Archive for the ‘Words’ Category

“It’s only words” is a line from a Bee Gees’ song and we’ve all heard “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.”  As some people might say these days: “NOT.”  Words can be deadly, whether wielded with deadly precision or unthinkingly thrown out.

While recently re-reading an Earlene Fowler book,” Goose on the Pond”, I came upon this story that perfectly illustrates the harmful power of words. (more…)

The death of meaning

Posted: June 16, 2013 in Words
Tags: , ,

“Politicians made no discernible sense when they spoke, few doctors used the word ‘cancer’ with patients who had it and the word ‘immigrant’ could no longer be prefaced by ‘illegal’. Detach language from meaning and the world was yours.”

The Golden Egg, Donna Leon

I’ve been sitting for a good five minutes trying to decide where to start writing. Thoughts and examples are tumbling through my head and I seem unable to put them in order. Perhaps I’ll just grab onto one at a time as they fly past and throw them onto…not paper…into the ether of the blog? OK, that’s a plan.


I spotted this sign in the garage of the music building where my friend teaches. Although I understand what’s meant by the sign, the meaning isn’t what the sign really says and therein lies the humor.
So if you’re alarmed about something, do NOT enter this building.  🙂


I meant to include the lyrics from the song called “Signs”, one I remember from “back in the day.  I was in too much of a hurry to get my sign posted and forgot.  So I’ll edit the post and include them.  Hope you enjoy them.

The 5 Man Electrical Band
lyrics as recorded by The Five Man Electrical Band in 1971 and included on
the 1990 compilation album “Made In Canada – Volume Three 1965-1974”
(BMG KCD1-7158)

And the sign said “Long-haired freaky people need not apply”
So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said “You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you’ll do”
So I took off my hat, I said “Imagine that. Huh! Me workin’ for you!”

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

And the sign said anybody caught trespassin’ would be shot on sight
So I jumped on the fence and-a yelled at the house, “Hey! What gives you
“To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in”
“If God was here he’d tell you to your face, Man, you’re some kinda sinner”

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

Now, hey you, mister, can’t you read?
You’ve got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat
You can’t even watch, no you can’t eat
You ain’t supposed to be here
The sign said you got to have a membership card to get inside

—— lead guitar ——

And the sign said, “Everybody welcome. Come in, kneel down and pray”
But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all, I didn’t have a
penny to pay
So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign
I said, “Thank you, Lord, for thinkin’ ’bout me. I’m alive and doin’ fine.”

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Sign, sign

What do I spy with my grammar nazi eye?  Well, during the last month, I came across four gems to share with you.

grammar nazi (more…)

In the last few weeks of internet reading, I’ve come across a three-letter mistake that seems to be everywhere.

Do you use “its” or “it’s”?  The Grammar nazi wants to help out with a simple explanation.

grammar nazi (more…)

Sorry if I lured you into reading under false and salacious pretenses.  Actually, that’s not true.  I did it on purpose.  But keep reading.  The post is what’s short and hopefully sweet, but what’s loose?  (more…)

It might be amusing to come into a room and gasp, “Someone in this room has a dangling participle”, then observe who looks where.  However suggestive it might sound, a dangling participle is only a crime against grammar, not a jail-able offense, although grammar nazis may disagree.

grammar nazi (more…)

I haven’t posted any Grammar nazi sightings for some time, which doesn’t mean I haven’t spotted any.  These three may not all be strictly grammar, but they’re certainly related to how to write precisely–or not.

grammar nazi (more…)

The Grammar nazi has been quiescent for some time.  No glaring misuses of the language have impinged upon her delicate ears or thrust themselves before her limpid gaze.  But then this morning, she read the following two sentences and had a Grammar nazi flare-up.


I haven’t posted a Grammar nazi post for a long time but when this popped up on my Facebook page, I had to post it once I’d stopped laughing.    All I can say is that this is a difference worth knowing!!!  Who says grammar doesn’t matter?  Doug, this played  perfectly in to your Friday Fictioneers story.  And for anyone who would like to know what I’m talking about and would enjoy some stellar writing, here you go… (more…)