Archive for February, 2010

I know I haven’t posted in a few days. Too much going on. I apologize. Let me make it up to you with the following photo.

Why is “one” in quotation marks on the sign? Is it because they are trying to be cute with counting?

OK, then what about the other sign up the road:

God wants “full” custody, not just weekend visitation.

Why is “full” in quotation marks? Perhaps this blogger can explain.

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Thank you to Kristina, a SCAD writing student, for providing tonight’s subject. She reports that the writer of this Facebook status update may be “the dumbest person on the planet.” I don’t know about that, but this person’s post is pretty great in a horrible way.

It is nice to know they give you plants in the emergency room.

Seriously, though …

There are many things I could say about this item, but I like two aspects overall:

  1. Kristina’s assessment: “It’s a masterpiece; don’t deny it.”
  2. The fact that she sees someone mangling the English language and thinks of me.

Moral of the story: Don’t butcher the language, even on Facebook.

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My niece, Nina, created a list of things soldiers need. For most of us in our comfortable homes in our comfortable lives, it is hard to image that the troops need such simple things. Get ye to Walgreens (I hear they give you a discount on purchases for soldiers)!

  • Robitussin (single dose, box of 10)
  • Hot hands (hand warmers)
  • Wisps (disposable tooth brushes)
  • Charmin travel rolls
  • Small compact mirror (for shaving)
  • Cough drops (with Vitamin C)
  • Protein bars (meal replacement)
  • Granola bars
  • Pop-Tarts
  • Mini bagels
  • Travel packs of tissue
  • Tuna in foil packaging (not canned)
  • SpaghettiOs, ravioli, etc., in pull-top containers
  • Instant mac and cheese
  • Ground coffee (Dunkin’ Donuts)
  • Pepto Bismol
  • Alka Seltzer
  • BC powder
  • Aleve
  • Immodium
  • Carmex lip balm
  • Medicated foot powder
  • Candy and gum
  • Ziploc bags
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sewing kits
  • Bengay
  • Beef jerky and summer sausage
  • Dried fruit
  • Gatorade or Propel (singles)
  • Instant drink mix
  • Eye drops
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Trail mix
  • Deodorant
  • Mouthwash
  • Dental floss
  • Nail clippers
  • Socks
  • Dog food pouches (there are lots of stray dogs around)
  • Books and magazines

Remember: Happy and healthy troops can make progress and get home soon!

Lt. Mark Greenlief tries to make friends with the locals

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Now that I have your attention about supporting troops (I hope), here is what you can do:

Send packages and letters.

That’s it. It is easy! In fact, there are organizations that will do it for you.

Here is a list of Marines and Corpsmen in the Operation PAL program. Here is a list of thousands of soldiers in the armed forces in the Any Soldier program.

If you want to do more, you can organize a care package drive. This site tells you how.

You can do more. It is all up to you.

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This post has nothing to do with chickens, grammar, superheroes, or any of my usual topics. I won’t even talk about my dissertation proposal defense right now. All that stuff pales in comparison to this:


Searching an empty house Feb. 18 in Marja, Afghanistan

The Marine on the right is my nephew, Lt. Mark Greenlief (my husband’s brother’s daughter’s husband, if you can follow the dancing apostrophes). He is executive officer of Bravo Company, part of the 1st Battalion of the 6th Marine Regiment.

Mark and his troops are dealing with a new edict in the war in Afghanistan: no airstrikes unless troops are about to be overrun, or they can prove that there are no civilians around. The reason for the edict is that the Afghan people were starting to withdraw support for the fight against the Taliban because of the civilian casualties. For more information, read this article.

Fine. But that is scary shit (if I can be so crass) for the Marines who are on the front lines.

I don’t care who you voted for or what your political leanings are; there are good people laying their lives on the line because some elected officials told them they had to. No, they didn’t have to join in the first place, but they did because they thought it was the right thing for them to do. And we should be thankful for what they are doing, regardless if we think they should be there in the first place.

Thank you, Mark, and everyone in the armed forces.

Thanks also to the families they left behind. How would you like to have one toddler and be seven months pregnant with the second son, and your husband is off in a sandbox being shot at for who knows how long for people who don’t even seem to know or care about the war? That’s my niece’s life in Camp Lejeune — far away from all her family and his. She’s got her act together enough to manage this Facebook group, which is pretty impressive.

Thank you, Nina, and all the families of the troops.

If all that doesn’t give you a knot in your stomach, then I don’t know what will.

Semper Fi.

Photo credit: http://www.fotoglif.com/f/3ec1v4zmvtfh

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Cornucopia of corrections

I’ve been saving this New York gift from Shane Marshall Brown. Today is the day I will share.

You see why I’ve been saving it. It is just so wonderful, I wanted to build up to it. Yesterday’s post was the appetizer.

Every sign in the photo has multiple mistakes. I think that middle sign says, “Match Boox’s.”

This makes me want to take a trip with a red pen — and a dictionary to offer the sign maker.

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Today’s topic and photo are courtesy of Travis, a student in the SCAD writing department. He discovered this sign on a printer in the Jen Library. Some students say it has been there for a couple of weeks.

Here’s my beef with this sign: the word “utilize.” What did the word “use” ever do to anyone? “Utilize” is like pearls on a pig. Pointless. “Use” is a fine word; there is nothing wrong with it. That’ll do, Pig. That’ll do.

And don’t get me started on “supersize” as a verb. Damn you, McDonald’s.

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Trish gets demanding

I realized that Trish had not made an appearance in a while. And this blog IS supposed to be about grammar and chickens. So here it is, Trish’s latest escapade:

The cookie container is what we use to hold her feed. And that is why she is perched above and eyeing it.

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I love the show “Hoarders.” I hate the written chunks between segments. Not only are they unnecessary recaps, but they usually feature passive voice. I hate passive voice.

On the last episode, I was shocked to discover something I hate even more: an egregious error. Take a look:

"Hoarders" error

Despite how people may want this to work, and expect it to work, the possessive form of “it” is “its.” No apostrophe. “It’s” is always a contraction for “it is” or “it has.” Those are the rules.

To the “Hoarders” production crew, I say, “Please stop hoarding apostrophes.”

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“I” vs. “me” AGAIN

I’m not happy with the copy editor of today’s issue of the Savannah Morning News. In addition to allowing Arlinda Smith Broady to get away with using an ampersand in SCAD’s name on the front page of Exchange, the editor allowed an improper use of “I” on the front page of Accent. In a short about her new column, Christine Lucas wrote, “It’s just that he’s got my husband and I a little bit Rattled.” I’ll overlook the random capitalization because that could be a typo. The use of “I” however is ignorance. She shouldn’t have written it, but the copy editor should have caught it.

I don’t understand why this is so hard. As I explained in an earlier post, “I” is a subject pronoun and “me” is an object pronoun.

If you are doing something to someone or something, use “I” because you are the subject. If something is being done to you, use “me” because you are the object.

People incorrectly use “I” all the time. Why is “me” so frightening?

Eddie can’t stand watching television with me sometimes because I will mutter the correct version. And then sigh loudly.

So let’s go over it again. Here are some examples: Eddie and I are watching television. Dominic and Gideon watched television with Eddie and me. I said, “Dominic, give the remote to your father and me.” Eddie said, “Gideon, you and I are going upstairs right now because you can’t sit still.”

When in doubt, leave it out. Then see if the sentence makes sense. So Christine Lucas’ sentence without the other person would be, “It’s just that he’s got my husband and I a little bit Rattled.” That’s certainly not right. So use “me” instead: “It’s just that he’s got my husband and I me a little bit Rattled.” THAT makes sense. So the sentence should read, “It’s just that he’s got my husband and me a little bit Rattled.”

Copy editors should know these kinds of things. Now all of you do too.

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