Sunday, April 29, 2012

Next Police

There's probably too much time devoted on the internet to correcting grammar, but I think it's important that I join the fray now. I only do this because I think it's important. A man must know when to pick his battles (in bars, major world wars, or disputes over toilet seats) and when to pick his nose (stoplights), and this is a battle-picking time.

I take issue with how loosely the word "next" is thrown around. Sure, it doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is. I'm not against "next" in all circumstances. But all too often, it is confused with "this." That's perfectly fine in some circumstances. For example, if you approach me in a bar and say, "What are you getting for your next round? It's on me!," I promise I won't be offended. Partially because you are buying me a drink, but mainly because there's no risk of confusion. You're offering to buy me a drink in the near future. God bless you, and I will toast you for it.

The problem arises when "next" can be ambiguous. This comes up because I was driving and someone told me to "Take the next exit." I asked for clarification.

"When you say 'next exit,' do you mean 'this exit,' or do you mean 'next exit?' "

Look at that! Say that out loud, especially if you're in a public place. Doesn't that sound crazy*?That's an absurd thing to have to ask. I had to ask someone if he meant what he said, or if he meant what he did not say! And if he were to reply "no," could he possibly have meant "yes?" Obviously, this confusion needs to come to an end.
*It does even more so if you shout it by yourself

Please be precise. "This" refers to the immediate object in question (OIQ*); "next" refers to the object that follows the current OIQ.
*Say this out loud, too. It's fun.

See you next time!

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Little Help for my Friends #2

So hey, have you checked out "A Thousand Years At Sea"' yet? Did you like them enough to support their new album?

If you haven't done either, I suggest that you start by listening to their music, and then deciding if you want to donate. Unless you have more money than you know what to do with, which brings me to...

Reason #3: Donate your extra income so that you don't need to decide what to do with your disposable money. Never face important financial decisions* again!
*like food vs. alcohol.

If that's not enough, then how about...

Reason #4: You can get a full (fantastic) album for as little as $5. That money goes straight to the band*, so you're bypassing the recording companies. You'll be sticking it to the man!
*which, in turn, might go straight to the local breweries.

Please remember that there is a contest to donate using the most obscenely funny name possible. The winner will receive something awesome (to be announced soon) from me.

Stay posted for more reasons!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Little Help for my Friends #1

When I first started this blog, I was under the impression that I would soon be making a fortune off of it in a matter of weeks. Little did I know I was actually right!*
*if you count broken dreams as a fortune

Actually, the blog hasn't made me any money (surprise!), mostly because I think only a sadistic person would give me money to write these posts.

I am about to suggest you reach for your wallet, however (in case you didn't already sense that coming). Not for me, however. My friends Colin and Neil (who also have friends) are in a band together, and they're pretty awesome. Don't take my word for it, though. You can listen to their music here.

They're putting together an album and need funding for it. If you like their music, you can donate and listen to more of it here (ithis is the important link to click on, folks).

Over the next couple of days, I will be posting a list of reasons to donate to their campaign. To kick it off...

Reason 1: They are fantastic musicians, and you will get to brag to friends, co-workers and strangers that you are a true patron of the arts.

Reason 2: I will be hosting my own competition. Whoever donates using the most obscenely funny name wins a prize of my own creation (sure to be good). At the moment, Haywood Jablomi is in the lead. I won't say who he is, but he's probably handsome, charming, and a devilishly good blogger. Full details of this contest, my stunt double, and more (perhaps more compelling) reasons to donate to follow!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Handy Guide for Saying Things to Girls

Here's a quick venn diagram I've compiled from a lifetime of experience.

Note: Not to scale. Leftmost circle should be much larger, rightmost circle should  be tiny. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Definite (Confusion) Articles

The other week I was in the desert when I noticed once again how self-centered man as a general species is (or at least, English speaking man is). For a fleeting moment, I had cell phone service, and I received a message from a friend asking me if I wanted to grab a beer with him that night. "Can't, sorry" I replied, "I'm in the desert." 

Or tried to reply. I didn't have enough service to actually send a message. Even if I had, I realized how frustrating for my friend that would have been. Naturally, his next question would have been "Which desert?" Then I realized that English speakers have a serious problem when it comes to describing their location. It's always "the spot." 

"I'm in the desert."
"I'm at the beach."
"I'm in the mountains!"
"Can't talk now, I'm at the movies" (all of them!)

It's as if being someplace immediately transforms it into "the" place. Look back at the first sentence; I did it there!

Normally I'm a stickler for precision in speech, but I don't have a solution this time. Instead, I'd like to propose that every time you fill in this Mad Libs sentence - "I'm ______ (preposition) 'the' ________ (location)" - you take a moment to ponder how non-unique you are. Hopefully, it will make you a more thoughtful, compassionate person.