gnomi: (oxford_comma (yin_again))
...linked by a friend on FB:

gnomi: (dictionary_moo)
Dutch art heist museum says security system in order

(From Reuters, here.)
gnomi: (facepalm (coloneljack))
A headline from this morning's Boston Globe:
Parents want review of report kindergartner put in closet

(from here.)

As Casey McCall might say, "We got all kinds of sentence construction here."
gnomi: (writer (celli))
In this week's The Brookline Parent column, Michael discusses our recent visit to the Boston University Child Language Lab. Click here to read "Muffin, Squeaker, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here."
gnomi: (correct_grammar (elfgirl))
Their online Q&A is beautifully snarky:

Q. Hello, Wise Ones. If you were me, how would you pluralize B-26? B-26es? B-26s? (Not, I’m pretty sure, B-26’s.) None of them look right to me.

A. If we were you, of course, none of them would look right. But since we are CMOS, “B-26s” looks just fine. Please see CMOS 9.54.

Q. Are periods always used with the initials of a person’s name? This is for use not with running text, but rather on a memorial on a university campus. And the donor sees no value in the use of periods.

A. The donor is usually right. Chicago style does require periods after name initials, but display type is not bound by such rules.

Q. Apparently from now on the ellipsis has been banned. Which punctuation marks can take its place?

A. Hmm. Is this a state or local ordinance? (Surely not federal—Congress would never cooperate on that.) Unless we missed a major memo, I’m confident that you can carry on eliding.
gnomi: (correct_grammar (elfgirl))
...or did E Online accidentally use structural ambiguity to imply that there was a time limit on Matt Bomer's orientation?
And even if the White Collar star did publicly aknowledge [sic] he was gay earlier this year*, he's not about to start spilling anytime soon.

*Emphasis mine.

(from the otherwise lovely piece here)
gnomi: (Default)
From the letter submission page:

To submit a letter to the editor electronically, send an e-mail to [the Globe's e-mail address] or fill out the form below. Either way, make sure to include your full name, address and a telephone number for confirmation purposes. Letters should be 200 words or less and are subject to condensation.

Me, I'd recast the sentence: Letters should be 200 words or fewer and might be condensed. While my ear is saying "and may be condensed," the tech writer in me is arguing that "may" could be construed as ambiguous ("and may be condensed" implies, possibly, "you are allowed to" and not the intended meaning of "this could possibly happen").
gnomi: (no_cursing)
Last night at their town meeting, the town of Middleborough, MA, passed a $20 fine for swearing in public.

How the *#&! is this enforceable?* Or constitutional? I know that the resort area of Virginia Beach, VA, has a similar bylaw (that's where I took the photo that got turned into the icon on this post), but I still don't know how it's possible to make a law of this sort without impinging on folks' First Amendment rights.

ETA: For those of you who like this sort of thing, the Warrant is here, and it was Article 24.

See what I did there? ;-)
gnomi: (Default)
Our disposal has been cranky for a bit, and on Friday, right before Shabbat, it gave up the ghost. Through a series of circumstances irrelevant to this discussion, our building has had to cut its ties to the plumber we used to use (who, honestly, none of us were overly thrilled with). So [personal profile] mabfan, who had compiled a list of plumbers recommended by the denizens of the Jewish Boston mailing list, chose one off the list and called him yesterday afternoon.Plumbing the depths? )
gnomi: (100_things)
I don't honestly remember how it started. It might have been when [ profile] mabfan bought me a trio of stuffed dinosaurs in honor of not-our-wedding-date (a story unto itself; maybe I'll write that one up some day). So he got me a brontosaurus (don't tell me they don't exist; that's what the tag said it was), and I named it Charlotte. And then he bought me a second one. And I named it Emily. And then he bought me a dimetrodon, which is technically not a dinosaur, but that's neither here nor there. I named it Dmitri. But I'd decided that had he bought me another brontosaurus, I was going to name it Anne.

From there the floodgates opened. We have a giraffe I named Vander. We have a brown bear I named Frederick (now known by the girls as Fred the Bear). We have an obscurely named owl I call Rick Mercer (because this owl has 22 minutes). At one point, I compiled a list of names of stuffed animals in our collection, but it has fallen woefully out of date. Also, most stuffed animals in the house now belong to Muffin and Squeaker, and they're not so creative with animal names yet. (The bears that Sabba and Savta gave them are both "Sabba Savta bear." The bears that we told them were special to Mommy and Daddy are, respectively, Mommy's Special Bear and Daddy's Special Bear). The stuffed octopus that I knit ended up with the name Calamari, but Muffin only knows her as Callie.

At some point, I need to dig out the list again. I may post it here for amusement purposes.

ETA: [personal profile] mabfan reminds me that we named our stuffed bison Freeman.


Apr. 25th, 2012 03:32 pm
gnomi: (cookies!)
[Poll #1836241]
gnomi: (100_things)
I am something of a word nerd. That was a giant understatement right there. I cannot remember a time I didn't love words, playing with words, learning about words. I do know that when I was in my early teens I spent an afternoon in the Boston Public Library poking through books about words.

My love of word play is definitely traceable back to my childhood. My father is an inveterate punster, and he raised [profile] beckyfeld and me to look at words as things that can be played with. I eventually parlayed that into a focus on Linguistics and subsequently into careers as an editor and as a technical writer.

I often say that my Linguistics background gives me license to create new words (neologisms). I have a number that I use regularly:

-- Snackquistion (the acquisition of snacks)
-- Procrastiknitting (knitting instead of doing something else I should be doing)
-- Splorp (home made whipped cream)

Now I am watching Muffin and Squeaker learn about language. I'm fascinated by the stages they are going through while acquiring language. They clearly have studied Jean Berko Gleason's research on children's understanding of morphology, as they have an innate sense of how to pluralize words they have never heard before. They are also learning the pitfalls of irregular verbs in English as I correct their "goed" to "went" and "childs" to "children." (Of course, I am also warping them by referring to them as one girlificus and two girlifici.)

(This is most likely just the first of many 100 Things posts that will be somehow about language, words, and the like. Just warning you all.)
gnomi: (dictionary_moo)
Here's one that I see smart, well-educated people using, and it drives me nigh on bonkers.

remuneration: Payment for work done.

renumeration: Not a dictionary word. Were it one, it would likely mean "the act of renumbering."
gnomi: (correct_grammar (elfgirl))
I realize that the desire was to write an article about the upcoming retirement of Smith College's president, but did you really have to go with a Dek (subheadline) of "Search underway to replace Christ"? Don't you think religious issues have been making headlines enough recently?

Yours most sincerely,
The freelance editor who giggled loudly on the Green Line this morning

ETA: The obligatory screenshot (click to enlarge):

gnomi: (dictionary_moo)
If I am assiduously avoiding a conversational topic, I am pointedly avoiding it. If I am deciduously avoiding a conversational topic, am I hoping that whoever brought it up will drop it and leave?

(This line of thought partially brought to you by Elmo.)

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