Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hitler and the Grammar Nazis

Oliver Mather sent us this video, which you won't like if you:

1) hate curse words; and/or
2) love Hitler.

Otherwise, you'll find this amusing.

Friday, February 27, 2009

From SPOGG: the Movie

OK, so there is no SPOGG movie. But if there were, we'd use this scene ripped straight from the life of one of our members:
Recently I noticed a "free kitten" ad on the bulletin board at work. Among the usual cute-kitten descriptions was a line stating "perfect for breading." After doing a double-take to make sure this wasn't simply poor handwriting, I knew I had to answer.

The ad having been posted by an old friend, I felt I could harrass her a bit, so I e-mailed, asking if the rest of the litter had been good, and saying that I'd never heard of breading kittens before.

She didn't seem to understand, so I replied stating that we generally wait until they are large enough for the whole family, but I guessed we could take the creature off her hands and try breaded kitten for dinner that night (it was Mardi Gras, after all).

Apparently this made my meaning clear, as she replied saying "Sick, Sick, Sick" - to which I promptly replied with the correction, "Sic, Sic, Sic" and wished her happy National Grammar Day!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


On the home page is this minor apostrophe catastrophe:

Kristof: Obama School
The school in Chad is caulked with hope that it's namesake may help end the long slaughter and instability in Sudan.
Oops! Possessives 101 for pronouns goes like this: His, hers, its, our, your, their. No apostrophes needed.

National Grammar Day: Ticking Ever Closer

Let the countdown continue!

(Note: If you're looking at this in an RSS reader, you might need to click through to see the spiffy countdown clock.)

There's Just a Lot Wrong Here

A Hollywood actress who shall not be named to protect her privacy but who is nonetheless a gem sent us this actual casting call. The first error? The name of the movie. The best? They want someone who can "spa" as a boxer:

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009, 5:10 PM Pacific
Feature Film

Casting Director: Dorothy Findlater
Start Date: Fall
Location: Los Angeles & Florida
Pay Rate: 500-$800



Looking for a fantastic look and act-alike for up and coming project:

must have great physic and be able to spa as a boxer. (Though no actual fighting will accrue).

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fast with the Food, Slow with the Grammar

But do they apologize for the misspelling, missing punctuation and goofy Victorian capitalization tic?

Thanks to Linnea O. for the photo.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Insert Dictionary Pun Here

Look, we have as much interest in procreation as the grammar lover (oh, the copulative conjunction...the shameless suggestiveness of the semicolon).

This explains our grave concern that somewhere out there is a thesaurus maker who thinks "procreate" means "the biological imperative to procrastinate."

That's actually the definition of a) blogging and/or b) being a teenager. And everyone knows that these people should generally be kept from reproducing themselves until their respective conditions clear up on their own.

Thanks to Craig Conley for the find and for, well, pretty much everything.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

We Smell a Rat

Here's what the AP reports:

Mass. city misspells 'offcial' to catch bag cheats

GLOUCESTER, Mass. -- No, managers with Gloucester's Public Works Department aren't idiots. They're just trying to catch cheats. When the Massachusetts city unveiled its new $2 purple trash bags that all residents must use when disposing of household waste, the word 'official' was deliberately spelled 'offcial.'

Recycling coordinator Kathy Middleton tells The Gloucester Daily Times the intentional misspelling is supposed to make it easier to catch people who try to counterfeit bags. Middleton says counterfeiting has been a problem in the past.

John Craig, regional manager for WasteZero, the company that makes the bags, says he has never before had a community request a deliberate misspelling.

Middleton says the next batch of bags the city orders will be correct.

What seems more likely? That someone would go to the trouble of counterfeiting trash bags--but only one batch of them? Or that someone in a government office misspelled official? We're going to go with the latter--though we admire the ass-covering efforts. We misspell so people don't counterfeit! Because everyone knows counterfeiters are well known for their love of dictionaries.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An Early Valentine

This comes from the noble and magnificent John at The Writing Workshop. One of his friends received it from a vendor. The bottom line? We will never complain about our job again...not after finding out what some people are going through:

Hi Cheryl,

The decision is based on information obtained from evaluating the customer including, but not limited to:
* Credit data
* Billing and payment history
* Approved requests for credit

Janice will call you at 10 a.m. today re your appeal. Once again I apologize for the incontinence this has caused you and your team. If you have any further questions don't hesitate to call me directly.

A Manor of Speaking...

Jaime sends this Craiglist advertisement:

Due to the current state of the economy, i am able to work for less then i would normaly charge. Custom home builder and finisher looking for work. from remodels to decks to siding and much more. I will stick to my quote, and finish in a timely manor! Thank you

While we understand how the economy can make one want to scrimp on capital letters, what really gets us going is the idea of turning our house into a timely manor. It's close, but alas, not good enough.

When we're able to live in the manor of our dreams, we are no longer going to bother with being timely. That's for the little people. No...we shall sleep in, loll about, and let our servants bother with such things as clocks and thousand-pound hourglasses that require twice-daily manual turns. Let them eat cake!

But seriously...good luck to everyone looking for jobs. It's a tough world out there, and SPOGG is rooting for you.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

National Grammar Day 2009 in the Baltimore Sun

John McIntyre has a few words of wisdom about National Grammar Day. As always, he's worth reading.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Oh, How

This comes from the Times of London. We love the statistic that Americans spell just one word better than Brits--"definitely." Is it just us, or does that sort of certainty feel very 2005?

Spelling embarrassment doesn't spare our blushes
More than half of us cannot spell “embarrassed”, according to a poll
Alexandra Frean, Education Editor

Are you embarrassed by your spelling? If so, you're not alone. More than half of us cannot spell “embarrassed” — 54 per cent have trouble with it, according to a poll of 1,000 adults. Even more troublesome is “millennium”, which 60 per cent get wrong.

The poll, commissioned by the Spelling Society, compared abilities in Britain with those in the US.

Adults in the US performed less well. The only word that the Americans definitely spelt better than the Brits was . . . “definitely”. In both countries men performed less well than women, except on one word — “liaison”.

Jack Bovill, the chairman of the Spelling Society, said the problem lay with irregularities in English. The society has been campaigning for 100 years to reform English spelling, and Mr Bovill called on governments on both sides of the Atlantic to introduce a more simplified, phonetic system. “What is holding the UK and the USA back is the irregular spelling system,” Mr Bovill said.

Edward Baranowski, of California State University, also criticised the “fossilised system”. He said: “We have different spellings for the same sound, silent letters, missing letters, and basically a system which reflects how English was spoken in the 13th to 15th centuries, not how it is spoken today. So many sound changes have occurred that are not reflected in modern spelling, that we are left with a fossilised system.”

ICD Research/ID Factor polled 1,000 adults of 18 to 80 across Britain in April last year. Ipsos MORI questioned 1,000 adults aged 18 to 80 in the US last month.

— The Times is organising the first national school spelling contest for children aged 11 and 12. Live heats between school teams begin in March. The contest is one of a series of nationwide initiatives to help to inspire children and to support teachers. Readers can get a taste for the competition and practise their own spelling using our online spelling games at

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Trouble with Billionaire Teens

This is from Miley Cyrus's blog, via Wonderwall. She's talking about a photograph where she's shown making slanty eyes with a group of friends:

If that would of [sic] been anyone else, it would of been overlooked! I definitely feel like the press is trying to make me out as the new 'BAD GIRL'! ... I feel like now that Britney is back on top of her game again, they need someone to pick on."
We think the professional virgin might be saving conjugation for marriage. Someone should tell her conjugal and conjugation aren't quite the same thing.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

National Grammar Day 2009

Let the countdown begin!

(Note: If you're looking at this in an RSS reader, you might need to click through to see the spiffy countdown clock.)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Hot Cooks and Naked Parrots

It's been a good day for crazy classified ads.

This comes from Amanda:

Looking through the employment ads on, I came across one that read, "Hot Line Cooks needed at Blue Canyon Restaurant!" Looks like with the record number of people unemployed, this restaurant can have their pick of good-looking cooks.

And this comes from Jaime:

Job Title: parrot
Reply to: [?]
Date: 2009-02-02, 10:10PM PST

A friendly colorfull big parrot is needet for photoshot.Some nudity will be occuring.I will pay $ 50.00/Hr for supervised use.

* Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.

* Please, no phone calls about this job!

Yes, there are a lot of spelling errors here. To focus on these, however, would be to ignore the sweet insanity that is a job for parrots that pays $50/hour and involves some nudity. They don't specify whether it's partial nudity all of the time or complete nudity some of the time. Either way, if we were a parrot with a healthy body image, and if we had sufficient pluck, we would be all over this job. $50/hour, man! Polly wants a raise! Squawk!


We're quoted today in a story about grammar snobs being pushed over the edge by these trying times. We think we sound safely on the solid side of the abyss, but you never know. We almost typed "crying times" instead of "trying times." Think we should go take a nap?

Monday, February 02, 2009

We Could Make So Many Jokes

Just look at that apostrophe after the s in Americans.

What's it doing there?
  • Is it protesting the apostrophe catastrophe being perpetuated on signs in England?
  • Is it being coyly ironic, showing that we'll save money but squander punctuation?
  • Is it trying to possess the saving? (Honey, aren't we all?)
Americans' saving more, spending less
Americans are hunkering down and saving more. For a recession-battered economy, it couldn't be happening at a worse time.
AP Economics Writer
Americans are hunkering down and saving more. For a recession-battered economy, it couldn't be happening at a worse time.

Sigh--about all of it. Really.