In Which a Good 75% of You Will Glaze Over By Paragraph Four
Life in Color

More From the Mail Bag. Or Comment Bag. Whatever.

Hmm, okay. So yesterday's post was kind a of preachy "we're all fucked and going to die" thing, wasn't it? Let's change the subject. More topics and questions posed by you, the people:

From Danielle:

I remember you mentioned doing the 30 day shred a while ago.. How did that work out? Did you stick with it for 30 days? Did you do it more than once a day? Have your abs been shredded?? Should I try it? Would you ever even in a million years consider posting a before and after pic? Am I being way too forward??

My all-time record is doing it once a day, every day, for a week. Then maybe once every other day. Then there was something on TV that I really wanted to see and I decided I needed new sneakers but never bought new sneakers because sneakers cost money that could otherwise be spent on more wine. In other words, I've failed each and every time I've committed to the workout, for no other reason than the fact that I am one lazy ass motherfucker. It's a short workout, it's diabolically effective (seriously, the difference in your energy/endurance/strength between day one and day four and five is insane)...and yet. Couch. Mmmm, couch. I love you, couch!

From Kathlyn:

How did you pick your kids names? And what are your grammar pet peeves (if you have any)?  (I have my own, but am still awful with certain rules - just tried to figure out if it should be "kids names" or "kids' names" and failed miserably. MS degree = worth NOTHING!!!)  OR are there any grammar rules/spelling rules/etc can you never remember??

Both of the boys' names are from the Old Testament, which for whatever reason was the only source of names that Jason and I could agree on. Neither of us are much for the uber-modern off-the-wall names, but while I preferred classic names that have simply fallen out of recent favor, Jason liked boring names that all belonged to jackasses I went to high school with. While neither of us are actively religious anymore, we both found we had a high amount of nostalgia for the names we grew up listening to in Sunday School, and I was pretty hellbent on finding names that didn't have an obvious nickname that would eventually be pointless to fight. Noah was perfect.

Ezra was our number-one pick from pretty much the beginning (I especially loved it because of the literary connotations: Ezra Pound and Ezra Jack Keats, and because it seemed unlikely to rocket up in the top 10 like Noah did), but we did alternately take turns panicking over the idea of it being too weird. (Even though it's a freaking BOOK of the BIBLE, and not some random name we picked out of a endless genealogy list or something, like Heppiziah begat Harppiziah begat Asghdkvoieofjdlasiah. But most people aren't familiar with the lesser-known book names.) Even after announcing his name, we almost backtracked when he was three days old and almost wrote Elijah on the birth certificate, after two separate people heard the name and assumed he was a girl. (Ironically, Jason wanted to name the baby Ezra either way, boy or girl, because he is a filthy name poacher who leaves zero good names for boys.) (We've met at least three girl Noahs already. If the "old men with long white beards" names aren't safe, the world has truly gone mad.) Anyway, we obviously stuck with our first choice and the Mighty Ez is here to stay. ZAH!

Middle names: Corbin is the Latin version of my maiden name, and Harrington is Jason's mother's maiden name. And with that, we're officially out of decent family names. It's all Elmers and Mortimers and Ediths after that.

As for grammar pet peeves, the misplaced plural/possessive apostrophe drives me BATSHIT. Jesus Lord God. Here, people, IT'S EASY:

RIGHT: I don't like blogs because I don't think bloggers are good writers.

WRONG: I don't like blog's because I don't think blogger's are good writer's.

RIGHT: I cannot stand that blogger's overuse of the caps lock key.

WRONG: I cannot stand that bloggers overuse of the cap's lock key.

Got it? Good. Please don't ever do it again.

That said, I have always struggled with the "i before e except after c" rule, and totally have to pause and recite the rhyme and squint at the word for awhile. And usually the word is "piece." I don't know why, but I always, ALWAYS type "peice" the first time and have to correct myself. Oh, and correct use of lie/lay/lying. Trips me up all the damn time.

From Bliz:

I always love a good embarrassing puberty story...

Oh, God. Okay. So at some point in early high school I realized that my boobs were probably never going to...you know...BLOOM. I was quite...small. ("WAS." HA HA. HAAAA.) So I did what every hugely insecure girl does at one point or another: I bought a ridiculously padded push-up bra and stuffed it with tissues.

The problem was that, since I didn't exactly have much money and I didn't want my mom to know I was buying lacy devil black underthings, I bought my ridiculously padded push-up bra at, like, TJ Maxx or something. It was an IRREGULAR ridiculously padded push-up bra. It hooked in the front and sat like four inches of rigid boob armor under my clothes, and the front hook had this bad habit of coming undone.

Now, most women, after realizing that a bra has a tendency to UNHOOK ITSELF, would maybe think: I should not wear this bra anymore. I should return it. Or throw it out. Something, anything, other than wearing this bra out in public in front of people.

Me: But it adds TWO WHOLE CUP SIZES. Three, if you add tissues! I will wear it and just like...not move my arms much.

Wait, sudden backstory! I was also -- Oh, God -- a total drama nerd and was part of this church acting troupe that specialized in Abstinence Sketches. Seriously. Everything we ever did was all about Sex, and the Not Having It. We performed for youth groups and churches and occasionally a public school would have us visit their sex ed class and talk about how pointless it was to use condoms and birth control because of the failure rates. Don't even BOTHER, man. Abstinence! Jazz hands! We were "directed" by some grad student from Princeton who was really into avant garde theater, so most of the sketches were like, waaaay symbolic and shit, involving people tying red strings to each other's wrists to represent your emotional and physical tie to everybody you ever had sex with, and by the end of the show we were all twisted up in the strings and couldn't move and one time I had to pretend that the string strangled me and I died. Of premarital sex and disease and a broken heart and probably a back alley abortion. ANYWAY. IT WAS DEEP. ALSO CO-ED.

Since avant garde abstinence theater troupes are like, totally the place to land yourself a totally not-gay boyfriend, I had a crush on one of my fellow actors. I don't remember anything about him except that his father sold Amway. And the time that we were talking after rehearsal (IN THE CHURCH, IN FRONT OF JESUS) and I was telling him a story and made some kind of big, swooping arm gesture...

...and my factory-second push-up bra unhooked, sending the four-inch molded cups flying into my armpits, and when I frantically snapped my arms back down and folded them desperately across my chest, praying to Jesus that I looked somewhat natural and that he hadn't noticed, mentally repenting for the sin of vanity and secular underwear...

...all the tissues fell out of my shirt and landed on the floor. 

Yeah, he noticed. A little bit. There's just no coming back from that one, you guys.

Comments

Daisy

First: HAHAHAHAHA. Tissue-boob stories are the *best* - in retrospect of course.

Second, my nephew's name is from the Bible and sometimes people give me such a weird look when I say his name, as though to say "Where did your brother find that one?" and it takes every ounce of self control to not say "It is from the Bible, asshat." Mostly becuase Bible + asshat in the same sentence seems sacrilege, no?

Thirdly (ha! grammar pet peeve of my own!) Elmer is in fact a family name I have to deal with. So it Marlene, Melvin, Elery (whaat?)and....Enus. Yes. Enus. NO one can beat that. I dare you to try.

Isabel

I love posts like this. We need more of them.

I have a hard time when people question my son's name or think it's weird, etc. His name is also in the Bible (he doesn't have his own book, but still, IN THE BIBLE). I figure if that doesn't give his name credibility....then nothing will.

(I won't say anything about his middle name because yeah, it's unusual.)

Anyabeth

I am probably defending dirty name poachers that should not be defended but Noa is the feminine of Noah and fairly popular in Israel. So maybe all the girl Noahs you have encountered have been Israeli?

Judy

That errant apostrophe annoys me no end, too. I work in a law firm and the managing partner, although an attorney AND a CPA, has no clue on spelling/grammar and will consistently dictate "it - i-t-apostrophe-s" when wanting to show possession. I refuse to do it (just as I refused to use his spelling of "dyke" for the earthen walls that hold back water) but some of the secretaries here are so in awe of his power, they type it just like he says it. GRRRR.

Martha

Can't....breathe....laughing....tooooo...hard!!!

Sorry for your pubety trnauma. I can't top it, either. Uless it's the tampons flying out of your purse in front of your crush and a-l-l-l-l his friends as you sit on the steps of the common area during lunch.

Judy

Oh - anyabeth - the only girl Noah I've heard of is Miley Cyrus' younger sister. I don't think they are Israeli.

Amalah

Anyabeth: Possible with the random playground shouting encounter, but I can attest that there was a Noah in our preschool last year who was definitely not, and included the H. Her sister had a masculine ending-in-son name too.

Megan@Blueberry Scones

Oh, man, embarrassing puberty stories are the best/worst!

Karen Chatters

Oh the tissues, that's so embarrassing. I was the one who was always all scrunched over trying to hide the huge boobs I had by 13. Puberty sucks on so many levels.

Georgia

I am literally, no joke, copying and pasting your grammar rules to a Word doc because - oh my god apostrophe s's are the DEVIL and they want my soul.

Also? I, a fellow A-cupper for life, bought a purple, padded to hell, snap in the front bra from Mervin's when I was in 8th grade. I was fooling no one, of course, but I actually thought the odd protrusions from my chest looked real. "Rigor mortis" is a perfect description.

Oana

Your second "RIGHT" isn't actually! It's bloggers, not blogger's.

Trista

There are two BOYS named Ezra the school my kids go to...However...it is a Christian School.

Best weirdo names go to my nephews. My BIL and SIL are HILL-JACK REDNECKS. Seriously. Their first born is named Powers. (as in Super) And if that's not bad enough, they gave him his grandfather's name HALL as a middle name. NOW...say it together...POWERS HALL. Faster!! POWERSHALL!! Faster! POWERSAW!! You can't even make this up.

Powers' (did I do it right?) younger brother's name is Levi. Which in and of itself is an ok name. But they gave him his other grandfathers middle name Lee. LEVI LEE. Nothing like being named after two brands of jeans.

SO I didn't feel a bit bad about naming our son Jayden Wyatt (he's 9..WAY before Jayden became popular..AND there is a JADEN in the Bible) and our daughter Vivian Claire...

CJ

We named my son Adrian in Sept 2005, just as Aidan was becoming The Name of the moment. He now goes through life getting called Aidan almost as often as his actual name. I have given up trying to correct people. Even his preschool teacher called him Aidan for the first week.

My grammar pet peeve is when people use "I" instead of "me" for the direct object. As in "it was for my husband and I". It's the grammar equivalent of fingernails on the blackboard.

Whitney

Well, Oana beat me to it. The second RIGHT is actually wrong. (Which I would never ever point out if you weren't discussing the whole grammar pet peeve thing.) However, it made laugh along with the tissue story. So, a win over all. (A win for funny... not so much a win for the puberty version of Amalah.)

Clare

I'm probably about to get this horribly wrong because nobody likes a smart arse, including fate, but Oana, i think Amy has it right. The apostrophe in "I cannot stand that blogger's overuse of the caps lock key" is to indicate the possessive - ie the overuse belongs to the blogger. The possessive apostrophe I have trouble with is the one which produces a double s. So James's or James'.....? And now I'll get back in my box, because Lordy, I am dull. Ehem.

Danielle

Thanks for answering my question!
The socks that I stuffed in my bra fell out during a ride on the ferris wheel.. ahh the glory of youth. hahah

denice

oh...okay. i was with the Oana group originally and was going to say you had the second RIGHT wrong but now that i read Clare's comment i'm seeing it differently. depends on how you read it.

THAT blogger's overuse (one blogger, overusing)

that BLOGGERS overuse (many bloggers, overusing)

and i assume you meant the one blogger scenario. well done, Clare.

also, so glad i never stuffed my naturally teeny bra. because i think my parents would have been really annoyed with me for making them move to another country afterward.

PomJob

Amen on the apostrophes thing. I've thought about starting a blog, misplacedappostrophes.com and maybe calling it Misplaced Apostrophe's. People can send in photos. I'll be an internet rock star.

Kate

No, the second "right" is right! It is talking about the overuse by one blogger of the caps lock key -- that one blogger's action. Aaaaand now my inner Catholic school grammar textbook and I will pipe down. As you were...

Swistle

I can't ever remember how to spell achieve, receive (ha, spellchecker caught me on BOTH of those and I totally did them opposite from each other hoping to get one right!), etc. But I always get "etc." right and also I am pretty good with possessives. You know what drives me crazy is when people don't know how to do their OWN FAMILY NAME. Like "The Smith's." AAAAAAAAAAAGHHH!!!

CJ

Oana and Whitney - Amy was right, but I can see your confusion. In her sentence, "that" is a pronoun and "that blogger's overuse" is referencing the overuse of one specific blogger. In this case, overuse is a noun belonging to the single blogger. The sentence you were thinking of would be about bloggers in general, "that" would be a conjunction and "overuse" would be a verb: "I cannot stand that bloggers overuse the cap's lock key".

Sorry - I love grammar.

Miss 2 cents

The whole Noah/Noa biblical/boy/girl name is straightforward if you speak Hebrew.

Noa = pronounce it just as it looks. Two syllables, no + ah. Girl name.

Noah = pronounced with a hard, back-of-the-throat "H" sound. two syllables, no + achh. Boy name (as in the guy who builds the ark.)

Of course, us all being anglophones in this country, the male Noah tends to be pronounced the same as the girl Noa...and some people decide to spell feminine versions of the name with a final 'h' because to them it doesn't make a difference...and we get name gender confusion ACHHHHHHH!

(and hence you can practice the back of the throat 'h' sound. Hehe.)

Danielle

As a PhD student specializing in children's lit, I just wanted to thank you for placing Ezra Jack Keats and Ezra Pound on equal footing in terms of literary importance. : )

Also, it's "kids' names."

CJ

Doh - caps lock key, not cap's. I love grammar but I still mess it up!

Liz M.

As one of my fellow grad students put it, most people use apostrophes to warn readers "Watch out! Here comes an 'S'!!!"

sheilah

Hehehe...you knew the tissues were gonna fall, but it was funny waiting for them. This is one thing that has never happened to me as I was 'blessed' with humungous tatas in the 6th grade. Yeah...got a LOT of teasing thankyouverymuch.

My grammar pet peeve is its/it's and their/there/they're. It's (abbreviation for 'it is') not that hard, people...

Brenda

Can't say that I ever had the tissue in the bra issue. Boys thought I stuffed my bra in th 6th grade. Yea for maturing in the 5th grade.

I'm a grammar dissaster. How I even graduated from HS is a miracle. To this day!

michele

to help you with piece - think "piece of pie"
now can you help me with receive?

Ris

AHAHAHA this story made me laugh out loud! Love it.

Melissa

My favorite part of this is that I read it all, every word, intently to the end, great story. And when I got to the end I snorted. Thanks :)

Olivia

How embarassing. I've heard a few "stuffed bra" embarassing stories, but as an early (and quite large) developer, I've always wondered if a story like yours is more embarassing than being cat-called (and various other comments) at 13 years old when you are just trying to play basketball.

On the names: I know I'm not shouldn't make fun, but seriously? Who names their girl Noah? It seems like there are soooo many girl names out there, and lots of androgynous names, too. Why give your girl a name that has been used for boys for centuries?

Beth

LULZ AMY, just LULZ

Olivia

Now I've read all the comments.

Trista, maybe you know this, but there is an actor named Powers Boothe. So maybe your nephews name was inspired by him?

Whitney

Retracting previous statement... I was reading it as bloggers as a group... Not one in particular.

This is what I get for doing what I despise most and correcting someone... Know-it-allness... She be a harsh mistress.

Shannon

Ugh, I think the grammar door should just remain closed. There are so many errors that are now mainstream, it gets all confusing. How 'bout remembering to put the period and comma INSIDE the quotation marks? ALWAYS. No Question. When places, such as 'Jeopardy,' does not follow this simple rule, how is the average person suppose to?

Parsing Nonsense

Oh my gosh, great puberty story!! At least you were bold enough to try it. I, on the other hand, was always too afraid to stuff my bra because I was afraid an impromptu deluge of water would out my secret.

An impromptu deluge. In southern California...Clearly I had been watching too many commercials wherein the enjoyment of soda leads to spontaneous pool parties.

flox

I'm going to feel like a huge bitch for pointing this out; so I'll preface it by saying I'm a huge fan and loyal reader. Rock on!

So. This is one of my grammar irks:
"While neither of us ARE actively religious anymore..."

Neither one of us IS, both of us ARE. It's totally minor compared to apostrophe catastrophes and their/they're/there confusion.

Besos!

Lindsay

I just had a kid and there was this tiny chance it could be a boy, in which case *I* wanted it to be Jacob Eden. And my husband, DESPITE the names Jayden, Hayden, Braden, Aiden, and Caden being in the FREAKING TOP TEN most popular names last year, totally nixed this and gave the excuse that kids would make fun of the name Eden. He is not into the trendy names thing anyway, so I think he was just equating Eden with placenames like London and Africa and what have you, but even so.

Ultimately it didn't matter since we had a girl and named her Rachel. Which in retrospect weirds me out just a little because Jacob MARRIED Rachel in the Bible. So we had husband and wife Bible names picked out for the same kid? Is that weird?

Sprite's Keeper

I recite "i before e" myself..
Although my bigger peeve is there, they're, and their. Misuse of those will make want to find a red pen and start circling at random. I should have been an English teacher.

Molly

Trista, Levi Lee is hilarious. My last name is Hall, and my husband has a cousin named Tajma. Yes. Tajma Hall. Like in India. And my husband's family is not of Indian descent. I thought he was teasing me until I actually met her.

My grammar pet peeves are their/there/they're, and when people misuse "me" and "I". Like "John and me went to the store." Arg! Can't you hear that it's wrong?

I always mess up "affect" and "effect" and have such a hard time keeping them straight that I will try to find some other way to convey my point rather than use one of them, because I am never positive which one is right.

Katie

My underwear once fell out of my bag while we were checking into church camp, in front of the cutest counselor there. I was mortified the rest of the week and never did that counselor's activities. The trauma of being twelve...

But I'm really commenting because I had to add that I always remember "piece" because you have a "piece" of "pie." I could never remember it before I leared that rule.

Amalah

Heh. I knew I'd get slammed for a grammar error while being too busy bitching about my specific eyelid-twitchers. (Also in the running, the misuse of your/you're).

The ARE/IS confusion is totally my mistake, the result of a hasty rewording of the beginning of the sentence. Which, BTW, is one of my all-time best tricks: messing with the subject to keep my sentence openers from sounding repetitive...and then neglecting to notice that I've changed the subject/verb agreement. I ARE THE AWESOME.

But yes, my second "RIGHT" example is talking about a singular blogger's overuse of caps lock. If I was talking about bloggers in general and plural, the whole sentence would be kind of weird because the word 'THAT' wouldn't really make any sense. It would need to be: "I cannot stand bloggers' misuse of the caps lock key."

Grammar nerds UNTIE!

Bachelor Girl

Oh, Amy. I am simultaneously cringing for you and laughing my ass off.

(I guess that means I'm kind of a bitch.)

(But not too much of one because I'm still cringing.)

grammar nerd

An end to your apostrophe uncertainty: http://apostrophe.me/

Karen

Today on lifehacker.com they had a post talking about http://apostrophe.me which is a site that shows how to properly use apostrophes. Since I read their article meer minutes after your entry, I just had to share. Enjoy!

Audra

My grammer beef of the moment: my mother-in-law puts quotation marks around any word that strikes her fancy. Example:
The dog crossed the street. For her this could be: "The" dog crossed the street. or The dog crossed the "street". She honestly has no concept of what they are for.

Aunt Becky

Pretty sure I lost at least 17 pounds ordering The Shred.

Britt

I'm bad with apostrophes, but my brother is worse. He either leaves them out completely or adds them randomly. I once sent him an IM filled with them. In case he had run out.

If you need a hand with apostrophes, this is brilliant: http://apostrophe.me/

Britt

Arrggg. I didn't see that grammar nerd had beat me to the punch with the link. Must. Have. More. Coffee!

Amelia

Poor 30 Day Shred... getting no love in the comments section.
I'll give some: great workout, I kept it up for *almost* 30 days and I felt a huge difference in my abs especially. But, BUT: If you have EVER given birth, go pee before you even start. It's a pants-wetter.

molly

ahahahaha i adore puberty stories. i also had one of those bras that clips in the front, which was fine while the clasp was, you know, new, i guess. but after a while plastic sort of wears down and doesn't clip as satisfyingly, and in first period math... pop there it went. i ran like my arms were glued to my side all the way to the bathroom, spent the day panicking, and never wore it again. who the hell invented those front clips anyway?!

molly

ahahahaha i adore puberty stories. i also had one of those bras that clips in the front, which was fine while the clasp was, you know, new, i guess. but after a while plastic sort of wears down and doesn't clip as satisfyingly, and in first period math... pop there it went. i ran like my arms were glued to my side all the way to the bathroom, spent the day panicking, and never wore it again. who the hell invented those front clips anyway?!

Olivia

Audra, I work with someone who uses random quotes all the time in work emails. Total fail.

MommiePie

Grammar mistake favorites:
affect/effect
insure/ensure
your/you're
"anyways" - this one drives ME batshit!

I thought you're supposed to do the 30 Day Shred once every 30 days! That's how I roll, anyway!

Amy @ DearMazzy

BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA. I think that's got to be the BEST most embarrassing moment story I've ever heard. Or should it be worst? Seriously, and I mean it in the nicest way, that's fucking awesome.

Oh, I have pretty much the same track record as you with the Shred, despite my attempts! at being motivated!

Amelia

My grammar pet peeve: "I just graduated college" or "I finally graduated high school!" Well, you sound like you didn't. You graduated FROM college, moron.

Bozoette Mary

My aunty always said: "Hens and whores lay; people lie."

Natballs

i LOVE LOVE LOVE the name Ezra. and your Ezra gives it a good connotation, too.

MarthaB

secular underwear...bahahahaha.

Awesome.

Jamie the weinerdog lady

For telling that story, I simply love you. I freakin love you LOL

Kate

Amen for mini grammar lessons. When I hit Powerball and win a million billion dollars, I am so buying primetime TV ad space to give apostrophe lessons. Oh, and with all my money, I will also insist that the government banish people who overuse exclamation marks. (!)
And then I might use the rest of the money to buy myself a life.

HomeValley

Oh my GOD, Shannon - you are right! Punctuation DOES always belong in the quotations, according to The Elements of Style. Totally guilty of putting commas and periods outside in some instances. Now I have to reread the damn book. Grammar is confounding!

Ruth

My editor's pet peeve is people who write that something doesn't "phase" them (correct: faze) or that they need to "reign" in their spending (correct: rein). Ugh.

MelV

secular underwear - heh

Kate

Ok, one more minute of grammar geek out -- one of my favorite usage resources is Brians' Common Errors in English Usage: http://tinyurl.com/2ymnx. I generally read it while going, "YESSSS!" in my head. Because I am that big of a dork. If only I loved my job this much...

Susan

Peak vs. peek drives me bonkers - "A sneak peak at upcoming events". Hello, you live in Colorado - you should know a peak can't sneak up on you. At least they don't spell it "sneek".

I'm with you on the apostrophes - I have actually contacted website editors, newsletter writers and written stern emails to the newspaper and TV news stations when they misuse apostrophes. Unfortunately, I think I just come across as a grammar nerd with too much time on her hands because Twitter is making everyone not give a shit.

We picked the name Ryan because I wanted something that 99% of the US population could spell correctly. You would not believe how many times people ask me to spell Susan - "does it have a "z"? Umm, NO. I also wanted an obviously male name - none of that Morgan/Taylor/Shawn(Shaun/Sean) business. Of course, now I hear Ryanne, Ryane and Ryan are rocketing to the top of popular girls' name lists. My coworker named her daughter Aeryn - that poor child is going to have to spell her name EVERY DAMN TIME.

Heather

That's a pretty epically embarrassing puberty story! Thanks for sharing ;)

ali

Ezra is a pretty popular Jewish name. My kids each have at least one Ezra in their classes.
and at least 4 Noahs. :)

MommiePie

Now all your Google ads are for bras! I love it. (And, I will click on them all for you just for sharing such a great story!)

Plano Mom

So. Unbelievably. Hilarious.
For me, it was going from an A cup to a D cup in the summer before 7th grade. In my embarassing story, my actual boobs fall out of my bra/blouse for the cute guy to see. Made me waaaay popular with the bad boys.

Amber H.

Lindsay - My cousin and his wife have a boy named Jacob and a girl named Rebecca. It has always creeped me out to no end! That's cool that they like those names, but they're at least somewhat familiar with the Bible. They had to know those two were married! I seem to be the only one weired out though.

As for grammatical pet peeves, I'm jumping on the "it's/its" and they're/their/there" bandwagon. It's not rocket science, people!

Christina

"Neither of us are much for the uber-modern off-the-wall names"

Um, really?

Sarah

I think this is my first time commenting, but since you covered some of my favorite topics all in one post I had to pipe up.

First, I love Old Testament boys' names (I had to think about the apostrophe). I would love to use the name Obadiah if I thought I could get away with it. Of course, my son is Moses, so you could guess that I like things a little different. I can't believe there are female Noahs out there. I'm with you on the DO NOT STEAL BOYS' NAMES. There are not enough good one's out there.

My pet grammar peeve was mentioned above the only punctuation that goes outside of quotation marks are the colon and semicolon.

Finally, I, too, did the overzealous abstinence acting for my local Crisis Pregnancy Center. I remember using a hoola hoop and throwing balls through it to show how sperm and the AIDS virus could get through condoms.

Nancy

I'm with you on the grammar. I would cage-fight an errant apostrophe if I could. I get on my four year old to say that he's doing "well" not "good."

This is what gets my motor running.

Leah

I have to look up lay/lie EVERY TIME. It's my JOB to know that shit and still, every time, I run to the dictionary for help.

p.s. My 30 Day Shred secret weapon: getting the spouse to do it with me!

Belle

Your very good with you're grammar. (That's my biggest pet peeve the YOUR and YOU'RE mess ups).

SallyH

Hilarious! Today I drove by a restaurant that has a new, huge purple awning that says the Restaurant name and then... Martini's and More.

Seriously? Was this the sign maker's error? Did the restaurant owner not notice? Did no one say, "Wait!" Or did the restaurant buy it on discount BECAUSE there was an error, perhaps made for another customer (who ordered a purple awning?) Curious minds want to know.

(My 4 year old son is named Noah. And I too flinched each year as it rose up the rankings.)

Sally

Kari Weber

On family names: We have a Gertrude, a Freida, a Georgianna, a Sefragina, and an Agnus for the women. For the men: Cloyce, Leroy, Dicky, Warren (my dad, whose middle name is De Milton... yeah.) and Elbert (not Albert, Elbert) Needless to say, we didn't name any of the children after names on MY side of the fence. Although, my mom, who is born close to Christmas, is named Merry like Merry Christmas, and her middle name is Carol, like a Christmas carol. I used to complain that I was only named Kari because it rhymed on Christmas cards: Warren, Merry, Chris, and Kari. Then without realizing, I named my children a singsong pattern to: Chris and Kari, Zach and Jack. (I married a Chris-- not my brother!) and I didn't think of this because we really started out just calling them Zachary and Jackson with no shortening.

On Grammar: I live in a small town and there is a store in our area that is sort of seedy, and probably sells drug accessories. You have to be 18 to even go in for goodness sake. But the thing that irritates me the most is that it is called "The Devils Workshop" with NO apostrophe! As in multiple devils, but no ownership of the actual workshop. I don't even care HOW they apostrophe (?) the dang sign, whether they make it sound like one devil or more than one devil own the damn workshop. I just want someone to own it! I want to badly go in the middle of the night and paint an apostrophe into the sign. But I am sort of afraid of the kind of people that frequent it.

That is all.

amy

The thing that kills me about the apostrophes is when you see them misused on a sign. That someone took the time to have made. Don't those sign-making places have proofreaders?

Also, my daughter's teacher, who we love, corrected her paper by incorrectly adding an apostrophe. "Hippo's live in the water." It's killing me.

Susan

I forgot to mention my favorite blog of all time was a couple of guys driving around the country correcting grammar and punctuation on signs - it was awesome (and really sad, since they never ran out of signs to correct). The most common one was about towing cars at "the owners expense". Unfortunately, they corrected a sign that was part of historic something or other and got busted by the National Parks Service. **Oh happy day - I just checked and their website is back up! http://www.jeffdeck.com/teal/

Sherry

In the book of Numbers, some dude by the name of Zelophehad had a bunch of daughters and one was named Noah.

(I only know this because some friends of mine had a daughter and named her Noah (10+ years ago). When I gave them the raised eyebrow, they explained where it came from.

Beth

The second "right," is wrong... may want to adjust that, since it is one of your pet peeves.

Amanda

Mmm, we used to put the L'eggs (I think that is the correct apostrophe) cups in our shirts...had to use two pairs because the cups were different sizes. We took turns having the pointier ones (this was pre-Madonna pointy boobs)

Abra Leah

That is hilarious - sounds like a Y story. :)

kate

Meant to ask you after the food-coloring rant: do you know if Whole Foods sells natural food coloring (e.g., for making colored frosting)? I feel like a grinch if we can't die frosting for holiday cookies, yet hate to see that red dye 40 dripping into the santa suits. Also, in case you don't know -- Trader J's sells naturally colored lollipops and gummies (yay!).

jenG

I also have Ediths and Elmers in my family tree, and that's just the English Canadian side! On the French Canadian side, it starts with Hulderic and goes downhill from there.

I am considering, though, naming any girl child I spawn Gertrude--two out of my four great-grandmothers were Gertrudes and got people to call them something else, which I think means it's time to TAKE IT BACK.

Helen

I have a Seth, Isaac and Elijah and Ezra was the next name had my ovaries not shrivelled up and died leaving me old and barren. I love the name Ezra, Elijah is pretty well unheard of in the UK and I was very nervous about using it here, we just couldn't think of any other name that was 'him'
My pet hate to read has to be ' I would of, should of, could of' it is 'HAVE' people, don't use the 'of'!

maggie

Well on the subject of names...
My niece is named Tierzah, which is a name from the old testament, but my husbands parents inisted that they use the middle name of JOy, even before they knew what the first name would be. So Tierzah, now 5, has a name that sounds like "Tears of Joy." Pretty, but I have a feeling people will start making fun of her when she gets to school.

And in grammar... I can never remember what to do with periods and quotation marks at the end of sentences. is it "she said that." or "she said that". ? help!

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