Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Absolutely the last thing I'm going to say on the subject

...of song titles that contain girls' names or boys' names is this:

How could we possibly have overlooked "What's It All About, Alfie?" ????

I hate using multiple punctuation marks, especially (God help us) multiple question marks, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Wouldn't you agree????

Don't answer that.

I think the extra punctuation lends just the right degree of hysteria.

Some people, mostly Americans, confuse the words desperate and disparate, prostrate and prostate (speaking of God help us), and exasperate and exacerbate.

I'm sure none of you reading this would ever be guilty of such a thing.

The English books never mention desperate/disparate or prostrate/prostate or exasperate/exacerbate, tending rather to concentrate on affect and effect and there and their and they're.

Even Mrs. Malaprop, a character in Sheridan's 1775 play The Rivals, couldn't top Yogi Berra, who once said, "Texas has a lot of electrical votes."

I feel I am going down a rabbit trail.

Well, so did Alice and look where it got her. In Wonderland, that's where.

Another pair of words Americans are always mixing up in their writing are (is?) were and where. I'm serious. Sometimes I feel that I live in Wonderland already.

I repeat, God help us.

I have resisted so far writing about what Alphie Soup referred to in a comment yesterday as the big world event whose name must not be spoken. A lot of other bloggers are fixated on that very thing, and the folks on Facebook speak of little else these days. I may cave eventually, but that time is not yet.

I will now close the post the same way Red Skelton used to close his weekly television program (British, programme) back in the day.

Good night, and may God bless.


  1. "A day may come...but it is not this day."
    Sorry, I couldn't resist. ;)

  2. Kathy, this day we fight.

    Were you aware that this speech of Aragorn's is in the movie only? It is not in Tolkien's book. Some people think it was a ripoff of Braveheart but I prefer to think of it as an homage to it instead. I guess only Peter Jackson knows for sure.

    1. I loved Aragorn's speech, and I think Peter Jackson did a great job with the LOTR movies.
      The Hobbit wasn't as good. Looking forward to the new series on Amazon.

    2. Kathy, I loved the movies too, don't get me wrong. I wasn't putting down the movies (though some people do). We have cut out movie-going way down because Mrs. RWP has difficulty climbing steps and I don't want to sit too close to the screen, so we never saw The Hobbit. I heard it was not as good as the others.

  3. Program? Dear boy, over here in the birthplace of the English language we use "programme" for television and "program" for computers. I was enjoying this blogpost until that jarring moment that made me feel physically sick with a continuous dry cough and raised temperature.

    1. Yorkshire Pudding, thanks for the catch. I went back and inserted a little note. I have seriously considered changing my spellings to U.K. style but haven't taken the plunge yet. I have started end-punctuating ". instead of ." as it makes much more sense. Slowly I may capitulate, who knows? Then my own countrymen will look at me askance.

      The difference in "British-style" and "U.S.-style" can be traced to the two dictionaries, Samuel Johnson's in 1755 and Noah Webster's in 1828. Britain goes with 1755; the U.S. goes with 1828. That is an over-simplification but generally true. Thanks again for your comment except for the last sentence in it, which is not true.

  4. As Tennessee Ernie Ford would say: "If the good Lord's willin', and the creek don't rise"

    (yes, I'm that old!)

  5. Oddly the subject of multiple exclamation and question marks came up recently. I am 'guilty' of using the former but I hope I've not managed to succumb. As to hysteria? What hysteria!!!???

    And you haven't even mentioned 'less' and 'few'.

    1. Graham, you haven't noticed any hysteria???? Oh, that's right, you live in the Outer Hebrides. The more-populated areas are in a panic over a nasty little invader that may or may not have originated in Wuhan, China, depnding upon one's politics.

    2. Bob, I was actually thinking you were referring to the hysteria of the multiple exclamation and question marks. Either that or I was being ironic. I can't remember that far back. On the whole Scots are not given to hysteria over anything except Rangers and Celtic football clubs.

  6. I'm guilty of the punctuation mark repetition. You could find many more examples of incorrect usage. These have not been taught in schools for many years.

    1. Red, the world is in a downward spiral, except technologically.

  7. The two words that make me want to grind my teeth are loose and lose. People, these are two very different words!!

    I've considered predictive text as the real problem but it happens so often I JUST WANT TO SCREAM!!!!

    See, another example of rage and hysteria and multiple punctuation marks.

    And I have to ask this;
    Texas has multiple electrical votes?
    I must be brain dead today (only today?) but I'm curious...

    Another fun post. Let's have more.

    1. Bob, less and few were in my comment too. It seems there is a plethora of us.

    2. Graham, au contraire, it's we few, we happy few, we band of brothers (and sisters)....

    3. Alphie Soup, loose and lose, yes! Also less and few, too (Red in Alberta mentioned those).

      About Texas having multiple electrical votes, I'm wondering whether Yogi Berra really said that. It does sound like something he might say but I had never heard that particular quote attributed to him before. The word he should have chosen was electoral. Let me explain.

      The U.S. is not a direct democracy and does not choose a president by national popular vote, otherwise Hillary Clinton would now be president as she received three million more votes than Donald Trump. We are a republic, a representative democracy. An Electoral College is chosen and votes for president based on how each individual state voted. We have 50 state elections plus one in the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) thanks to a fairly recent amendment to our Constitution, so there are actually 51 elections in all, not a single national election. Many people want to do away with the electoral college method of selecting a president. (To be completely accurate, individual elections are run within states by each county, and there are over 3,000 in the entire country. This is why Barack Obama said it was impossible for Vladimir Putin to tamper with our "national" election. The size of a candidate's plurality within a state makes no difference -- Mrs. Clinton's three million can be traced to New York City and/or Los Angeles alone. Each state has as many electors as it has representatives in the House of Representatives (based on population and dependent on most-recent census) plus two for its two senators. (Each state has two senators regardless of population or area; there are 100 Senators in all.) The smaller-population states get 3 electoral votes. California has the most, 55, and Texas is next with 38. We conduct censuses every ten years to determine how the population is currently distributed. Texas gained four seats after the 2010 census and is expected to gain four more after the 2020 census. Georgia, where I live has 16 electoral votes (14 congressional districts plus the two senators). Britain has what, 60 or 80 million people and 630 in the House of Commons. The U.S. has 330 million people and 435 in the House of Representatives. Divide the national population by the number of seats in the H of R to get the average-size of a congressional district. States with only one congressperson get 3 electorsl votes (because the two senators are added). I'm not explaining this clearly; I hope I am not adding to your confusion.

      I have found that if one tries to be funny, one usually is not. We'll have to wait and see. I maytake a serious turn, who knows?