Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My friend and fellow grammarian, Damian Kulash, is now picking fights on blogs. Words are being said over which words are being said. Go read the thrust and the parry and then weigh in on the obsessiveness of it all. Extra points to Andy, Darbie & Jade who weighed in before you did.

Lots more extra points to the first person who, refusing to defend Damian, instead insists that utilizing the word 'officious' instead of one of its less snobby synonyms is a worse crime than utilizing the word 'utilize.' And extra, extra points if that person then gets Damian to respond in a comment, with even more points given if it turns into an argument, and infinite points given in the highly unlikely event that it's an argument Damian loses. More extra points for defending Damian in either the primary or (as yet non-existent) secondary argument. And even more extra points will be given for humor, nit-pickiness, and needlessly bringing in the names of other bands, including, but not limited to, ? and the Mysterians, !!!, and Five For Fighting, a band name that could mean so many different things, depending on how you punctuate.

Let the nonsense begin, or rather, continue: BlogFight!


Anonymous karleigh the fabulous said...

Well, as confused as I am, I do know who ? and the Mysterians is. So, 96 tears anyone?

7:26 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Haha. I *heart* ? and the Mysterians.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Think Frustrated said...

Ok, you guys...

I was watching my super-awesome Comcast on-demand music videos and it said that you guys are a "rock band from Sweeden." (BTW I laughed my ass off at your little dance in "Million Ways.")

I always thought you(s) were from Chi-Town, The Second City, Shit-cago. What's the deal. Is it Sweeden, or is it Chicago????

(Another BTW...I am sort of feeling the Sweeden thing by the way you look in that above-mentioned video----Swedes tend to look as stupid as you looked)

9:38 PM  
Blogger Katy* said...

So I've left my two cents over there, and called into question Damian's use of the word "officious," because it seems really out of context. Let's see if he says anything back...

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to agree with those many females disagreeing with Damian; I’m usually all for the misguided cementing of the sisterly bond through ganging up on the males. In this case, however, I have to concede. (I should have predicted this, as the entire debate is more or less based on [insert euphemism for bullshit] gleaned from varying degrees of research and informed by a similar range of horniness, compounded by the fact that Damian was a semiotics major. Aside from my own majors, semiotics as a field of study is a type of bullshit [Yes, I’m just going for it there.] so thick and rich that I’ve found it to be the compost of the Humanities.)

In any case, the “use” or “utilize” argument is much like the rule children learn in kindergarten geometry: a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square. “Utilize” can be spoken/written/etc. instead of “use,” but “use cannot always stand in for “utilize.” (It also may be helpful to review Damian’s first post, in which he addresses the problem/solution of context.) The interchangeability of the words in modern usage, however, is colored by audience perception. How many times have I gleefully watched “Judge Judy” only to see her give the You’re-Simply-Dumb-As-Piss look to some trailer-dwelling defendant attempting to appear intelligent by saying “he had axed me a question” rather than “he axed me a question”? What I want to make clear is the fact that the defendant’s use of the imperfect tense was not intended to convey that the person axing the question did it multiple times and that the axing was not, as would have been implied by the use of the perfect tense, a one-time affair. Instead, the defendant chose to add the “had” in order to influence how Judy and the court of public opinion would judge her; she wanted to be perceived as bright. (The paltry success of this device is a topic I don’t wish to tackle.)

Similarly, those who employ “utilize” instead of “use” in situations where the latter would suffice, at least in my view, deserve any ridicule that should come their way for their thinly veiled attempts to seem eloquent. (It is possible, however, that either a more earnest or more successfully sneaky treatment of drawing on the Fancy Word, that is, the lack of veil or application of a thicker veil, would eliminate the desire to mock the user.) “Use” is a more colloquial form of many, many verbs and verb phrases; the derision of one who substitutes “utilize” for the sake of variety is less warranted, especially if he/she is operating in the realm of communication more formal than spoken conversation.

In such conversation, it is decidedly not disturbing to come across the random, though not randomly misplaced or misused, Big Word. It is inspiringly surprising that intelligence is gaining ground as modern currency and commendable – either as a triumph of tolerance or true wit – that one could more or less correctly exercise one’s vocabulary when inebriated. Especially in L.A.

3:04 AM  
Anonymous Felster said...

I will utilize utilize when ever I want... especially when I am doing physics/organic chem labs and I want to use the longest words possible (ehm... my report will seem longer...). Im not as elequent or full of words as the poster above me... il just say that when trying to be formal, people try to sound formal... even though it might seem like they are trying to be an ass.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

me thinks jorge is bored...

2:45 AM  
Anonymous Rianne said...

True love = researching grammar for another's amusement. We are such tools.

Either that, or all of us are nerdy, punctilious grammar Nazis.

Probably a combination of both. Whereby a mere tools morph into DEADLY WEAPONS!*

*only applicable to petty academic arguments

4:08 AM  
Anonymous margaret-et-et-et-et (but call me meg, please) said...

hey hey hey hey hey...

I so totally responded right after jade!

and I so totally was the first person to actually add anything to the discussion!!

I should definitely get points, you know.

oh well.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous margaret/meg said...

no offense to thoise who posted ahead of me, their posts were still very important....

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a brutal and degrading comment, anonymous. You don't insult someones major.
Although, those of us who actually had to study during college would have to agree with you.

2:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not related to "BlogFight":

I heard "A Million Ways" on the radio last night. It was very exciting because I've never heard anything by you on the radio.

(Just thought I'd throw that out there)

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Caroline Marie said...

Grammar Nazi? Grammar Nazi did you say? Try this on for your grammar Nazi size:

9:38 PM  
Blogger Katy* said...

Not related to "BlogFight," but related to what anonymous said:

The night I saw the guys play Northampton back in early November, I had the radio on, and the station did one of those self-adverts- you know, "This is the Valley's only Progressive rock station, 93.9, the River"- and the played the first two seconds of "Invincible" and then the first two seconds of "A Million Ways" as the background to the ad. I was flipping out in the bathroom.

So now 93.9 is like the only station I listen to.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous nicole said...

heres one:

how about prince's symbol?

how did you pronounce that?

12:16 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home