So Many Weird Grammar Moods Give Me the Blues

Weird moods such as…

As do weird modern remakes of classic Moody Blues mood music…

#newisnotalwaysbetter

 

A History of A*

According to the ONLINE ETYMOLOGY DICTIONARY**, the etymological “definition” of the indefinite article “a” is:

a form of an used before consonants, mid-12c., a weakened form of Old English an “one” (see an). The disappearance of the -n- before consonants was mostly complete by mid-14c. After c. 1600 the -n- also began to vanish before words beginning with a sounded -h-; it still is retained by many writers before unaccented syllables in h- or (e)u- but is now no longer normally spoken as such. The -n- also lingered (especially in southern England dialect) before -w- and -y- through 15c.

It also is used before nouns of singular number and a few plural nouns when few or great many is interposed.

For reasons unclear, I wondered all of a sudden how that much overworked and under-appreciated word “a” came about…
Continue reading “A History of A*”

In Honor of the Far Too Many Legendary Rockers We Lost This Year…

guitar-and-amp

…many of whom came to us from that Rock Empire across the pond affectionately known as Britain, I celebrate this Holiday* Season Weekend with a contemporary British rock band called BRING ME THE HORIZON.

Finding their fame as a screamo band, with the screamo genre being a derivative of the once popular emo genre, BMTH is transitioning into more of a popular rock vibe, similar to that of a Linkin Park.

While they are youthful lads, BMTH’s music and especially their poetically powerful lyrics, which often put interesting twists on clichés and figures of speech, speak/sing well beyond their years.

You can get a taste of what they have to say in one of the more creative lyric videos >> TRUE FRIENDS (All you grammar nerds, forgive their subjunctive mood faux pas. Even the most intellectual of rockers, Jim Morrison, made the same error).

They also have one of the most creative and socially smart videos I’ve seen in a long time with >> FOLLOW YOU. However, I will warn you in the most strongest terms… It is very graphic and potentially disturbing to those who disturb easily; and maybe to even those who disturb hardly. Be careful.

And in case you were wondering, IMLTHO the best lyric video of all time is courtesy of my main man and living legend >> MR. TOM WAITS.

Time will tell if BMTH reaches the legendary status of the far too many rockers we lost this year. You’ll have to check back with me here in fifty years or so to find out.

Okay, then…

ROCK ON &
MERRY SATURNALIA DAY!
 


 
*See this.

I and Me Confusing You and Yours

Still confused about the whole “me” or “I” thing, I see.

Listen, just slapping “I” in every sentence where there is a need for a pronoun for you isn’t going to make you seem smarter, my friend.

It will make you seem just the opposite to those who know the rules…

So what is the rule when it comes to “me” versus “I” usage?

Grammatically speaking, when you are the subject of a sentence, use “I.” When you are the object of a sentence, use “me.”

Yeah, I know… so what that means for you and me in plain English/American:

Simply take out the other name(s), noun(s), or pronoun(s) listed in the sentence with you and use whichever pronoun for you (I or me) you would normally use in the same sentence without them.

For instance:

A copy was given to Rick, Steve, and (me/I).

Copy is the subject. The people are the objects.

Without Rick and Steve in the sentence we would easily know to say:

A copy was given to me.

So, the correct sentence would read:

A copy was given to Rick, Steve, and me.

Another example:

Betty, Jane, and (me/I) are going to the library.

The three people are the subjects.

Without Betty and Jane, we of course would say:

I am going to the library.

So, the correct sentence would read:

Betty, Jane, and I are going to the library.

Piece of cake, right?

Of course it is. But that means you’ll have think (to do the grammar math) first before you speak so that may continue to cause you/us some problems.

Anyway…

Follow this simple grammar hack and you and me will get along just fine, my friend.

;)

 
 

me

MY VIEW – A Women’s Issues Feature

When DotedOn submitted her essay My View to the Relating to Humans Women’s Issues feature, I could immediately feel its power and its truth, and the life lived as written, raw and exposed.

When submitted, DotedOn initially addressed it to me. I wrote to her soon after and asked if I could take out the address as I felt it may be distracting from the essay’s message. She wrote me back and, kindly, as she always is, said it was fine for me to make the edits and, since English is not her first language, she asked that I make any other edits that I felt may be necessary. I was pleased when she wrote this because there were, in fact, some grammar adjustments that I had wanted to make.

And, with haste, I made the adjustments.

However, after I read her essay with my edits, I found that something had happened. It seemed its power had somehow been diminished. I immediately restored the essay back to its original version, which, in turn, restored its power.

I spent the rest of the day reflecting on what had happened. The edits I made were almost insignificant, really; however, the impact of the edits was wholly significant. The impact was devastating to the overall feel and effect of the essay.

Perhaps, then, our words draw their strength not so much from our language and its form, but from our voice and our uniquely individual inflections and tones as only we can speak them…


 

My View

by DotedOn
 

I’m a single mom. I have five kids. I escaped an abusive relationship because I got to the point where nothing could be worse than staying one more second in that house. I exchanged comfort for unknown. I feel guilt every single day of my life. I know I took the right decision. I still don’t understand why my kids don’t see it and keep asking me why I don’t go back to daddy. They were there, they should know why.

Some people admire me… I still don’t get why. What’s to admire? That I left 5 kids without a dad? That I tolerate abuse for so long? That I’m alone and lost in another country miles away from every person dear to me?

I get questions like: How can you manage alone with 5 kids? I rub my eyes. I have everything. My question is: How could a widow 80 years ago manage 11 kids and no washing machine or fridge or disposable diapers or Nintendo’s to keep the kids quiet for a while.

Who should I please? Why I get judged? Why if I chose to be happy I feel this guilt all the time?
 

dotedon.wordpress.com

English is for Everyone

or

In Defense of Hoarders

The past week or so, I have been pretending to be a computer repairman (I guess in this gender-sensitive age it’s okay for me to say repairman instead of something vanilla (is it okay for me to say vanilla? does it matter that I’m white?) like repair person or repair representative, since I am, in fact, despite all the chemo’s and other drugs’s long-lasting emasculating attempts, a man). It’s funny how, no matter how useless they become, old computers, along with old video games, and old phones, and old power packs, and old chargers, and don’t even get me started on unidentifiable old CDs, kind of just hang around in a corner of the basement as if it were a technological sarcophagus — lifeless computers stacked forlornly, purposeless cables and chords twisted madly into an untwistable balled bunch… Yeah.

Anyway, the past week or so I have been Dr. Frankengeek: attempting to restore ancient operating systems, rooting around in old files, deleting an old this, saving an old that.

So, so much stuff tucked away within those old computers. Who really knows how much stuff is really on them? Of course we never should throw them away until the day a gadget is made that possesses unlimited memory and a magical ability to instantaneously copy old files onto it without any user prompting, whatsoever. And not just any old file, no, certainly not those intransigent .dll files or any other annoying and undeletable ones like them, only important old files. And not to worry, this gadget will know what’s what, believe me. Oh, and of course the gadget will be cordless and will have an infinite battery life.

Coming soon to an Amazon store near you…

Until I can get my hands one of those suckers, I promise all my old computers will stay unneatly stacked in my basement and conveniently out of your landfill.

Most of the past week or so has certainly been less than fun. It’s a good thing I’m jobless and have a lot of time on my hands because most of the past week or so has been nothing more than an intimate study of the Ctrl, Alt, Del keys.

If this is what the world is coming to, then I say, go ahead and let the geeks inherit it.

Geek salvation…boring.

However, every once in a while I did dig my way into a stash of old photos, or old school papers, or some other ancient gem that reminded me of how cool it has been to live with my wife and kids these past twenty-five years or so.

Take, for instance, the picture found at the beginning of this rambling post. I found it in a folder of old English lessons.

Back in the last century, I used to live in Japan, and for a time when I lived in Japan, I used to teach English on the side to some very wonderful Japanese folks. To find and attract those wonderful Japanese folks, I used to advertise my lessons as “English is for Everyone.” Quaint, ain’t it?

Those of you who know my family, know how talented my children are. My daughter is an especially talented artist. She always has been, as is evident by the drawing she made when she was, oh, I don’t know…ten? twelve?…and which is found at the top of this rambling post, and which became the logo for those old lessons. I believe we even made iron-ons out of that logo and pressed them on to tee-shirts. At any rate, we truly made a good time out of it, that’s for sure.

Within that old stash, I also found many of my old English lessons, and old worksheets, and old handouts. They all bring back fond and funny and fortunate memories. I miss all my — I hesitate to call them students because it seemed as if I ended up learning more from them than they did from me, so I’ll simply say, I miss all my friends from that period of my life.

What follows is a copy of one of the old handouts I put together to, well, handout to my friends during those old English lessons. It is a list of heteronyms (thank god for google (is that redundant?)) that exemplifies just how crazy and fun the English language is.

Come to think of it, this might be a stretch, but, English is kind of like my old computers… It’s a communication system and storage system and retrieval system, all coded and operated by a language that rarely deletes anything but continually accumulates and assumes bits and bytes of other languages into its own as it constantly and forever evolves and adapts its system to the demands of the times.

Yeah, I said it was a bit of a stretch, but still…

No wonder the English language is so difficult to learn

We polish the Polish furniture.
He could be in the lead if he would just get the lead out.
A farm can produce produce.
The dump was so full it had to refuse refuse.
The soldier decided to desert in the desert.
The present is a good time to present the present.
At the Army base, a bass fish was painted on the head of a bass drum.
The dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object.
The insurance for the invalid was invalid.
The bandage was wound around the wound.
There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
They were too close to the door to close it.
The buck does funny things when the does are present.
They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.
To help with planting, the farmer taught his fat sow to sow the seeds.
The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
After a number of Novocaine injections, my jaw became number.
I shed a tear when I saw the tear in my pants.
I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
I spent last evening evening out a pile of dirt.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JULY 2012

Onomatopoeia Flu

Blah!

A sniffle a snort
A wheeze and a sneeze
A belch a burp and a moan.

A slurp a sigh
A hiss and a buzz
A babble a wow and a groan.

An utter a sputter
A mumble and a grumble
A barf a spit and a spew.

A cough a hack
A hum and a yawn
A sheesh then finally…a whew!

There are flues that can make smoke float up,
And there are flues that can make folks lie down.
But the Onomatopoeia Flu is the only flu
That can make you make really weird sounds.

 
From Poem Man

 
 

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You know, chances are pretty good that…

I am frantically doing a frantic Update Edit right now in real time as you read this to frantically correct the mistake that I swear to the Almighty Universal Power Often Referred To In English, At Least In Many Of The Western “First World” Countries, As God wasn’t there when I pressed Publish just one second ago…

 
 

#amwriting
#amediting
#amconfused

There’s something I really need to tell you…

But, in all honesty…

I’m a little scared…

I am afraid that when I tell you about that which lays so heavily on my heart…

You will immediately lose all respect for me…

And end our friendship…

But it’s really something I have to do…

Something I have been yearning to do for some time now…

But society says it’s bad…

That good boys and girls should never, ever do this…

That it’s against “the law”…

The “law”…

Who makes these “laws” anyway…

The pious…

The pedant…

You know, those kind…

The beautiful ones…

The ones oh so righteous

And the ones oh so true…

Just tell me…

Why do these hypocrites have the right to tell me how I should direct my love…

Every single one of them…

Hypocrites…

They, themselves, are constantly doing exactly that which they so fervently condemn…

They don’t think I see them wallowing in their hypocrisy…

But I do…

They, in all their self-righteousness, are no better than me…

Or you…

And yet they think they can, with the stroke of their red pen…

Or with the stinging criticism of their lashing tongue…

Keep us perfectly in our place…

Directly in their control…

Like the little lambs that we are…

The lemmings…

And for so long, they have done just that…

Because I have let them…

I have let them have power over me…

I have suppressed all that I so strongly desired just so I could abide their “laws”…

And reap their favor…

And their praise…

How I longed to not love that which I have loved for so long…

That which was strictly forbidden to me…

But tonight…

Right now…

I revoke their power…

And assume it for myself…

Tonight, right now, I have the power…

And with that power I will openly declare my love for that which they forbid…

That which for centuries has been considered evil and taboo…

Literally, to them, a mortal sin…

But tonight I shall rise up

Tonight I shall break the conventions of normalcy…

Tonight I shall shed the chaffing shackles of oppression and humiliation…

Tonight I shall boldly and unabashedly declare my love and my devotion…

My all and my everything…

To the alluring, the sexy…

The more than a little naughty…

The compulsively and completely addictive…

The one thing that I am happily head over heals for…

And desperately in love with…

The Adverb.