10.01.09 – A Thursday

WORD

anathema [uhnathuh-muh] n. 1. a person or thing detested or loathed: That subject is anathema to him 2. a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction 3. a formal ecclesiastical curse involving excommunication 4. any imprecation of divine punishment 5. a curse; execration

BIRTHDAY

Richard Stockton (1730), William Boeing (1881), Helio Gracie (1913), Walter Matthau (1920), Jimmy Carter (1924), William Rehnquist (1924), Roger Willams (1926), Tom Bosley (1927), George Peppard (1928), Richard Harris (1930), Julie Andrews (1935), Randy Quaid (1950), Youssou N’Dour (1959), Esai Morales (1962), Mark McGwire (1963), Christopher Titus (1966)

STANDPOINT

Short and sweet today. Listening to all you Philadelphia Eagles “fans” talk about Kevin Kolb and how unimpressed you were with his two starts makes me want to drown you.

The dude becomes the first QB ever to throw for over 300 yards in each of his first starts and, still, you’ve got negative shit to say.

In my humble opinion, you people are lucky to have any sports teams at all. You suck.

QUOTATION

I like when they bring a comedian on stage, they always tell you what else they do. But fuck, this is enough, isn’t it? He’s here tonight performing, because that is his job! But no, it’s gotta be, “He laid bricks in Philadelphia. And he repaired a car in Oklahoma. He has an umbrella store in Philadelphia. That’s the only city that comes to mind right now. Philadelphia, ’cause you can say “Philly” and the people from Philadelphia will not get mad. Like if you say “Frisco,” San Francisco people say, “Fuck off!” But if you say “Philly” they say, “Alright!” Because I don’t always have time to say “Philadelphia.” Sometimes I just need that word to be two syllables. Phil-a-del-phi-a. Fuck, five! Your town would be called Philly too if it had five syllables!Mitch Hedberg

(Note: While I think Mitch Hedberg’s stuff is supremely kind of funny at times, I disagree with the whole “Philly” thing. I’ve never liked it. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, how much longer does it take to actually pronounce “Philadelphia?” Maybe about .2 seconds? And, if you’re from here, how often do you really have to say the actual name of the city? “Hey, next Tuesday, let’s meet in Northern Liberties. It’s a neighborhood in Philadelphia, where you and I both live. Just wanted to clarify.” For the record, if someone said that to me, I would stand them up. I can’t hang with that person.)  

TUNE

“Tim and Sam make music for the entrance foyer to heaven.” Those are the word of Megan Vaughan from manchestermusic.co.uk. She’s referring to Tim & Sam Band. And, possibly, Megan is right. Check out “Summer Solstice.”

GALLIMAUFRY

→ Man, things have gotten shitty for Washington Redskins fans. I can’t believe there are bids on this guy’s eBay offering. But, when your team loses to the Detroit Lions, there may be few other recourses.

→ For all the people out there who were worries, and I know that’s like almost all of you, my current health problems were due to an oversight in medications conflicting with one another. I’m fine now.

→ Earlier this week, I tried to explain my take on the problems with individual’s personal music tastes. And, I was wrong. Just a little. But I was mostly right. But Blender.com’s list of “The 50 Worst Artists in Music History” is more off than I was. Toad the Wet Sprocket? Spin Doctors? Blind Melon? The Doors? Crash Test Dummies? Oingo Boingo? Not the best bands in the world, but I’m betting this list was written by a bunch of people who attended college in the 1990s and spent every weekend watching everyone else go out and have fun while they sat around with their friend and argued about which reruns of The Simpsons to watch. Also, they probably argued about whether James T. Kirk or Jean-Luc Picard was the better captain of the USS Enterprise. Just so you know, it was Picard.

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05.07.09 – Thursday

Word: acrimony [ak-ruh-moh-nee] n. sharpness, harshness or bitterness of nature, speech, disposition, etc.: The speaker attacked him with great acrimony

Birthday: William Bainbridge (1774), Johannes Brahms (1833), Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840), Gary Cooper (1901), Eva Peron (1919), Johnny Unitas (1933), Jimmy Ruffin (1939), Thelma Houston (1946), Bill Kreutzmann (1946), Randall “Tex” Cobb (1950), Tim Russert (1950), Traci Lords (1968), Eagle Eye Cherry (1969), Breckin Meyer (1974)Nicole Sheridan (1975)

Standpoint: It’s Thursday and that means I’m addressing your suggestions for Annoying Sayings & Misused Words. Right. Now.

  • “ironical” vs. “ironic” – Mentioned by many of you, I think it’s safe to say that we owe this “irony” debate to Alanis Morissette. “Ironical” is defined as “using or prone to irony.” I hate it when I disappoint my readers but that’s probably just what the next sentence will accomplish. As for “ironic,” the second definition offered by dictionary.com was actually “ironical.” So, unfortunately for all of you grammar hounds out there, you are no longer free to correct people when they use “ironical.” Sorry.
  • “could have” vs. “could of” – I hear this one a lot. Hell, I might even say “could of,” I’m not sure. But if I do, I’m wrong as can be. To quote EnglishPlus.com, “‘Could of’ does not exist.” That’s about the end of the debate right there, I think.
  • “no offense, but…” – In its essence, this is a cowardly phrase that was most likely shortened from another, much longer phrase  like, “Hey, I’m a big wuss and I’m about to say something that may or may not piss you off, but I still want to make my feelings known on this issue without fear of bodily harm or reciprocity via an equally offensive comment launched in my direction.” In my experience, when someone starts out a statement with, “no offense, but…” it’s usually meant to imply the opposite like, “No offense, dude, but you suck.” I think it’s all right when used that way. Kind of ironical. Right?

Well, there you go. I’m starting to get the sense that a lot of these words that we all originally thought were being misused have now been accepted by the word authorities as acceptable usage. Are they simply addressing the evolution of the language or are the bending to the will of a people who are too lazy to speak it properly? What do you think?

Quotation: The internet is the world’s largest library. It’s just that all the books are on the floor. John Allen Paulos

Tune: Colin Hay might be remembered by most for his involvement with the 80s Australian pop band Men At Work, but what he’s done since then is create some amazing singer-songwriter anthems. Check out “Waiting For My Real Life To Begin.” Also, if you are a fan of the show “Scrubs,” this might be worth checking out. And if, for whatever reason, you’re pining for those Men At Work days, here’s Hay’s reworking of “Overkill.”

Gallimaufry: Apparently, our society now has individuals calling themselves “public intellectuals.” Read all about Stu Bykofsky’s experience with Dr. Marc Lamont Hill. ∞ Due to all of the driving around I’ve been doing since the new move, I’ve been daydreaming about faster-than-light travel. It’s fun to fantasize about pushing a button and having the world around you turn into a blur as you travel hundreds of miles in the blink of an eye. It’s even more fun to imagine Jean-Luc Picard in the backseat, calmly giving the order to “Engage,” right before you hit the imaginary button. That kind of thing will probably never be possible over land but, out in the cosmos, Space.com seems to think it might be possible sooner than we think ∞ The Shins are back. Well. Kind of. Marty Crandall and Jesse Sandoval are out of the band for what lead singer James Mercer calls “aesthetic reasons.” He’s recruited Ron Lewis from Grand Archives and Joe Plummer from Modest Mouse to join the band for their new tour and upcoming album.

Incoming: Tomorrow3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead and, inspired by all of this rain lately, 7 Sunny Songs About Rain.