or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Fury

Okay, now I'm just snarling uncontrollably. It's been one of those days.


David Blaine is either very brave or very stupid, and quite possibly both. He probably wasn't in any imminent peril of death from trying to hold his breath for more than nine minutes (although it was very difficult to watch), but he apparently messed himself up pretty badly staying underwater for a week, what with the liver damage and possible brain damage and really nastily pruned-up fingers. (When people ask me if I swim, I tell them that we spent millions of years of evolution trying to get out of the water, and I'm sure as hell not going back in, and that goes for you, too, Mr. Blaine.) He can do anything he wants with his liver, but did he really have to call his newest stunt "Drowned Alive"? It's stupid. I know it's supposed to evoke the dread that the phrase "buried alive" invariably elicits (and in fact one of his earlier stunts was entitled "Buried Alive"), but you can be buried alive or dead, whereas you can't be drowned if you're already dead--you can only be drowned alive, so what the hell was the point of the name if you stop and think about it for, oh, three seconds, and why couldn't they just have called it "Drowned", which is every bit as effective without being, you know, asinine?


If you're using a word that can be spelled in more than one way, the thing to do, see, is to pick one of those ways and stick with it. Mixing them up in the same piece of writing makes you look as if you just don't know what you're talking about. BoingBoing has a little piece about a trepanation kit, which is a fascinating piece of medical history, but they spell the word one way in the title ("trephanation", which is actually wrong), another way in the first sentence ("trephination", which is acceptable) and again in the second, and then a third way in third sentence ("trepanation", which is also correct). For god's sake, pick one! And pick a correctly spelled one while you're at it!


A local fast-food joint has a sign above the drive-through window that says


and is it really so very hard to use hyphens correctly? "Pick up" is a phrasal verb, "pick-up" is a noun, and they need an imperative verb, and if they'd left out the hyphen they'd have one, and goddammit why can't anybody ever seem to get it right?


Whew. I'm okay. I'm going to relax for a bit and then watch "The Amazing Race" and everything will be just fine.


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