Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Blarg! The tale of the true myth behind the legend of the word-examining ninja
I always forget what blog means. It’s cleverly hipster short for weblog, but I always forget that. It sounds a little juvenile. “Aw gross dude, I just blogged on my shoes.” I would never date a girl named Blog. Unless she was hot. And then she probably wouldn’t date me. And I’d
write it all over my folder and think it was pretty. And I’d write poems for Blog.
Blog, my heart you flog
the cogs still jog
but oh I long
for my Blog
alone in a bog
playing pogs
drinking eggnog
because it rhymes
you are so fine
I pay my fines
for stealing your dog
at the synagogue
I had too much grog my bethonged long-lost Blog
I thought I’d win you like a frog in Prague
But I just pissed you off.
The word “Blog” made it into a bunch of dictionaries this last year. Which is cool. But it’s also bullshit. Bullshit I tell you! I know the dictionary people work tirelessly at this, but darn it, who the flip are they to say what is a word and what isn’t and what belongs in the dic and what doesn’t. Sorry… “the dictionary”. Dic really isn’t an acceptable abbreviation for dictionary. But nonethelesswise… I’m tired of there being people who think they are in charge of grammar and language. I abhor it when pretentious people answer the phone and say, “This is he.” They say that because technically it’s “correct grammar”… whatever the fuck that means. And it’s actually incorrect! Check it… it’s essentially an extension of the question you, the caller, initially asked. The caller (from now on “you”) calls and says, “Is Morkus there?” Now if the answerer says, “No he’s not.”, YOU (and only you) might respond, “Well where is he, might I inquire?” BUT… if Morkus (hereafter “Morkus”) answers, it’s a whole different ball of syntax. Remember, and do not forget… Morkus is not YOU! He’s Morkus! Gosh, what do you think! Listen, Morkus doesn’t talk about himself in the third person at any other time in the conversation does he? You wouldn’t say, “Hey Morkus, do you want to go play lawn darts off the roof of my apartment?” and expect him to say, “Yeah, he thinks he’d like to do that.” Why the hell would he START the conversation that way and say “this is he”? He wouldn’t. He should use “I” or “me” the whole way through, start to finish, and although correct this still sounds so fucking stupid. “Is Morkus there?” “Yup, this is me... I mean this is I.” “Morkus, you’re going to force me to punch your stomach real bad.” Come peoples… let’s just admit that “this is him” sounds right and so it’s ok to use it. Don’t worry, it’s ok. While I’m on my elevated equine… I disrespectfully submit that “they” should be acceptable to be used in place of “he or she” for any title pronoun or generality of a category of individual. Why? Because this is how we talk and also oftentimes we substitute the singular for the plural when talking about an abstract person of some type. We say things like, “If a doctor wants to get drunk and start a fire, they should be able to because they’re a doctor.” (Wow, my grammar check didn’t make me put a “he or she” in for the “they’s” in that last sentence). In this type of instance we aren’t talking about an individual even though we use the singular. We’re talking about doctors plural, but we want to convey an individual anydoctor and their actions as representative of their group. So we use the singular. You dig cat? Righteous. As it does half the time, grammar really obstructs understanding in examples such as these. Grammar fucks the flow up; it calls attention to the structure of the writing and makes it difficult to translate the words into a smooth language in your mind. You read a good book and it’s like someone’s talking; you hear the voice internally, the words melt into you. The grammar people are the same people who can’t suspend enough disbelief to enjoy watching a sitcom. “When the hell do these people ever go to the bathroom?!” I hate to take both sides on an issue (that no one gives a shit about) but when someone doesn’t have a basic grasp of spelling and grammar, it’s equally annoying. If they spell “does” as “dose”, and “funny” as “funy”, and “lucubration” as “lucuberation”… it just throws me off. The truth is though, grammar is being phased out, it’s not taught, it’s given short shrift. And rightfully so. Grammar can’t keep up with the speed of language. There is too much slang, too much colorful phrasing and structure, too much practical everyday poetry developing at full speed in our culture today. Far too much to keep up with, and make new ruling constraints for. The only useful grammar is the grammar that is common sense. Slang, vernacular, conversational language-style writing are legitimate and more useful than our archaic grammar code. We’ve known it since Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Red Badge of Courage. We’ve known it since Dickens. We’ve known it since Shakespeare. We’ve known it since cave man or woman drawings with no commas, gerund participles, or supporting subordinating conjunction modifiers. Old white people refuse to believe this like they refuse to believe hip-hop. It’s interesting to see the minority pretend the majority doesn’t exist. It’s like watching a group of racists or right-wing Christians, all alone in their little ultra-vocal corner of their own reality, all the while believing they are the mainstream. Fuck white people. Sorry. Did I just compare grammar instructors to racist right-wingers?! That was a typo. People are obsessed with language in a frivolous way. People are powerless: we make changes to language when we can’t make changes in real life. We can’t construct a system fair to minorities, but we can call black people African-Americans. I bet some rich people were counting up some money they saved when that phrase came out and slightly delayed some real reform efforts for awhile. I want to meet someone who insists upon being called Icelandic-American. Or Icelandic-Czechoslovakian-American. I feel guilty as a human being that we’ve managed to get the phrase “he or she” in as a standard part of language… but women are still second-class citizens around the world. I think we have good energy and intentions, we just need to refocus a bit. Hey, it’s a step forward, but a negligibly small step. Let’s not start sucking each other’s dicks just yet. Even after every female is referred to as a woman instead of a broad, every he is a s/he, and every other hypothetical example in our sociology class homework is illustrated with a female doctor… women still make half of what men make. And that’s here, in the great land of freedom (punctuated by frenzied bouts of mass psychosis that results in censorship). In more horrible places, women must do a somersault when a man enters her line of vision. And if she is not wearing a wooden hat and happens to sneeze during the noon hour she has to eat a bag of toenails. It’s their custom and it has to stop. This harangue from a cracker who spends his free time writing about words. Lou Zerr. My personal note is this: I don’t mind calling people whatever they want to be called. That’s just basic respect. Like calling a huge rhyming man Muhammad Ali instead of Cassius Clay. Yes Sir, Mr. Ali sir. It’s kind of disconcerting though when one group of people decide what another group of people “want” to be called. First Whitey devastates the Indian cultures. Then the honky devil ditch-pigs decide that Indians should be called “Native Americans”, as if there was some shame in calling them Indians. Hmm. Kind of like if the Nazis won the war and then felt sorry for the Jews and in their graciousness decided to call them “Native Jewish-Nazis”. Gee thanks. But then why do actual Indians have a group called the American Indian Movement instead of the American Native-American movement? (Besides the fact that is sounds ridiculous). The common misconception is that Columbus thought he had landed in India and thus mislabeled all the indigenous people here “Indians”. Columbus and the rest of his pirates weren’t doing that much grog though… India wasn’t called “India” back then, so that’s not what he was going for. The word Indian was derived from “en dios” meaning “of god”. They called them Indians meaning “people of god” which is noble, and the least we can do. This is well-covered territory, I got this point from George Carlin (that guy has some great discourse on words if you obsess over that sort of thing like me). I put it in because it fit and I wanted to help spread the word. Haha, I’m helping George Carlin get his voice out there. You’re welcome! (I don’t know what he’d do without me). We’re a strange militaristic culture, with words that reflect it. We call our military helicopters Apache and Comanche helicopters? Tomahawk missiles? A little strange to ravage a civilization and then name your weapons of war after it. Again, kind of like the nazi’s winning the war and then coming out with the Ashkinazi Jewish Battle-Copter H67 or the Chasidim Amphibious Fighting Armored Mobile Kosher Infantry Transport A593 (The CAFAMKITA593, as military people would undoubtedly refer to it as). By the way… you might have thought you were using a harmless exclamation, but the word “shucks” is a shortened way of say “shitfucks”. I don’t know if you knew that, but it’s not true. Wait… this isn’t how I wanted to end this… argh, now I have to wait for the next blog. Idiot! p.s.- “Lucubration loo'ku-bray'shun, n (Latin lucubrare, from lux light) Study or composition lasting late into the night. This is a fantastic word for the activities of 'night owls' such as myself, without synonym or parallel and having a striking sound. Though it's mostly used facetiously today, I see no reason why lucubration should not be restored to its proper glory. Let's all help take back the night!” Check out http://phrontistery.info/favourite.html.