Friday, September 25, 2009

Pull on your pant and flex your bicep

I was shopping at Costco today and saw a sign, above a pile of clothing, that read MEN’S PANT. They also sell WOMEN’S PANT.

This misuse has been around for a long time (more than a century, according to this site), but I’ll never get used to seeing it. It bugs me every time.

Some people can’t understand that some words are only plural.

Another such common mistake is bicep. People seem to think that you have one bicep on each arm and hence two biceps in total. No, you have one biceps on each arm; the name is plural because of the double attachment to the bone. At the back of each arm, you have one triceps, which has three attachments. On each thigh you have one quadriceps. So many attachments! So many opportunities for detachment! I tore one of those attachments mostly off in my right biceps years ago, but assume that muscle is still my biceps, not my unicep.

I haven’t yet heard anyone refer to cutting paper with a scissor, but I’m expecting it to happen.

Addendum:

This is another common and somewhat related error. I just ran into it on Facebook: An individual being referred to as a homo sapien. I suppose people think that sapiens is a plural form, whereas it’s simply a Latin ending, and singular.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

David’s Definitions for November 2009

Nonplussed

At a loss for words. Also used in a more general way to mean bewildered. From the Latin non plus, no more, no further. That's simple enough. The word has been in use since the late 1500s. What's really odd is that, starting about ten years ago, it acquired the meaning "unimpressed" or "unmoved." No one knows how this happened. Perhaps people thought that it meant that someone was "not plussed." But there is no word "plussed" in English. This strange, new trend leaves me bemused - perplexed, lost in thought. "Bemused" has been around for 300 years. What strange, new meaning will it suddenly acquire?

(Will be published in the November 2009 issue of Denver's Community News.)

I'm collecting all of these at: http://www.dvorkin.com/davidsdefs.html

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cups outlasting comments

In July, I put up a short post titled Cups outlasting companies.

For some reason, the comments for that post keep filling up with what appear to be ads for Japanese dating and porn sites. Why those sites and why that post? I am mystified.

I’ve been deleting them. If any of them are actual comments, not ads, and I’ve misinterpreted something, I hope the commenters will let me know in English. If I have not misinterpreted, I wish they’d stop.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Best blog of all time!

http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/categories/1?page=384

No votes so far, and there are an awful lot of entries in that category. But imagine being able to put that award on your blog!



Update: Well, er, this is embarrassing. I must have nominated my own blog, way back when. I don't even remember doing so.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dvorkin Global Enterprises, Inc., Ltd., PLC, GmbH

Some time ago, as a joke, I created this page on our Web site to tell visitors about the Intergalactic Headquarters of Dvorkin Global Enterprises, Inc., Ltd., PLC, GmbH.

Yesterday, I got a letter from Google, telling me about the value of Google Adwords for my business, and addressed to Dvorkin Global Enterprises, Inc.

Giggle.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Classical Muzak

I love classical music*. Listen to it via streaming radio all the time. However, the local classical station, KVOD, spends hours every day playing shallow, derivative, tedious crap from the late 18th Century that I’m sure was background music in its day. I can just imagine someone from that time, brought forward via a time machine, listening to KVOD and shaking his head in wonder. “Dude,” he would say, in the 18th-Century equivalent, “you actually sit in concert halls listening to that crap? Man, in my day, that was playing in the background while we drank and played cards and tried to get girls to go to bed with us. You people are twisted.”

 

* Oh, come on. You know what I mean by that phrase. Don’t give me that music-history shit.

Explanation of Benefits

I'm cleaning up my desk, which means processing old paperwork that I should have processed long ago. In the stack is a bunch of messages from so-called health insurance companies titled "Explanation of Benefits". But these are really shallow excuses for denial of benefits. They ought at least to be honest and label those letters "Benefits Denied and Suck on It".

Monday, September 07, 2009

Evil government medical programs

Leonore and I went to Walgreens today to get (seasonal) flu shots. United Health Care, the insurance plan for which we pay an absurd amount each month, soon to become almost three times as absurd, didn’t cover Leonore’s shot. Our cost: $25. Medicare covered my shot. Our cost: $0.

In an earlier post, I told Barack that he coulda been a contendah. One way would have been to propose expanding Medicare to everyone, with some major upgrades to the system itself and to Medicare taxes. Too late now, of course.

Lemonade Stand Award

Which you can see displayed off to the right. It came from here, and now it’s my turn to do my part.

I hereby bestow the Lemonade Stand Award on (may I have the envelope, please) the following (cue the trumpets) blog(ger)s:

Chris Holm

Travis Erwin

Kristen Tsetsi

Mitch Wagner

Stephen Blackmoore

There are other writer blogs I read and enjoy, and it’s hard to choose from among them those that I think deserve a special award. What makes these stand out, for me, is that these bloggers share both their writing and their lives with us and that each does so with a unique voice. When Google Reader says that one of them has a new post up, I’m delighted and look forward to reading it.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Jews. All they care about is money.

I don’t know what reminded me of this. Perhaps it was the recent commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the start of World War Two. (How many Americans were surprised to learn that WWII began in September of 1939 and not December of 1941?)

Some years ago, descendants of Jews whose artworks and other valuables had been stolen by the Nazis were in court trying to get the goods back. Back from a government that claimed it owned those items because they had been willed to it by the Nazis who had stolen it or because the items had been signed over to the state by the Jewish owners. Any civilized person would surely agree that thieves have no right to will their stolen booty to anyone and that if the original owners had signed their goods over to the Nazi state, it was under duress and those agreements are invalid.

Consider, too, that the thieves involved were the same people who, in their insane lust for Jewish gold, cut the fingers off concentration camp victims to get their rings, tore earrings from the ears of living prisoners and gold fillings from their teeth.

While the court case brought by descendants of those Jews was in the news, I heard a man-in-the-street interview on the radio with people in Germany. What did they think of this lawsuit? Should those descendants be awarded possession of the goods stolen from their forebears by evil, amoral, blood-and-gold-lusting barbarians? (Obviously, that wasn’t quite the question the interviewer asked.)

I can’t forget the answer of one young German woman, possibly the granddaughter of one of those beasts who cut off fingers to get gold rings, who tore earlobes and yanked out teeth to get Jewish gold. “The Jews,” she said, with a sneer you could hear. “All they care about is money.”