Monday, April 22, 2013

Why Didn't GWB Take Them All Away With Him When He Left?

Today is the day I promised myself Once And For All that I would, henceforth and evermore, stop reading the Comments on any news stories I find on The Interwebs. I will still read the hilarious and daft comments on incidental "articles" on Yahoo because that is just pure entertainment, and it's free.  But I get too disheartened when I read the Views Of America in the comments of actual News.

I have to remember that They are Out There. I don't know why I'm surprised. Two days before Easter, when Jared and Sam informed me that yes, of course we would be coloring Easter eggs; what am I, some kind of communist, I had to hit up a local dollar store to find egg dye.  Luckily, I found some (the packaging and directions were all in French, by the way), and when I made my way to the cashier, I saw a sign that jolted me.  Immediately, I took a photo with my trusty phone, knowing I would send it to Jared and Sam, and thinking I might one day use it here at the Dept.

This is that day.  This, Dearest Readers, is Out There: 

The very same person who cannot see that the "word" Hamber is missing a few letters and, therefore, an entire syllable is Out There saying that the remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings is not an American because he is a Muslim.  Stuff like that.
I have a lot more to say, but I fear that if I start in on The Politics, I will be less able to Reconnect With My Joy.  Spring is so very slow to arrive and stay here in NEO.  (We had snow on Saturday morning!  Nothing accumulated, thank heaven.) There is life, however; my tarragon is peeking, my chives are already over a foot tall, my oregano has resurged, and much to my "daughter's" delight, teeny dill sprouts are everywhere, meaning homemade pickles for her. 

Join me in keeping The Stupid at bay.  Let's all make a solemn promise to be brilliant as often as we can.

post header image found here


  1. When my now ex-husband and I adopted our dog Buddy back in 2001, he came with a form filled out by his previous owner. In addition to his love of "fribzee", the dog also enjoyed "homber". Perhaps the former owner now has a job at that market.

  2. At least here in Korea when I see something like that, I understand there's a pretty good reason for it, like, oh, English not even being the national language. On the other hand, someone told me that there is a website or hotline for people to call if they see 'Konglish' mistakes on any signs because the Korean government takes these things seriously and wants to correct anything that's wrong to avoid embarrassing themselves and their citizens. There's some irony in there, but I'm sure I don't need to tell you what it is. Oh, and I have to prevent myself from reading those internet news comments, too, because otherwise I have problems with despair.

  3. Anonymous7:06 AM

    Well said. They are, indeed, Out There. I know in my mind that I can't stop the stupid, but in my heart, well-- I allow myself to hope that each new tragedy will Open Their Eyes & spark something in Their Brains. But it never does, and I end up feeling even sadder knowing that They are Out There.

  4. Just last week, one of my students, in a report on Catherine Howard, told the class that she was "infidel" to Henry VIII. I corrected her in private, telling her that the word she wanted was "unfaithful". She knew what "infidelity" meant, and just thought...

    And they are Honors Students, Nance. (Capitalization intended.) Bright, committed, delightful, but there's something missing somewhere.

  5. I am also in recovery, trying to NOT read comments (on news articles)Having said that, I have to share THE BEST COMMENT EVER! A woman had her pants catch on fire after picking up rocks on a beach, they apparently were coated with phosphorus. A commenter pointed out "How can we believe her, HER PANTS WERE ON FIRE!"

  6. As usual, the comments on this blog delight. Such an antidote to Teh Crazy. (I don't really understand "teh" - but people use it ironically so I'm going to use it too by golly).

    Here is another antidote. I'm sure you've seen this already, but read the reviews of this product on Amazon. Or at least the first one. Hilarious :)

  7. A representative of the Czech Republic issued a statement late last week saying that the Czech Republic was NOT Chechnya. At first I thought it was a story from the Onion, but, no, it was a real press release.

    This former college Geography major wept...

  8. Dear oh dear. I see this on a daily basis with university students whose dearth of cultural background, or even just what I would consider to be common knowledge, is frightening.

    I was helping a student in beginning Spanish a while back. Foreign languages were not required in the small town, out-of-state high school she attended, and present tense verb conjugations were causing her great consternation. I drew some charts with the various verb endings and asked her if she could see a pattern there, and that certain forms coincided. She gave me a blank stare and said, "What does 'coincide' mean?"

    Another student in my advanced grammar class said he did not understand a sentence that began with Es lamentable que.... After reminding him that this phrase was actually in his textbook, which he was supposed to be studying, and that in lower level courses it is also taught, he still did not get it. As it was a test, I told him I could not tell him the answer, but that it was a cognate. If that helped. (They know the word 'cognate' because I use it all the time.) I then pronounced the word in English. No idea. Truly lamentable.

    What are they putting on the S.A.T. tests these days?

  9. P.S. All those ignorant red-neck jerks who are screaming out that immigrants need to LEARN ENGLISH might ask themselves what sort of example is being put out there for them. :-)

  10. Ortizzle--When, oh when, will it be Cool To Be Smart? I thought Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were going to set a trend in that direction ("You'll end up working for the Nerds one day."), but then something happened. I blame it on the Kardashians. That entire family of bimbos and bozos pretty much proved that you don't have to be smart, talented, or anything besides soulless and attractive to get rich and famous. It is lamentable.

    phoebes in santa fe--Oh, I can absolutely believe that. Probably a good 75% of the US population has no freaking idea that there has ever been a place called Chechnya. I do, and I am geographically ignorant like you would not believe, but I am a news junkie. If I ever told you how geographically ignorant I was, you would do way more than weep. But I do know that the USSR is no more, I do know which Korea is our ally, and I do know that I can't see Russia from my house. I am a geopolitically aware person. Try not to be too disappointed in me.

    Bug--I am not a usual viewer of The Ellen Show, but I actually saw her talk about this product that day. I really respect and admire her, and she was classy and non-confrontational about this, even giving a free sample of this product to the audience. You're right, all those reviews, actually, are terrific. Thanks for pointing me there for a good chuckle and some very good humorous and smart writing. Reminded me of the reviews for binders after Mittens' debate remark.

    Sillyak--I'm telling you, that kind of comment is the reason I started reading Yahoo comments in the first place. Every once in a while you get one that just cracks you up.

    fauxprof--Sigh. Do I ever hear you. I taught Honors Students for the last half of my career. There was no test or benchmark to get into the program, so anyone could (and did!) get in. The stuff I got on essays, tests, etc. was priceless. My all-time favourite was "John Proctor changed jurassically from Act I to Act II."

    Beat that.

    Ally--What really hurts my feelings is that the republicans seem to be encouraging and courting that segment of the population. I cannot believe how many ignorant people, prejudiced people, narrow-minded people staunchly vote republican. I can't claim any data for that, but that has been my personal observation and experience in my area.

    MsCaroline--Yes! You've nailed it. Despair. I feel Despair. I worry for the S.Korean government if they blindly accept simply anyone's advice as to what is incorrect. I had a few students who refused to use any apostrophes because they said they were tired of being wrong when they did and unsure of their proper placement overall. It was easier to merely omit them altogether. And what if the dollar store signmaker were to tell Koreans how to spell "hamburger"? I shudder at the thought.

    TeacherPatti--Oh for goodness' sake. FRIBZEE? AND HOMBER? Thank heaven you rescued that dog. Thank heaven they gave it up! He has no idea how lucky he is, saved from a life of illiteracy. You are a Hero.

  11. I barely know where to begin and the results are nothing less than terrifying. They don't know how to spell or they just don't care. Not sure which is worse. Actually, the not caring is worse. Sheesh....

  12. Lisa--I don't know. I had a lot of students who knew how to spell correctly, and they simply didn't care to proofread, but the knowledge, as I said, was at least there.

    The vast Ignorance scares me more deeply, I think, because those who don't care at least have the smarts to bring them to bear when they are so moved. The Ignorant have nothing, are led like sheep, and to unfortunately quote one of their leaders, Donald Rumsfeld, "don't know what they don't know." That, to me, is terrifying.

  13. What's frustrating to me is the generally smart people that I know in person, people whom I consider to be close friends, who think it's fine to use crappy grammar in the work place, much less in my house.

  14. J@jj--I have a lot of patience, believe it or not, for friends and the occasional family member who have their lapses in spelling and usage because I realize that I'm the one who has those things on the Priority List and not them. What really frosts my cupcakes is when I see/hear improper grammar/spelling when it's on signage or graphics for public consumption. Our Cleveland NBC news affiliate is such a horrifying offender. They make egregious spelling and grammar mistakes on their accompanying captions, on the graphics that run along the bottom of the screen, on their informational "slides", that it's ridiculous. It's worse than a school production. How can they have any credibility?

    Not to recall any nightmares, but one of the biggest things that helped GWB's persona as a buffoon was that he spoke like an idiot. We all remember "Strategery", and one of my favourites: ''Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.''

    I think (and you seem to also) that it's important to remember that we are judged by our words, both spoken and written. They stand for who we are. I always want to make a good impression.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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