Posts Tagged ‘funny’
As a follow up to last week’s wildly popular Your Punctuation Personality Type, a post Bryan Thomas Schmidt, @BryanThomasS hosted on his blog, we’ve dug through the (imaginary) research archives for similar studies. Not only is English the most widely spoken language in the Western world, but most of us sat through torturous high school English classes that should have cured us of our grammatical errors. Yet we all have grammar issues that trip us up in writing. A recent (totally made up) study examined what your grammar weakness means about you.
Run-on sentences: You don’t know when to stop. You never shut up and you never stop going. People find you and your nervous energy nerve-wracking. You tend to have trouble with moderation. You can’t eat just one.
You work well with: Comma, Hyphen, Exclamation, At Symbol
Comma splice (comma used to separate two simple sentences): You have trouble setting yourself apart from others and tend to blend into the crowd Not assertive enough to use a period, confident enough to use a semicolon, wacky enough to use parentheses, or snobbish enough to use an em dash, you’re always looking to someone else for acceptance or permission. You have a hard time saying no to people. You may be described as a wannabe or as trying too hard.
You work well with: Comma, Question Mark, Ampersand, Hash
Incomplete sentences, Split infinitives, Beginning a sentence with a conjunction, Ending a sentence with a preposition: You’re a rebel and like to live on the edge. You know these aren’t really errors but that editors dislike them and they make people over 50 twitch. You like to stick it to the man. You may be a daredevil and/or a drug user.
You work well with: Slash, Apostrophe, Hyphen
Avoid: Em dash
Using an apostrophe for plural: You are the confident, laid back type. You give the orders, someone else handles the details. You can bullshit your way through most things. You have colleagues and followers more than you have friends.
You work well with: Em dash, Asterisk
Avoid: Question Mark
Missing serial or Oxford comma: You’re British.
You work well with: Semicolon, Full Stop (Period)
Using adjectives in place of adverbs (“ly” words): You are very social and like to hang out. You’re too busy having fun to care how those stuck-up writing people use language. You are at every party. You have 500 contacts in your phone and don’t remember who half of them are. You may be in college.
You work well with: Hyphen, Comma, At Symbol, Parentheses
Using “suppose” for “supposed” or “of” for “have”: You need to read a real book once in a while. It might be confusing because the word “book” is in the name, but Facebook is not a real book, and doesn’t count.
You work well with: Quotation Mark, At Symbol, Ellipses
Using “I” when “me” is correct (example: He gave the candy to Jane and I.): You follow the rules. You are so afraid of being wrong by using “me” when you should use “I” that you always use “I” and therefore still get it wrong half the time, just the other half. You were the teacher’s pet and are the boss’s favorite. You apologize a lot.
You work well with: Question Mark, Period, Brackets
Homonyms/Homophones (you’re/your, their/they’re/there): You tend to be wrapped up in yourself or your own world. You can be casual to the point of carelessness. You’re not very observant and you’re never on time. You think the rules apply to other people. You’re the one who won’t remember the name of the person you wake up in bed with.
You work well with: Ellipses, Apostrophe
Who/Whom: You’re one of the good guys. You like to have fun and you have a lot of friends. You don’t want to know when you should use “whom” because who says that anyway besides pretentious twats? You spend a lot of time on Facebook.
You work well with: At Symbol, Ampersand, Comma
Avoid: Quotation Mark
Whom/Who: (using “whom” when “who” is correct): You’re the pretentious twat.
You work well with: Em dash, Brackets
Its/It’s: You are dedicated and responsible and make a lot of sacrifices. You’re the one who worked your butt off to get a C average while the nerds got A’s just by showing up to class. You let that sort of thing motivate you, though, and you get ahead by being consistent and reliable rather than because you’re particularly skilled or talented. People admire your work ethic.
You work well with: Comma, Semicolon, Period
Avoid: Em dash
Affect/Effect: You are easygoing and fun to be around. You know a lot of things, but the difference between these two words isn’t one of them. You make other people feel comfortable and like to make sure everyone is included. You were popular in school but stood up for the kids getting dumped into the trash cans after lunch.
You work well with: Comma, Parentheses, Ellipses,
Avoid: En dash
Use of ALL CAPS: You are either still trying to get a handle on this newfangled thing called the Internet, or you’re a complete moron.
You work well with: Ampersand, Exclamation
Was that exciting or what? Sorry if this is a little late, I had to do some last-minute scrambling. I was sure I knew who was going to win, even started searching for the right picture to go with the victory post and then, in a last minute surge, Sarah Olson, @saraheolson took the prize! Well done! (This one was a fun picture search.)
Thanks again to BigAl, @BooksAndPals for judging for us this week. He was a great judge to work with. Check out his site and his reviews, everyone, really. Now, without further ado, I give you winning entry.
“You sure you want to do that, chief?”
Chief turned to me with his awkward glare before galloping down the hillside to his waiting army. Mohawk Barbie clutched the rains of her pink pegasus and screamed “WAR!” as she flew around in circles above the encampment. Leonardo grunted while he clashed his swords together while the other ninja turtles hopped lightly on the balls of their feet, ready for action.
Chief regarded his men carefully before he announced his plans. “War,” he whispered to the wind, which carried his command softly through the group. Their response carried much further as their cries were heard across the field of battle to their enemies on the other side. The Care Bears formed a long line across the valley, ready to stare their enemies down.
Chief nodded, knowing he would lose many men tonight, but he was intent on sending those damn bears back into the clouds where they belong.
“My care bears are going to destroy you!” Jaime giggles maniacally.
“No way, sis. Chief is taking you guys down!” Jaime laughs again but we’re running out of time, so I focus on the carnage ahead of us. We’ve got five minutes before we have to leave for school, and the battle’s not yet won.
They’re trying to hide it, with varying levels of success, but, as you suspected, writers are all, in fact, closet schizophrenics.
Let’s look at the definition of schizophrenia, from that renowned, infallible bastion of knowledge, Wikipedia:
A person diagnosed with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations (most reported are hearing voices), delusions (often bizarre or persecutory in nature), and disorganized thinking and speech. The latter may range from loss of train of thought, to sentences only loosely connected in meaning, to incoherence known as word salad in severe cases. Social withdrawal, sloppiness of dress and hygiene, and loss of motivation and judgment are all common in schizophrenia. There is often an observable pattern of emotional difficulty, for example lack of responsiveness. Impairment in social cognition is associated with schizophrenia, as are symptoms of paranoia; social isolation commonly occurs.
Now we’ll take these one at a time:
A person diagnosed with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations (most reported are hearing voices)
Ask any (honest) author. They hear them. The author will write down what the voices are saying to give them some legitimacy, but regardless of the more respectable labels they might try to apply, hearing voices is a classic sign of mental disorder.
delusions (often bizarre or persecutory in nature)
Of grandeur. Of what is and isn’t possible. Of what really happened. Yep. Delusions. Of “I” and “me” being persecuted, and persecuting in such delicious, horrible ways… (this touches on psychopathic behavior, but that’s another day’s lesson.)
disorganized thinking and speech. The latter may range from loss of train of thought, to sentences only loosely connected in meaning, to incoherence known as word salad in severe cases.
If you’ve ever read a writer’s first draft, you know all about this.
Social withdrawal, sloppiness of dress and hygiene, and loss of motivation and judgment are all common in schizophrenia
We’re talking no shower and rationed pee breaks for days on end when facing a deadline or caught up in an epiphany. Friends, loved ones, spouses and children all cease to exist. There will be no clean dishes in the house.
There is often an observable pattern of emotional difficulty, for example lack of responsiveness. Impairment in social cognition is associated with schizophrenia, as are symptoms of paranoia; social isolation commonly occurs.
This is most commonly observed in the writer going through the querying stage of novel writing, or who is submitting short stories to magazines and contests. The unpredictable mood swings and agitated impatience are classic indicators of this phase.
To start healing you have to admit you have a problem. I’m standing up today to say “I’m Leah, and I’m a writer. And I know that I’m abso-fricking-lutely nuts.”
Let the healing begin.
I finally broke down and bought the shirt I’ve been wanting for years.
I’ve refrained for so long because
a) I’m cheap and the shirt isn’t
b) I’m a mother and, apparently, am supposed to be setting a good example.
Now, personally, I think it’s setting a good example to teach your children WHY this is a funny joke and not the grown-up equivalent of “stupidhead!” Anyway, my ten year old gets the joke now but still thinks it’s rude.
Well, can’t win them all. I just won’t wear it when he’s with me.
I do love my social media, don’t get me wrong, but it’s always good to know where the things you love can come back and bite you in the butt, no?
So, a lovely friend of mine sent my this message through Facebook the other day:
In the nicest most polite way possible, I was on stumbleupon, and apparently, my friends (more importantly, what they follow) are displayed. Not that I care/judge one way or the other, I’m just not sure if YOU were aware. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please disregard.
Which is, of course, how I reacted.
Now, I don’t use Stumbleupon, but in setting up the social media widgets for my blog I’d interacted with it in the past, and I think it’s one of those things that if you’re on Facebook it knows who you are and the names of your still-unconcieved offspring too. So I raced over there in a panic to find out what in the world my friend had seen.
What I found was that I’d “stumbled” on Sex Scene, an Anthology. Now, I’ve got no problem with that, I’m in it. (No, not like THAT.) It’s an anthology of literary fiction. From the book blurb written by the editor, Robert James Russell:
Sex Scene: An Anthology aims to decontextualize sex, asking the reader to look at the act itself as not only a form of art, but also as the very basest of human urges.
The problem was caused by the fact that the tags applied to it were “porn” and “pornography.” (I’m not going to get into the erotica vs. porn or art vs. smut thing. Let’s just say this one ain’t for the kiddies.)
What all this boils down to is that my friend went to Stumbleupon and saw “Leah Petersen likes pornography.”
No mom, it’s not me. Promise.