Setting the Record Straight

June 12, 2008

Lessons from the StraightRecord Schoolmarm

Things Your Grammar Shoulda Told Ya, Part I

     Turn off your TV the next time you hear “near miss” or “midair.” These speakers don’t really mean a “near miss.” The anchors breathed in too much hairspray. What they really mean is “near collision.”
     This one we know we will never win: “midair collision,” explosion or whatever. Have you ever heard anyone say sideair or top air or bottom air? A simple “collision in the air” would suffice, thank you.
     Stop the speaker when you hear “a lion’s share,” and find out what he or she really means. The phrase actually means only “all of it,” not “most of it.” Unless you’re another lion, you’re not going to get a share.
     And when you hear “each and every one.” What’s the difference? How about just “each” or “every one,” or better yet, “all.”
     Some things are accepted today when they would not have been accepted in the past. For clarity, please mind the difference.
     For example, a newspaper recently advertised for “an aggressive police reporter.” Poor thing that got the job probably got beat up by the cops the first day on the job. Let us hope the newspaper got the assertive reporter it was seeking. Aggressive carries with it an intent to do harm. Assertive is just putting one’s self forward.
     Why say “period of time.” What else would a period signify, but time or the end of a sentence or a menstrual cycle?
     And we love this from those TV anchor types: “If you are  seeing this….” Well, duh, you ain’t on radio.


Some Age-Old Questions Answered

Chicken or Egg

     It’s supposedly an age-old question: which came first, the chicken or the egg.
     Organic evolution says the egg came first.
     This is an over-simplification, but every living thing procreates by forming some sort of seed that grows into similar living thing. Eventually, the seed became an egg in some species and then somewhere along the evolutionary path, a chicken emerged from an egg.

Tree falling in the woods

     Another supposedly age-old question: if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound?
     No, it does not.
     The crash of the falling tree emits wavelengths that are interpreted by some living things, such as humans, to be sound. If no species capable of hearing is around to interpret the wavelengths as sound, then there is no sound.



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