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Monday, December 5, 2011

Craftspeople Unite!

Hello, loveys! Livia has missed you indeed. Today, high on Benadryl, she is addressing the deeply annoying irruption of the word artisanal (quite often misspelled as "artisinal," which just goes to show you...). To her dismay, Livia has determined that artisanal is, in fact, a word and that, in most instances, it is being used correctly, if pompously.

But dear, dear! Must everything from artichokes to zucchini be artisanal? Can nothing be just ordinary any longer? Really. How fancy must a beer be, for the gods' sake? Artisanal cheese, artisanal bread, artisanal vodka, if you can stand it--where will it end? You don't hear the French touting their artisanal Bordeaux, do you? Livia believes this phenomenon to be an outgrowth of the "you are special" claptrap so prevalent when today's young (ish) adults--the artisanal offenders--were growing up. Unfortunately, if everyone is special, then no one is, and the same goes for beer and pretzels.

So knock it off, loveys. Livia has some nice artisanal wolf's bane for those who heed her not.

Friday, September 30, 2011

2011 Snotty Buzz on the Wall Street Journal

Insiders say that the storied newspaper is on the short list for Most Consistent Personification of Inanimate Objects and Subjects. A senior GrammarSnot source points up the WSJ regular application of the ubiquitous "needs to" applied on September 30, 2011 by Ben Casselman.  Mr Casselman wrote "Economists say the weekly reading needs to stay below 400,000 for the economy to grow."  Insofar as Mr. Casselman did not quote an economist, and he did not quote The Weekly Reading, this GrammarSnot reporter can only conclude that Mr. Casselman was writing in a way he believes to be descriptive.  GrammerSnot sought an independent quote from The Weekly Reading, but since we couldn't identify it, and because it is not, in fact, a person (capable of expressing needs), we were unable to confirm Mr. Casselman's account.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Computering While Smartphoning

Perhaps Cicero has over-reacted to the imperial behavior of those who chose nouns as their bounty.  The colonization of nouns into verbs continues unabated.  The gusto with which this phenomenon is occurring leads Cicero to conclude that folks in the media now believe that the act of colonizing a noun is a mark of distinction.  Which brings me to "decisioning." Recently Cicero had occasion to investigate the merits of opening an account with Experian, the credit agency.  The fruit of information that Experian purports to include in its service offering are "decisioning tools."  Cicero hopes that Experian can explain the difference between deciding and decisioning.  Be that as it may, Cicero will test out the verbing-of-the-nouns for a while.  Like, ya know, this one time when Cicero was smartphoning, while at the very same time, computering.  And I was sitting.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Beauty of Trump

Mr. Trump has announced his intention to be a candidate for President of the United States. Trump has identified one of the factors that make him an appealing (qualified?) candidate in his statement "Part of the beauty of me is that I am very rich," explaining that he is willing to spend $600 million of his own money on a political campaign.

We aren't interested in assessing Mr. Trump's fitness for the office, or whether being rich makes one a qualified Presidential candidate. We also do not intend to debate whether or not Mr. Trump's wealth does in fact make him beautiful (isn't everyone beautiful wealthy?), or whether or not he is beautiful (if he is wealthy, then he must be beautiful).

Instead we would like to refer Mr. Trump to the grammatical idiom that a subject of a sentence cannot be part of a prepositional phrase. He might consider re-phrasing his statement in any of the following ways:
"I am very rich, and my wealth makes me beautiful." OR
"Part of me is beautiful, but all of me is rich." OR
"I am very rich and I am very beautiful." OR
"I consider it the highest form of patriotism to honor my duties as a citizen by serving my country in any capacity, and I proudly offer myself as a candidate for President of this great nation." OR
"Since I am so rich, I am entitled to declare myself to be beautiful."

Good luck Mr. Trump, whichever part of you is beautiful.