09-04-11: A Friday

Word

candor [kan-der] n. 1. the state or quality of being frank, open, and sincere in speech or expression; candidness: The candor of the speech impressed the audience 2. freedom from bias; fairness; impartiality: to consider an issue with candor

Birthday

Anton Bruckner (1824), Mickey Cohen (1913), Henry Ford II (1917), Paul Harvey (1918), Forrest Carter (1925), Dick York (1928), Clive Granger (1934), Raymond Floyd (1942), Tom Watson (1949), Khandi Alexander (1957), David Drew Pinsky (Dr. Drew) (1958), Kim Thayil (1960), Damon Wayans (1960), Mike Piazza (1968), Dave Buchwald (1970), Ione Skye (1971), Beyoncé Knowles (1981)

Standpoint

With the return of the NFL season, we are inevitably going to be forced to face the dreaded return of NFL commentary and game announcing. Here are a few things that bug the shit out of me routinely on Sunday and Monday Night (and occasionally Thursday night).

Keys To The Game – Right before the kickoff of each and every game, the expert announcers rattle off something called the “Keys to the Game.” Usually, these “Keys” are the factors the entire production staff has figured out one team will need to do to win the game. Most of the time, it boils down to three bulletpoints that usually translate into (a) limiting the other team’s scoring to as much as possible, while on the other hand, (b) scoring as many points as possible, and (c) not taking stupid penalties. Concepts easily grasped by anyone who has a rudimentary understanding of how a competitive game actually works.

The On-Field Interview – Usually, some newbie sportscaster is relegated to the sidelines for the duration of the game. This person is usually asked, in whatever kind of weather, to comment on things like “the feel of the crowd,” or “the mood on the bench.” But the sideline reporter’s time to shine is definitely the on-field interview where he or she gets the opportunity to ask the coach, either right before the game or the second half starts, a supposedly poignant question like, “Coach, your team is down 42-7. What’s your strategy for the second half.” The coach will normally respond with something like, “Well, I had a talk with the guys during halftime and I think you’re going to see a different football team out there in the second half.” Translation? “Well, I went into the locker room and threatened everyone within an inch of their life and I’m pretty sure the entire team knows I’m absolutely serious about killing them and everyone they know if the other team scores one more fucking point. But, honestly, I gotta say I’m ecstatic you stopped me to chat. Besides picking you up over my head and throwing you as far as humanly possible, it’s difficult to conjure anything else I’d rather be doing right now.”

The In-The-Booth GuestMonday Night Football is the main culprit here. Whatever city the MNF game is in, some famous person gets scheduled to come up and chat about the game with the commentators. A nice idea. The only problem is that everyone involved in the conversation eventually gets wrapped up in whatever the hell it is they’re talking about and we get to hear Kiefer Sutherland talk about all intense action on the upcoming season of 24 while, on the field, some guy is breaking a 90-yard touchdown run.

Tony Siragusa“The Goose” can make even the most exciting game kind of suck. Waddling around the sidelines and making ill-informed, unfunny, random observations is apparently something you can get paid for. Even in this economy.

Quotation

Among creatures born into chaos, a majority will imagine an order, a minority will question the order, and the rest will be pronounced insane.Robert Brault

Tune

Brendan Benson has recently gained fame as part of the Jack White-led outfit The Raconteurs. But he’s been around for years, making outstanding music all by himself. His latest release, My Old, Familiar Friend, is no exception. Try “A Whole Lot Better.”

Gallimaufry

→ About seven years ago, poolside on some cruise ship, I read “Video-Game Character Wondering Why Heartless God Always Chooses ‘Continue'” and became convinced that The Onion was the funniest periodical of all time. I actually spit out my banana daquiri when I read, “But sometimes, like when I suicidally attack dozens of armed guards with only my bare hands, it seems that God is putting me through hell merely to amuse Himself. It just doesn’t make sense.” Trust me. It’s funny in context. Go read it if you don’t believe me.

→ To the depths of my core, I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I don’t go to conventions or sleep out for any kind of tickets, but it’s likely I know more about George Lucas‘ epic than you do. Geeky? Yes. Let’s move on. I’m no idiot. Nor am I blind or deaf. So I understand there are fundamental plot faults in everything, including my much beloved Star Wars. For more information on this topic, please read “7 Classic Star Wars Characters Who Totally Dropped The Ball.”

→ I’ve worked in the restaurant business my entire adult life and can testify that most of “Five Secrets Restaurants Don’t Want You to Know” is absolutely true. Except for the “Be Wary of Fish” part. Never once heard of that happening.

Advertisements

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