Bones to pick.

The casual reader might think I’ve become a U of M snob, that I think people really are smarter here, that I’ve become the reason elsewhere in the state, they say AA stands for “arrogant assholes.”

Well, not exactly. Two recent incidents:

1) Alan overheard two girls talking outside the student union yesterday. Said one, “Ohmigod, I ordered chicken wings? And they came? And they had, like, bones in them?! Ohmigod I was so, like, freaked out! I’ve never had chicken with bones in it!”

2) We had lunch at the University Club today, one of the restaurants in the union. It’s called the UClub and serves a club sandwich called, duh, the UClub. It’s a good sandwich. It’s hard to wreck a club sandwich. Today, a small card next to a plate displaying this specialty read: “The UClub’s infamous UClub.” Ah yes, as Mr. Language Person Might say, “The addition of a syllable to any adjective acts as an intensifier.” As Alan said, “Has sickened thousands since 1985.” The English department is housed in the building across the street; maybe someone will point it out.

Posted at 4:24 pm in Uncategorized |

6 responses to “Bones to pick.”

  1. deb said on March 12, 2004 at 6:21 pm

    yes! my all-time-favorite strunk ‘n’ white entry involved the terms “flammable” and “inflammable,” which are not only not interchangeable but have utterly opposite meanings.

    the masters’ final word on the term that should be used to denote something that can catch fire: “unless you are responsible for the safety of children or illiterates, use ‘flammable.'”

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  2. ashley said on March 12, 2004 at 10:11 pm

    Kind of reminds me of that mythical language, Ebonics. According to academics who actually get credit for this crap (as opposed to doing real research), they state that one of the many differences between Ebonics and English is that double (or simply multiple) negatives in Ebonics are intensified negatives.

    Ain’t not havin’ no problem wif dat. Word.

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  3. Shae said on March 13, 2004 at 8:02 am

    Fo shizzle!~

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  4. mark said on March 13, 2004 at 12:40 pm

    Deb: For the sake of childen and illiterates who may be in your care, please go back and re-read your Strunk and White.

    “Flammable” is simply a dumbed-down version of “inflammable.” They ARE interchangeable and they do NOT have utterly opposite meanings.

    Here’s the actual Strunk cite:

    Flammable: An oddity, chiefly useful in saving lives. The common word meaning “combustible” is inflammable. But some people are thrown off by the in- and think inflammable means “not combustible.” For this reason, trucks carrying gasoline or explosives are now marked FLAMMABLE. Unless you are operating such a truck and hence are concerned with the safety of children and illiterates, use inflammable.

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  5. Paul said on March 14, 2004 at 7:34 am

    “According to academics who actually get credit for this crap (as opposed to doing real research”

    Say what? What exactly is wrong with studying dialects of English? Studying dialects being, of course, the raison d’etre of linguists….

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  6. Michael G said on March 15, 2004 at 9:17 am

    I was bitten by a bug yesterday while working in the garden. The back of my hand got flamed. Or was it inflamed?

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