Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Monday, June 25, 2012

Call the Blah-Blah-Blahmbulance!

I have not been officially sworn in, but I like to think of myself as a member in good standing of the Grammar Police force. As such, I find it necessary to write a few citations for folks who have been playing fast and loose with the rules. The current statute which is violated most often is Ordinance Number 12-420: improper use of idioms in blog comments.

Submitted for your perusal, the following violations observed this week. And it's only Monday. 

CUT AND DRY
No. An issue is not cut and dry. It is cut and dried. As in finished. Certain. Black or white. No gray areas. Absolute. No doubt about it. Definite. No room for error or misunderstanding. Done.

Perhaps you would say, "Stick a fork in him, he's done!" Saying something is cut and dry is akin to saying, "Stick a spoon in him, he's done." No. Improper.

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BECKON CALL
What in tarnation is a beckon call? It ain't no booty call. Nor a courtesy call. Nor a second call, like when track and field athletes are being summoned to their participation area.

It should be beck and call. "Beck" being a shortening of "beckon," a gesture meaning to come here.

It is NOT, as suggested by our old friend Wikipedia:

* "Beck is a short term for "Becoming" (summoning someone to you as if by order) and call means to call out or demand."

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NOT HOLDING THE TORCH ANYMORE
What? Is the Statue of Liberty on strike? Refusing to hold that confounded torch? Did part of the angry mob decide that pitchforks are enough, and discard the flaming torches? Did Harry Potter drop a flashlight?

It should be not carrying the torch anymore. As in, not promoting a cause or maintaining a love of someone or something.

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OPPORTUNIST OF THE FIRST WATER 
Um. Is somebody cornering the market on new wells? Making money off the thirst of others? Sucking in all the rain after a drought?

It should be opportunist of the first order. Meaning, coming before all others. Prime.

DO NOT refer to thefreedictionary.com, please. Because it seems to be promoting misinformation. It actually gives a definition of the phrase "of the first water." As in: 

* Fig. of the finest quality. This is a very fine pearl—a pearl of the first water. Tom is of the first water—a true gentleman. 
* (literary)  of the best or most extreme kind He is an artist of the first water. Her husband is a bully of the first water.
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What's the deal? Are the youth of today turning into a bunch of Norm Crosbys? Can they not hear well because they've blown out their eardrums listening to loud music with earbuds? Or do they text and use autocorrect too much? Do they read too many texts of others using autocorrect?
I wash my hands of these scofflaws! I cannot do it alone. I need to enlist a multitude to help me in my war against the ungrammatically correct. I will be signing up new recruits in the basement of the Backroads City Hall annex next Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served. I need a volunteer to bring the icy on the cake.

5 comments:

Stephen Hayes said...

I've made a few of these verbal mistakes. When can I expect you to appear on my front porch with handcuffs?

Leenie said...

People who don't read are usually idiom idiots. Just as bad are those who look at a word and still get it wrong like reading accessories as uh_sess_oh_reez. I find myself screaming at the radio for such doofus-ness (yes that's a real word. I said so).

Sioux said...

Tammy is known as the WWWP's official GB. She might be interested in applying for the job. You could "pay" her with tiny tomatoes filled with an artery-clogging concoction.

She IS good at her job. I vouch for her, and will be glad to write a glowing letter of recommendation on her behalf.

knancy said...

Icy on the cake? How about some frosting instead or some rime on the cocoanut as Lucy says?

Val said...

Stephen,
If I told you, I couldn't take you by surprise. Let's just say that you'd better at least wear a pair of boxers to sleep in. Watch the mail. You might get a letter saying where to pick up the new big-screen TV you just won without entering any contest.

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Leenie,
Yes. I find the goofy doofuses particularly annoying. Especially those who want to "nip it in the butt."

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Sioux,
All hail Tammy. She will go far in my organization. I may even bestow her with her very own handbasket.

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knancy,
The ICY was just a shout-out to those poor young 'uns who who love to put that in comments. The same kids who refer to regular phones as lan lines instead of land lines.