11.16.09 – A Monday

WORD

foment [foh-ment] v. 1. to instigate or foster (discord, rebellion, etc.); promote the growth or development of: to foment trouble; to foment discontent 2. to apply warm water or medicated liquid, ointments, etc., to (the surface of the body)

BIRTHDAY

Tiberius (42 BC), Eddie Condon (1905), Burgess Meredith (1908), Griff Rhys Jones (1953), Dwight Gooden (1964), Diana Krall (1964), Lisa Bonet (1967), Martha Plimpton (1970), Oksana Baiul (1977), Maggie Gyllenhaal (1977)

STANDPOINT

OK, so I had a whole big thing written about how modern society is making the free-thinking individual an endangered species, but, for once, I want to recollect my thoughts on it, and rewrite it. So it’ll be here tomorrow. Count on it.

“If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.”  – Albert Einstein

QUOTATION

Now I know the things I know, and I do the things I do; and if you do not like me so, to hell, my love, with you!Dorothy Parker

TUNE

Recently, I’ve been giving a closer listen to Time To Die by The Dodos. I think “Two Medicines” is the best track on the album. I’ll probably change my mind by tomorrow. But right now, that’s my official stance.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ Man, does everyone have a sex tape nowadays? Carrie Prejean, the moron who used to be Miss Calfornia, apparently let an old boyfriend tape her masturbating. And now some porn company has a hold of it. Just a matter of time before it gets leaked, if it hasn’t all ready. People get rich over this kind of shit. Even in this economy.

→ I don’t care what you think. I’ll admit it. I have always loved Allen Iverson. His current debacle with the Memphis Grizzlies might, sadly, be his swan song in the NBA.

→ I used to do a segment on this blog named Annoying Sayings & Misused Words. Check out how Cracked.com ripped me off. Also, they probably did it better than I ever did.

05.21.09 – Thursday

Word: jabberwocky [jab-er-wok-ee] n. 1. a playful imitation of language consisting of invented, meaningless words; nonsense; gibberish 2. an example of writing or speech consisting of or containing meaningless words ∞ adj. 3. consisting of or comparable to Jabberwocky; meaningless; senseless

Birthday: Albrecht Dürer (1471), Henri Rousseau (1844), Armand Hammer (1898), Fats Waller (1904), Raymond Burr (1917), Leo Sayer (1948), Al Franken (1951), Mr. T (1952), Judge Reinhold (1957), The Notorious B.I.G. (1972), Fairuza Balk (1974)

Standpoint: Thursday is the day I address your suggestions for Annoying Sayings & Misused Words. Let’s have at it.

  •  “OMG” – (submitted by Fred T.) – “OMG” started out as a chat acronym for “Oh my God!’ But, I’m sorry to report that it has snuck out into the spoken word. I think it’s a great thing to teach children to say instead of, “Oh my God!” Otherwise, unless you’re using it ironically (something I’ll always support), congratulations. It’s official. You’re a tool.
  • “It’s” vs. “Its” – (submitted by Cheryl F.) – When it comes to “it’s” and “its”, I’m ever vigilant. Definitely easy to make a mistake here with just an apostrophe (‘) making the difference. “It’s” is a contraction for “it is” or “it has.” It’s going to be a great day. “Its” is possessive pronoun meaning “of it” or “belonging to it.” The bear got its foot trapped in the rocks. These two words are confused and misused mainly due to lack of attention to detail. Make sure to keep an eye out. One of the easiest grammatical mistakes to miss.
  • “I know, right?” – (submitted by Harold W.) – I’m reasonably sure, without my knowledge, a law was passed that every woman under-30 in this country is obligated  to utter this phrase exactly 85 times per day. First, if you’re agreeing with something someone said by saying, “I know,” there is no need to follow it with, “right?” The other person already agrees with you. By itself, it’s not that bothersome. But the way it’s said most of the time can make my skin crawl. I think it all has to do with the 2-octave jump the voice does when emphazizing  the last word “right,” making it sound like, “I know, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight?”

How about you? What things do you hear or read that bother you? Let us know.

Quotation: Never mistake motion for action. Ernest Hemingway

Tune: I read about Harlem Shakes‘ song “Sunlight” on a friend’s Facebook status update. Great driving-to-the-beach song.

Gallimaufry: Today might be remembered for a long time as President Obama and former VP Dick Cheney will both give speeches on the state of terrorism in this country. Cheney thinks Obama has left the country wide-open for a terrorist attack and will give his thoughts in a speech titled “Keeping America Safe: An Address by Dick Cheney.” Obama’s speech is called, “How’s Dick Cheney Still Alive?” ∞ Human piece of garbage Michael Vick was released from prison yesterday after serving 18 months for admitting sharing responsibility for brutally murdering several dogs. The former NFL star will server the last two months of his sentence under house arrest in Hampton, Virginia. Vick is reportedly ready to join a Humane Society of the United States campaign designed to discourage urban youth from pitting angry dogs against each other in fights to the death. ∞ Oscar-winning director Cameron Crowe understands how to make music work in movies. If you’ve ever watched the scene from Say Anything where John Cusack plays Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” outside Ione Skye’s house, you know exactly what I mean. Anyway, Crowe has compiled a list of some of the best music moments in film history. Pretty solid, in my opinion.

Incoming: Tomorrow – It’s my birthday. But it’ll also be Friday so you’ll get my 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead plus some birthday-related list. Come back and check it out.

05.14.09 – Thursday

Word: odium [oh-dee-uhm] n. 1. intense hatred or dislike, esp. toward a person or thing regarded as contemptible, despicable, or repugnant 2. the reproach, discredit, or opprobrium attaching to something hated or repugnant: He had to bear the odium of neglecting his family 3. the state or quality of being hated

Birthday: Thomas Gainsborough (1727), Otto Klemperer (1885), Herbert W. Franke (1927), George Lucas (1944), David Byrne (1952), Robert Zemeckis (1952), Tim Roth (1961), Suzy Kolber (1964), Cate Blanchett (1969), Sofia Coppola (1971), Miranda Cosgrove (1993)

Standpoint: Thursday means it’s time to for Annoying Sayings & Misused Words.

  • “epic fail”(submitted by a Facebook friend) – “Epic Fail” is being thrown around like a hot potato these days on the internet. And like most catch phrases, it’s being unmercilessly beat into the ground. No one seems to agree on the meaning of the term. Here is the best description of “epic fail” I’ve found so far: “A mistake of such monumental proportions that it requires its own term in order to sucessfully point out the unfathomable shortcomings of an individual or group.” OK. If we accept that definition for our purposes here, let’s look to a few weeks back, when Twitter was experiencing some serious difficulties. The Twitterati were madly tweeting about the site’s “epic fail.” I didn’t feel it was a “mistake of such monumental proportions.” Probably just a bad day over at Twitter HQ. No one died and nothing exploded. Everybody walked away just fine. As I’m learning, it’s not a saying like, “epic fail,” that’s annoying, but the overuse of it.
  • “affect” vs. “effect”(submitted by Gina L.) – This is a tricky one. “Effect” means “something that is produced by an agency or cause.” On the other hand, “affect” means “produce an effect or change in.” Confusing, right? I’ll try to clear it up. “Effect” should be used when describing a result: “Jimmy had no effect on what happened.” “Affect” should be used when describing the influence someone or something had on a result: “How did your talk affect her decision?” As you can see, it’s a very fine line.
  • “a lot” vs. “alot”(submitted by John G.) – I doubt we’d find anyone who’s never misused “alot.” But “alot” is not a word. “A lot” is “an informal phrase meaning a large portion or large quantity of something.” So there you have it.

How about you? Do you often hear a phrase that irks you? A word that is constantly misused? Please share.

Quotation: As an intellectual, it’s my job to take ideas that pass as common sense and complicate them.Dr. Marc Lamont Hill

Tune: The Weepies. Not my favorite band name. But Deb Talan & Steve Tannen make some pretty incredible songs. Case in point – “World Spins Madly On”

Gallimaufry: After its upcoming European tour, The Lucksmiths will be breaking up after a 16-year long run. In a statement released on its website, the band wrote, “We had tried to operate the band in a way that would suit all of us, but at the same time we’ve been very conscious that too much compromise would in the end affect our creative output.” There’s another band I’ll never get to see live. Good luck, fellas. ∞ If you smoke cigarettes or drink acohol, you might soon be spending more money to support your habit. The Senate Finance Committee is coming for you. ∞ The heading reads, “Rotten office fridge cleanup sends 7 to the hospital.” No. I didn’t find this on The Onion. It’s true. 28 people received medical treatment. Unreal. 

Incoming: Tomorrow3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead and 7 Covers Songs Better That The Original