How to start a flame war about grammar and the World Cup

Warning, petty bitching ahead. I harbor a real pet peeve for people who go about criticizing the 'grammer' of others when they can't master the teensy little basics. Mind, I'm not usually at the receiving end of such silliness personally. I am, however, subject to it in a broader sense in that many flame wars over 'u' usually include a variation on the 'All Americans' theme.

It's then I feel a patriotic duty to point out that usually the originator of such comments isn't exactly a sparkly clean example of perfection for Writing 121 and you shouldn't target Americans for grammar disrepute when so many foreigners do the same! Holy crap, people who aren't American sometimes write isnt instead of isn't. Who knew?

In fact, many of the comments about Americans on the Internet by people who aren't even from the United States actually look like this:

RWB | June 9th, 2006 at 9:31 am

what a web site.
american ignorance at it’s best, besides the week grammer.
americans cant resonate with the rest of the world.

Note the incorrect punctuation, the contraction where no contraction was needed, the mispellings of 'weak' and er, grammar. The whole comment looks like a 5th grader scribbled it down in retaliation for someone saying they look retarded. In fact it was in response to a a post on the World Cup blog about an anti World Cup blog.*

I know, I'm at a loss as well.

So, I retaliate and hopefully point out how silly it is to pick on writing ability when one has virtually no grasp of English themselves:


It’s weak not week.

Americans not americans.

Can’t not cant

Best of all, it’s GRAMMAR and not GRAMMER.

We not be able to resonate but at least we know our contractions from a hole in the ground.*

* This comment brought to you by people criticizing the grammatical skills of others when they can’t manage the basics themselves.

Anyway, go USA, I hope you make it out of Group E.

I thought that was the end of it. He (assuming) didn't say anything until today when I received this little gem mailed to me from the comments.

I can't stop laughing.

How can you bitch about someone grammar when this person's mother tongue isnt english. especially to say that its not "cant" but "can't". By the way, its "can not" when your writing, but even though, me too in this comment, i wrote "isnt" instead of "isn't", "your" instead of "you're", or "its" instead of "it's". We are not writing a novel but just some FAST comments.
The day u can write turkish without even one mistake, u'll be able to bitch. And believe me, im learning this language as we speack and its a pain in the ass asian language. So for them, english is a pain in the ass european language. And "grammar" is written "gramer" in turkish (they got some french influence) so you can forgive him his few small mistakes... And dont even start bitching about my english, except of course if u (oops, i meant "you") speack and write perfect french (my mother tongue).

I love the references to 'this person,' like it's not actually the same person. Am I being ganged up on by two people who don't know how to use question marks? Or what contractions are? But apparently speediness precludes appropriate use of apostrophes. I didn't know. I also like how they think I'm really passionate about English and how it's written, when in reality I'm only invested for the amusement.

* No, I'm not sure why it's necessary either. Most of my countrymen don't care anyway right? So, someone writing about how they don't like the World Cup on a very small blog shouldn't matter then. At least that's the way I think.

Neighbors from hell

For the last 5 years I've enjoyed the auditory version of the taste of vomit blasting through our walls. I've done everything right, I think but am now really at the end of my tether with my neighbors. They've taken to fighting in the streets now, instead of just pissing their music taste all over our block. So not only are they noisey, they're also violent and stupid. Such prime examples of humanity.

For the full outline, here's my post at nfh.org.uk (Neighbors from Hell) and any subsequent advice I may receive. The long version is at my Livejournal under the neighbors tag. Any advice or suggestions for brutal retaliation would be more than welcome.

Cancel the account! AOL John

What happens when you try and cancel an AOL account. (Link goes to the Consumerist.)

I had to listen to it twice it's so funny.


Powell's redux

I received an absolutely lovely e-mail from Beth in customer services today. Well needed considering my (warning, full of foul language that has my LJ banned by more than a few work places)Monday start wasn't so fantastic.

My name is Beth [edited]

I just saw your blog post about missing Portland and Powell’s…….

Being a Powell’s nerd, too –even though I work here – I really enjoyed reading the post.

Coupled with Willametting by mimi in NY, I've reminded of precisely how nice the people are, cheap the beer is and how much my favorite bookstore rocks.

It's no wonder why people get and want to get stuck in Portland.



Powell's City Of Books

One of the things that inspires my homesick whimsy is Powell's City of Books. When I was a high school student I spent many an afternoon sitting cross legged in one of its sections, pouring over books. Then we learned that we could take books into the coffee lounge to read them whilst we sipped a lovely beverage and that we did. My friends played chess whilst I looked through whatever subject had stricken my fancy that day. When we go home for a visit, a trip to Powell's is the lifeblood and justification of our ticket prices. (Besides family and friends, obviously.)

So strong is my love of Powell's and its reminders of home that I carry at least one of their branded water bottles with me at all times. To you it may sound sad, to me it's a pleasant reminder that big bookstores still lurk, musty shelves still stand and condescending employees still purchase just off Burnside back home. It makes me smile. It makes me a nerd. It makes me happy.

When the LA Times says that Powell's has some fierce customer loyalty, they're talking about people much worse (better?) than me.

via the Consumerist


How to write articles for female gamers.

Nothing quite makes me froth like reading the pretentious musings of some baneful boy about why more 'girls don't game.' Never mind that we make up around 49% of the industry if you include Arcade games and their ilk. Forget that I was playing Quake when many of these young buck bloggers were still in grade school. And there seems to be an amnesia about a close friend of mine doing some important work for the XBox live project. There's a huge gaping void in the shape of a vagina where female gamers should be. No doubt due to our insecurities about Lara Croft's titties. I mean, how could we possibly enjoy games when there's such a plethora of breasts in some titles?

Richard Cobbett has created the perfect guide to writing about women gamers. It is quite good. And remember that you can't possibly disagree with me for I have ultimate female voice authority.


Amir's girlfriends, the origin of Sam and Christina

Much speculation has come of the origin of Amir's photos. Are they just downloaded porn? Does the little scamp have friends? Well, one intrepid commenter on the comment blog has discovered who two of the lovely ladies are.

1/2 of Sam and Christina have this website over at AOL. Guessing by the writing style (LOL, WTF <3) and the prom pictures, these are very young ladies indeed. But at least the site seems like a graduation missive of some kind, so they may just be legal.

Way to go Lawboy1976 :)