Mighty Red Pen

November 15, 2011

That’s a man, baby

Filed under: Overseen,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 7:35 pm
Tags: ,

Word nerds are everywhere.

Spotted by one of MRP’s overseas correspondents.


November 14, 2011

I’m MRP and I do not approve this message

Filed under: Overseen,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 7:27 pm
Tags: ,

Really? Gloria Cain stands by Her-man? I know it was irresistible, but really?

Seen here.

October 27, 2011

To a tee

Filed under: Perilous punctuation,Spellbound,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 6:54 pm

Okay, so they’re talking about snow (!) here in the Northeast, so it’s a little hard for me to imagine when it’ll be warm enough to sport one of these awesome word nerd t-shirts, but maybe it’s something to look forward to, right?

There’s this one:

Or this one:

H/t to Emily and MysticalYeti. Of course, if neither of these shirts appeal to you, you can always visit the Arrant Pedantry t-shirt store.

September 26, 2011

There’s a party goin’ on right here

Filed under: Lit review,Perilous punctuation,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 6:42 pm
Tags: , ,

Well, hello there! Did everyone have an enjoyable National Punctuation Day on Saturday?

Saturday also marked the start of Banned Books Week, and I’m honoring the week by reading Lord of the Flies, a book I haven’t read since I was in high school.  I quizzed Mister MRP (an English teacher) about the value of teaching this book to our high school students nowadays. Among other things, he said it’s an appealing book for teachers because the symbolism is so accessible to students. What do you think? Is there still a place for this book in the current high school curriculum?

I don’t often re-read books because there are so many great ones I can barely find the time to read once, let alone twice. But I was compelled to read Lord of the Flies after reading Stephen King’s foreword to the most recent edition.

“Imagine my surprise (shock might be closer) when, half a century after that visit to the Bookmobile parked in the dusty dooryard of the Methodist Corners School, I downloaded the audio version of Lord of the Flies and heard William Golding articulating, in the charmingly casual introduction to his brilliant reading, exactly what had been troubling me. ‘One day I was sitting one side of the fireplace, and my wife was sitting on the other, and I suddenly said to her, “Wouldn’t it be a good idea to write a story about some boys on an island, showing how they would really behave, being boys and not little saints as they usually are in children’s books.” And she said, “That’s a first-class idea! You write it!” So I went ahead and wrote it.’


Bonus MRP moment: September 27 is MRP’s fifth blogoversary! Show some birthday love and please vote for MRP in the Grammar.net Best Grammar Blog of 2011 contest!

September 23, 2011

A linkable feast

Filed under: Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 5:41 pm

Let’s go out, I know just the place. It’s a library, it’s a bar, it’s a library bar! Bars around the world feature library-inspired decor.

What shall we drink at the library bar? Let’s type our drink into this typewriter that converts words into cocktails!

Designated driver tonight? Do you want soda? Do you want pop? Depends on where in the country we are. Let’s check this map that shows the regional distribution of general terms for soft drinks. (h/t to @Word Beast)

Hungry? Let us eat cake. Editorially challenged cake. (h/t Cakewrecks and GrammarGirl)

September 21, 2011

Objet d’art

Filed under: Overseen,Pop culture,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 6:35 pm

I know this is supposed to be art, because I saw it Architectural Digest and they said it was and because it’s made up of, er, provocative words, but I find the breaks in these words more unfortunate than edgy. What am I supposed to make of Ass Ass In?

Go ahead, say it: MRP, you know nothing about art, this piece is obviously going over your head. Maybe so, but I just can’t imagine the appeal of sitting there looking at the word ass over my morning cup of tea or over a nice dinner with friends. It seems, well, asinine.


September 17, 2011

Man, she feels like a woman

Filed under: Overseen,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 4:31 pm

Okay, I know, headline writing can be rilly, rilly hard sometimes. Which is why headlines such as this one get by:

Now really, “Woman Named Working Mother of the Year”? Um, obviously? I remember one of the network morning programs did something kooky one year and named a man as their mother of the year because he was a single parent who had many “motherly” qualities (I know—because apparently a father can’t be warm and nurturing and make a good, home-cooked meal, and a dude who has such abilities must be a mom). But typically, yes, working mother of the year will always be a woman. I know they are looking for something pretty pithy for this spot on boston.com, but I would have gone for the local color, something such as “Bostonian Named Working Mother of the Year” or something like that.

Eventually, it was changed to “Local Named Working Mother of the Year.”

September 13, 2011

Wordies to the nerdies

Filed under: Lit review,Word wars,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 6:41 pm
Tags: ,

H/t to Mister MRP, who was hip to the fact of the Mumford and Sons tune “Sigh No More,” which draws its lyrical inspiration from Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.”

Here’s Mumford and Sons, and here is Shakespeare (according to Kenneth Branagh’s version).

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more;
Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never;
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into. Hey nonny, nonny.

Sing no more ditties, sing no mo,
Or dumps so dull and heavy;
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leavy.
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into. Hey, nonny, nonny.


Do you not know about War of the Words? It is described thusly on the website: “War of the Words is, simply put, the March Madness of the English language. It’s a bracket-style word tournament similar in structure to the popular NCAA basketball tournament except instead of picking the winner of a (1)Duke vs (16)Murray State match up you get to choose the (1)Palpable vs (16)Mongrel winner.”

Something for every word nerd, no? Brackets due September 22.

August 3, 2011

Because making fun of Comic Sans never gets old

Filed under: Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 5:15 pm
Tags: ,

Comic Sans, the font we all love to hate.

Then along comes Joe Hollier and takes the love one step further by animating the heck out of “I’m Comic Sans, Asshole,” that clever little monologue by Mike Lacher. Sweet.

July 27, 2011

In which the universe laughs at me

Filed under: Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 4:37 pm

Was I not just talking about this? Was I not just praying for a moratorium on headlines that riff on “Summertime and the livin’ is easy”? Yes, yes, I was. And yet, like a giant cosmic ha ha ha on me, my alumnae magazine arrived in my mailbox with this very cover:


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