Aaaargh Speedbumps

I’ve got three gripes today.  The first is from Gun Digest, who seem to have succumbed to the “let SpelChek do the editing”, with this gem:

At the bear minimum, it’s novel.

…and no, it wasn’t a pun, because the gun under discussion was a .22 Mag rifle.  B-A-R-E.  And in the same article, by the way, we find for a bonus:

Also, it’s receiver is drilled an tapped.

I-T-S nofuckinghyphenapostrophe, and if you’re going to get all folksy and elide the conjunction, it would read “…drilled an’ tapped” (perhaps move the offending hyphen from “it’s” and just put it after the an?).  Otherwise, despite SpelChek giving it the okay, it is spelled A-N-D.

Next up is the Daily Mail, (a.k.a. Illiteracy Central) and it’s a classic case of turning a noun into a verb (a.k.a. “verbing”):

“Summited”?  Seriously?

There are actually two quibbles about this silliness.  FIrstly, “summit” has been egregiously and unnecessarily turned into a verb.  Secondly, even if you’re going to “verb” this noun, at least recognize that as spelled, it would be pronounced “sum-my-ted” — to shorten the letter “i” requires a double consonant afterwards, e.g. “submitted”, “admitted”, etc.

Right.  After pouring myself a second breakfast gin, I promptly spat it all over the keyboard when an old foe reared its horrible head.  This came from Steve Kruiser at PJMedia (who really should know better):

“I’m not concussed, I’m not hallucinating, I just tend to look at most things differently than other people.”

One more time:  it’s “differently FROM other people”, FFS.  “From” is what’s known as tadaa!  a differentiator — e.g. one house differs FROM another in that it has a green roof, not a red one.  (Try saying the previous sentence using “than” instead of “from”, and see how ridiculous it sounds.  Welcome to my world.)

The word “than” is comparative — taller than, longer than, sillier than, etc.

I know it can be confusing.  Here’s another example to help show the concept:

“Michael Phelps differs from Danny DeVito in that he’s much taller than the diminutive actor.”

Note how using the phrase “differs from” makes it a far more elegant expression than (see what I did there?) “Michael Phelps is different from Danny DeVito…”

It’s really quite simple, like most grammar rules.  Which is why when they’re broken, I want to reach for the 1911 and ventilate the screen.  Or the writer.


      1. Not frequently enough. We are already used to asking how many will a hotel suite or an RV, “Sleep”, it is only a matter of time until we do not look twice at how many will a Dining table “Eat.”

  1. You’ve worked yourself into such a lather that you aren’t seeing the apostrophes for the hyphens or vice versa.

  2. Using the word invite as a noun instead of as a verb causes a response deep within my gut analogus to dragging a fingernail across a chalk board.

  3. I get the same feeling when I see the term “gone missing.” Someone has “gone dancing” i.e. gone to dance, gone fishing i.e. gone to fish but “gone missing” = “gone to miss”?

    1. Even if you take the phrase as an idiom, not directly translatable to other words, “gone missing” implies a volitional act. Whitey Bulgar “Went Missing.” The women who were murdered by the Green River Killer did not “Go Missing.” They “Were Disappeared.”

  4. Kim,
    Suffice it to say, I despise spell-checking / grammar-checking algorithms. That said, I hold a somewhat different viewpoint and ask the question, “why is this happening?” I believe the answer lies in the left’s near complete takeover of the “edjumacation system” .. pushing curricula such as Common Core Math, Critical Race Theory, Gender Studies, LGBT topics, etc. That “old fashioned” skills such as Readin’ .. Writin’ and ‘Rithmetic have been replaced by the aforementioned piles of fetid and festering bovine/equine fecal matter is, I believe, their end goal simply because a population of sheep is easier to control than a population of wolves.
    Some of my spelling/grammar pet peeves include, but are not limited to:
    * use of “data” in the singular .. the singular form of the word is datum
    * misuse of your/your or sight/site/cite or their/there/they’re
    — an aside .. I need to purchase a grammar mug, but I digress
    * overuse of contractions
    * misuse of the mighty apostrophe .. making things possessive when they are not or vice-versa
    I could keep going, but there is not much point.
    Just my 2¢.
    Like your breakfast gin, I believe the time has arrived to “spike” my coffee with a wee dram of six year old 90 proof rye.

    1. Did you really write “Suffice ‘it’…”?
      Be on the lookout for a sturdy blondish feller toting a 1911.

      1. I look forward to such a visit … I suspect the aforementioned “sturdy blondish feller” would enjoy an outdoor CSO concert at Ravinia.

  5. Friday’s Breakfast’s at Kim’s — onion’s and musical’s are our specialty’s!
    And ‘yes’, I am enormously entertained by the flagrant misuse of apostrophe’s… especially that “bee’s” business popular in slum-trash attempts at communication:
    * “I can’t bee’s breathing!” [a memorable quote from a fine outstanding member of a fine outstanding community]

    and of course, the inevitable:
    * “I am going to bee’s summitted all over your fine self!”

    1. Reminds me of a Dave Barry column on apostrophe usage from way back in which he stated that “the purpose of an apostrophe is to announce an ‘s’ is coming.”

  6. I’ll agree wholeheartedly; in particular, the “its” vs it’s” thing….well, I’m now advocating automatically-exploding keyboards for violators.

    Won’t mention any names, but I had to stop reading one blog because the supposedly very erudite author perpetually misused words – my booze bill suffered immensely because of it – and consistently, and randomly, did the “its/it’s” butchery (I would have thought getting it right once would propagate through posts, but alas, the “grammar randomimizer tool” always ran in high gear).

    Some of this, I assume, is related to the input device utilized – my fingers are too large to efficiently, or accurately, enter text from a phone – or the imbedded malignancy of autocorrect.

    I have come to fully understand the acronym TBAR in reference to multi-page modern literary efforts; it stands for “Throw Book Across Room” and while it is usually caused by incomprehensibility of plot or character behavior, grammatical ignorance is becoming an increasing common factor.

    At its foundation, however, I suspect Brad in Il (above) has the nut of it: “We ain’t teachin’ shit no more in skool,” and the general level of literacy has declined sufficiently as a result that examples of proper grammar, spelling, verb usage, correct antecedent usage – all the basic rules of literate communication, in other words – no longer exist, and were they to be suddenly resurrected it would be wasted because no one reads anymore.

    “Verbing weirds language,” indeed.

  7. Boy, wow, Kim are you in for a treat.
    I’ve seen advertising for a new software package that you are just going to love.
    It’s called Grammarly.
    What spell check has done for ( to ? ) words, Grammarly does for, you guessed it, grammar ! Grammarly is going to help you compose sentences, paragraphs, letters etc.
    all using AI of course ( DO NOT get me started about so-called AI ) and given what spell check has done for the world of spelling, Grammarly is going to do for ( ‘to’ again ? ) the world of composition.
    I’ll bet you just can’t wait.
    If Grammarly becomes widely used, I would rent a medium storage locker somewhere are start stocking up on gin !

    1. I gave up on Grammarly years ago when they showed their allegiance to leftism. It’s been so long (and I’m of an age) that I don’t remember their offenses these days.

      Also, I recall that most of the times they tried to “fix” my grammar, it was due to my intentional “mistake” (or their incorrect/incomplete grammar rules).

  8. “… becoming an increasing common factor. ” above should be “..increasingly common…”

    Too much ice in my bourbon, methinks, dilutes it horribly.

  9. Consider taking your complaints to to God and hearing what They have to say.

  10. Eye halve a spelling chequer
    It came with my pea sea
    It plainly marques four my revue Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
    Eye strike a quay and type a word And weight four it two say
    Weather eye am wrong oar write It shows me strait a weigh.
    As soon as a mist ache is maid It nose bee fore two long
    And eye can put the error rite Its really ever wrong.
    Eye have run this poem threw it I am shore your pleased two no
    Its letter perfect in it’s weigh My chequer tolled me sew.
    (Sauce unknown)

    1. Wow wee Windy ~ That is funnier than 2 pounds and 4 shillings of goat mew cuss soup. Thanks for the laugh.

  11. This set my teeth on edge made me break out in a rash:
    “The DOD hopes to begin working on a prototype reactor design, which will hopefully be able to eventually produce one to five megawatts of electricity and operate at peak power for at least three years, in the next fiscal year.”

    How they gonna get three years into one – ah, I see, it’s ‘eventually’. Grammarly probably though that the comma after ‘last three years’ would do it.

  12. Hmmm, I might have a bone to pick. I would say “My views differ from the views of others.” I would also say “I see things differently than other people see things.” You are not differentiating the word “things” from the word “people.” “I approached this issue differently than you do.” Merriam Webster says that “than” is used with comparative adverbs, and I believe “differently” is the comparative adverb in question. So “differ from” but “differently than.”

    1. And then there’s the Apple marketing slogan: “Think different.”

      All these years later, it still makes me twitch.

      1. I’m sure that our reaction, in which we forget that Apple sells computers and silently correct the slogan to “Think differently” is not the one the advertising agency desires.

  13. I think the “thans” outnumber the “froms” these days, sadly. Communists, no doubt.

  14. Oh, Kim, don’t get me started. My personal pet peeve is the superlative, as in unique. How simple is it? Something is unique (nothing quite like it, or close).
    Nothing is very unique,
    nor extremely unique,
    nor super unique,
    nor ultimately unique.
    ARGHHHHH!!! End my misery! I cringe every time I read it. Oh, well – too much to ask……..

  15. “And what do you do?” asked the table of a visitor at the Lit. Review club, back in the halcyon Beak Street days of the early ’90s. “I am a writer.”

    A moment of silence, “Neither am I.”

    Sharp chaps’, eh? Must get moar smarter.

  16. I’ve often seen “different to” in the writing of a lot of younger people, which really irks me. I also see a lot of “than” used in place of “then,” which makes me want to grab them by the throat and say, “Helpful hint: think of then as associated with when!”

    And, don’t get me started on the misuse of idioms, such as, “If that’s what you think, then you’ve got another thing coming.”

  17. When “pled” got traded in for “pleaded” without asking me.

    That and people that write in all lower case with no punctuation. Screw you, buddy. I’m not giving myself a migraine trying to figure out what you’re saying. “Let’s eat, Grandma” versus “Let’s eat Grandma.”

    1. Farewell, farewell to my beloved language,
      Once English, now a vile Orangutanguage.

      If Ogden Nash thought it was bad 60 years ago, he’d be out slitting throats of College Professors today.

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