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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for the ‘Language’

Yes, we do judge people by their grammar.

December 31, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Language, The Workplace 2 Comments →

oatmeal
Read How To Use An Apostrophe in The Oatmeal.

I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar.
by Kyle Wiens in the HBR blogs
(Please, we don’t even admit their comments. Fine, most of their comments.)

If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me. If you think a semicolon is a regular colon with an identity crisis, I will not hire you. If you scatter commas into a sentence with all the discrimination of a shotgun, you might make it to the foyer before we politely escort you from the building.

Some might call my approach to grammar extreme, but I prefer Lynne Truss’s more cuddly phraseology: I am a grammar “stickler.” And, like Truss — author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves — I have a “zero tolerance approach” to grammar mistakes that make people look stupid.

Now, Truss and I disagree on what it means to have “zero tolerance.” She thinks that people who mix up their itses “deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave,” while I just think they deserve to be passed over for a job — even if they are otherwise qualified for the position.

Everyone who applies for a position at either of my companies, iFixit or Dozuki, takes a mandatory grammar test. Extenuating circumstances aside (dyslexia, English language learners, etc.), if job hopefuls can’t distinguish between “to” and “too,” their applications go into the bin.

Thanks to Ricky for the link.

Baklexicon

December 12, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Language No Comments →

This entry by Leo Abaya.

baklexicon

When the copy-editing is the disaster

November 12, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Language 2 Comments →

tycoon
From JimRomenesko.com. Thanks to Juan for the alert.

MHL has jumped the shark

October 10, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Language, Television 2 Comments →

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The GMA telenovela My Husband’s Lover started off pretty well. The acting was solid, the writing eluded cheap cliché, it attempted a sensitive treatment of its subject matter, and even if its theme song made our ears ring, it was fun to watch.

Then it became a huge hit, wrecking the competition and making stars of its lead performers. Perhaps the network did not expect that kind of success. Maybe the advertisers were cautious about supporting a show that had the audience rooting for the gay lover over the legal wife.

The advertisers came around in time—we’d be shocked if MHL didn’t have a full commercial load. But the network made some weird choices, almost as if they had panicked.

The story took a turn for the bizarre, borrowing a plot line straight out of Praybeyt Benjamin (or if you’re old enough to remember, Kumander Gringa and Facifica Falayfay). The domineering father forces the gay son to undergo military training to “set him straight”. There is less and less screen time for the two appealing leads, and more time for macho dad to make like Max Alvarado (We miss him) as the Big Bad Wolf in a kindergarten production of The Three Little Pigs. The absolute low point: Vincent (Tom Rodriguez) calls his dad the general (Roi Vinzons) to say he’s got a gun and is going to shoot himself. General Dad cradles his phone between his shoulder and his ear so he can have his hands free to clap as he says, “Magaling, magaling, magaling.” Yucch! (Kuh Ledesma was a revelation, though. Her reaction to her character’s son’s coming out (“We’ll bring you to a doctor…We’ll see a priest…”) was spot on.)

Having dug themselves into this hole, the makers of the show dug deeper, hoping perhaps to come out on the other side. General Dad has been bad, so they make Mom leave him, they give him HIV, and have him charged with attempted murder. Meanwhile Vincent recovers fully from a bullet to the head, and the only trace of that suicide attempt is his charming bonnet.

MHL was supposed to run for 16 weeks. It premiered on 10 June, which means it should’ve ended 27 September. We are typing this on 10 October, and from what we’ve seen on tonight’s episode, the network doesn’t know how to end the show. MHL is meandering along, looking for something to crash into so it can die a natural death. Yikes, they’re doing a concert this weekend. We’re guessing that every cast member is going to render the Kuh Ledesma song.

In other words, as Ricky put it, My Husband’s Lover has jumped the shark. “Jumping the shark” alludes to an episode on the American TV show Happy Days in which The Fonz, on water skis, jumps over a shark. It means “to pass the peak of creativity, excellence, or inspiration, as evidenced by a decline in quality or performance.”

While we deplore the outcome of a show that had so much promise, we are pleased to be able to use a new expression. MHL, when the shark comes around again, try to jump into its maw. Leave us now. It’s time.

Symposium on Philippine English

September 14, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Language 1 Comment →

Oxford University Press (OUP), the Department of English and Applied Linguistics (DEAL) of De La Salle University (DLSU) and the Linguistic Society of the Philippines (LSP) present the Philippine English Symposium, to be held on Saturday, September 14 on the 5th Floor of the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall of De La Salle University on Taft Avenue, Manila.

The symposium, whose theme is “Philippine English: Trends, issues and challenges,” will bring together various language stakeholders to tackle linguistic and socio-cultural issues concerning the use of English in the Philippines.

The free symposium will be attended by around 500 members of the Filipino English-speaking community, who will come to Manila from all over the Philippines. Participants will also be invited to contribute to the new Pinoy English Community Dictionary, a project sponsored by Oxford University Press (OUP) that aims ultimately to create a web-based, crowd-sourced dictionary of Philippine English.

Co-organizing the symposium is Dr. Danica Salazar, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in English Language Lexicography of the University of Oxford. Her research involves helping widen the OED’s coverage of Philippine words, and she is also OUP’s expert consultant on the Pinoy English Community Dictionary project. “This project is a recognition of Philippine English as a variety of the language in its own right,” says Dr. Salazar. “The public’s enthusiastic response to the symposium is a sign of increasing openness towards adopting our own local standards when using English.”

Aside from Drs. Dita and Salazar, symposium speakers include Dr. Ariane Borlongan and Dr. Danilo Dayag of DLSU, Dr. Aileen Salonga of the University of the Philippines-Diliman and Dr. Alejandro Bernardo from the University of Santo Tomas. The symposium will conclude with a round-table discussion featuring all symposium speakers, along with Ms. Jessica Zafra, columnist of InterAksyon.com, Mr. Reynaldo Binuya, English Coordinator for Basic Education of La Consolacion College-Caloocan, Ms. Kriza Kamille Santos, English Department Head of Divine Mercy College Foundation, and Freddie Sale, BSE-English student at DLSU. These last four panelists represent non-linguists who use Philippine English in their daily professional practice and thus play an important role in its development.

Anthimeria: Verbing nouns, nouning adjectives

June 05, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Language 3 Comments →

Playing with grammar is an easy way for advertising agencies to grab our attention. Rhetoricians call switching a word from one part of speech to another “anthimeria”. One particular way of doing it has caught the copywriters’ fancy. Virgin Atlantic is “flying in the face of ordinary”. Sky television in Britain invites you to “believe in better”. An Asus computer is the answer if you’re “in search of incredible”. Bergdorf Goodman, the luxury-goods store, is celebrating “111 years of extraordinary”. Yes, welcome to quirky. Welcome to edgy. Welcome to nounified.

Read Think Similar at More Intelligent Life.

And here’s a cat sending an urgent fax.
katze-fax
from Das Kraftfuttermischwerk