Monday, December 01, 2014

Fallacy of Ambiguity - Example

And so the peeve keeps on peeving...

This morning the Today Show was doing a piece on a college athlete who was found dead in a dumpster.  Host Matt Lauer said, "...was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound."

I'm thinking the stress should have been on the word gunshot.  Placing it on the word wound implies that Lauer was letting viewers know it was a gunshot wound as opposed to a gunshot manicure when he should have been stressing that it was a gunshot wound, not a harpoon wound.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Fallacy of Ambiguity

One of my greatest peeves is something known as the fallacy of accent (One of the fallacies of ambiguity).  Before taking a logic class a few years ago, I didn't know there was a name for this…this...this thing that drives me so crazy.

The definition is here

In a nutshell, it concerns how a sentence takes on different meanings, depending on which word has the accent/stress on it.  For example:

I didn't take the test yesterday. (Somebody else did.)
I didn't take the test yesterday. (I did not take it.)
I didn't take the test yesterday. (I did something else with it.)
I didn't take the test yesterday. (I took a different one.)
I didn't take the test yesterday. (I took something else.)
I didn't take the test yesterday. (I took it some other day.)

What kills me is how many professionals are guilty of shitty accent-placement.  Next time a reporter is reporting or a narrator is narrating, give it a good listen and tell me I’m wrong.

Probably the worst offender ever is a male narrator from the television show “How it’s Made.”  I don’t know who the narrator is because I see mostly reruns of the show but the dude is really, really bad.  I mean bad.  Give it a listen one day.

Another who is really bad is Dateline NBC reporter Josh Mankiewicz.  Just awful.

Some of the best narrators out there don’t fuck up accents.  A few of them:
Keith Morrison
David Attenborough
Morgan Freeman
Alec Baldwin
Sigourney Weaver

So come on, peeps –
Get your shit together
Get your shit together
Get your shit together
Get your shit together

Sunday, October 19, 2014

They Be

"The camera on the new iPhones are better than ever."

From the latest iPhone 6 commercial.

I guess Apple doesn't have enough cash to pay someone to proof scripts.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dear 'Murca

The plural of "incident" is "incidents," not "incidences."

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hit Me!


Pretty strong dude, apparently.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014


Former aide to governor Chris Christie, Bill Stepien, was reported to have said in an email:

"It's fine. The mayor is an idiot, though. When some, lose some."

I can't say that I've ever seen that usage before.  Interesting.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Post Office

I was at the post office the other day and spied a box on a counter.  I wish I could've snapped a picture of it, but it would have been too conspicuous to the box owner.

On the side of the box the sender had written:

Merry Christmas
Happy New Years





Monday, November 05, 2012

OMG! Make it Stop!

If I hear one more damned reporter use any form of the word impact again, I’m gonna slash my wrists. 

Tonight Jim Cantore (Annoying, hands-always-on-his-hips, NBC weather dweeb) referred to the nor’easter on its way to NY & NJ as impactful.  He then went on to say it would have impacts here and impacts there. 

Shit…Make it stop.


Friday, May 04, 2012


The other day I was going through some of my mother's boxes of stuff, and stumbled upon a number of clippings she saved while teaching in Beijing, China.  In 1983 and 1988 she was Chief of Party for a team of professors from UCLA who went to Beijing to teach. 

These little treasures are  a testament to her love of language.  English was her first language.  She had a masters degree in ESL and a masters degree in Spanish.  She also had a working knowledge of Portuguese, French and Chinese. 

I'll post these little gems (not just from China) from time to time and tag them as "Mom's Collection."