Throwing Shoes

I have spoken before of what I call “linguistic speed bumps”:  egregious grammatical and/or spelling errors which interrupt the flow of reading (and which, in my case, cause a WTF? Moment).

Here’s one that never fails to set my teeth on edge, and I saw it only yesterday:

“None of this is to say that Trump is a shoe-in come November.”

“Shoe-in”?  What the fuck does that mean?  That somebody’s going to kick him into office?

The expression comes from the verb “to shoo” (usher gently) — one shoos away a goose, or puppy, when one wants it to move away.  To “shoo” somebody into office (as in the above situation) means that his victory is assured, and requires only a gentle nudge to take effect — in other words, it’s an expected outcome.

“Shoe-in”  doesn’t mean anything at all;  the writer might as well have said “show in” or “schwing in” for all the sense it makes.  And just as the last time I blew up about it, this bullshit was printed by The Federalist, which one would think might edit their writers’ input, but clearly does not.

I know:  “spell-check” is at fault.  [20,000-word rant deleted]

Where did I put that flamethrower?


  1. This kind of thing makes me crazy too, but I generally keep my yap shut, because I personally cannot SPELL for sour apples.

    And, hey, maybe they were confused by the phrase ‘throw his hat in the ring’. Why hat and not shoes?

  2. Shoo-in/shoe-in: For all intensive purposes, they are one in the same. Irregardless of that, it’s pretty much a mute point.


  3. Last week when Goodyear Tires was deflating due to their Struggle Sessions, they issued an apology that wasn’t much of an apology but also had the word “upmost” (instead of utmost) in it. I often wonder if there are any adults left who know what grammar and spelling are.

  4. Well, I’m surprised you didn’t chute the offender on site just to keep your insanity in tact.
    Your going to be insane until erection eave, no doubt. We can only hope the Dems don’t get their testicles into the Electrical College and we can right off the Dems for a wile.
    BTW, is “tact” as in “It arrived in tact” a vehicle or a place?
    All the above bilge is why I cancelled my newspaper years ago. Either the editors are maleducated idiots or the paper fired them all.

  5. Last night I was scrolling through the cable TV channel guide (yes, I’m old and still watch cable) and found a movie about “the grizzly murder of a cheerleader.” This sounded pretty interesting, and I watched for almost an hour, but there was no bear.

    On a related note, the same guide regularly announces a half-hour show called “Teen Titans,” but because it is only a 1/2 hour show, the display space for the title is short. So the show’s name is abbreviated to fit, resulting in profound disappointment for all those kids tuning in to what they thought was “Teen Tit.”

    Editors are overhead. They’ve all been fired.

  6. It’s not the fault of spell checkers.

    It’s the leftover side effects of that “whole word reading” fiasco. They tried to teach kids to go by the “shape” of words, in order to try and increase reading speed and comprehension.

    Instead of good effects, you have a couple of generations of Americans who have trouble distinguishing between “shoo” and “shoe” when they’re not reading carefully, because the outlines are similar in shape.

    1. It’s not just the “whole word” teachings; I’m convinced that the (I thought) short-lived mania for teaching children creative writing by having them write whatever they want without regard to considerations of grammar and spelling is to blame for a lot of it.

      When I see things like “the tree was struck by lightening,” “he should of done that,” or “I like you more then her,” I know that the writer is spelling by sound, subject to the vagaries of pronunciation, and either discounts or never learned the importance of clarity in communications. Then again, I’m certain that there are people who consider that a desirable feature of modern ‘education,’ in that it’s easier for everything to devolve into “feelz” when there’s no underlying rigor in expression.

  7. I thought to myself (!), I myself personally (!) [three-day rant deleted].

    “And if elected, you have my word I shall nevermore again pluralize ‘toward’, and I am making my way (!) towards that goal as we speak.”

    Their mite be other examples, but, since this’s just after brakefuss, it’s time for me to kick-back in the porch rocker for my mourning tennis-ball slobbering session (!) with the dogs.

  8. My favorites are the Craigslist ads where people use the words “sale” (noun) and “sell” (verb) interchangeably.

    Example: “I need to sale my car.” “The following items are for sell”

    And yes, I’ve seen them do both in the same ad.

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