or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, January 13, 2006

Picky, Picky

I still enjoy reading The Onion's AV Club, but let's bash this week's issue for a bit.

From a review of the clearly dreadful movie Bloodrayne:

With minimal flare and maximal gore, Boll simply delivers the turgid drama and incompetently staged action sequences that have made him the unstoppable Big Boss of the gaming community.

A I wrote nearly a year ago, it's flair, not flare, in this context. It seems like a small point, I know, but I'm still amazed that professional writers make this dumb mistake, no different from writing "she wiles away the time" or "they rode on a slay".

And from an article called How To Make A January Flop:

Experimental surgery leads a blind masseuse (Val Kilmer) to see again in 1999's At First Sight, but the dialogue regularly suggests that he can't see with his eyes if his heart is blind.

As I noted a while back, a masseuse is invariably a woman: despite Val Kilmer's possession of an ambiguous name, he's definitely male, and therefore must have portrayed a masseur.

But it's not all bad news. One of the things The Onion does best is to take an ordinary word or phrase, consider all its implications, and really run with that.

The word "lady" is popularly used to be synonymous with "woman", but of course it also has a host of overtones encapsulated in the word "ladylike". (If a co-worker says, "There's a lady at the counter", I may not say it, but I'm sure to be thinking, "How do you know she's a lady? Maybe she's a harlot.") Here's a paragraph from an Onion article entitled "Annika Sorenstam Has Another Remarkable Year For A Lady":

Miss Sorenstam, who took up the sport of ladies' golf when she was just a little lady at 12 years old, has been a feminine golfing inspiration to a whole new generation of ladies, including young lady Michelle Wie and ladies' tour rookie Paula Creamer, whose play proves her a lady despite her brief, unladylike tiff with Miss Sorenstam over an 18th-hole drop in the ladies' first round of the ADT Championship.

Read the whole thing. Seriously. It's delicious.


While I'm criticizing online writing, I may as well have another go at The Consumerist, which is still rife with irritating mistakes.

Cuffs are borderline passe anyway, but when coupled with pop culture brand references, they very nearly cause our irony gland to liquify.

That's "liquefy", not liquify", thank you very much.

We’d reach down deep within our mucous-engorged rage cavity to slop some bile at the Coca-Cola Company for their stupendously midguided attempt to promote new ‘Coke Zero’ through The Zero Movement, but we’re still careening around our porcelain work tub like so much congealed ham from manifest force of psychic disconnect upon the realization that there was a company out there still attempting to appear cool by using a blog.

"Mucus" is a noun, "mucous" an adjective, and therefore the disgusting phrase in question ought to be "mucus-engorged rage cavity".


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