The ongoing grind.

I am growing to despise my other job, at least this summer, when I’m doing it for the lordly sum of $0. A certain amount of pro bono I can handle, but now it’s Wednesday, I haven’t done my grocery shopping for the week and now I have a news explosion to clean up after.

Fortunately, bloggage galore:

Another listicle from, worth passing along: 8 words you’re confusing with other words. They missed one of my pet peeves — defuse/diffuse — but they got the biggies, including phase/faze and reign/rein and tenant/tenet. Oh, and people? “Tack” is a sailing term; it refers to the zigzag course that boats must steer to move into the wind. A tacking boat changes direction frequently, hence the phrase “take another tack.” Not “tact.” Thank you, that is all.

The longer I write on a keyboard, the less I can write by hand. Still, I love notebooks of all sorts, and so does the keeper of this blog.

If I had to choose between the two New Yorker film critics, David Denby and Anthony Lane, I’d be on Team Lane all the way. But Denby makes some good points in this essay on computer-generated effects. Nut graf:

Storytelling thrives on limits, inhibitions, social conventions, a world of anticipations and outcomes. Can you have a story that means anything halfway serious without gravity’s pull and the threat of mortality?

I remember watching “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” a movie with many pleasures for me, until it arrived at a climactic sword fight in a shadowy bamboo forest. Suddenly the characters, who had been grounded, gravity-limited human beings, were able to run straight up the sides of bamboo trees as slender as a pool cue. It was all staged as a dreamy ballet, but it took me out of the story, frankly. Oh, we can run up the sides of trees now? OK, let me file that one away.

A guy I used to work with lost his father recently, and is sharing brief remembrances of the man via Facebook. (Facebook grieving: Now there’s a master’s thesis.) I was amazed to learn that after the death of his mother, his father had married Peg Bracken. Many of us are boomers here, and likely remember her as, first, the author of a great book of whimsy, the “I Hate to Cook Book” and later, as spokeswoman for Bird’s Eye vegetables. She introduced herself in the commercials: “I’m Peg Bracken, and I hate to cook.” She was such a hoot. The remembrance inspired me to do some googling, and I found her obit from the NYT, in 2007. From her recipe for Skid Row Stroganoff:

Start cooking those noodles, first dropping a bouillon cube into the noodle water. Brown the garlic, onion and crumbled beef in the oil. Add the flour, salt, paprika and mushrooms, stir, and let it cook five minutes while you light a cigarette and stare sullenly at the sink.

I love to cook, but a woman who had the ovaries to write that in 1960 is one after my own heart.

OK, I think that’s it. Off to restock my larder. How come no one says that anymore? “Mom, I want breakfast.” “Check the larder for some Cheerios.” A question for Peg, maybe, but me, I’m gone.

Posted at 10:48 am in Movies, Popculch |

75 responses to “The ongoing grind.”

  1. moe99 said on July 13, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I Hate to Cook was my mother’s favorite cookbook. Our suppers consisted of such staples as ring bologna boiled in water, Welsh rarebit (which I hate to this day), fish sticks on Friday and chop suey from a can if we went exotic. My father, on the other hand, subscribed to Gourmet magazine but never cooked. I am sure that must have been a point of friction for them, though they never argued in front of us.

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  2. Connie said on July 13, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I still have an ancient copy of Pet Bracken’s book and I still use her simple but unusual pork chop recipe.

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  3. Bob (not Greene) said on July 13, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Nance, I can sympathize about your pro bono job. Quite frankly I don’t know how you’ve done it so long. Being a news reporter and editor (and, for chrissakes, a mentor for student reporters) is tough enough when you do get paid for it. My fear is that you provide this great service, don’t get paid and then people have an expectation that the news just writes itself and that they have a right to free news. Must be easy if people are willing to do it for free, right? It’s bad enough that the job already pays as little as it does.

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  4. coozledad said on July 13, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I wonder if that’s where my mom got the recipe for baked franks- sliced, stuffed with pasteurized process cheese food and wrapped with bacon.

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  5. ET said on July 13, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I ran across an interesting bit of word confusion in an antique store this past weekend. The tag on a mirror noted it was made in the “Chip ‘n Dale” style. I looked closely for a Disney logo…

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  6. Deborah said on July 13, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Have I ever told you how much I love this site? I can count on it making my day. Everyday I learn something too. Peg Bracken, who knew? How did I miss this? Nancy, you’ve got to figure out a way to get paid for this. I’d pay to be a member like Ebert has on his site.

    Coozledad, you have to bake that frank stuffed with pasteurized process cheese wrapped in bacon AND a Pillsbury pop-up roll to be complete.

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  7. Sue said on July 13, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Cooz, no I don’t think so, it must have been in a magazine or something because my mom made a variation, and she didn’t have that cookbook.
    Split the hot dog, place american cheese, ketchup, mustard and sweet relish along the split, put in bun, wrap in foil and bake. I LOVED them.
    Also she made a recipe that called for wrapping a slice of 3 musketeers bar in a triangle of tubed biscuit dough and baking. Sounds awful but it was salty and sweet.
    BTW, one of the Wisconsin State Fair vendors this year will be offering a combo platter consisting of deep fried butter, Krispy Kreme cheeseburger and a stick of chocolate covered bacon. I assume cream puffs as either appetizer or dessert (or both) are standard for that meal.

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  8. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 11:51 am

    We still like beanie-weenies. I made some yesterday because both Nathan’s and Hebrew National dogs (two entirely different foods) are on sale at our Bi-Lo. First make pico de gallo with lime, fresh cumin and jalapenos and red bell peppers, vidalias, homegrown tomatoes, all sauteed with pancetta, add home-made baked kidney and black beans started with Burgers Smokehouse country pepper bacon, grill the hotdogs, chop and add to beans. This freezes with no ill effects and is a really quick dinner with salad. And hot dogs or no, I say it’s nutritious. Peg Bracken, reminds me of Fannie Flagg and Erma Bombeck. And pardon me, but the only way bologna should ever be prepared is by frying thin slices of it, and adding bread and mustard or horseradish.

    Larder. I’d keep the Cheerios in the pantry. Sorry about the pedantry.

    Confusorium: Hone/home (used incorrectly more often than not); jibe/jive(almost always used incorrectly). If you “jive with” someone or something, you’re talking trash or lying your ass off, not agreeing or fitting. Once, in graduate school, a friend asked me to edit a draft of a paper for her. Throughout what was otherwise a well-written piece of research, she employed the term “for all intensive purposes”. I just marked it up with suggestions for alternative word choices. I found it too excruciatingly embarrassing to discuss directly.

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  9. alex said on July 13, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I grew up in a home where there were always humorous coffee table books and I seem to recall Peg Bracken’s I Hate to Cook book either at our house or at a home that I frequented as a kid. Here’s a book I discovered recently that has the sensibilities of an entirely new generation but the same glib spirit.

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  10. Colleen said on July 13, 2011 at 11:55 am

    “Malice of forethought” is my phrase. Once knew someone who used it a lot. I was in no position to correct him/her.

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  11. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 11:59 am


    Same error, different context.

    Chip ‘n’ Dale, the real deal.

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  12. 4dbirds said on July 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Fried bologna. My father’s favorite sandwich.

    I probably confuse a lot of those words. Please correct me. I am capable of learning.

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  13. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Alex, I’d say feeling exactly that way is a universal parental experience. In fact, I may have muttered that sentence half-way through Danny and the Dinosaur more than once.

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  14. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    4d: You have to cut the bologna at the edges or it forms an unwieldy cup shape unsuitable for sandwiches. But good bologna fried is extremely tasty.

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  15. nancy said on July 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Sally’s Hillbilly Cheeseburger, mentioned by an anonymous Urbanspoon critic who says s/he used to live near the restaurant where it was served, and now lives in Detroit. I wonder who that might be?

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  16. Julie Robinson said on July 13, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    My mom hated to cook too, so I’m pretty much self-taught. I was a college student before I realized that boiled potatoes weren’t supposed to be covered with scorch marks. Mom would put something on the stove and then go off to do something more interesting, which was anything that was outside the kitchen.

    Some fun bloggage:
    A woman in California drugged her husband, cut off his penis, then put it through the garbage disposal. I guess she wanted to make sure it couldn’t be reattached. Here’s my favorite line from the story: “The initial investigation found that the two are married and going through a divorce.”

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  17. Cathie from Canada said on July 13, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I love Peg Bracken’s books — she also wrote the I Hate to Housekeep book, an etiquette book called I Try to Behave Myself, and a travel book called But I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For The World.
    She taught me that most main course recipes/menus are actually quite simple: take some meat, add some veggies and sauce, and maybe also some starch and voila! you’re done.

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  18. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Mitch McConnell thinks he’s up to something, but maybe he’s grabbin’ holt of his’n own tarbaby. Gutdom, I’d love to see this despicable little old church lady out of the Senate.

    Westland MI down and dirty. We used to have football games like this when I was in college. Serious fun.

    Red Door Tavern menu. What a bar should look like. And I’ve been making that hillbilly cheeseburger since I was a kid babysitting for my brothers. Works well as a quesadilla, too.

    Nancy, I’ve made my living as a freelance construction specifications writer since 1985. Obviously, architecture is not booming these days, so I’ve got plenty of time for unpaid work, too. I have found a good fit working for Habitat. It’s very rewarding for me, keeps my hand in as far as developments in codes, materials and construction methods. Serious downside: buying my own insurance. Upside: piling up actual grace for the hereafter and working with lots of committed people to make things much better for people that need a hand. Major upside: Moral high ground in political arguments. My donated time at Habitat would be billable (in a decent economy) at around $2grand/wk. I’ve got money put away and in two years I’ll start taking my Social Security before Republicans can steal it, and won’t have to buy health coverage anymore. No mortgage. My pardner collects a disability and she’s covered by Medicaid (for now). We’re comfortable. Still, it’s hard not to think about how much I could be making if Raygun had not put American construction industry on a slippery slope years ago with a ridiculous corporate building bubble. All those spec office buildings have beeen half empty ever since. Anyway, don’t let it get you down, and I do always try to remember to go through your website when I buy too many books and CDs.

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  19. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm


    I think the key phrase in that story is “as he awoke”.

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  20. moe99 said on July 13, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Prospero, here’s a picture of ring bologna: Seems to be a Michigan specialty. In KY I’ve had fried bologna with red eye gravy made from the fat rendered out during the frying. Now that’s some eating!

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  21. Dorothy said on July 13, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    A co-worker used “irregardless” in an email he sent me a few days ago. And he graduated from this college! I’ve been contemplating how to go about telling him gently that it’s not a word, but the fact that he’s currently ill from either viral meningitis or encephalitis has kept me from speaking up. Poor guy has enough problems right now.

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  22. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    If you feel insufficient high dudgeon over Rupert Murdoch’s sleazemeisters, check out News Corps tax accounting wizardry.

    I’ve never seen ring bologna before. We buy all beef Oscar Meyer at the deli counter, cut thick. S. actually likes liverwurst, which I can’t be in the same room with without feeling nauseated. Not “nauseous” which actually means inducing nausea, which I hope I don’t very often. Although this is probably one of those cases where usage is overwhelming correct etymology.

    edit: Let’s hear Republicans defend that particular tax statistic vis a vis the deficit. Think Rupert’s bean counters are depreciating those gulfstreams on the accelerated schedule?

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  23. Heather said on July 13, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I had a coworker who once wrote “I’ll be it” for “albeit” in an email.

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  24. Kim said on July 13, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I just saw this one coming off the printer from some interminable sorority dispatch: per say, used in a very haughty tone to a sister. Cracked me up.

    These processed-food recipes are really taking me back, and not in a good way. I never tasted a fresh vegetable that wasn’t corn on the cob, iceberg lettuce, boiled-to-mush cauliflower or potatoes(I know, weird) until college.

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  25. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm


    Phew. What is one’s ethical obligation in that sort of situation. Bringing it up is embarrassing, letting the malapropist blithely continue seems cruel. My dad once worked with another pediatrician who liked to say that his staff needed to “take the bull by the horns and run with it”. He was not referring to Pamplona. Years ago, I had a job grading statewide writing tests in GA. One essay topic was the 2nd Amendment. The number of references to “bear arms” and “bare arms” caused turmoil in our office, because it could have rendered the entire year’s test scores up in smoke if graded strictly. It was decided we should ignore the apparent anatomical references. An essay I recall had a socially conscious kid discussing the subject in light of the terrible waste of young lives caused by guns in the “South Broncs” No way was that kid being marked down.

    And how did “social consciousness” turn into “social conscience”? “Protestant work ethic”/(undifferentiated) “work ethic”, ridiculously abused in sportswriting.

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  26. nancy said on July 13, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    It happens to the best of us. I said “copse of trees” for years before I learned a copse is a small group of trees, which is like saying “meadow of grass.” And I mispronounced “jodhpur” and “ophthalmologist” at least that long.

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  27. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Holy shit, I’m listening to WMBR at MIT streaming, and just heard an amber alert radio announcement for the first time. Paternal abduction in N. Adams Mass, suspect with swastika tattoos. Blood-curdling.

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  28. Deborah said on July 13, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    4dbirds, in answer to your question in the previous comments thread, my mother’s side came from a tiny town, Craig, MO, in I think Holt County, about 90 miles north of Kansas City. My mother grew up on a farm with no running water, it was still that way when I was a kid, we had to use an outhouse when we visited my grandparents, in fact the house never had running water. It’s been torn down now. My grandfather had no memory of the time when his father left his 11 year old sister in charge. But his sister sure remembered it. She lived to be nearly a hundred and was sharp as a tack up until the end. She told us about the trials and tribulations of having to do laundry (diapers) with water she brought in from the pump outside etc etc.

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  29. Little Bird said on July 13, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Deborah, I could make that hotdog-cheese-bacon-pastry thing this weekend if you like. Sounds pretty straight forward.
    I love to cook, but it’s hard to tell someone else how to re-create things if you don’t measure much.

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  30. Dan B said on July 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Cracked also missed the confusion that I’ve really noticed- loath and loathe. At this point, I think that “she is loathe to do it” is vastly more common than the correct “loath.”

    We had both of the “I Hate to Cook Books” around our house, too, as both my mother and grandmother did, indeed, hate to cook. That said, I don’t think they actually made that many of the recipes. The first book does, however, have an excellent recipe for spice cookies in it.

    I also see it as an interesting reply to some of the “you need to cook more at home with fresh ingredients” zealots. Not the recipes so much as the larger commentary, reflecting an attitude of not getting pleasure or enjoyment out of the expectation that you’ll put a home-cooked meal on the table every night. A lot of the voices trumpeting home cooking seem completely unaware of the existence of people who don’t share their pleasure in cooking; adding an element of guilt and obligation doesn’t help (nor does the way that I rarely see them address the issues of gender that surrounds chores like meal preparation).

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  31. John G. Wallace said on July 13, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    My biggest wrong word pet peeve:

    Should of for should have

    Saw one of the numerous online discussions over Casey Anthony where a commenter referred to “a jury of her piers” however I agreed with their statements,had another otherwise well-informed woman trying to explain to me that the term reasonable doubt referred to, “who had a reason.” Ummmm, nope.

    My son used to flip out when I told him he did ajob “half-assed,” as in sweeping the walkway, to which he would explode, tell me it was HALF-FAST and he worked as fast as he could. Can’t argue with that.

    Touching on both improper or misunderstood words many years ago, shortly after we had our first born child, my wife and I sought assistance from the township trustee’s office in Ft. Wayne. To give some insight, it was Wayne Township. We got a box of food, and a voucher for some meat and produce, and I looked in the box and noted it was most of the staples,i .e. salt, sugar,flour, oil, and the township employee launched into a rant about, “what you be coming in here looking for food for, and then thinking we were gonna give you office supplies, we ain’t giving you no staples or stuff like that.”

    I have been making some observations here that the same core people inflamed about the Casey Anthony verdict are the ones who think the tea party is helping them not raping them, love (and misunderstand) their 2nd amendment rights, love their freedom of (being able to impose their )religon, and say what they think under the 1st Amendment, but don’t support aspects like the AP wanting the FOIA access to the Bin Laden raid, don’t want to hear opposing viewpoints, hate (which I understand) the Fred Phelps Westboro Baptist church’s protected speech,but don’t mind when that idiot pastor from down here likes to burn the Koran or put it on trial.

    If the masses had their way the Casey anthony case would have been tried by Nancy Grace, and decided by a twitter poll or 800# call. I have to thank this wonderful crew here (sorry i don’t recall who) for blessing me with the term, “Old Rabies Face.” The Judge ruled he will extend a brief cooling off period but that he has to release the juror’s names. He himself can’t eat at the restaurant across from the courthouse anymore, and expressed serious concerns over the numerous threats to the jury, reading a letter about a person who desired to filet them open, pour salt in, and make them suffer. One lady already quit her job with less than a year until she retired, and moved back north.

    I don’t envy those folks one bit and worry that we’re not too far from mob justice. Wondering if they haven’t already spirited Ms. Anthony out of jail and into hiding. Now guys across the nation have to check for Bella Vita tats and tramp stamps. She ought to take the first 1 $ million interview, get that tat removed, and settle down somewhere like Ft.Wayne – after all it was rated a top city to start over,and with blue contacts and a blonde dye job she would fit in at Pierres.

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  32. moe99 said on July 13, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Oh, Nancy, I didn’t realize that jodhpur had the ‘h’ placed before the ‘p’ until just now. I learned something new today!

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  33. nancy said on July 13, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Not to take anything away from John’s lovely and amusing comment, but another thing to consider in usage errors is autocorrect. I’m appalled by some of the changes my iPad wants to make to my note-taking, which tends to be hurried and rly a lt on abrvs. I try to keep an eye on it and veto what I can — and the program I’m using “learns,” which helps — but you never know what someone else’s experience is. “I’ll be it” may well be one of those.

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  34. Dexter said on July 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Ha. I was contradicting my brother one late night over the phone, and I said “Eau Claire, you are wrong about that.”
    He ( critical j-grad, Ball State , 1969) lambasted me over that.
    I meant to say “Au contraire”, ah nuts…it was really late, I was tired….

    Most folks in recovery mode have been exposed to the Twelve Steps. The first three, the sick person gets or does not; they are very simple concepts. When the new person in recovery gets to Step Four, the brakes come on. Some people are terrified of Step Four, some refuse to do it, some make a half-assed stab at it in an attempt to navigate around it.
    Step Four necessitates writing down on paper a complete and thorough inventory of the writer’s shortcomings and faults; it’s all about trying to figure out “the exact nature of our wrongs.”
    I am in recovery, and I did a Fourth Step. It took me eighteen months, not recommended. I just kept filling up notebooks, and I ended up with four and a half notebooks, which was a little like my autobiography when I was finished.
    I used narrow-lined extra tall spiral bound notebooks, front and back of every page. All in barely decipherable cursive.
    That was over 18 years ago. I simply would not, could not write that much in longhand anymore. Then, I had no choice. I didn’t have even an old word processor back then. I did have a few typewriters, but I wrote longhand instead.
    In Step Five one must spill his guts, or his notebooks’ contents,out to another human being. I chose a clergyman, and we scheduled 45 minutes. It took two one-hour sessions and a half hour session to get-R-done.
    Now, I made a promise to myself if I ever took another drink I would go back to Step One and start over…and the thought of ever doing another Step Four like the one I did is deterrent-enough to never take that first drink . Today, anyway. 🙂

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  35. Scout said on July 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    My mom had the I Hate to Cook Book. That must be where she got that godawful Welsh Rarebit recipe she made at least once a week. I refused to eat it because I thought she was calling it “rabbit.”

    My current favorite cookbook is Veganimicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. The food is awesome and the writing is humorous.

    I hear these verbal mis-steps pretty often:
    Time and memorial instead of time immemorial.
    Weary for wary.

    And what is up with the incorrect usage of your/you’re? I see more people get that one wrong than right!

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  36. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Too late for Mr. Becker @16:
    Silicone male genital enhancement. Hell, sounds like a great idea.

    Family values? Bullshite.

    Of course it’s a conservative article of faith that the President doesn’t know what he’s doing on foreign policy. Ford’s appointment was naturally opposed by the GOP, and he’s serving on a recess appointment. Republican MO: ensure failure, again. Whatta heckuva bunch guys. True statesmen. No-fly’s no good, diplomacy’s no good. What’s next, nukes?

    I have a difficult time remembering the difference between flagrant and blatant. this guy should be careful with self-descriibing as “erudite”. In his second reference to the poet, he reverts to the American spelling instead of the Robert Parker correct version. When we were kids, my brother Chris and I drew strict distinctions between flaming assholes and gaping assholes, the former being intentionally obnoxious, the latter unable to help themselves.

    And to this day, for some strange reason if I come across the word lapel while reading, i pronounce it Lay-pull, even to myself.

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  37. Sue said on July 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    I really try to give people the benefit of the doubt on spelling/grammar/usage, in the way I would hope math-y people might not look at me with open revulsion if a strong understanding of algebra were part of daily written and verbal communication.
    With one exception – I am sneeringly amused when receiving letters or emails intended to put me in my place but which are so filled with errors that it’s obvious the writer has no idea he’s just made a fool of himself.
    It’s “statute”, not “statue”, just as an example of the amusing oopsies that can occur in a sentence when the writer is cursed with a combination of hostility, arrogance and the literacy skills of an 8th grader.

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  38. Dexter said on July 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    That’s right, Sue, no need to be a butthole when someone simply makes a little typo.
    I have always known the reason why sometimes it’s its and sometimes it’s it’s. But in a late night email, if just one time I add or don’t add that apostrophe, I get called on it by my picky brother. Just because he won the Indiana state Spanish contest in Indianapolis about two million years ago, that shouldn’t make him the big English sheriff of the world. (apologies to Bill Cosby)

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  39. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Right Sue. It’s exhilarating to be called a “looser”. Why do forms of the verb “lose” cause people so many problems? And how do those people manage respiration?

    Mondegreens are related to malapropisms. John Carroll explains One ton tomato. And how do educated people say nucular? Even Jimmah Ed Carter, who had a USN degree in Nuke engineering had a sort of muddled version. Like Jerry Ford and judg-uh-ment.

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  40. Heather said on July 13, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I would have given that coworker the benefit of the doubt about the “I’ll be it” thing but he used to use so much corporate jargon in his speech that I would have to take a minute after he talked to translate what he’d just said in my head. Working in the corporate world really makes me miss journalism sometimes, except for the salary.

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  41. MaryRC said on July 13, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    My pet peeve: “disinterested” used in the sense of “uninterested”. “Uninterested” means you don’t care, “disinterested” means you have no axe to grind. So you can be disinterested and still be interested in something. I think it bothers me because “disinterested” can be such an emotionally positive word, implying that you are fair and impartial.

    A former boss of mine was a source of just about every misused phrase there is. He seemed to have a tin ear. My favorite was “on and often” for “on and off”. It doesn’t even mean the same thing.

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  42. nancy said on July 13, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    One of the ten thousand reason I loved “The Sopranos” was the malaprops that regularly issued from the various characters, especially Christopher, Paulie and Little Carmine. One of the wittiest shows ever.

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  43. MarkH said on July 13, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    As a kid in Pittsburgh, we had ring bologna in the fridge all the time. Dorothy, do you remember having it? I preferred the garlic variety for some reaon.

    Insure / Ensure. Respectively / Respectfully. Grrr…

    “Irregardless” has been addressed here previously. Amazing how many educated people I know insist on using it.

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  44. Kirk said on July 13, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I am trying to educate copy editors, especially those on the sports desk, that “deja vu” does not refer to re-experiencing something that happened before. I have never seen it properly used in a sports story. There probably is no proper use of it in a sports story.

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  45. Deborah said on July 13, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    I often refer to clothes as if it is singular. See I just did it, I swear I didn’t do that on purpose. I say things like, “The white clothes IS in the washer”. My sister does this too, so we must have learned it from one or both parents. I have to really think hard to say “the white clothes ARE in the washer”. I recently had something cleared up for me, I always thought of the fast food chain as being Chick-A-Fil instead of Chick-Fil-A. One just opened up a few blocks from me. Chick-A-Fil makes absolutely no sense, I don’t know why I said it that way.

    And Little Bird, no thanks on the offer to make the franks, cheese, bacon dish this weekend.

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  46. Little Bird said on July 13, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    You sure, Deborah? It might be fun!

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  47. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Deborah, I doubt there’s a grammatical consenus although clothes “are” is more felicitous aurally. Whoops, theah it is. Orally and aurally. I don’t let this shit wind me up but when “hone” in starts showing up in the OED or “jive with”, I’m going to go Fahrenheit 451 on society that doesn’t hold language in great regard. The great plural /singular divide is the Brit insistence on “the band” (insert band name) as requiring a plural verb. I mean, if it’s the Meat Puppets, OK if it’s Pink Floyd, just sounds strange.What can be the worst they can do? Read Riddley Walker, and enough monkeys at enough keyboards and every word would mean the same thing as every other word. A good description of hell, I’d say. How about clicks and sing-song pitch defining words. English speakers are about as likely to master that as Dian Fossey was to get the great ape language exactly right. What were they saying ? What a babe. Nice knockers? In the Sigourney Weaver version.

    Bikers, when you’re riding on a bike path do you call out “track” or “on your left”, or do you pull a Zola Budd? I just had an asshole come up fast and ride me into a ditch. He was decked out like it was a mountain stage and he was Greg LeMond. And shit why would you spend money on performance clothing when you’ re just built slow? He was riding an expensive track bike. Me? No helmet, cargo shorts, Tevas. So asshole swept by, disdainfully and I lost two broken Sam Adams summer ales and a smal bottle of Grey Goose. He paused a moment, to see if I was ambulatory and took off before I could kick his scrawny arrogant ass. Left me thinking about Nancy’s Jeremiad on the subject of improper passing. I won’t pass a pedestrian without calling out. No sense startling somebody. This asshole was like local business vehicles that take the roundabouts three lanes at a time. Arrogant dickhead, and they always blame it on tourists. I was certainly travelling close to 20 mph, and I caught and passed this shithead at the next stop sign despite carrying almost two cases of Sam, and I blew the stop off. If the guy had stopped at the accident and not acted like a terminal dickhead, I’d have bought him an excellent brewski. But people like that are like joggers in Boston that can’t be satisfied unless they are running the Mass Ave bridge with no shirt on in a Nor’easter.

    Actually, Deborah, more I think about it clothes is a comunal sort of noun . I’m not sure how that might affect the discussion. Wouldn’t Dirty Clothes be a good name for a band?

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  48. Sherri said on July 13, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    The faze/phase thing gets me because I see it so much even in newspapers. I always imagine red shirts from Star Trek and phasers set on stun.

    The other one that annoys me is “road to hoe.” How can you hoe a road?

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  49. Bob (Not Greene) said on July 13, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Prosp, you lose more booze that way than anyone I’ve ever heard of. Come to think of it, I haven’t heard of anyone who has.

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  50. Rana said on July 13, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Prospero, I tend to yell something like “bike coming through” or “coming through” – in my own experience as a walker, if I’m simply warned, I move quickly to one side. If someone says something like “on your left” I have to remember which side is my left, and decide whether the warning means I should move left or right, and it takes much longer. So I just announce my imminent arrival, and let the person in front decide which way to move. But either way, just blowing by is rude.

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  51. Jolene said on July 13, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    The other one that annoys me is “road to hoe.”

    Reminds me of “tow the line.” Really? Where are you taking it? People have internalized the metaphorical meaning of these phrases and forgotten where the metaphor came from.

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  52. Dave said on July 13, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Prospero, your bicycle adventures have been exciting lately, first an encounter with an automobile and now a rather arrogant-sounding rider. Be careful.

    Sue at 37, if algebra were our main means of communication, I would be hopelessly illiterate. You made me laugh with that.

    Deborah, Chick-A-Fil? You made me think of a short-lived fastfood chain started, I believe, by the Wendy’s folks, named Sisters Chicken and one was located where we were then living. Our young daughter called it Chicken Sisters and Chicken Sisters it became, for us.

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  53. Suzanne said on July 13, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    I remember fried bologna and yes, you have to cut a slit in it or it gets all curly and strange. I don’t think I could eat it now, but have great childhood memories of it.

    As for healthy eating, my daughter and her friends try to eat wholesome and organic food with the thought that they best stay healthy as they will have no means to access healthcare as they get older.

    Best malapropism I can recall is a note from my kid’s grade school principal with the phrase “if we do not here from you by such and such date”. Made me wonder about the quality of the education they were receiving (although I have often been guilty of bad proofing). I also ridiculed a NASCAR announcer who used the word “iterate” until I realized that really is a word.

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  54. Dexter said on July 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    “On your left” if you are fast-approaching a slower biker or a pedestrian or certainly one of these modern giant baby strollers. If it’s leisurely , I always call out clearly “I’m gonna pass you on your left now.” I ride a lot on city park pathways the width of standard sidewalks, so I have to do this.
    Two nights ago I got passed by a 12 year old boy on a silent-hub bicycle and for the first time I can recall, he caught me unaware. He was mute, and he missed me, and I didn’t quite shit my drawers, so it was also moot. I usually am constantly checking my rear view mirrors.

    If three Chicago American League baseball players go into a bar, is the bar hosting three Sox? Three Soxes?

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  55. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Little Bird and Deborah, the Burger Smokehouse makes the best bacon in N. America. So if you do, make those hot-dogs, and I oppose calling them franks or wieners or anything else. They are hot dogs., check them out. Burgers Smokehouse This the bacon in which to wrap your wienies. So if you do, make those hot-dogs, and I oppose calling them franks or wieners or anything else. They are hot dogs, check them out. But it’s the Kosher or the died in the wool, AKA Nathans. Are we joking? No joke? This reminds me a lot of Christine Falls. Attenuate enough you gain distance. You can be the most vile manipulatrix, but one wayknow y’all think I can just babble on as a bad consideration. You ARE WRONG. I GET YOU BETTER THAN YOU GET YOURSSELVE’S. Whatever . You can kiss my ass forever. Whatever we wqy. let’w not mqke big deql out of thiw, KIWW MY QWW, BIGTIME. juwt bqg thie ehit.
    What ever we might say.
    Whatever you think, are you kidding? give it a whack, are you kidding or have you fucked me one way or another? Quewtion is are you buying this or not? Seriously, are you joking or not?

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  56. Suzanne said on July 13, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    And then there is this:

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  57. basset said on July 13, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Somewhere around here I think I have a copy of “The Cuisine of Elvis,” if it survived the flood – anyway, the writer looked up, among other things, Memphis school menus from Elvis’ time at Humes High. The dish that sticks in my mind involved slices of baloney stuffed into muffin tins and topped with a scoop of instant mashed potatoes and a wad of processed cheese. The children of that time and place apparently ate it right up.

    Meanwhile, I am in a fried hot dogs for breakfast phase, probably five morning out of the last seven. Split, blacken, place between slices of Wal-Mart wheat bread, eat while driving. Most convenient, but oh, honey, so declasse.

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  58. Dorothy said on July 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    I have always had an extreme distaste for bologna/baloney. And baked beans.

    Haven’t I told you guys before about my niece Jessica’s favorite mis-speak of her former boss? Boss was quite fond of saying “Oh my gosh, I can’t even phantom what that would feel like!!” We now say that all the time instead of fathom. Another niece regaled us with a story about her dippy friend who, upon seeing some Amish walking through town once, said ‘Oh wow! Look at the Pilgrims!!!’ The world is just overflowing with idiots sometimes.

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  59. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 13, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Kirk, you’re probably correct, unless they’re citing “it’s like ‘deja vu’ all over again” from Yogi Berra.

    Hat tip to Cathie from Canada who beat me to commending to the pub regulars “But I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For the World,” whose phrases & suggestions both have stuck with me for years. Peg Bracken was a marvel.

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  60. Rana said on July 13, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Suzanne, that’s priceless. I bet the parents were hard pressed to not bust out laughing when it went on display at parent-teacher night.

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  61. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Cuisine of Elvis, we mean bananas and peanut butter and crown things on the throne, How are we not full of it? Elvis made some good records, and he also made some drivel. Now what was good and what what horseshit? Most of it, particularly from the movies was garbage. My opinion but I think it’s pretty much indisputable. What ever you think. Let this stand for how we believe. No way if not the way we have this to believe. Here’s the deal. As we say. We are not taking any bullshit but the obvious way we believe. We know for a fact. We don’t need to here from girls about how to consider moving forward, It;s not something to consider. It is a fait accompli. You can’t hold back women that intend freedom. This is my intention, and of course, I’m some guy that will find this wondrous. So if I believe in women liberating themselves, do I get to squeeze more teats? No, but I do believe rhat all of these women are almost Dickens, well no they aren’t close. If they could do that, that would be astounding. They can’t and really nobodody can. But you know, none of these shits can be Ray Davies either.

    Suspicious minds, that was good. In the ghetto, that was pretty good, but Elvis could actually have stepped out and done good in his community and he didn;t, I wouldn’t criticize, but this guy had more money than God and chose to hang with J. Wdgar Hoover. What a maroon Elvis. And the Tiki bar is open. Rhis is all no brain.

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  62. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Gow do any of you bastards give me grief about food? Big bologna sandwiches no shit. My personal stand on this subject is I’m in good shape and I’ll eat what I like. And whatever. You all can kiss my ass. If Nancy is getting pooch, well she’s kinda my friend, and she’s kinda somebody that inspires me, day to day. So I hope she takes care of her self. This isn’t about pounds off or anything absurd like that. I don’t care about Nance’s dealing with her ideal weight. I don;t care about my own. I just want to be sure I have things right. This seems to me fairly obvious.

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  63. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    whatever I said.

    No shit, and whateve, No crap, you are kidding.
    Whatever I said.

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  64. prospero said on July 13, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    No shit. Who knows about how this plays out? You have to play like idiots

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  65. brian stouder said on July 13, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    What Rana said! That gave me a good horse-laugh, too!

    Jeff tmmo, I went leafing into the first part of volume 1 of Burlingame’s Lincoln biography, and on page 26 found this:

    When a parent dies, the quality of the child’s relationship with the surviving parent becomes critically important; inadequate care of the child seems to be a central cause of later depression. In the wake of Nancy’s death, Lincoln’s unsympathetic father failed to provide Abe with adequate care, and partly as a result, Lincoln would be plagued with depression as an adult. At one point Thomas left his two children with their young cousin Sophie Hanks (who had come to live with the Lincolns around 1818) to fend for themselves while he drifted down the Ohio river to sell pork. He again left the children when he wooed Sarah Bush Johnston in Kentucky, where, according to family tradition, he spent more time than he intended to. One source alleged that the children, having given him up for dead, became “almost nude for the want of clothes and their stomachs became leathery from the want of food.” By the time their new stepmother arrived at the end of 1819, she found Sarah and Abe “wild-ragged and dirty,” and thought her stepson “the ugliest chap that ever obstructed my view.”

    (a later passage, on the next page, reports: Arriving in Indiana with her three children, Sarah was takem aback by the quasi-ursine condition of the Lincoln cabin and its inhabitants and quickly proceeded to improve both. “I dressed Abe and his sister up-looked more human,” she recalled. She scrubbed them until they were “well & clean” and eliminated the lice that had taken up residence in Abe’s unruly hair.)

    So – I think you were right, or at least closer to right than me; that imprecise passage seems to suggest a few months of abandonment. (the total time between Nancy’s death and Sarah Bush Johnston’s appearance was 15 months)

    Aside from that, I have one last non-sequitur; a question for the house:

    Isn’t it disconcerting to see the upheaval – and indeed, spreading disintegration – of News Corp?

    Stipulate that Rupert Murdoch is a huge, irredeemable (insert epithet here); stipulate that any crimes committed should be prosecuted and the criminals punished; stipulate that restitution (where applicable) should be paid…

    still, isn’t it deeply unsettling to see these bastions of actually profitable “old-media” (so-called) shudder and then shutter?

    Even after accounting for schadenfreude, I find the continuing (and altogether enthralling) implosion over at News Corp to be an altogether bad thing.

    The British government may fall, but it will be replaced by another in short order. But when century-and-a-half newspapers go down, they’re gone for good. And – aside from whatever Rupert and his top minions did, lots of ink-stained wretches are about to tumble right out of their profession, through no fault of their own, forever.

    Or am I all wrong?

    edit – Prospero, I’m with you, wherever you are

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  66. moe99 said on July 14, 2011 at 12:32 am

    The definition of a true friend is one who says, “Oh, I’m not going to start ‘Dance with Dragons’ for a while so you can read my copy since yours has not arrived from Amazon yet.” I may come up for air a time or two in the next few days, but….. And why is it that my daughter can get her copy in Minneapolis, but mine is two days late and counting???

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  67. prospero said on July 14, 2011 at 3:16 am

    Brian Stouder, I think you are one of those Pete Rose guys, and holy shit, there is no right field deep enough to hide his granite excuse for a glove. If I’m mistaking you for somebody else, my bad. Anyway fuck the Reds, and anybody that doesn’t see Pudge as Bench’s equal is a baseball moron. Much better defensively Probably better thann anybody blocking the plate. Reds fans, Ed Armbrister didn’t cheat? I guess Reds fans think Reggie didn’t stick his fat steroid ass into center field against the Dodgers, and outright cheating in the World Series isn’t heinous. I mean, when you get to a sports pinacle, how do you live with yourself when you know you cheated your ass off? What say, Reggie? You cheated and got away with it. What a flaming asshole. Mr. October? Mr. Cheater or those homers would never have happened, Like some one-name Brazillian soccer player, Feet of clay. Pure bogus. Reggie hit the greatest homer I ever saw, off the light tower at Tiger
    stadium , and then the ahole cheats in the world series? What a shitheel.

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  68. prospero said on July 14, 2011 at 3:27 am

    Moe, What is Dance with Dragons? Is it online? I’m not sure about this. I;m going to bed, and I believe in all sorts of fantsy worlds. Middle Earth, you have to be some sort of jackass not to buy into that reality. It is entirely real. What is more likely? Fucking Boehner? He is a creature of Sauron, or we have to admit there is pure evil.

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  69. prospero said on July 14, 2011 at 3:45 am

    No shit, How we roll, no shit. Y’all are a buncha decent characters, and occasionaly I spout off. I have no reason to think I mean anything but whatever, whoever might be not guilty. If you dont probe somebody guilty, you just move the trial to simi Valley where you dont have to prove anthing but it was a black guy and a blond white woman. Was there a single piece of evidence presented at trial that would lead to deciding OJ Simpson was guilty> Anything? I mean, a single piece of evidence, at all that wasn’t tainted by Mark Fuhrman>

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  70. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 14, 2011 at 7:19 am

    As fun as it is, even for a moderate conservative, to watch hubris meet nemesis in the Murdoch affair, I don’t think this is all about News Corp at all — which is what I think you’re getting at, Brian. This is about what media organizations have long been about (see Pulitzer & Hearst in the appalling facts around the war with Spain), but we’d thought this strain had been bred out of the species. New media & technology haven’t created the latest mutations, but they do allow them to spread quickly across continents.

    I’m a hesitant fan of some dodgy elements of social media because crowd-sourcing and even those ghastly comment threads at times make it harder for the old guard and the good ol’ boys and the backroom crowd to manipulate & manage & create news, at least in the ways they used to. They’re trying to make the old tricks work in new ways, like astroturfing, but they’re getting caught quickly at the game and their cheating. And look at how Hugh Grant busted the busters.

    What I do feel like is that I’m writing for “Frank Leslie’s Illustrated News” circa 1897, and that I can almost tell that everything except for “The Atlantic” magazine is going to change around me, but can’t figure out what to do about it. But “The World” is hiring Cuba correspondents, and it might be kind of interesting . . .

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  71. brian stouder said on July 14, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Prospero, regarding Pete Rose, get back to me when anyone – anyone – else in Major League Baseball amasses 4256 hits. It is one aspect of Rose that cannot be deprecated, whatever else one might say (and with which I might agree)

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  72. prospero said on July 14, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Brian, Pete Rose destroyed Ray Fosse’s brilliant career for no better reason than to prove he was Charlie Hustle, in a fucking exhibition game. What a helluva buncha asshole. And he seriously could not play any position but singles DH. And he was such a disgraceful maroon he bet on the sport he was playing. Maybe his defense is abject stupidity. He is seriously dumb as grunt. And the hits numbers. Had Ichiro started in MLB when he was 20, he’d have 5000 right now, and he would never have bet on a major league baseball game, and he would still be a superior outfielder capable of acrobatic catches. Oh, and Ichiro wouldn’t succumb to roid rage and attack Bud Harrelson.,0,4888894.story

    Pete Rose is an asshole no matter how you look at it. Johnny Bench isn’t and he’s a great ballplayer, but he’s not Campanella.

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  73. Lynn said on July 14, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I used to have the I Hate To Cookbook. Peg said she didn’t feel she needed one of those then-popular toaster covers, since she had never eaten a piece of dusty toast in her life.

    Word misuse pet peeve: Your for you’re. It has almost become common usage.

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  74. prospero said on July 14, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Can’t let this no measure cooking discussion slide without a comment on Justin Wilson, I guarontee. a great man. And understood rice better than anybody. Left behind taking cre of sibling, We believe in family values,

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