11.11.09 – A Wednesday

WORD

verbiage [vur-bee-ij] n. 1. overabundance or superfluity of words, as in writing or speech; wordiness; verbosity 2. manner or style of expressing something in words; wording: a manual of official verbiage

BIRTHDAY

Paracelsus (1493), Abigail Adams (1744), Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821), George Smith Patton, Jr. (1885), Thomas C. Mann (1912), Kurt Vonnegut (1922), Jonathan Winters (1925), Mose Allison (1927), Marshall Crenshaw (1953), Andy Partridge (1953), Stanley Tucci (1960), Demi Moore (1962), James Morrison (1962), Calista Flockhart (1964), David L. Cook (1968), David DeLuise (1971), Adam Beach (1972), Leonardo DiCaprio (1974)

STANDPOINT

Currently, my car horn is damaged. It doesn’t work right. The noise sounds like it might if I was honking it after driving into the deep end of a pool.

It’s pretty ineffective. And the reason why is simple: in my car the horn has been subject to the most use. More than the gas pedal. More than the turn signal. More than the stereo.

During an average 30-minute drive, I’d estimate I employ my horn at least 10-15 times. While you may think that’s overdoing it, you’ll have to forgive me if I disagree. I’m holding myself back. On some drives, I feel like I could lay on the goddam horn from beginning to end.

Some people call this “road rage.” It’s one of those popular terms people love to throw around. But I’m not angry. Well, not the majority of the time. Mainly, I just want people to know they’re fucking up out there on the road. You’re inconveniencing everyone else by driving like Stevie Wonder on heroin.

You see, like all things in our society, everyone feels like they’ve got the right of way. But, in this instance, they’re all taking it quite literally. And it sucks.

I drive like I was taught. Eyes on the road. Aware of my surroundings. I’m basically the best driver you’ll ever meet. I’ve only been in two accidents ever. Neither were my fault. Despite what SEPTA‘s official position was on the first one.

In any case, I’m simply asking everyone out there to drive like they’ve got a brain. Use your turn signal, know where you’re going, get off your fucking cell phone and, most importantly, stay out of my way.

Because, hey, you’ve ruined my car horn and, well, you should feel bad about it.

QUOTATION

Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed.  Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams.  If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered.  Then I say to myself, it is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.Jack Handey

TUNE

After much deliberation, I’ve decided Vampire Weekend‘s best song (so far) is “I Stand Corrected.” At least I think so right now. Tomorrow, however, is a whole other day.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ I’m not going to say one way or another whether I am for or against the death penalty. Mainly, because I’m not sure where I stand on the issue. But I wasn’t sad to hear John Allen Muhammad, one of the two dimwits responsible for D.C. area sniper attacks in October 2002, was put to death last night.

→ I used to think Chad Ochocinco was kind of a strap. But he’s not. Follow him on Twitter and you’ll see what I mean.

→ The new John Cusack movie, 2012, comes out this Friday. Does anyone else think this movie looks like everyone on Earth running for their lives? Christ, when’s Hollywood going to bust out of this? Everything new coming out, including all the inane kid stuff, is either about avoiding the end of the world or humanity’s inability to avoid it.

NOTE: There may not be a new post tomorrow as I’ve dinner plans tonight.  

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04.16.09 – Thursday

Word: anachronism [uhnak-ruh-niz-uhm] n. 1. something or someone that is not in its correct historical chronological time, esp. a thing or person that belongs to an earlier time: The sword is an anchronism in modern warfare 2. an error in chronology in which a person, object, event, etc., is assigned a date or period other than the correct one: To assign Michelangelo to the 14th century is an anachronism.

Birthday: Wilbur Wright (1867), Charlie Chaplin (1899), Henry Mancini (1924), Pope Benedict XVI (1927), Herbie Mann (1930), Bobby Vinton (1935), Dusty Springfield (1939), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1947), Gerry Rafferty (1947), Peter Garrett (1953), Ellen Barkin (1954)Ian MacKaye (1962), Dave Pirner (1964), Jon Cryer (1965)Martin Lawrence (1965), Peter Billingsley (1971), Lukas Haas (1976), Akon (1977) 

Occurence: 2007 – On the campus of Virginia Tech, Seung-Hui Cho shoots 32 people to death, injures 23 others and eventually kills himself. Would’ve been great if he’d reversed the order.

Standpoint: It’s Thurday (already). Time for me to address some of your suggestions for “Annoying Sayings and Misused Words.” Let’s get to it. 

  •  “hone in on” vs. “home in on” – Which one of the following do you think is correct? “He honed in on his true calling.” Or, “He homed in on his true calling.” Dictionary.com provides the answer. To “hone in on” means (a) “to move or advance toward a target or a goal,” or (b) “to direct one’s attention; focus.” To “home in on” means “to proceed, esp. under control of an automated aiming mechanism, toward a specific target as a plane, missile or location.”  So, unless you are in control of “an automated aiming mechanism”, (and if you are, I want to hang out with you), then you are misusing “home in on.” Winner: “hone in on”
  • “provoke” vs. “provocate” – This has always bugged me. My sister Tina and her kids say “provocate” all the time and I correct them when they do and tell them they should be using the word “provoke.” Turns out I’m the one that needs correcting. “Provocate”  is defined by dictionary.com as “to provoke” and is listed in Webster’s New Millennium Dictionary of English. Winner: My sister Tina and her kids
  • “they’re” “their” and “there” – Probably the three most misspelled words on Facebook and Twitter. Trust me, I’m as guilty as anyone. I’m sure everyone knows where to use these words and when but here are the rules, anyway. Just in case. They’re” is a contraction of the words “they” and “are” as in “They’re coming to take me away!” “Their” is a form of the possessive case of the word “they” as in “That’s their problem!” “There” means “in or at that place” as in “Don’t go in there!” Winner: We all win when we use these three words the right way.

Keep up the suggestions for “Annoying Sayings and Misused Words,” featured here every Thursday.

Quotation: Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. Jules Renard

Tune: I know very little about Japanese recording artist and producer Cornelius. I do, however, know that “Drop” is terrific.

Gallimaufry: NASA has made a decision. They won’t name the new room on The International Space Station after Stephen Colbert, despite the fact that The Colbert Report host won an online write-in contest last month with the help of his viewers. Astronaut Sunita L. Williams appeared on the show two nights ago to deliver the news to the heartbroken host face-to-face. However, NASA will be naming something on the space station after Colbert – the Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT), a piece of exercise equipment. So he’s got that going for him. Which is nice…In what some are calling the least important race in recent history (and by “some,” I mean me), Ashton Kutcher, star of Punk’d and husband to Demi Moore, has challenged the news network CNN to a race on Twitter. Whichever gets to 1,000,000 followers first, wins. CNN currently has the most Twitter followers (921,432), while Kutcher is somewhere in the 800,000s. Kutcher has said that if he wins, he’ll “ding dong ditch” Ted Turner‘s house. I’m not sure why those terms are agreaable to the actor but I’d like to see how he would get to the front door of the CNN founder’s house…Any of you attend any of the “tea party” rallies staged across the country yesterday? If so, I’d like to hear all about it.

Incoming: Tomorrow3 Things To Do in Philly When You’re Dead, my list of 3 events I would attend if it were my last weekend in Philadelphia. Plus, 5 People I Wish Would Move to Another Planet, a roster of 5 folks I’d be happy to never hear from again.