Category Archives: Entertainment

Is “asks” even a word?

I saw this a few weeks ago, and I knew I had to share it with you:

This is from Jessica Simpson’s official Twitter account.

To quote the fabulous Michael K at Dlisted, this hurts my brain.

Some stars create ditzy personas for themselves, when in reality they are quite intelligent.  Take Dolly Parton.  I adore that woman!  She is feisty, daring and very intelligent, and on top of her giant bosom, tiny waist, bleached hair and pounds of makeup, she knows exactly what she’s doing.

Jessica Simpson has always had a ditzy personality, and I have no doubt that she plays it up for the cameras on occasion.  However, unlike Dolly Parton, I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch!

What do you think?

Christina’s Mishap

Christina Aguilera and her husband, music executive Jordan Bratman, welcomed a baby boy late last night and named him Max Liron Bratman.

In a move markedly different from how she revealed her pregnancy, they announced it merely hours after the birth.

After her rep announced it to the major magazines, Christina made an announcement herself on her official Web site.

The message:

“Dear fans,

“Today is a very joyful and special day for Jordan and I as we welcome our first son into this world.”

I stopped reading right there.

One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to grammar is when people say “and I” instead of “and me,” thinking it makes them sound smarter or more correct. In fact, plenty of people shun “and me” altogether.

Not a smart move.

The easiest way to avoid that is to drop all extraneous words from the sentence to see if it makes sense. For example, Christina could have said, “Today is a very joyful and special day for I,” and realized that “and me” would have been the better choice.

That being said, I’m glad Christina has a healthy baby, and I hope he got his mom’s voice and his dad’s fashion sense.

Discuss.
Oh, and to my fellow Yanks, have a very happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

The Office: Whoever vs. Whomever

Ryan: What I really want — honestly, Michael — is for you to know it so you can communicate it to the people here, to your clients, to whomever.
Michael: Oh, okay…
Ryan: What?
Michael: It’s whoever, not whomever.
Ryan: No, it’s whomever…
Michael: No…whomever is never actually right.
Jim: Well, sometimes it’s right.
Creed: Michael is right. It’s a made-up word used to trick students.
Andy: No. Actually, whomever is the formal version of the word.
Oscar: Obviously, it’s a real word, but I don’t know when to use it correctly.
Michael (to the camera): Not a native speaker.
Kevin: I know what’s right, but I’m not gonna say because you’re all jerks who didn’t come see my band last night.
Ryan: Do you really know which one is correct?
Kevin: I don’t know.
Pam: It’s whom when it’s the object of the sentence and who when it’s the subject.
Phyllis: That sounds right.
Michael: Well, it sounds right, but is it?
Stanley: How did Ryan use it, as an object?
Ryan: As an object…
Kelly: Ryan used me as an object.
Stanley: Is he right about that?
Pam: How did he use it again?
Toby: It was…Ryan wanted Michael, the subject, to, uh explain the computer system, the subject–
Michael: Yes!
Toby: –to whomever, meaning us, the indirect object…which is the correct usage of the word.
Michael: No one asked you anything, ever, so whomever’s name is Toby, why don’t you take a letter opener and stick it into your skull?
LOVE THIS!
Thanks to Jess and everyone who told me I had to post this. I’ll be watching the actual episode later today.

I’m done.


That’s it. I no longer trust the National Enquirer.

I’m watching this right now:

Does the missing comma bother anyone?
As a grammarian, it bothers me a LOT. After all, this is money that is both dirty and sexy, not sexy money that also happens to be dirty. That necessitates the comma.
As a person, and as someone who technically works in “marketing,” it actually doesn’t bother me as much. Incorrect as it is, it adds a certain boldness to it. BOOM BOOM BOOM. Dirty Sexy Money. The comma would have taken away some of the impact….
….even though it is WRONG to leave it out in the first place!
I’m in a bit of a Jekyll/Hyde mood tonight.
This is a good show.

VMA Errors

The VMAs (not the VMA’s) just took place, and already, there are several news stories full of errors about the awards show.

From cnn.com:


To that end, Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, Kanye West, Fall Out Boy and the Foo Fighters were each hosting four separate suite parties, where much of the show’s performances would be held.

The Grammar Vandal says that there were many. Many.


That might have been the purpose — to whet the audiences appetite for repeat viewings by promising glimpses of what they missed during the traditional broadcast.

The audience’s appetite. Please use that wonderful apostrophe.

From people.com:

“Was that incredible? Britney Spears, everyone,” Silverman said. “Wow. She is amazing. She is 25-years-old and she’s already accomplished everything she’s going to accomplish in her life. It’s mind blowing.”

At 25 years old, Britney is a 25-year-old. Sarah Silverman’s mind was blown by the mind-blowing accomplishments of Britney Spears.

Come on. I know that the awards show JUST happened, and it was live TV, but come ON! Accuracy isn’t that difficult!

I don’t like this tense.

When reading news articles and other sources of Web journalism, the tense is nearly always the past. The past makes sense because the stories describe events that have already taken place.

I hopped over to People.com after a night at Johnny D’s to grab the last news of the night, and I came across the following story. It describes Usher’s appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Here is a clip:

Dad-to-Be Usher: ‘I Want a Boy’

“Last time you were here, you were single,” DeGeneres also tells him. “You said you wanted a lady that you could take from the Waffle House to the White House. You found her.”

“I did. I found someone that I’m very, very happy to call my wife,” he tells her. “Tameka Raymond. She’s beautiful.”

Only DeGeneres also wants to know why she wasn’t invited to the wedding, which was originally scheduled for July 28 in the Hamptons but ended up taking place in a civil ceremony in Atlanta.

One thing that complicates the issue is that this show already taped, but it’s set to broadcast this Tuesday. The conversation already happened, obviously, but it hasn’t shown on TV. In a strange way, it’s almost as if it doesn’t exist yet.

I particularly find the third paragraph awkward-sounding. The tenses are all over the place.

I’m trying to imagine why this seems so familiar, and I think I recognize the usage of the present tense from reviews of children’s books and movies. “Mary Anne realizes that it’s true — she, in fact, misses Logan and wants him back.” “Kristy wants to start a softball team, but a little boy named Jackie Rodowsky is completely accident-prone!”

But, now that I think about it, why would that be restricted to children’s works? It shouldn’t be. All reviews are in the present tense.

I’m thinking more, and after reading through the story again, I think it’s more a stylistic issue than anything else. The writer, describing what each person says, seems to do something that is extraneous. We don’t need to be told every line in advance. Doing so makes it seem like we don’t understand it, which is paradoxical, because as celebrity gossip fans, we want to hear every line!

I’m having a hard time explaining this, and I wish I could do it better.

What do you think? Does using the present tense and describing each line each person says make it sound juvenile?

In other news, while having pizza at Mike’s in Davis Square tonight, I noticed a grammatical error on the cocktail menu.

“Do you have a pen?” I asked my sister.

She stared at me coldly. “DON’T.”

I am no longer permitted to vandalize grammar in front of her because it embarrasses her.

Clarification on "In Tow"

I saw this story a few weeks ago on People.com, then forgot about it, thought it was on TMZ.com, searched relentlessly and finally found it.

Readers may disagree on this one.

From Nicole Richie and Joel Madden: Engaged?


The pair, along with entourage in tow, popped into Nathans of Georgetown restaurant for a late lunch before making their way to the upscale Georgetown baby boutique Dawn Price Baby.

First of all, if you look back to Grammar Errors in Our Nation’s Capital, you will see my picture of the name plate at Nathans in Georgetown, chastising its pointless lack of an apostrophe. (Seriously, does the restaurant gain anything from not including the apostrophe? Barneys New York, take note!)

However, after seeing this story, I realized that I had a problem with the writer, Arnesa A. Howell, and her usage of the phrase along with entourage in tow.

Ideally, I would have used entourage in tow.

Easily, one also could have used along with their entourage.

But when one uses along with entourage in tow, it’s perfectly redundant. It’s unnecessary.

It hurts my head.

This is BEAUTIFUL.

I saw this on Ticketmaster the other day, and it made me delirious with happiness.

The Final Year
Fewer than 50 performances left! Don’t miss Celine Dion in Vegas!
Beautiful.
BEAUTIFUL.
In a land where virtually every grocery store seems to have a lane for “12 items or LESS,” it’s a rare treat to see the word fewer used correctly.
Ticketmaster, I applaud you!
Now, if only the Brood can get to Vegas before Celine’s show ends….

Worst Grammar Offenses in Pop Culture

I was perusing the discussion boards on the “Good Grammar Is Hot” group on Facebook, and I came across a discussion of the worst grammar offenses in pop culture.

Here are some of them:

John G:

Okay, mine is from Justin Timberlake’s song “what goes around.” He actually
says, “my heart BLEEDED, girl”

Well, there aren’t too many words that rhyme with cheated. Did I mention that I swore up and down that I thought I saw him driving through Powderhouse Circle the other night when he was in town?

Joaquina G:

How about the song “the way I are”

Alexa already brought that up! Timbaland doesn’t even sing that line anywhere in the song! It’s just the title!

Caleb T:

“How you doing?” ……………..stupid Joey

Heh.

Marc Z:

That rap tune that goes “is you is or is you ain’t” is pretty bad. Also, The Doors song, Touch Me, features the lyric:
“I’m gonna love you
Till the stars fall from the sky
For you and I”
Which has always bothered me.

I cannot STAND it when people use I instead of me. The people who do this tend to emphasize the I, and many probably think that they’re being intelligent, speaking better than anyone. Well, all of you know that they’re wrong.

Ellen A:

Does anyone else hate Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry?”
“I’m not gonna miss you, like a child misses their blanket.”
It grates, and I have to change the station until the song is over.

I completely agree. This line of the song bugs me SO much! It ruins the song for me, and the song isn’t even that great. (I think Fergie should stick to the crazy/strange dance numbers.)

Abigail B:

backstreet boys “all i have to give”
“does his friends get all your time?” and “does his gifts come from the heart?”
gee, i DOESN’T know… DOES THEY??


This is for the Brood, my best friends from home. We used to make music videos to this song and “I Want It That Way.”

Yoni B:

In a rap song (the rapper’s name eludes me at the moment):’Do your chain hang low? Do it wobble to the floor(read “flo”)? Do it shine in the light? Is it platinum, is it gold?’He’s managed to rhyme ‘low’ with ‘floor’ and ‘gold.’ Quite the feat.

I detest this song.

Kandi R:

John Cougar Mellencamp, “Small Town”. I’m a Hoosier from a small town myself, and I love the song, and I love the Coug, but one of the lines is: “and I cannot forget from where it is that I come from”.

Oh, God. Beyond redundant.

I’m not going to comment on the specific writing of these Facebook posters.

Why not?

I’m here to talk about grammar errors made by companies, businesses, groups and institutions with the financial means to afford an editor. I don’t go after individuals unless the errors are jaw-droppingly egregious, and I don’t turn up my nose at every email I receive. (So many of you write to tell me that you’re afraid of what I’ll say about your writing — relax!!)

That being said, however, I am a bit surprised that some of the people in a group called “Good Grammar Is Hot” have no qualms about posting a sentence full of errors.

That is all.

It’s late and I have to be at work in just over nine hours….I only got home from work an hour ago. OH, NO!! I just realized that I missed Barack Obama on The Daily Show!!

I have some plans for tomorrow night — I’m going out to Union with my friend Lisa, as they still have their Restaurant Week menu (for more on Restaurant Week, visit Kate’s Adventures) — and then we may try to visit the Beehive or just do our usual Hong Kong thing. Either way, I won’t be posting tomorrow night.

Have a great few days!

Slightly Inappropriate and Quite Amusing

I received this fantastic error from my co-worker Ben. Check it out:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bruce Springsteen will put out “Magic,” his first album with the E Street Band in five years, on October 2, publicists said on Thursday.

The 11-track release on Columbia Records was produced and mixed by Brendan O’Brien, who also produced the last record Springsteen made with his backup group, 2002′s “The Rising,” Shore Fire Media said in a statement.

“The Rising,” an album inspired the September 11 attacks, won a Grammy for Best Rock Album.


That’s the first time in quite a long time that I actually laughed out loud at something I read. I told Ben so, and he told me, “I thought you, in particular, would enjoy it.” Oh, did I ever.

This actually reminds me of this amazing and sublime page. If bad music could drive someone to terrorism, I think it would happen to this guy….

Celebrity Grammar

It’s a hybrid of my two favorite blog topics: grammar and celebrity gossip!

These pictures are great. Check them out:

I once saw a stop sign that read HAMMERTIME underneath the word STOP. This is ALMOST as good.

This is a bit old, but it’s just as bewildering. In this message, Britney talks about preparing for a “roll” in a movie. Being the trashy train wreck that she is, she was probably thinking about how hungry she was.

Seriously, though! This was taken from her official Web site!

She’s crazy, and she won’t listen to anyone….until recently, she had no manager or publicist, and she has been estranged from her family….it’s no surprise that she has no editor, either.

WASTE OF SPACE.

Great Grammar Example of the Day

“Yes. I am innocent … did not do drugs they’re not mine. I was almost hit by my assistant Tarin’s mom. I appreciate everyone giving me my privacy.”

–The classy, intelligent Lindsay Lohan, in an email to Access Hollywood‘s Billy Bush, on whether she has anything to say to the public.

Lohan was arrested early yesterday morning and charged with driving under the influence, cocaine possession, driving on a suspended license and transporting a narcotic into a custodial facility.

TMZ.com reports that, in conjunction with her other DUI arrest last May, she could be sentenced to a maximum of six years in prison.