Friday, June 19, 2009

The cat still has DIARRHEA. How do I know? Because Mrs. Ditchman literally screamed when she saw the stairs this morning, which were iced with it. Mrs. Ditchman: "In his defense, he was trying to make it to the litter box. The trail goes up." I'd post a picture, but I'd rather that Blogger did not terminate my service at this time. We're going on a week now, with this feline distemper or whathaveyou, and we're beginning to fear the worst. The only thing I've gained from the experience is a lessened desire to own pets (when the kids are plenty) and the knowledge of how to spell DIARRHEA seared into my orthographic memory bank. (You know there's an 'H' in there somewhere, next to all those 'R's, but where exactly does it go?)

It's spelled "DIARRHEA", in case you were wondering, but the Brits spell it with an extra 'O', as in "DIARRHOEA".

Fine. Weird, but fine. I think I'm more annoyed by poor spelling today than ever before, mostly because there's no excuse for it, since the computer does it all for you. I see misspellings on the Associated Press newswire all the time and I think, what's their excuse? Is the news really happening that fast, that they can't pause for a split-second and indulge in pushing the SpellChek button? Then again, the computer never seems to get that wrong-word situation. I've done SpellCheks before with the result of no inaccuracies, whereby I pat myself proudly on the back, only to re-read the blog days later and find that it makes no cents at all. Less annoyed am I by bad grammar, which I indulge in ceaselessly, and yet must annoy you all. (Sorry!) Even worse: sloppy writing. Overused cliches, uninteresting asides, and the thoughtless repetition of dumb phrases one uses when they're too lazy to actually write. I'm talking about me, here, since that last sentence was all direct objects and no verbs. Speaking of diarrhea, I know some days you click on to the blog to see what's up with me, and it's just an arduous chore to read: "And then and then and then and anyway anyway and then and of course, you know?" as my words trail up the stairs like the aforementioned unmentionable. And I begin sentences with conjunctions. One thing I must add: I fully recognize that my use of the colon is no better than my cat's. So, apologies all around. I know reading my work can be punishing, and the double-meaning of the word "sentence" is not lost on this blog.

Thus ends our daily retraction. Or whatever. (Which is my current favorite sentence.)

Spelling Bees seem to me a kind of torture nowadays, in which children are forced to learn something that all modern machines handle in a manner akin to waving away flies. I see those kids rattling off letters and think, Wow, they don't even know what that word means -but they can spell the sh!t out of it! I would like to see the kids define the words and then use them in a sentence, which would be an endeavor with some usefulness. I mean, they should just go for it with "logorrhea" or "intercrural" or "callipygous" but, hey, that's what it takes to impress me. I heard that there are people out there who protest Spelling Bees for exactly this reason, so I googled "spelling bee protest" and got something a bit different:

Yes, they are protesting the spellings of the words, suggesting that there are self-righteous, sanctimonious zealots of all kinds out there. Okay, well, they do have a point, when you think about it. I would join them, actually, but I left my asshat at the "Fire David Letterman" rally. Anyway, (Of course! But then! And so!) feel free to let me know if my wordage leaves your head spinning. You might actually make a difference in someone.

I have so much work to do today, I don't know what excuses me to sit here and avoid it all. But it's hard too right good. It takes effort. So do patio covers.

Have a grate weekend.

Furthermore, it occurs to me that the man who invents the "Rewrite" application for Microsoft Office will reap millions and make the world a better, more interesting place. Unnecessary kerfuffles between divergent cultures will be avoided. Peace will come. He'll win the Nobel prize. I'll get write on it.

Coming Monday: BUTTERFLY GARDEN PROGRESS REPORT! (Stay tuned, but try not to expect much.)



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