Friday, August 28, 2009
The English Lesson
We'll begin with box, and the plural is boxes;
But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.
Then one fowl is goose, but two are called geese
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a whole lot of mice,
But the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
When couldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,
But the plural of vow is vows, not vine.
And I speak of a foot, and you show me your feet,
But I give a boot - would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?
If the singular is this and plural is these,
Why shouldn't the plural of kiss be nicknamed kese?
Then one may be that, and three may be those,
Yet the plural of hat would never be hose;
We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
The masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine she, shis, and shim!
So our English, I think you will all agree,
Is the trickiest language you ever did see.
I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you
On hiccough, thorough, slough, and through?
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps
To learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead; it's said like bed, not bead;
For goodness sake, don't call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat,
(they rhyme with suite and straight and debt)
A moth is not a moth in mother.
Nor both in bother, broth in brother.
And here is not a match for there.
And dear and fear for bear and pear.
And then there's dose and rose and lose --
Just look them up -- and goose and choose.
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword.
And do and go, then thwart and cart.
Come, come, I've hardly made a start.
A dreadful language? Man alive,
I'd learned to speak it when I was five,
And yet to write it, the more I sigh,
I'll not learn how 'till the day I die.
***** ********** *****
Monday, August 24, 2009
Apostrophe warrior Stefan Gatward's mission to correct our wayward grammar
Accountant Stefan Gatward, who shot to fame for correcting the grammar of a street sign in Royal Tunbridge Wells, has launched a campaign to correct errors in signs across the town.
By Patrick Sawer
Published: 9:00PM BST 22 Aug 2009
Even his admirers admit he is "a bit of an old codger". But Stefan Gatward –accountant, former private in the Gordon Highlanders and now Anglican day chaplain – remains unrepentant.
The apostrophe warrior of Tunbridge Wells Known as The Apostrophe Man of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Mr Gatward shot to fame last week after taking the law (or at least a bylaw) into his own hands by adding a missing apostrophe to the street signs on his road.
St Johns Close became St John's Close and overnight Mr Gatward gained respect and derision in equal measure. While many of his neighbours congratulated him on his stand, the apostrophe was scratched off three days later.
Fearful of an appearance at a magistrate's court – or should that be magistrates' court? – Mr Gatward decided not to paint in the apostrophe again.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Did I read that sign right?
TOILET OUT OF ORDER. PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW.
In a Laundromat:
AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT.
In a London department store:
BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS
In an office:
WOULD THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE STEP LADDER YESTERDAY PLEASE BRING IT BACK OR FURTHER STEPS WILL BE TAKEN.
In an office:
AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD EMPTY THE TEAPOT AND STAND UPSIDE DOWN ON THE DRAINING BOARD.
Outside a secondhand shop:
WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING - BICYCLES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC. WHY NOT BRING YOUR WIFE ALONG AND GET A WONDERFUL BARGAIN?
Notice in health food shop window:
CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS.
Spotted in a safari park:(I sure hope so)
ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR.
Seen during a conference:
FOR ANYONE WHO HAS CHILDREN AND DOESN'T KNOW IT, THERE IS A DAY CARE ON THE 1ST FLOOR.
Notice in a farmer ' s field:
THE FARMER ALLOWS WALKERS TO CROSS THE FIELD FOR FREE, BUT THE BULL CHARGES.
Message on a leaflet:
IF YOU CANNOT READ, THIS LEAFLET WILL TELL YOU HOW TO GET LESSONS.
On a repair shop door:
WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING. (PLEASE KNOCK HARD ON THE DOOR - THE BELL DOESN'T WORK.)
Monday, August 17, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Julie R. sent us these resume gaffes. She's hiring new people for her business--but only one of these candidates made it to the second round. You'll see why:
1) From a two-paragraph Objective: “I am very goal-oriented and I achieve over half of all goals I set for myself.”
Maybe I’m too type A – but “over half” is not my idea of success. I can see it now,
"Gee – I set a goal to take the customer’s order and bus their table, but I just couldn’t get 100% of my goal completed."
2) From a cover letter: “I live right up the road so if you want to give me a call at anytime I can come down there in mins.”
Why abbreviate the word minutes? Is that to show just how quickly this person can get to work? Before the word “minute” is finished--and so fast a period is not required between sentences?
3) Here is an example of the shortened resume-speak taken too far. It still needs to make sense, after all. Peppering one’s resume with fancy phrases like “as to” and “therein” doesn’t improve incoherent phrases: “Practice French service and advise as to wines.”
Since the rest of the resume was written in the standard resume past tense, this person should have said, “Practiced French Service and advised patrons about wine.”5) And finally, to the person who misspelled their name at the top of their resume: Come on! That is just lazy.
4) “HERE I WORKED IN THE SEAFOOD AND PRODUCE DEPT. PREPARING AND MAINTAINING THE DEPTARTMENTS AS WELL AS OFFERING GREAT CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE WAS DONE DAILY. Though I didn’t appreciate the all caps, this seemed more like a cut and paste error from editing. I gave this person a pass to round two because I liked the rest of the resume.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Is "asks" even a word? If not, sorry 4 my layziness with grammar.This is one of those times when additional commentary feels unnecessary.
6 minutes ago from UberTwitter
love it when the lyric of a song asks me a question
14 minutes ago from web
When the man came into the bank, at 434 Queen Anne Ave. N., dressed in a knit cap on one of the hottest days of the year, Nicholson says he was immediately uneasy. The suspicious-looking man walked in and out of the bank, then got in the teller line, then stepped out of line.Interesting! When the robber used the wrong word, the bank teller decided he was a joker. Had the robber said, "This is a robbery," he might have intimidated the teller and gotten away. It just goes to show that when you use the wrong word, people take you less seriously--even when you say you have a gun.
When he finally approached the counter, he walked toward Nicholson and said, "This is a ransom, fill the bag with money," Nicholson said.
Hearing the word "ransom," Nicholson stopped for a second and asked to see the man's gun.
The man said, "It's a verbal ransom." Nicholson then lunged over the counter at him.
"My intent was to grab his glasses off his face, or him," Nicholson said.
Fortunately for Nicholson, the man wasn't armed.