That means no pennants baring sports team logos, no Jolly Rogers, no rainbow banners celebrating gay pride and no historic flags showing a coiled rattlesnake bearing its fangs.
Indeed, I'm sure that were rattlesnakes capable of written language, they'd have written themselves a constitution granting the right to bear fangs, especially since fangs are an inherent trait of their species and all, but I do believe the copyeditor over at the old Grey Lady somehow managed to interchange "baring" (uncovering or showing, often in a display of aggression) and "bearing" (bringing or carrying) in this sentence.
(The article has since been fixed.)
"Australia in sex-tourism campaign" does not in any way mean the same thing as "Australia launches a nation-wide advertising campaign to accompany tough new laws against sex tourism."
From The New York Times:
Orly Taitz, a California dentist and lawyer who is among the leading voices in the anti-Obama movement, made her case in a combative interview on MSNBC.
‚ÄúObama is completely illegitimate as a U.S. president for two reasons ‚Äî not only because he did not provide the place of his birth, but also because both parents have to be U.S. citizens,‚Äù Ms. Taitz said.
Ms. -- and I use that term loosely -- Taitz is, of course, completely wrong. Not only was Mr. Obama born in Hawaii, but parentage has nothing to do with it (and if it did, a large number of our Presidents would have been ineligible!).
No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
"Natural-born citizen" introduces (possibly deliberately) some ambiguity that was clarified by the Fourteenth Amendment:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
It's quite clear, then, that one's parentage has absolutely nothing to do with one's eligibility for either United States citizenship or for the office of President of the United States. So why would the Times dignify Taitz's completely specious argument by using the entire quote?
While I understand that the ellipsis can be -- and often is -- deliberately intended to mislead (see any number of movie review snippets used by studios desperate for some sort of positive spin on a terrible film), and given the requirement that at least some of Taitz's remarks be used, I probably would have edited it to read as follows:
"Obama is completely illegitimate as a U.S. president ... because he did not provide the place of his birth,‚Äù Ms. Taitz said. ‚ÄúHis father was never a U.S. citizen. He was in the United States on a student visa.‚Äù
Everything after the first sentence could be dropped if the Times editors were concerned about making Taitz "look bad" (although, really, including the entire quote made her look much kookier) without simultaneously dragging down the credibility of the newspaper by dignifying such a ridiculous argument.
A United spokeswoman says between one and three ticks were discovered.
So does that mean two ticks were discovered; or that they found three things that might have been ticks, but they're not entirely sure; or something else entirely? Inquiring minds (and editors everywhere) want to know.
How anyone can save plastic by eating dolphins is beyond me, but sure. Someone hand CNN's editorial staff a hyphen, please.
That's just awesome. It's fake, of course, but it's still awesome.
The apostrophe isn't a complicated entity. It is used to indicate two things in English: a possessive or a contraction. For example, in the preceding sentence, "isn't" has an apostrophe in it because it is a contraction for "is not", and the apostrophe indicates the missing "O".
The apostrophe should never be used to indicate plurals. (The only possible exception to this rule is a purely stylistic one which I utterly loathe, and that is in the case of reference to a decade; e.g. "The 1970's". That usage grates on my brain something awful.)
The apostrophe should also never be randomly inserted into words that, by pure coincidence, end in "S", especially not when you're writing a story about education. Hint to Dan Bewley: in the following sentence, not only should an apostrophe not be used to pluralize a word (a very common and disgusting error), but "guarantees" isn't even plural! It's the third-person present indicative tense of the verb "to guarantee".
Organizers of J.O.N.A.H., Joint-religious Organizing Network for Action and Hope, are hoping to expand the city's legacy scholarship program that guarantee's tuition to Kellogg Community College for Battle Creek or Lakeview school graduates.
Eric pointed me to an article about some renovations Ball State is doing to one of their dining halls next year, and it mentioned something about a "gas-fired woodstove oven".
I hate emo appliances, don't you?
Because I'm such a fan of sites like The Slot and columns like Dave Barry's Mister Language Person, it should come as no surprise that the current Slashdot poll, "Favorite Fictional Word," caught my eye. Among the better missing options:
Last July, I pointed out a very funny article on The Slot about the so-called "comma of direct address."
This time, it's a complete lack of punctuation that leads to a very amusing Freudian slip. A local martial-arts academy is (apparently) running a special on tuition. Their marquee, posted along a major traffic artery in town, says:
I have no desire whatsoever to give a 65-year-old Asian guy a hot beef injection, no matter what the price. For that matter, I don't have any desire to "COME IN" anyone of the male persuasion. Will someone please fix this sign? It's disgusting!
Bill Walsh has a great bit on The Slot about why the comma of direct address (you know, like "Hi, Bob!") is absolutely necessary.
This one comes to you tonight courtesy of a 1970s article in Tetrahedron Letters, wherein the author of the paper refutes a claim made by an earlier author by saying:
We find these assertions to be incompatible with reality.
Yeah, really. Hey, I was pretty impressed.
Seen recently on Low End Mac:
Although earlier models had less hard drive bays...
"Less," much like "amount," is used in comparatives that cannot be quantified. For example, "Geroge W. Bush has less intelligence than your typical ironing board" or "George W. Bush's average speech exhibits a miniscule amount of public speaking ability."
"Fewer," like "number," is used to make quantifiable comparisons. "George W. Bush has fewer brain cells than your typical head of cabbage, and he only uses a small number of those, particularly when making speeches."
See also Grammar Slammer's explanation.
Unless you're trying to defend a trademark, that is, in which case any publicity generally makes matters difficult. And you'd better believe that Google is doing their best to defend the trademark they have on their own misspelled name, which is quickly becoming a generic term for searching the Internet.
That's "I knew I should have learned English" in Italian. Because if I had, I wouldn't have done anything as stupid as registering "powergenitalia" as a domain name for the company that employs me.
As a practising organic chemist, I do a lot of literature reading in scientific journals that 99% of the population would probably rather shoot themselves than read, such as the Journal of Organic Chemistry (JOC), the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), and Organic Letters (Org Lett). Sometimes it seems like the folks writing the papers are trying to sound as pretentious as possible without conveying any useful meaning.
I present the following quote from an Org Lett paper I was reading today:
[Polyaromatic hydrocarbons] have found use as, inter alia, semiconductors in electronic devices, components of electronic energy transfer systems, and fluorescent sensors of various environmental changes.
Now I ask you: wouldn't that have been far more comprehensible if, rather than the pretentious Latin "inter alia," the author had used the far more common "among other things?"
I give my fellows the Knife of David Hamilton to assist in cutting through the binding ropes of obfuscation placed around such texts.
And in other news, the University of Michigan is offering, well, here...
Subject: FW: Online Tutorial Available
Dear Graduate Students:
As students and also because of your duties as GSI's and GSRA's, I thought you might find the following information useful. Please take advantage of the tutorial. It is very informative.
Sexual Harassment Tutorial Available to all U-M Staff, Faculty and Students
So would that be a tutorial on how to commit better sexual harrassment? Or is quantity more important than quality, and they want us to do it more...
Sometimes I'm just not sure what to think of people. Especially in this case, because Australians, for the most part, are some of the most agnostic people on the face of the earth.
I have to get a copy of this Aussie Bible. Does Amazon have it yet...?
Today's blog entry is brought to you by the number 5 and the letters C-E-N-S-O-R-S-H-I-P.
The P.C. police have struck again. And that's the "politically correct" ... uhmmm ... "culturally aware" police, by the way.
Birth defects, blindness, barbarians, and busboys have all been banned from the latest round of United States school texts. How, then, do you describe someone who's blind from birth? "Lacking visual acuity due to a developmental abnormality?"
Some of you will probably remember the last time political correctness cultural awareness was in the news. It gave us such ridiculous (and late-night talk show joke-worthy) terms as "horizontally gifted" (formerly "fat," "overweight," or "obese"), "mentally challenged" (formerly "retarded" or "mentally handicapped"), "vertically challenged" (formerly "short," which makes me think the rapper 2Short really wouldn't have had nearly the one-hit-wonder career that he did had his named been "2VerticallyChallenged"), and "metabolically endowed" (formerly "thin" or "skinny").
It's no wonder kids today can't write a sentence shorter than 25 words. We're teaching them never to say in five words what can be effectively said in 30. Call a spade a spade, people. This madness has to stop somewhere.
This has to be the best example of a completely worthless solution to a problem that I've ever heard of. Does anyone really think renaming South Central to simply "South Los Angeles" will change anything about the neighbourhood at all? C'mon. It's like someone suddenly decided the Tigers were a crap team because they were named the Tigers. Changing the name to the Detroit Asskickers isn't going to make them any better...
Saw this on CNN tonight:
EDITOR'S NOTE: CNN's policy is to not report information that puts operational security at risk.
Apparently, it's also CNN's policy for the editor not to edit editor's notes.
Three days ago, I commented on palindromes very briefly. Well, I was working on today's LA Times crossword (as published in the Michigan Daily) and one of the solutions was "deities." I realised that "deified" is also a palindrome, and off the top of my head, it takes the prize for Most Obscure Palindromic Word in Everyday Usage.