But since we use y for a consonant, what do you suggest should make that vowel sound? While we’re at it, how do you suggest we differentiate between homophones such as would/wood, bear/bare, and flower/flour? Or do you say we just spell all homophones the same and let the kids differentiate them from context?
While we’re discussing mechanics, how about contractions? How do you handle a word which is actually a mashup of two words? I’m sure you had lots of experience with children who couldn’t learn the difference between there/their/they’re, but how do you propose to construct they’re which is short for they are?
I purchased a desk-top Zen garden (with sand, rocks and rakes). I came in the next morning and some of my co-workers had added a collection of miniatures including orcs, wizards, a Sherman tank and a Spitfire fighter plane to create the most bizarre battle diorama you could possibly imagine. IMMD
I really hope to get a job soon, and when I do, I will have to get a Zen garden for my desk. Not because I expect my co-workers to add orcs and wizards, but because I JUST MIGHT DO IT.
Or maybe I’ll just keep the Zen garden in my next apartment and occasionally take pictures of it with weird shit in the sand.