Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Parting Shot of 2009

The final gift of 2009 is...FULL BODY SCANNERS AT AIRPORTS! Here are a few comments on that lovely new development.

For those who would say, "Anything to make us safe," enjoy the New Totalitarianism. Stalin, Hitler, Amin, Ceauşescu, et al would be proud. Go kiss their headstones and don't spare the drool.

Do you really want to see Grandma's and Grandpa's naughty bits? Think about that next time you leer at the x-ray machine, chumps.

How much is this gonna cost us?

If the airlines and TSA want to go one step further, there's always Naked Air. No clothes, no using the restroom, no carry-ons, just you in your birthday suit. Of course, they may need to lower their prices to get people on board. My only questions are, how nude will the pilots and flight attendants be? And will they hand out those hospital gowns or at least fig leaves as passengers deplane? All food for thought, except there will be no food on the prison, I mean plane.

At times like these someone always brings up El Al and their incredible efficiency. Maybe we could learn from them instead of just blindly reacting.

Wouldn't it be ironic if Big Pharma was in bed with the creators of those radiation-producing scanners to generate more patients? Any industry that profits from human misery is bound to come to a bad end, mark my words. Not accusing anyone, I'm just sayin'.

Here's a thought: I wish you all a flight-free 2010! That's why we have trains, cars, phones, teleconferencing and the Internet. Gee, UAL, so sorry about the precipitous drop in your stock price!

I'm outta here, in a virtual way.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Gift from the Language Curmudgeon

There is a difference between your and you’re. When someone writes, “Your welcome,” it turns the adjective welcome into a noun. So, my welcome what???

Don’t get me started on its and it’s. It’s means it is. Its is a possessive pronoun. I see an awful lot of it’s where I should be seeing its. Writers, please, before you throw down a superfluous apostrophe, substitute it is for whatever you’re referring to. An example, “The bull lost it’s horns,” would translate as “The bull lost it is horns.” Heinous!

Their does not mean the same thing as there or they're. Their is a possessive plural pronoun, as in “It’s their car, not yours.” There indicates a place. They're means "they are". If I had a nickel for every time I saw the word their instead of there or they're and vice versa, I’d be able to buy myself a ticket to Vegas and lose all the left over nickels there in one of their slot machines, then slam the machines until they're busted.

How about doing some proofing so you don’t leave off the last “o” in “too” when you want to express excess? "To much corn?" No, that means “toward much corn”. Doesn’t make sense to me, either.

The word I gets a lot of misuse. You hear “between you and I” all the time, but you should never hear it. The trick is to split it up, say: Between you and the light post. OK. Between I and the light post. Not OK.

Parting present:
A special dispensation is granted to non-politicians who mix up Slovakia and Slovenia. But if you want to impress people with your knowledge of countries having under 7 million inhabitants, Slovakia is the eastern third of what used to be Czechoslovakia. Slovenia was part of former Yugoslavia. In Slovakia you hear čardášes. In Slovenia, it’s waltzes and polkas. Ready for Slavic 2.0? All Slovaks are Slavs, but not all Slavs are Slovaks. Extra credit: the Baltics are Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Balkans are Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania. The Serbs are from Serbia, making them Balkan people. The Sorbs are the smallest ethnic minority in Europe, located in Eastern Germany. Therefore, the Sorbs are Central Europeans. That may have been Too Much Information, but it's my gift to you. Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukkah, Kick-*ss Kwanzaa, Super Solstice, G'bye, Peace.