Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Language of Shakespeare? Not Here, and Certainly NOT NOW.

Weird Al on Language Abuses

I was just watching a show about people who build treehouses. One man said, "this is a great build, ____, the proof is in the pudding." NOOO!!! Learn your idiomatic expressions , USAers!

The original saying is, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating." which makes SENSE! How can the proof be in the pudding? Unless there is a clue to the murderer's identity baked into a dessert, as in the UK, or as in the USA, cooked into a soft custard.

OK other signs that we have neglected our children's education for over 50 years:

The definition of NONPLUSSED is CONFUSED.

But now, amongst younger North Americans, it means THE OPPOSITE! "she was nonplussed" now means she remained cool calm and collected. Erm, this is ridiculous.

FIGURATIVE in art means a piece that looks like something recognizably derived from life. The opposite is ABSTRACT.

Amongst younger people, it means art that shows the human form.

FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING means to use a metaphor, so "I figuratively fell over" would mean I felt like I fell over, but did not actually fall at all.

Now people say "My jaw was literally on the floor." But unless your jaw has been removed and it has fallen from wherever you keep it at night, that is ABSURD.

MORE TO COME as I run into these foolish uses of what can be and has been a beautiful and lyrical language.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Shaking Hands in the USA 101

Today I met someone at a party and offered my hand to shake theirs. They held my hand like their hand was a banana peel, limp and cold. I found that highly distasteful. I also dislike the crushing grips favored by some.

Here in the United States, a firm but gentle grip is the preferred style, for both men and women. If you offer your hand drooping down I feel like you believe you are lowering yourself by being forced to shake hands with me.

If you try to break the bones in my hand, I get the feeling you are trying, again, to prove some sort of superiority.

Why people use these awful handshake styles is beyond me. I would not shake hands if I knew in advance that the other person was going to give the limp banana peel or the vise grip.