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Saturday, June 30, 2012

You cannot be bigger THEN I am, no matter how big you are.

Awww yeah, click the above link for a VIDEO blog on the rampant use of “then” as a comparison word.  If I see a phrase like “I am bigger then you” one more time, all the wine in the world may not be sufficient. 

If you prefer to read a blog rather than watch it, check the next post down! 

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You cannot be bigger THEN I am, no matter how big you are.

I’m pretty sure that Americans are getting stupider.  Blame it on texting, or computers, or toxins, or bad teachers or whatever you want.  But it’s embarrassing to me that 77% of students in Oklahoma couldn’t name the first president of the United States.  And 1 in 5 Americans think the sun revolves around the Earth (if you don’t see anything wrong with that sentence, you best pack up and head back to 5th grade) (1). 

These days, Fortune 500 companies are spending about $3 billion a year just to retrain employees in basic English (2) because most of us read and write at an 8th-grade level (3). So, if you own a company, you have twelve-year-olds writing your press releases.  

I don’t claim to be grammar genius.  I make me some mistakes.  But FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, PEOPLE.  Basic grammar.  It’s not that hard. 

One thing that drives me crazy is the use of “then” instead of “than” as a comparison word.  Like when people say, “I’m smarter then you.”  NO YOU ARE NOT.  You can ONLY use “then” when you’re talking about something that is subsequent to something else.  If you’re comparing two things, use “than.”  Like, “If you say you’re smarter THAN I am, THEN I will prove you wrong.”  Bam.  But here’s how a bunch of 12-year-old-reading-level adults use “then” wrong all over the world:

From a newspaper: “Genetically enhancing intellectual capacities would result in a culture whereby the children are universally smarter then their parents for one generation.”
GAHHH!!!  A NEWSPAPER!!!  How can ANYONE hope to be smarter than their parents when NEWSPAPERS teach us awful grammar?  Might as well just sign us all up for Chinese sweat shops, ‘cause we’ll be working for them soon.  I bet the Chinese have some killer grammar.

And another NEWSPAPER: “Whites earn more then three-fourths of nation’s income”
If only income could be allotted according to people’s grasp of syntax.  That would be fair, I think.

Here’s a t-shirt you can buy on the internet: “I’m bigger then you”
You may be bigger than I am, but I’m definitely smarter than you, so back off.

This Twitter page is called “Be more then average.” Sorry, dude, not gonna happen.

And finally, the NFL reinforcing every stereotype about the intelligence level of athletes and athlete posses: “Are you bigger then the game?”
Shoot me now.

For the record, in case it hasn’t sunk in, ALL of the above should use the word “than” instead of “then.”  And George Washington was the first president of the United States.  And the Earth revolves around the sun.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Video Blog about Grocer's Apostrophe!

The above link is for my first video blog (awww yeah, I'm growin' up in the blogger world!), and it's about how unnecessary apostrophes makes me want to drink wine. It's similar to the written blog in the post below this one, so you can choose whether you prefer to look and listen, or read. Somethin' for everyone, you know? xo

BTW, I must give props to my brilliant friend Dana Beck, who helped me to conceptualize this vlog.  Hopefully she'll join me for a Grammarfiti sesh soon. 

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Grocer's Apostrophe - one of the main things that make me drink wine

It attacks us from the sky, from the wires under our feet, from within our cell phones, from street signs and maps and newspapers and sandwich shops and gravestones.  The world is infected by it.  Bad Grammar.  And, you know, I really really wish that I weren’t such a nerd, but bad grammar makes me want to hit things.  *she takes a long pull of wine, straight from bottle*

My absolute least favorite pervasive grammar problem is the Grocer’s Apostrophe, which is “An apostrophe erroneously inserted before the final "s" in the plural form of a word.” (

In an unsettling and widespread pandemic, people everywhere have taken to putting apostrophes in words to pluralize them.  Here are some photos (or should I say “photo’s”) of signs that use the skin-crawling Grocer’s Apostrophe:

“Pizza’s Kebabs Curry’s” 
This sign is my favorite.  Somebody actually decided that more than one pizza or curry demands an apostrophe, but somehow kebabs can roll without the extra character.

“If we’re ready to tackle swine flu, pig’s can fly”
THIS IS FROM A PUBLISHED NEWSPAPER, which, to me, just shows that this problem is perhaps more insidious than the swine flu itself.

Kanye West Twitter: “This one of our projects to be released this year called 2016 OLYMPIC's”
I decided to look for a Grocer’s Apostrophe on a celeb Twitter page, and the FIRST page I looked at revealed one to me immediately.  Of course, I picked Kanye West, who says that he doesn’t read because he can get all the education he needs from television, so I mean it’s no big surprise.  But the sad fact is that kids these days (OMG I just said “kids these days.”  I am becoming a mean old lady) emulate people like Kanye West, so his grammar will become theirs.  *she drinks more wine* 

Unlimited Food’s
This Grocer’s Apostrophe is like 3 feet tall.  Somebody spent A LOT OF MONEY on that sign.  Proofread much?

Deep Fried Oreo’s
I mean maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that deep-fried-Oreo-lovers aren’t grammar mavens, but I personally think we need to tackle this problem from the ground up. 


So, please spread the news far and wide.  WE DO NOT PLURALIZE WORDS BY ADDING AN APOSTROPHE IN ENGLISH.  An apostrophe indicates possession (something belongs to that word) or contraction (the apostrophe indicates that some letters have been omitted).

Example of how to use an apostrophe to indicate possession: If you’re going to write the phrase “Deep Fried Oreo’s,” you gotta immediately follow that word with something that belongs to the oreo.  Like maybe the Deep Fried Oreo’s ability to clog your arteries on the spot? 

Example of how to use an apostrophe as a contraction: If you’re going to write the phrase “Unlimited Food’s,” you best be ready to say that “Giving your pet fish unlimited food’s only going to lead to a messy situation for you and the fish.” 

I think we should take markers with us wherever we go, and wipe out Grocer's Apostrophes wherever we find them.  We can call it "Grammarfiti."  What you think?    

Me loves you.  Mwwwwah.

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