Apparently, folks in California are looking forward to a visit from one of their favorite folk heroes: Paul Bunion. Wonder if he’ll be traveling with his pals Tom Toenail and Harry the Hammertoe.
Here on the East Coast, we’ll be holding out for a visit from that other guy: Paul Bunyan.
H/t to my West Coast correspondent, who spotted this little tidbit in the East Bay Express.
This little tidbit spotted in Metrowest Boston struck a certain chord:
Okay, here’s the deal. If you are buying a “a unit of wood cut for fuel equal to a stack 4 x 4 x 8 feet or 128 cubic feet,” then that’s a cord (M-W). If you are a strumming on your guitar by the fire that you have built using some of the wood from the cord you just bought, then you are playing a few chords (“three or more musical tones sounded simultaneously,” M-W).
If you get a very good deal on your cord of wood, you might be getting it for a song. But that’s a lot of chords. Usually. Unless it’s a very boring song. Then maybe only one chord. But that’s a different story.
This little tidbit, spotted on Craigslist, absolutely cracked me up. The poster is trying to make their old table seem more appealing by labeling it as shabby chic. Instead, they mixed chic with sheik, and gave it a whole new meaning.
Okay, here’s the deal: If you are talking about “a male leader in an Arab country,” then the word you want is sheik (or sheikh) (Macmillan). If you are talking about something that is “fashionable and attractive in style,” then the word you want is chic (Macmillan). Is it possible for there to be a shabby sheik? No doubt. But when referring to furniture, the term you want is shabby chic.
Here’s more on chic-sheik as homophones and as eggcorns.
This sentence is possibly one of the most tortured pieces of writing I have come across in a long, long time. It appeared in an article about a recent performance Aerosmith gave outside the Boston apartment building they used to live in back in the day.
“Across the street from 1325 Commonwealth Ave. is a sign that Aerosmith band members wrote in a book they would see when they walked out the front door of their apartment building during the early 1970s.”
Here’s the problem: this poor little sentence is trying to do too many things at once. Is it a sign they wrote in a book? Is it a book they would see when they walked out the front door of their apartment building? Or is it neither of these? My red pen is itching to get at it.
From the rest of the article, we find out that it’s a sign they would see when they walked out of their apartment and that they wrote about in a book. But that’s a long way to get there from here. With a little editing, this sentence could be pared down and reordered to reflect that, something like this (for example):
“Across the street from 1325 Commonwealth Ave. is a sign that Aerosmith band members would see when they walked out the front door of the apartment building
, which they lived in during the early 1970s. They wrote about seeing the sign in their book.”
But unfortunately, that’s a lot less interesting than the idea of them writing a sign in a book they would see when they walked out of their apartment. And hey, it was Aerosmith, and it was the 1970s. Anything was possible.
Great googly-moogly, this ghoulish little apostrophe sure puts the “trick” in “trick-or-treat.”
This Halloween, don’t be haunted by the grocer’s apostrophe. When forming a plural, no apostrophe is needed.
H/t to Captain Nemo, who spotted this little tidbit:
I love that someone looked at this and knew something wasn’t right and tried to make it better. Okay here’s the deal: When you have a box full of papers to shred, they are to be shredded. Not shread, and certainly not shreaded. Nice try, though.
“Cautionary Ghost” by xkcd
H/t to the Mighty Quinn (no relation to MRP), who spotted this little tidbit in Vermont:
Ah, these sign makers have taken the good old it’s/its confusion (which is, as we know, near and dear to MRP’s heart) to a whole ‘nother level.
Okay, here’s the deal. As a contraction of the words it is, the apostrophe is placed thusly: it’s. When it’s possession you seek to show, that’s its, as in Barbecue At Its Best!
If you find yourself putting the apostrophe after the whole shebang, as in its’, then you need to reevaluate and start all over again. Brians’ Common Errors in English Usage can help, as can The Oatmeal.
I admit it, when I was but a mighty red crayon, I desperately wanted to be Anne of Green Gables (well, after I gave up my dream of being Harriet the Spy or Encyclopedia Brown). I devoured every Anne book (and pretty much any book by L.M. Montgomery I could get my hands on), and they left an indelible imprint. To this day, any reference to Prince Edward Island or the Lady of Shalott or the name Gilbert can transport me right back to that world.
As any good reader of the series will remember, one key moment of the books was Anne’s recitation of “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes. Here’s a clip of Megan Follows recreating that moment:
And, as a bonus, here’s Loreena McKennitt’s version of “The Highwayman”
Added bonus! I just read that they are bringing Anne back to tv!