On the Variability of Symbols

It’s always dangerous to assume that the meaning another person attaches to a word or a picture or a gesture is the same one that you do.

Consider, for example, the hand sign made by folding down the middle two fingers of one hand while leaving the index finger and little finger extended. Depending on who and where you are, this can mean, variously:

  • I worship Satan.
  • I like heavy metal rock music.
  • Your spouse is cheating on you, ha ha!
  • Bad luck, go away!
  • I am from Texas and am a big fan of the University of Texas Longhorns football team. Shorter version: “Hook ’em, Horns!”

With regard to the last one, there was much confused commentary (outside of Texas, anyhow) about the well-attended and televised funeral service of proud and much-loved Texan Lady Bird Johnson, where the choir and congregation sang the UT fight song “The Eyes of Texas” at the conclusion of the service, accompanied, as is traditional, by the “Hook ’em, Horns!” gesture. Yes, even on the part of the officiating clergy.

Tri-State Magic Auction

Madhouse Manor

tri-state magic auction Maine/New Hampshire/Massachusetts Auction

ANNUAL MAGIC AUCTION

Sunday, April 19, 2020

BJ Hickman, MC and Auctioneer

LOCATION-The Chill Function Hall

580 US Highway 1 Bypass, Portsmouth, NH

It’s in the back of The Roundabout Restaurant and next door to the Holiday Inn

Time: Sellers Set Up8:30 am

Auction Viewing9:00 am

Auction9:30-4:00

Lunch Break1:00

Admission$7.00

To be a Seller – Contact Mike Aranda, Auction Chair(jediwakko@msn.com) to let him know that you wish to sell. Sellers will be placed in the order that you contact Mike.

Questions:Contact Mike or Nancy Frankel (corkysmagic@gmail.com)

NOTE: Everyone read the fine print please:

PARKING: The entrance to THE CHILL is at the right of the building. Sunday morning is a very busy time for the restaurant. Sellers may unload at The Chill entrance but there is NO PARKING in front of the restaurant. Everyone must park…

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Dammit, CNN

How am I supposed to respect you as a news source if you can’t even get your grammar right?

From this article:

TV and film adaptations of dystopian literature has dominated recent popular culture, from Suzanne Collins’ ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy, to Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, to the upcoming HBO version of Emily St. John Mandel’s ‘Station Eleven.’ Each is set in a future society that has devolved into a worse-case-scenario. In utopian fiction, on the other hand, the writer creates a world based on a set of ideals and values they deem important. Both utopian and dystopian fiction matters, as each can be used as a tool to prompt change by pointing out how things could go right — or wrong — in a society.

Do I really need to point out that it should be “TV and film adaptations have dominated” and “Both utopian and dystopian fiction matter“? A plural subject (“Both A and B” is a plural subject) takes a plural, not a singular, verb.

For heaven’s sake, people. If your content providers or whatever you’re calling copywriters these days don’t actually have the grammatical chops to get something that basic right on their own, at least train them to run a grammar-checker over the text before they hit SEND.

Three More Days

A friendly reminder that my Seasonal Sale ends at midnight on 5 January 2020.

(That’ll be midnight-where-ever-you-are, rather than midnight-where-I-am, just to keep things simple.  I’m certainly not going to slam the door on somebody just because they don’t live in the same time zone as I do.)

Treat yourself, or treat a friend; prepaid services can be claimed at any convenient (for you) future time.