"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for approval, I can tell you I don't have any. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills -- skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you leave my language alone right now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will punctuate you."

Saturday, December 14, 2013

What Indeed?

An former bar in downtown College Town is supposedly about to get new life as a barber college. The people behind this enterprise spared no expense in hastily handwriting some signs and taping one in each of the four or so large windows along the sidewalks of this prime corner location. They spelled "college" correctly on all the other signs, but somehow dropped the ball with this one.

An anonymous critic (and, no, it wasn't me) wrote his or her comment upon the glass. I couldn't have said it better myself, so I pass it along.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013


Talk about greengrocers' apostrophes! And it's even a green sign. At first I was surprised that the misspelled nectarines didn't have an apostrophe, but if you look closely you can see that there are smaller (perhaps practice?) letters underneath the bigger letters, and the smaller "necterines" appears to have its apostrophe firmly in place.


I would deeply apperciate it if people who make plaques would learn how to spell or proofread.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Lazy Strumpets

I'm curious to know why the creator of this sign chose not to capitalize the "l" in in "lounge". I'm also curious to know how much a hookah costs these days, and how they can advertise so blatantly.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Is That Anything Like Watergate?

Went to the empty out the mini-storage today; found this note on the office door. The full text read: "MANAGERS OR OUT ON THE PROPERTY. IF YOU ARE HERE ON FOR BUSINESS PLEASE COME THROUGH THE MAN GATE [...]".

As I was a man, I used the man gate. However, I wondered what any women and children would use, as I saw only the one gate.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Teddy Are You Kidding?

I think Ted needs to polish his punctuating skills, too.

Metal polishing seems like such a niche market, that I was pretty sure this must be the only one in College Town. It's certainly the only one I can recall seeing. A check of the yellow pages confirms that it is indeed the only one of its kind, and not for just College Town, but for all of Butt County.

I don't know who needs metal polished. Maybe modifiers and restorers of cars? I mean, if you want some sort of polished metal thing, don't you just buy it that way? Do old ladies and lazy butlers bring Ted their silverware or tea pots when they need a touch up?

 I can't recall a time in my life when I needed some piece of metal polished. Nor can I imagine a situation between now and my death when I might.

*Sigh* - I can tell I won't be able to let this go until I pay Ted a visit and see for myself just what sorts of metal he polishes. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pieces of Eight

One of my favorite types of "typos" are those preserved possibly for eternity in cement. I've blogged a couple of times before about this phenomenon. Unfortunately, through various internet-based emotional breakdowns, I've lost those previous posts.

I'm speaking, in particularly, of the names of streets or sometimes dates being impressed into the sidewalks. I seem to spend a lot of my time looking down when I walk (probably because I'm clumsy), for I am quick to notice when one of these names or dates is incorrect. Although, incorrect isn't always the case. I know of at least one case where the name of a street was changed sometime after its original name was written in stone, as it were.

Anyway, I noticed one such inconsistency as I was walking along Eighth (8th) Street here in good old College Town. Most of the old, original sidewalks had it thusly:

But one corner just had to be a rebel:

I wonder what grade the mason who set this one up graduated from.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


A local supermarket touts having "oven fresh & ir". I wish I knew what that was.

As well as "stible".

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"Is A 36-Pack One Item?"

I usually only post about abuses of our language, but this one time I wanted to give a shout out to an anonymous sign-maker who got it right.

When we first moved to College Town, and started occasionally shopping at the nearby Safeway, I was slightly off-put by this express lane sign. "Fewer" just sounded odd to my ears. Then the dimly remembered rule about fewer vs. less began to surface from the muck of my mind.

I double-checked with Grammar Girl, who explains these things much better than I can (because I'm lazy), and she confirmed what I already knew but had forgotten.

So kudos to this Safeway - which is in the most studenty neighborhood of a very studenty town - for setting a higher standard for grocery stores. After repeated trips to this market to replenish their ramen noodle and beer supplies, maybe this one rule will stick with these youngsters when they go out into the real world.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Caution! Bad English! Ahead!!!

This electronic sign outside a battery store has so many mistakes that I think we'd better approach this systematically:

First of all, the whole statement reads (mistakes and all): "ATV'S MOTOR CYCLES, JETSKI BOATS,, WE GOT THE BATTERRY FOR YOU".

Now let's break it down into its individual components:

1. "ATV'S": I don't know if you can make lower case letters on these signs. I'll assume that you cannot, so "ATV'S" may not be a mistake. I've always favored "ATVs", myself, but if you can't use lower case letters, it's probably better to go with the apostrophe so your plural initialism doesn't look like a weird word or acronym.

2 AND 3: "MOTOR/CYCLES": There obviously isn't room on this sign for "motorcycles" to fit on one line, so I won't call this a mistake (although I might have used a hyphen after "motor" - if indeed these machines can make hyphens).

4. "JETSKI": "jetski"? Singular? Surely they meant "jetskis", unless there are things called "jetski boats". I don't really know - I'm not a sporting fellow.

5. "BOATS,,": I think "boats," accidentally recieved "jetski(s)" comma.

6. "WE GOT": This is just poor English. I blame the California Milk Processor Board and their "Got Milk" campaign and its imitators for this dumbing-down of the language.

7. "BATTERRY": Enough said.

I wish people would just use these signs for their intended purpose:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

And And

The symbol "&" is called an ampersand. It has a pretty interesting etymology. If you don't want to click that link, or you've been leaving under a rock for the past couple of millenia, "&" means "and".

"Etc." is short for "et cetera", which means "and other things" or "and so forth".

So, if we put "&" and "etc." together, we're really saying, "and and so forth" or "and and other things", which is just dumb. I guess "Custom Draperies 'n' More" was already taken.

Muff Said

"What are you giggling about?"

I ran across a couple of funny instances of a word - well, actually the word itself and a homophone of it. I'm re-reading the original Sherlock Holmes stories after enjoying BBC's Sherlock series (which I highly recommend. It's available for streaming on Netflix).

I had a prurient giggle over this sentence in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Adventure III - A Case of Identity: “She pulled a little handkerchief out of her muff, and began to sob heavily into it.” That is a strange place to carry one's hanky.

A couple of days later, we ordered pizza from Papa Murhphy's. Included with each pizza are the cooking instructions, which in turn included this coupon:

Looks innocent enough, right?

Take a closer look at the fine print. Oh, here, I'll do it for you:

Oh my god! What!?
I couldn't even pruriently giggle because the idea of a miniature one was too unsettling.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Sentencing Mix Sucks, Though.

For snacking when you're stuck in court all day.

So Nattended is Good?

I don't know what "unnattended" means, but I definitely won't leave my drinks in that condition.

P.S.: Sorry for the darkness of this image, it was taken with a cheap cell phone in a dim bar.

I'm Ignoring the "You"

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Appearance of Simplicity

This is some of the most intense "Engrish" I've seen. I especially love how it "wowrks" with all those different programs.

Sunday, January 6, 2013