Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Its Won More Grammer Post

I was reading an article written by my one time 'consultant', Professor Sanee. She has a fascination with using humour in counselling and therapy sessions. This particular article caught my eye because she picks apart a 'Weird Al' song. She also discusses her writing (which is pretty much what the article was about). How could I pass this up?

I asked if I could repost and she agreed on the 'proviso' (her word, not mine) I remind everyone her new book, "Giggle, Guffaw & Other Curious Words", is now in book stores. The book researches various word and phrase origins. It also identifies how certain archaic words fell into disuse.

Anyway, her abridged article on grammar is below.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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The humorist Al Yankovic recently penned a song describing the decline of proper grammar. You will note, the song is replete with both information and humour. In one of the first verses, he points out how the inability to conjugate results in mocking. This is especially true when you post your inability on social networks.

Is it not sad how social media is the catalyst for the inundation of 'grammar fools'? Simple words are suddenly lost from even the most basic nomenclature of written communication. It's enough to make a grown women cry. Particularly when editing students term papers.

Mr. Yankovic then uses the examples of words such as; be, see, are & you. He points out writing such as B, C, R & U is not only lazy and sloppy, but indicative of a lower intellect. If I might point out, the number 2 is also not a word. Unless you are utilizing it to indicate an amount of something.

In a similar vein, misusing a wrong can bring hours of entertainment to any 'Grammar Nazi'. Al points out the words 'its' and 'it's' differ in meaning. While one is possessive, the other is a contraction. A contraction is actually two words. The proper use should be apparent. As I continually tell my students, if you don't know, say it out loud. For example 'The dog wagged it's tail'. If you were to write it this way, you are saying the dog wagged it is tail. Does that makes sense to you?

I also appreciate how the song points to the incessant errant grammar found in almost every e-mail and blog post online. I was reading a blog not long ago and found this gem, "My wish is too B visiting london, Europe and it's surrounding countries this year." What sort of syntax is that? Hold my grammar pen! This sort of spastic writing gives me a migraine.

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Thanks again to Professor Sanee for letting me use a portion of her article. I love her writing style and how it's infused with humour. The rest of the article can found in the European magazine, 'A Writer's Right'. For anyone unfamiliar with the song she is referencing, I've included the video below.

Additional Questions:
What grammar errors drive you nuts?
What grammar errors have you had to work on?
Are you a 'Weird Al' Yankovic fan?
Have you read either of Sanee's books?

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Professor Sanee resides in Italy
and teaches the course 'the
Ethics of Humour' at I.M.A.
She's also author of the book,
"Why Isn't Anyone Laughing?"

Monday, January 25, 2016

Horsing Around

Meet Lando. He's a silly horse.

My friend Kate is the proud owner.

Lando begs for treats by sticking out his tongue.

This was my friend Doe Do's first time visiting a horse.

Lando checks me out while I take his photo.

Kate & Doe Do posing with Lando. He loves the attention.

I promised Kate I would come and take photos of her and Lando.

A girl and her horse. Riding off into the sunset.

Doe Do was eager to visit the horse so Kate invited her along.

Doe Do spends time with Lando while Kate does chores.

The visit is over. Kate and Doe Do say goodbye.

I, of course, had to take an artsy photo while I was there.

The moon rises as we leave. Good night Lando. See you next time.

Additional Questions:
What & how many pets do you own?
How did they get their names?
Is the name random or a namesake?

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Bonus Material

Lando's Namesake

I've been promising Kate for awhile I would come take photos of her and Lando. It was a bit cold out, but we decided a few snow pictures would be neat. In Summer, I'll be back to take a few more photos of her and Lando.

It was also cool to see my other friend get her wish of visiting Lando. Its' something not many people in the city get to do. Doe Do was overjoyed and Kate was happy to introduce the two.

(To Be Continued This Summer)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Battle of the Bands Results - Can't Fight This Feeling

What a rough few weeks for music lovers. I find it kind of ironic a week before David Bowie died, I featured one of his songs in another BOTB. As such I didn't do so for this battle. But I did ask an additional question regarding Bowie. The answers I received can be found towards the bottom of this results page.

This week I decided to go with an REO Speedwagon song. Apparently, for most of the voters, you either like the 80's or you don't. The same can be said for reggae music. Which was one of the featured songs. But it was also interesting to note, a few who do like reggae music, still didn't pick the song, though a few did. The contenders were: DaVille, performing a reggae version of the song against Smokie who played as close as possible to the REO Speedwagon version. So what does all this mean? Who won the challenge? Let's find out.

In our first round, DaVille received the first, but it was Smokie who took the remainder of the votes.
First round picks for DaVille - Alex
First round picks for Smokie - Stephen, Arlee, Shady, Stephanie and Spacerguy.

The second round was pretty much the same. One vote for DaVille, five more for Smokie.
Second round picks for DaVille - Debbie.
Second round picks for Smokie - Mary, Dixie, Michele, Cherdo and FAE.

The third round saw more votes for DaVille. Was he making a comeback?
Third round votes for DaVille - Kim, John
Third round votes for Smokie - DMS, Robin, Birgit and Cathy

Even with a sweep in the fourth round, DaVille was not going to win. But for the record.
Fourth round votes for DaVille - Janie
Fourth round votes for Smokie - Mike, Chrys, TMB, Madilyn and myself Jeffrey Scott

Winners Circle
Congratulations to Smokie
As winners, I decided to not play any of their rock' n roll to you.
Instead, here is Smokie performing:
'Don't Play Your Rock 'n' Roll To Me

Top Comments

Alex J. Cavanaugh –The song fits both genres of music well. I actually have to give it to Daville for his smooth voice.

Stephen T. McCarthy - Going with an REOJOURNEYSTYXSPEEDWAGON song this round, eh? My buddies and I used to call all three of those bands by that same name, but the truth is, I still do like me some REO SPEEDWAGON, which is more than I can say about the bands JOURNEYSTYX and STYXJOURNEY.

Mary Burris - I love me some REO Speedwagon! Great song choice. And, yes, I do love the 80's. That was such a fun decade. I think if I could go back and do it all over again... hmm okay, maybe not ALL of the 80's, but I certainly had a good time in that era. I'm going to have to give my vote to Smokie, because I was transported back to the 80's during that song (hell, I even broke out the AquaNet and fluffed up my hair for a few minutes!)

Debbie D. - Although I'm not a huge fan of 80s music per se, it's good to keep an open mind. Please don't ever apologize for your music choices, Jeffrey. They are part of who you are. ☺ Da Ville's version was a bit different and therefore more interesting, so I'm voting for him.

Cherdo - Wow, what a great match up! I've gotta give my vote to Smokie and I feel a music download coming on... REO Speedwagon just stopped by my town in September for the Fair (the worst stage set up ever...but within earshot of the chickens, so not all bad).

DMS - I love 80s music and I agree with you that it makes me think of summer. I prefer the original to the other two- but if I had to pick one I would pick Smokie. It might be that I listened to this song a million times, so it is hard to hear someone else cover it.

Robin - You know that I love 80s music. Unlike my pal StMc, I love Journey, Styx, and REO (ha!). I also really like this song. I think that Smokie held pretty true to the original. I was hoping that DaVille would do something a bit different. Turns out, they did and I didn't like it. Ha. Sometimes the joke is on me! So, give my vote to Smokie.

Birgit - I love the REO Speedwagon version very much. I vote for Smokie because this version has more "oomph". DaVille was nothing but a wet blanket to me-too drippy for my taste.

Kim - Give my vote to DaVille. I love Smokie's raspy voice, but it was nearly identical to the original. I liked the reggae-inspired sound of DaVille's cover, and even though it might not be to everyone's liking, I appreciate that he did something different to the song by incorporating a new sound.

Cathy Kennedy - I like REO Speedwagon! This is a nice classic from the 80s, you have no reason to apologize with me. :) Both contenders are nice picks. I think my ear preferred the sound of Smokie the best. His style reminded me of the original. So, please give my vote to contender #1.

John Holton - I'm going with DaVille here. Smokie's is too much like the REO original.

Janie Junebug - I vote for DaVille. I like the more delicate sound of the voice.

Where were you when you learned David Bowie died?

This was one of the additional questions asked this week. Most people commenting agreed a true legend was lost. And it seems most of us didn't even know he was sick. As a sort of tribute, I've decided to share all the comments I received. I even asked my brother-in-law to share his thoughts. I've always known Tony as Bowie's number one fan. At least I don't know anyone else who would be so saddened by the news. In a way, I can understand. I know how I would feel if my favourite musical artists suddenly died. (And we all know who that is, right)?

Shady Del Knight - I was here online, just logged on and read the news. It was déjà vu all over again - "the day the music died."

Spacerguy - I was at my laptop when I read David Bowie was dead. I just can't believe it! Piers Morgan tweeted yesterday: David Bowie dead from cancer at 69. Now Alan Rickman dead from cancer at 69. Two great talents, one bloody awful disease.

Debbie D. - Where were you when you heard David Bowie died? Right here, at home. I read it on the internet. So shocking and sad! RIP ♥

Mary Burris - Online. I was so taken back. I had just watched Lemmy's memorial service the day before and I was still processing that in my mind when I read the news. There were just too many coincidences in both of their deaths, that I actually thought it was a hoax at first

Michele Truhlik -So sad to lose David Bowie this week. I heard about it online. What a body of work he has/had!

FAE -Where was I when I heard that David Bowie Died - In bed reading a text.

Robin - I saw that David Bowie died when I logged onto Facebook yesterday. I didn't even know he was sick, so I was shocked.

Birgit - I was having breakfast, sitting in front of the TV, Monday morning and heard it on the news. I thought they were joking at first-very sad

Cathy Kennedy - I woke up last Monday with a text alert on my phone announcing Bowie's death. It's always sad to hear of a well known celebrity's passing.

Madilyn Quinn - I did Bowie covers, but yeah I was really bummed to hear the news. Sitting on my couch taking a break from my never-ending job hunt. I had to listen to his greatest hits album for the rest of the day *sigh*

Tony M - Got a text when I opened my phone and then immediately turned on the news and I was shocked and numb all at the same time. My first Bowie album was Space Oddity. He made music I can relate and enjoy. RIP The Thin White Duke, Aladdin Sane, The One the Call the Chameleon, Ziggy Stardust, Major Tom, Lazarus, The Man Who Fell to Earth and the Man who Sold the World, DAVID BOWIE

Once again, thanks to everyone who stopped by and placed a vote.
Come back again for a new battle January 1st
Who will you vote for?
What song will I choose?
Which artists will battle it out?
Stay tuned.

Don't forget to visit the other participants in the Battle of the Band to see who won their battles.


Are you currently in the BOTB and don't see your name in the list above? Let me know in comments and I'll include it.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Battle of the Bands - Can't Fight This Feeling

For some reason, 80's music reminds me of Summer. So, when it's a cold dark Winters night, what else can I think of to keep me warm? I mean besides that special girl, as the song suggests. :)

Living in the Midwest does not afford many opportunities for keeping warm, despite the mild winter we've been having so far. When the temp dips below 0, it's time to start thinking of the sun and fun. Which is what the 80's meant to me.

For some reason, REO Speedwagon has been running through my mind. Initially, I wanted to use 'In My Dreams' but couldn't find any decent covers I was anxious to share. Then I came across this song. Another great REO song, and I think two good covers.

I know not everyone is an 80s music fan, so I apologize in advance. To be honest, I was keen on using David Bowie this battle but I have a sneaking suspicion someone else in the Battle Area (see below) will be utilizing one of his songs, and ironically enough I covered him last month.

But I digress,
It's now time for....


The two musical contenders for this Battle of the Bands are found below.
Please listen to both and let me know which you like best.


Da Ville

Those are the two contenders. Ignoring the actual videos, who do you think performs the song best? I collected the two bands to battle it out, now it's your job to vote on your favourite. Please list your preferred song choice in the comments. Additionally, let me know why you feel the way you do. Voting ends on the 22nd when I'll cast my own vote and announce the winner in a separate posting.

Additional Questions:
What song makes you think of Summer?
What do you do to keep warm in Winter?
Where were you when you heard David Bowie died?

Did you enjoy this Battle of the Bands feature? Then don't forget to visit the other participants in the Battle of the Band to see what sort of music they are featuring. You will certainly be entertained, so click on their links below.


Are you currently in the BOTB and don't see your name in the list above? Let me know in comments and I'll include it.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Where is the Changing Room?

R.a.n.t. of month January 2016
I'm on vacation this week so I'm going to be short and sweet. Well, short anyway. If I were ranting about candy, I'd say sweet. But digress.

This weekend I needed to run to the store for something I needed. It was then that I started to realize something. There have been a few stores I've shopped in, and when I needed to try something on, I couldn't find a dressing room. Not in the men's department anyway.

No, it's usually in the women's department. And not just the women's department, but the intimates. In my opinion, there is nothing stranger than a single guy who suddenly has to start walking around in the intimates department. I can't imagine it would be any less uncomfortable for a women to be shopping for intimates and then suddenly see a strange single guy walking around. It just feels odd.

Additional questions:
Would this be awkward for you?
What's the most bizarre thing you've had to deal with in a store?
Have you ever gone on holiday and left something important at home?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I.W.S.G. (5) - Something Old, Something New

Well, it's 2016. You know what that means right? That means we are going to be writing 2015, cursing, crossing out and rewriting 2016 for the next month or so. It's the same old story. Speaking of the same old story, let's pick up where I left off in the last IWSG posting. I talked about making a list and keeping to it.

Unfortunately, it was a disaster. I started out with good intentions, but failed to deliver. That's not to say my goals have been written off. It was a goal I set in the last (old) year. But they can be dusted off for the (new) year. Right?

Last entry I talked a bit about what I needed to include on a goal list. This entry I am only going to concentrate on what the 'W' refers to in IWSG. Because, that's what this is all about, isn't it? I still think I'm trying to find my footing in this series. You know, get to the root of my writer's insecurity. Stop wasting my time and actually getting back into my creative writing. Of course I'd like to try and encourage others as well. So a bit of positive...

The good news is, 2015 was not a total waste. (This is where a bit of encouragement comes in.) I finally finished editing two complete episodes in my eight part YA series. So that's something good that happened. And if I can do that, so can you! Truth be told, I had hoped to be finished with the first four parts, but I let things get in the way. So I'm promising before the next IWSG article, I will have at least one more chapter complete of the third story. I shall strive to find the perfect time for me to get my writing done. I've found I don't like writing at home. Too many distractions. I need to get back to going out and about (i.e. coffee shops and airport) and get back to my writing. It's what I love!

Where do you like to write?
What encourages you the most to get your writing done?
Does something besides Writer's Block get in the way of your writing? What have you done to overcome it?

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The Insecure Writer's Support Group posts the first Wednesday of every month. Please follow along as my fellow writers and I relate why we feel insecure, or read as we help encourage others suffering from insecurity.

Are you an insecure writer? Why not join the group? Find out more information via the group HERE.

The site is founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh - Thanks for all the support!