Skip to comments.Mr. Language Person: True Quotations (Dave Barry)
Posted on 05/08/2005 6:42:55 AM PDT by nuconvert
Mr. Language Person: True Quotations
By DAVE BARRY
>(This classic Dave Barry column was originally published on Dec. 13, 1992.)
It's time once again for ''Ask Mister Language Person,'' the only language column that is endorsed by both the American Association of English Professors AND Cher. This column presents answers to common reader questions about grammar, vocabulary, punctualization, and, when they are in season, metaphors. These questions are not ''made up.'' They are authentic re-enactments of actual questions taken from police files.
Q: What is the correct grammatical usage of ``being as how''?
A: This is an adenoidal phrase that is used when a person needs to explain a decision regarding an issue such as sandwich allocation.
EXAMPLE: ``Earl gets the egg salad, being as how he dropped it in the bait.''
Q: Please tell me which is correct: ''Bud, you should never of fed them taffies to the dog,'' or ``Bud, you never should of fed them taffies to the dog.''
A: According to Strunk & White, it depends on the context.
Q: The context was a brand-new Barcalounger.
Q: I am thinking of seeking a high-paying job and would like to develop a Power Vocabulary. What do you suggest?
A: The Academy of Big Words recommends that, in business situations, you should, whenever possible, use the words ''erstwhile'' and ''penultimate,'' as follows:
YOU: Mr. Johnson, that there is a erstwhile tie you got on.
MR. JOHNSON: You're hired.
YOU: Another big word I know is penultimate.
Q: What is the actual name of a weatherperson on CNN?
A: ``Flip Spiceland.''
Q: Please repeat what you heard a woman say recently to the cashier at a gas station.
A: She said: ``Do you have any of those cheap genetic cigarettes?''
Q: Speaking of true quotations, please repeat the statement that Sonda Ward of Nashville, Tenn., swears she heard made by a man expressing concern to a woman who had been unable to get a ride to a church function.
A: He said: ``Estelle, if I'd a knowed you'd a want to went, I'd a seed you'd a got to get to go.''
Q: What tense is that, grammatically?
A: That is your pluperfect consumptive.
Q: I notice that football announcers are always talking about how So-and-So is ''the most underrated left tackle in football,'' and So-and-So is ''the most underrated substitute left outside nickel-defense cornerbacker in the Central Division.'' My question is, who underrates these people?
A: This is done by computers.
Q: Yes, but what kind of name is ``So-and-So?''
Q: According to alert reader Mary Ann van Hartesveldt, what was the exact wording on a sign she saw outside the Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Opelika, Ala.?
A: It was: ARE YOU READY TO MEET JESUS? Bar-B-Q Saturday, March 16, 2 p.m.
Q: My question concerns the musical group Archie Bell and the Drells, who performed the 1968 hit Do the Tighten Up. When group members get asked what they do for a living, do they answer, ''I'm a Drell?'' Do their business cards say:
Do they have career aspirations? Do they say, ''Well, sure, today I'm a Drell, but if I do well on my exams, I hope to become a Pip, or even a Famous Flame''? Also, if you're introducing somebody to one of the Four Seasons, do you just say, ''This is Leonard; he's a Season?'' Also, whatever happened to The Swingin' Medallions, who sang the 1966 hit, Double Shot (of My Baby's Love)?
A: They are available. Give them a call.
Q: What is the purpose of the semicolon?
A: It can be used to either (1) separate two independent clauses, or (2) indicate an insect attack.
(1) ''Well, I'm a clause that certainly doesn't need any help!''; ``Me either!''
(2) ``Be careful not to bump into that ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
Q: Please explain correct usage of the expression ``by and large.''
A: It is used as follows:
-- ``Earline, I swear on my mother's grave that I never, ever cheated on you, by and large.''
-- ``Read my lips, by and large.''
TIP FOR PROFESSIONAL WRITERS: In writing a novel, be sure to include Character Development.
WRONG: ``Brad gazed into Marsha's eyes.''
RIGHT: ``Brad gazed into Marsha's eyes and noticed that she now had three of them.''
GOT A QUESTION FOR MISTER LANGUAGE PERSON? It is best not to tell anyone.
" He said: ``Estelle, if I'd a knowed you'd a want to went, I'd a seed you'd a got to get to go.'' "
(pluperfect consumptive) LoL
"if I'd a knowed you'd a want to went", pong
Often heard in Louisiana,"Look out the back window and see where we went."
My favorite when you are rethinking a decision is "I shudda did".
``Do you have any of those cheap genetic cigarettes?''
That is not an incorrect question or phrase.
Viceroy and Pall Mall Filers are considered "generic" at many on-line dealers and they sure are NOT "cheap". They're only about a buck or two less per carton than the 'Premium Brands' like say.. Camel non filters.
What are "cheap" are the "Value Brand" smokes, like Ligget Select.
I think you might regret this post soon..........;^)
As Hoosiers say, "over around back there."
Most of us are too polite to mention it. ;9)
One of our mechanics at the coal mine liked to summ up what he had just said; "I changed the oil and greased everything on the dragline, what I did."
They are considered "generic," that's true, but are they considered "genetic"? That's what the lady said.
If you're a gonna go ta the Post Orfice, kin you taken me an' Clem?
Ah wented to town this morning so I goed there afore ah wented on home. If'n ah come agin, I'll taken ya'all both.
That's Ariz & N.Mexico?
I had considered the quest for cheap cigarettes to be genetic.
"...I'd a seed you'd a got to get to go," pong
That's the small towns that haven't been converted to California-speak.
Where does 'which' come from?
I mean, whence the 'which?'
Earline: How come you used up the gas out of the five-gallon can?
Vida Mae: Which I was going into town and I was empty. Which I put up my sign; Kitchen Closed This Chick's Going To Walmart.
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