Saturday, June 24, 2006

Screw-Loose Saturday

Today is Saturday, 24 June 2006.

Punctuation makes a difference.

Your author recently observed, on the advertising marquee of a local “Bible institute”, an advertisement for a worship service on 2 July.

The theme is given as “Return to God America”.

Unless the institute is being unusually open about worshiping “other gods before Me”, I assume it meant “Return to God, America”.

One little comma makes the difference between admonition and blasphemy. (I assume they aren’t advocating, at least openly, returning to the God, America.)

In today’s local newspaper, an ad in the religion pages was headlined “Jesus Say’s”.

The apostrophe is frequently abused in this way, as in “New York Style Pizza’s For Sale”.

The great Karl Kraus of Vienna (1874-1936), one of whose aphorisms appears at the head of this blog, would have enjoyed these examples. As a playwright, poet, satirist, and journalist, he was keenly, even obsessively, concerned with the abuse of language, and its consequent degradation as a means of communication.

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On this date in 1947, private pilot Kenneth Arnold reported he saw nine disc-shaped objects flying at supersonic speeds near Mount Rainier, Washington. Carried on the Associated Press wire and printed by newspapers worldwide, the story is usually credited with starting the UFO craze. On 8 July of the same year, news broke of the Roswell (New Mexico) UFO incident, in which fragments of a flying saucer and one or more bodies of really illegal aliens were purportedly recovered.

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Jonathan Alter, in an essay on msnbc.msn.com, quotes arch-con-servative Justice Antonin Scalia on banning the burning of the American flag: it “dilutes the very freedom that makes this emblem so revered.”

And your author didn’t think Scalia and he could agree on lunch.

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Let’s continue in the-sky-must-be-falling, snowball-in-hell vein.

In an article by Robert Gehrke in the Salt Lake City Tribune, he quotes John Jacob, running in a local Republican Congressional primary: “There’s another force that wants to keep us from going to Washington, D.C. It’s the devil is what it is. I don’t want you to print that, but it feels like that’s what it is … I don't know who else it would be if it wasn't him. Now when that gets out in the paper, I'm going to be one of the screw-loose people." (italics added)

The second time today your author agrees with a Republican!

1 Comments:

Anonymous tallilek said...

Actually, the New York Pizza's for sale is grammatically correct as a contraction. I haven't a clue what say's is either possessing or contracting.

8:31 PM  

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