19 April 2009

More Spelling Annoyances

I'm here again after another good stretch of time between posts. Once again I must turn your attention to another set of annoyingly common and commonly annoying spelling mistakes a great deal of people make when making comments for public perusal.

Yes, it's true. People write comments that they know others in the general public will read. They seek to make a point in their writing, whether it be a snappy comeback directed at a previous commenter, witty commentary on the subject in question, or to provide additional insight into the discussion.

However, no matter the purpose in their discourse, too many times do they subject the readers to a mind-numbing plethora of poor grammar and bad spelling. (I define "bad" here as simultaneously "incorrect" and "destined to doom the future of humanity when pigeons and jackals with better spelling skills than the greater percentage of English-speaking peoples take out their rage with red ink pens and pleather-encased spell-checking dictionaries.")

That brings me to the point of this essay:



Common Misspellings and How to Fix Them


Common Misspelling #1
"Voila" vs. "Viola"

Voila (pronounced "vwa-la"): a French exclamatory word similar in meaning to "Presto!" or "There it is!"

Example of misspelling in context: "I took a little paint and a little chalk and viola: my picture was complete."

Viola (pronounced "vee-o'-luh" or "vy-o'-luh"): a stringed instrument larger than a violin; a certain genus of plants.

Example of misspelling in context: "I play second chair voila. My brother plays first chair presto, and his wife plays in the ta-da section."


Common Misspelling #2
"Definitely" vs. "Definately"

Definitely (pronounced "def'-i-net-ly"): without doubt or question.

Example of misspelling in context: "He is definately going to be late for practice.

Definately (pronounced "def-i-nate'-ly"): the wrong way to spell "definitely."

Proposed correct usage of the misspelled word: "The giant attacking Todd and Lee made Todd go definately*."


Common Misspelling #3
"To" vs. "Too" vs. "Two"

To (pronounced "too"): a preposition expressing direction.

Too (pronounced "too"): very; extremely; in addition; as well; also; additionally; furthermore.

Two (pronounced "too"): a cardinal number that is the same as one plus one, three minus one, the square root of four, twelve divided by six, and the digit in the ones place juxtaposed with the number four in the tens place of the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Example of misspellings in context: "Too make it two the to o'clock showing of The Miracle on 42nd Street, you need two make a left on avenue number too, but don't go to far or you'll find yourself falling intwo a mess of trouble, the likes of which you've not seen since your terrible toos."

Correct usage: "That was too funny." "He went to the store." "She bought two eggs."

---


If I can persuade even one...hundred percent of the general population to obey the correct spelling and usage of just these few words, I would still have a long way to go; but at least I would not have to strain my brain and annoy my left brain so much trying to decipher the hidden meaning behind everyone's comments. Keep in mind, I understand the basic evolution of language and the fact that technology helps to bridge gaps between different-speaking cultures by speeding up the changes in language. I understand all that. But, shouldn't there be some kind of structure, some sort of rules put in place to stabilize it?

With that said, I close with this.











*In case you don't get it: "The giant attacking Todd and Lee made Todd go 'deaf and ate Lee.'"



(This MySBlentry was originally posted on 20 January 2009 at 11:57AM.)

16 April 2009

Paul Revere

I know this is going to seem quite random; and frankly, it is.

Have you ever noticed how much the portrait of Paul Revere (by John Singleton Copley c. 1768-1770) looks like a cross between contemporary actor/heavy metal comedian Jack Black and the Monkees' Micky Dolenz?

Some of my Photoshop-skilled friends should draw something involving the three playing in a band a la "every-cartoon-from-the-60s-and-early-70s". You know, one has the wonky guitar, the other on drums, and one ..boards. Maybe throw in Keanu Reeves with a tambourine. Come to think of it, this might also resemble the Monkees a bit. Or a Monkees' bit. Or bit a monkey.

Oh...or maybe they should all be riding through colonial Boston on horses.

Yeah, that'd be great.





(This MySBlentry was originally posted on 24 September 2008 at 6:50AM)

COMMENTS FROM ORIGINAL POST:

Wow! Paul Revere really DOES look like Jack Black and Monkee Mikey.
Posted by Rebecka on Thursday, September 25, 2008 - 7:23 AM

15 April 2009

What Happened to Clever Figurative Language?

I like to watch YouTube, especially postings of Animaniacs cartoons, Whose Line is it Anyway, and various clips of excellent (most of the time) singing. (I include the recent Muppets postings with the ever-so-talented Beaker with these.)

However, the main thing that amazes me in any of these media are the comments below the videos by users (*pointing into the audience* like you...or you...or even you). Frequently, I view the comments before letting the video play to avoid those random 30-second long still videos ending in the Scary Loud Screaming Monster Face (which sounds like a good name for a rock band or an exclamation from Jerry Lewis' caricature voice) videos that purport to be something legitimate and end up making you spill tea on your lap. (Well, that's my excuse for the tea in my lap, at least.)

But, I digress. A lot. Very often in fact. But, I'm losing my point. Moving on....

The comments for these video sites (as well as on many blog sites and news articles) tend to be filled with various statements of profound insight into the subject at hand, profane attempts at being clever, pretentious nonsequitirs attempting to be humorous, or parasitic postings for porn sites. (Yay, I love alliteration.) But, now I get to my point:

What happened to clever figurative language? More often than anything you will read something like the following:


"That was (funny/scary/dumb/lame/boring/aquamarine) as (insert monosyllabic expletive)!"


or the now clich├ęd assortment of cyber-acronyms, my least favorite of which includes a variant of the "omigosh" syllables.

(Of course the grammar, spelling, and rules of punctuation will not be anything resembling correct, but I think you get the point.)
Far and beyond the dull, ineffective, and annoying use of expletives and overused but illogical metaphors is the sheer lack of creative figurative language.

"That was (funny/scary/dumb/lame/boring/aquamarine) as (a monkey juggling toasters/falling head first into a pit of rabid falafels/a raging horde of Jamaican water buffalo/Richard Simmons)!"


So, please, for the sake of creative language and the sanity of many: take great care in the words you choose to use. Make reading what you have to say interesting, not just another stream of toilet water (also a good name for a rock band).

And, now, back to Animaniacs. Ha, that Wakko is as funny as a bologna sandwich parade in Turkey.



(This MySBlentry originally posted on 19 August 2008 at 7:44AM.)


COMMENTS FROM ORIGINAL POST:

2 Kudos

I am laughing so hard that I am shedding tears over the rabid falafels!
Posted by Melissa Starcher on Wednesday, September 03, 2008 - 7:34 AM

14 April 2009

MySBlentry 6

Is this my sixth MySBlog?


I have no idea.


Did I even bother to look at my old blogs to see what number I'm on now?


Um...no.


Yes, friends and neighbors, it's time once again for my semi-irregular, never duplicated, often obfuscated, somewhat serrated blog about...oh, let's pick a topic from this hat here...cheese. Yes, cheese.


As many of you may know, I like cheese. Contrary to popular belief, however, I was not the originator of the website(s) devoted to cheese(s), nor did I partake in any of the early-to-mid 20th century "government cheese" goings-on. Sorry to disappoint.


In other news, 1 out of every 4 members of the population of Ohio makes up 25% of the population of Ohio (statistics allow for +/- 18.92% on a confidence level of 60%). In related news, I now live in Ohio, which is not WV, and for which I am much excited and certainly more on the satisfied side of the measuring line of what could possibly be taken to be happiness if one were not privy to the many interesting and unlikely things going on in my life right now.


This sentence is intentionally left blank.


By the way, in case you could not tell, I am just throwing in a stream of consciousness session of writing here to a) empty out a little bit of the "creative" backup I currently find myself no longer capable of suppressing; b) let you'se guys know I'm still breathing and sometimes take part in this social connective medium known as the Internet in general and MySpace in particular ("Internet" and "MeinPlatz" in German, respectively); and 3) give you something to read that may or may not, depending on your particular persuasion, waste some of your time.


This line is for you, RK: Greetings! (~.~)


In closing, I close with the following famous closing: Farewell.





(This MySBlentry was originally posted on 03 March 2008 at 9:23PM.)


COMMENTS FROM ORIGINAL POST:


2 Kudos


now that's toast!
Posted by
NPP Brian on Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 8:21 AM

13 April 2009

Updates

Greetings!


Just a few updates on the craziness of life.


1. I have completed (finally!!!) the spring 2007 semester of grad school, which required countless, grueling hours of homework (thanks to the online college experience) and much time not able to be spent casually. Yay, it's over.


2. I took 3 of the four PRAXIS-II tests I am required to take for my certification and ability to student teach this fall (after which I will be finished completely). If I passed, I will finish in December (if I student teach well, I guess); if not, I have to retake til I do, which will push back my student teaching, which will push back my degree obtainment, which will push my mind further into the recesses of insanity currently entrenching my brain. But, I digress.


3. I have started seeking freelance voice-over work through Voice123.com, a network of voice-over artists. So far, I have auditioned for many things, but have not been chosen (among the other 10,000+ VO artists); but, I shall continue trying at least for a year. (Then, my subscription runs out and I can then determine if it is worth the "nominal fee".)


4. I don't really have a number 4.


5. DSL must finally be over 6 years old, because I now have--right here in Yawkey--a Digital Subscriber Line bringing my computer into the higher-speed Internet world! I have watched Homestar Runner episodes in no-time flat. I have been able to download a 2MB Word document in less than an hour for the first time in ever. I am so excited, I think I might cry for relief. *:D*


6. That's it.


By the way, please comment on my blog, if you would--it would make it seem so much more rewarding to update more often. You know, give some initiative--some reason--for keeping peoples updated on the malaise and minutiae of my life.




(This MySBlentry was originally posted on 02 May 2007 at 11:46PM.)


COMMENTS FROM ORIGINAL POST:


6 Kudos


Consider you blog commented. And welcome to the REAL internet!

P.S. No Pants Players show this weekend (fri + sat 8:00p.m. LaBelle)

*for non-Levi curious people, check out www.nopantsplayers.com


Posted by NPP Brian on Thursday, May 03, 2007 - 7:58 AM


--------


Hooray for the spring semester being over, and for Levi being one step closer to teaching!!! Boo for not having a number 4. : ( That's one of the best numbers in the world! I less than three you!!!

~Randy


Posted by Randy, of course! on Friday, May 04, 2007 - 11:07 AM


--------


Why do you think we'd want to read an update on your life... lol...j/k. Congrats! on completing this semester of school... and I'm glad you have the real interent now.


Posted by Rebecka on Friday, May 04, 2007 - 11:08 AM

10 April 2009

'Tis the Season

No, not for boughs of holly and strings of lights.

It is finally the season of warmth, rain, wind, and the Earth's northern hemisphere tilting more toward the sun than it has in the past 4 months. Yay! Spring.

It's time for preparing garden soil and planting seeds. Time for birds to return from their winter brooding places and frogs to emerge from their underground hollows of hibernation. Time for cold, wispy cirrus clouds to be hidden from view by miles of cumulus, stratus, and nimbus clouds beneath. Time for the Spring Sky to take its abode directly ahead in the night sky, pushing the Winter Sky further West. Time for spring break, spring showers, spring colds, spring cleaning, and spring renewal.

Of all the myths of old considering spring, they all had one thing in common: spring is a time of rebirth. The ancient people of Egypt believed the sun god Osiris, who had died in the winter, bring desolation, coldness, and darkness, was resurrected every spring, bringing back warmth, sunlight, and the Nile floods to help plant their crops. The ancient Greeks equated spring as the beginning of the six months of time when Persephone, daughter of the goddess of agriculture Demeter, was allowed to escape Hades; in celebration, Demeter would make the earth bloom. The Romans, borrowing identities and changing the names from the Greeks, saw spring as the time when Mars would start up his wars again, a reference to the thunderings and lightnings in the heavens in March. For most other religions and points of view, spring is the time of renewal, the vernal equinox, when Earth begins it tilt back toward the sun.

It is no surprise, then, that the celebration of Jesus' resurrection occurs in the Spring. His conquering over death and the grave is no more epitomized than in the natural occurrence of spring conquering winter, the hours of the day conquering the hours of the night. Unlike the many myths, and the recurring rotation and shifting tilt of the earth, Jesus' resurrection was once and for all. Unlike Osiris, He does not have to die every winter to be resurrected every spring. Unlike Persephone, Jesus has already conquered Hell (a word we get from the Greek word "Hades") and does not need to return there ever again.

But, isn't it awesome when you consider how God created this planet with a built-in system that shows exactly what He did for us? Isn't it worth pondering how "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork"?




(This MySBlentry was originally posted on 23 March 2007 at 6:59PM.)

COMMENTS FROM ORIGINAL POST:

2 Kudos

Beautifully put, sir.
Posted by Melissa Starcher on Friday, September 05, 2008 - 11:27 PM

09 April 2009

Musings

I just realized I used much of the same terminology in my first 2 MySBlentries: "must needs" being one of them.


And both entries referred to my procrastination in completing lesson plans!


Yay, my readers are going to be so pleased and endeared (read: "annoyed and turned away") by my limited vocabulary and verbage.


Go me, I rock!





(This MySBlentry was originally posted on 22 March 2007 at 8:49PM.)

08 April 2009

Planning an Astronomy Unit

So, I should totally be doing my homework right now, but I needed a distraction. Unfortunately, this distraction is compounded by the fact that I have dial-up and live in Lincoln County, which automatically triples the time it takes to be effectively distracted than it would for people with DSL living in normal places.

I have an 8-day unit to plan, type, format, and complete so that I can teach the 8-day unit to a high school environmental science class. I have my unit topic down: Astronomy. That's fine. I know where I'm going with that. I am confident in my understanding of astronomy and feel I am perfectly qualified to teach it since I have a biology degree (well, this logic seemed to work for the school system when having me teach middle school music, at least.) Of course, my desire to teach astronomy at all is because I used to work in a planetarium, wherein I gained most of my interest and knowledge of things astronomical.

But, how do I teach a unit on astronomy to students? What do I start with? The solar system, then stars. Start with stars first, with a little history of Galileo, then lead into constellations?

How long will it actually take to get the concept of astronomical units into the unwilling minds of high school students?!

Alas, my distraction must needs come to a close soon. At least I have both of my socks on today. I can't say as much for my brain's synapses.



(This MySBlentry was originally posted on 22 March 2007 at 8:22PM.)

07 April 2009

MySBlentry One

Greetings!

It's my first MySpace blog entry (or "MySBlentry," as I like to call it.) [Hint: pronounced "mice-BLEN-tree"]

This officially brings me up to date in social technology--at least in Lincoln County, WV, terms. (We're 6 years behind everyone else; I think our stores will start carrying DVDs soon.) Now, I have a MySpace account, which apparently makes me cool and unique--just like everyone else under 18 years old.

Er...okay, maybe not.

My coolness (or awesometude, more appropriately) is neither emboldened nor shattered by my hidden presence on the world's largest site for semi-anonymous, largely verbal (and thus lacking the important nonverbal cues of face-to-face meetings, which enhance social communication, but I digress) contact between different types of peoples.

Um....okay, now it's 10:38 pm and I am not completely finished with my lesson plan I have to turn in and do tomorrow night for class, so I must needs away myself.

(To self) "Away!"



(This MySBlentry was originally posted on 14 March 2007 at 10:31PM.)

COMMENTS FROM ORIGINAL POST:

2 Kudos

ur alwayz cool dont let anyone tell u different!!! I cant belive u never wahtched Andy Grifith before!!! Well gotta make sure my cholthes rwashed 4 thhe fair at 6:00 but we might leve here at 6:00 because the Dimmilison Derbey dont start till 7:00 but we might be thereat 6:00 so my bubby can help my uncle...well I guess I will let u go n if I dont c u tonight I will c u this weekend!!!
luv ya Bubby... April Dawn luvs her Bubbys
Posted by April on Monday, July 16, 2007 - 3:03 PM