Thursday, September 17, 2020
One Fine Day in the Mid-Nineteenth Century Deep in the Woods
of British Columbia
11:08 am pdt
Richard: There! Mark it down,
my good man. A new species of bird! I think I'll call it a Tit.
And a fine name, Sir Richard. But what kind of tit?
And right you are, Peter. Bloody well done. There can be lots of different kinds of tits. And when we run out of tits,
we can call them Boobies!
Peter: Brilliant! But what
shall we call this one?
Richard: It was in the bush,
so I say it's a Bushtit. Now doesn't that just make you giggle. Like the Dickcissel. Now there's a silly name. After all,
it's not a truly good name if it's not just a bit silly, too, now, is it? Now let's be off, and if we're really lucky, we'll
find a pecker or two before nightfall.
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
9:54 am pdt
Good evening, my name is Alistar Riley, and this is Grammar Alive! The
show that seeks each night to challenge its viewers with not only what is right, but what is also grammatically correct. Tonight
we tackle what some have called the most tragic miss-use of the English language since “gate” was deemed a suffix. And
that of which I speak is none other than the miss-use of the word “fact.” Our first guest is Doctor
Cranston Edelfice, editor of the very popular Dictionary of Every Word Ever Said And Why You Shouldn’t. Tell
me, Doctor Edelfice, and may I assume that we are not speaking in terms of a medical degree? Very well. Tell
me Doctor Edelfice, just why is it that you’re getting so bloody agitated over the misuse of the word “fact”?
Well, Alistar, if it mayn’t be too presumptuous of me to call someone by his first name who has yet to receive
his doctorate? Very well, then. You see, it’s a fact that people are using this word without even
thinking about it. And words without thought... what’s the point of that? Take my previous example. I
stated that it is a fact that people are misusing the word “fact.” Of course it’s a fact. If
it exists, it is a fact. A rather pointless use of the word, I would say. And then, of course,
is the phrase, “It is a known fact.” What other kind of facts are there? A lot of good unknown
facts are going to do anybody.
I’m sorry, Sir Edelfice, if it may not be presumptuous
to call somebody by a term of nobility that is based solely on land, but are you saying that unknown facts cannot exist?
Certainly not, A.R., if it may not be presumptuous of me to call somebody by his first initials because he’s
not man enough to tell me to my face if he didn’t. It exists on the same continuum as known facts. If
they’re unknown facts, they remain facts just the same. Whether the adjectival modifier negates or confirms
matters little. It is still nothing more than a modifier and it doesn’t change the condition of the noun.
Well you ignorant polymorphatic abstraction, if it’s not presumptuous of me to openly insult you because there’s
no one in the entire educated community who would take your side unless a bottle of very fine Scotch were involved in the
transaction. But isn’t that the precise intention of modifiers, to change the condition of the noun?
You know, Crany, if it may not be presumptuous of me to reduce your name to nonsense because it so much better suits
your personality, I say the hell with this and we go open that bottle of Scotch I’ve been saving for just such an occasion. This
is Grammar Alive! and we’ll be back after the break with Dr. Hortland Howl, whom, it is a well known
fact, is the world’s leading authority on semi-colons, and author of the nearly best-selling novel, Semi-Colon
of Desire. Stay tuned, why don’t you?
Monday, September 14, 2020
8:09 am pdt
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
10:51 am pdt
Talk Like a Pirate Day
International Talk Like a Pirate Day began sometime in the prehistory
before 2002, when two guys, John “Ol’ Chumbuucket” Baur and Mark “Cap’n Slappy” Summers,
really for no good reason, began talking like pirates. And if they can talk like pirates, then why not
everybody? Or just enough people to make it profitable. So they came up with International
Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19. The 19th was Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday,
and since he really didn’t have much use for that date anymore anyway, it just seemed appropriate. Then,
in 2002, author and self-proclaimed guy Dave Berry mentioned Talk Like a Pirate Day in his nationally syndicated column.
From that point on, we’ve been stuck with the holiday.
So plug your bung
hole you lubber, and fetch the brass monkey before its balls freeze off, or you’ll join Davy Jones after paying ye dues
to Jack Ketch! Aye! There’ll be no booty for ye! Arrr!
Translated: Put a cork in the rum
barrel, you person who prefers land, and bring in the cannon ball holder before the cold weather causes the brass to contract,
which would cause the cannon balls to fall off, or we’ll throw your dead body off the side of the ship after you’ve
been hanged by the hangman, and you can forget any cut of the plunder. Pardon me while I clear my throat.
Baur, John “Ol’ Chumbucket,” and Mark “Cap’n Slappy”
Summers. Well Blow Me Down! A Guy’s Guide to Talking Like a Pirate. 2004, The
Pirate Guys, LLC.
10:50 am pdt
the Future: The Passing of Political Parties
Political parties officially ended
in the United States of America on Tuesday, November 5th, 2058, when Leonard K. Bullfinch III won the Presidential
election by only eleven votes. The election, however, was considered a landslide, since only 17 total votes
were cast. President-elect Bullfinch then didn’t even bother to show up for the Inauguration, which
most major networks had already decided not to cover, even if he had. Said Bullfinch, “Really, there
didn’t seem to be much point in it.”
Perhaps one contemporary historian
summed it up best when he stated, “We just got tired. We all just sorta asked at the same time why
we were always arguing over the same things no matter who was in power. It was kinda like war.
I mean, if war really works, why do we keep having them? Besides, it had been nearly 24 years since
any major broadcast network had shown anything other than a campaign commercial.”
nobody’s concern, the government continued on just the same. Everyday business just seemed to get
done, and whenever anything really big came along, it was argued over and voted on by whomever happened to show up at the
time, which turned out to be pretty much the exact same kinds of people who were there before, only now they didn’t
need to be paid.
As always, America’s government was just as incomprehensible
as it ever was to every other country in the world. Only now, it was equally incomprehensible to Americans as well.
“And that,” said one citizen, “is a comforting thing.”
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
7:42 am pdt
the Future: Gluten-Free Gluten
On March 20, 2028, Franz Josef Von Spekelburgenstein
was awarded a patent for Gluten-Free Gluten, a substance that he marketed under the trade name “Taste Again.”
Said Von Spekelburgenstein, “It’s a gluten-free gluten that allows you to eat everything with gluten in
it, but still be smug about it.”
Less than a year later, on February 7, 2029, Gluten-Free Gluten-Free
was introduced for those “who wanted to be sure.” Sold primarily in health food stores under
various trade names, it was said to neutralize any of the reported side-effects from Gluten-Free Gluten that might’ve
inadvertently been introduced into your food.
This was soon followed by Freer Gluten-Free Gluten, Freer
Than Free Gluten-Free Gluten, and Free the Gluten Five.
However, by the end of the fourth quarter in 2032, it was reported
that every company that had been marketing gluten and gluten-free additives had gone out of business. As well, demand
for all gluten-free substances had all but disappeared. Said one consumer, “It’s not that we still don’t
care. We just got confused.”