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15 August, 2007

Some lessons in 3rd grade grammar

I'm really sorry to have to do this, but for some reason, you people out there are really unable to demonstrate the ability to pass a WASL test. And apparently, even having a PhD doesn't seem to make a damn bit of difference. So here are a couple of pointers for you. Take them or leave them. But if you're not going to "take them," then perhaps you should leave me alone!

1. There is no expression "on accident." You cannot say "I did it on accident." You can do things "on purpose" but you do them "by accident." Perhaps you're only saying it by accident, but just in case, I figured I should mention it. And if you think that I am wrong, let's consult the oracle known as the internet:

http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/onaccident.html

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=on+accident

There. That proves it. Stop doing it please. You're making us all dumber.

2. Improper use of "except for." This is another one that I will simply not tolerate. Let me illustrate proper use by example:

"I would have been to your house earlier, except that I received a gunshot wound to my abdomen and needed to clean up intestines and fecal matter from the wall of my living room."

versus

"Everybody threw stones and unripened fruit at the children, except for Little Suzie, who is in a wheelchair."

That is the proper use of these two phrases. Yet, all too often, I hear people using "for" when they should be using "that."

For example:

"I would have kissed him, except for his herpes had come out of remission."

Do you see the distinction? Yes, I thought you would see it when I politely pointed it out with relevant examples. I have a helping hint for you, if you're incapable of learning these "difficult" rules of grammar. Leave off "that" and "for" and you'll be okay most of the time. "Except" doesn't require the extra word following it. Except for sometimes, when it does.

3. Unless you are from Pennsylvania, you are not allowed to start a sentence with the word "Anymore." I make this exception because there is apparently some dialect, perhaps related to the Amish, that involves starting sentences that way. Let me give you an example, since if you haven't met anyone from Pennsylvania, you might not have heard this.

"Anymore, I think I'm just going to order vanilla."

What the fuck is that all about? Huh? After observing this in countless people, 95% of whom are from Pennsylvania, what I figured out is that for these people "Anymore" = "From now on." And that's just silly. Stop doing it. Or face further ridicule from me.

End of Lesson 1.

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