Archive for Say What?

There will be chocolate

For some reason, this made me laugh:

Just for the sake of completeness:

You already know what Kelis had to say on the subject.

(Via Paris Berelc.)

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I’m guessing Malone died

For those keeping score, Dublin’s Samuel Beckett Bridge is downstream from the James Joyce Bridge.

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Or so they decided

Via Arthur Stock and Language Log, what might be a curious headline:

Front page of Philadelphia Inquirer 30 January 2016

Although the one that gets me is lower down on the page: “Pope’s Fiat sold for $82,000.” If a mere fiat brings that kind of money, what would someone pay for a nihil obstat?

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Not the original recipe

At least, I assume it isn’t:

But can you see the Russian Tea Room from there?

Note: 0161, if I remember correctly, is around Manchester.

(Via Liz Mair.)

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My, Texas, how you’ve changed

I mean, really:

CBS News infographic for Texas GOP primary with illustration of South Carolina

Then again, both Texas and South Carolina have cities named Greenville. Maybe that’s it. Yeah. That’s the ticket.

(Via Daily Pundit.)

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The sameness of the sky

The line between “mostly cloudy” and “partly sunny” is apparently even finer than I thought it was. From the National Weather Service’s local forecast today:

Forecast for 17-18-19 January 2015

Can you tell them apart? I certainly can’t.

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The obvious goes ungrasped

No other explanation makes any sense:

The whole point of fanfiction is to infringe on the intellectual-property rights of people who can’t see that this is the One True Pairing. Maybe they’re a Second Party rather than a Third.

Time for this again:

The Shipping Department is taking notes.

(Via @SpinsterAndCat.)

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Spontaneous-combustion engine

Consumer Reports, it appears, is trying its best to sound a bit less Consumer Reports-y. From a February review of the new Volkswagen Jetta with the 1.4-liter turbo four:

Since its 2011 redesign, the Jetta sedan has offered more engines than Spinal Tap had drummers.

This will not encourage people who question VW’s overall reliability, if you know what I mean.

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And you thought it was cold outside

Volkswagen’s little Evade the Emissions stunt has now been hacked and examined, and at least one of the findings is startling:

[Felix] Domke said he graphed the European emissions testing cycle and overlaid those results with the upper and lower limits of the ECU’s “normal mode” and discovered that the mode aligned perfectly with the limits.

He didn’t test differences in engine performance, nor could he say whether the cheat applied to cars in other countries. But Domke pointed to a parameter in the engine’s code that seemingly always initiated its “alternative” exhaust program: the outside temperature would only need to be suitable for life to exist — above -6,357.9 degrees Fahrenheit (-3,550 degrees Celsius).

This condition is available pretty much anywhere in the universe at any imaginable time. Well feigned, Vee Dub.

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And apparently nowhere to go

Just the same, it looks like you actually can get there from here:

Now I’m curious to see their printed schedule.

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A clipping from the future

Or maybe the past. Who can be sure?

Out of only 40 women in the Senate, only two were female

Maybe I’ll just leave it alone and tiptoe away.

(From Bad Newspaper via the Presurfer.)

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Classic misunderestimation

By about 50 percent, if I’m counting canonically:

Sonic Drive-In sign: Two Words Spicy Popcorn Chicken

Or maybe you get to pick only two words: for instance, you can have popcorn chicken, but not particularly spicy; worse, you could have something spicy and popcorn-sized, but don’t count on it’s being actual chicken.

(From Bad Menu via Miss Cellania.)

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I park, therefore I am

First things first:

See also Jerry Reed: “Well, if the Lord that made the moon and the stars / Woulda meant for you and me to have cars / He’d-a seen that we was all born with a parking space.”

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No shortage of nerve

Surviving Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols — partner in crime Timothy McVeigh was executed in 2001 — would like his guns back, please:

Domestic terrorist Terry Nichols wants more than a dozen guns seized in the investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing returned.

He says they had nothing to do with the bombing, and he wants his family to have them for the money the weapons are worth.

From his maximum security prison cell in Colorado, Nichols said he wants 13 guns in that currently are in federal custody, including handguns, rifles and a shotgun, to be turned over to one of his two ex-wives or to his sister.

The Feds, of course, disagree:

Federal authorities say the guns should not be released from FBI custody because someone might use them in a copycat crime. Instead, the feds want to destroy the guns and give Nichols credit for their fair market value of $7,000.

Not that the credit would do him or his family much good:

It would go toward the $14.5 million he owes in restitution.

Yeah, that’ll help.

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In which nothing is actually said

Marriott International will spend $12.2 billion to acquire rival Starwood, prompting this statement from Marriott president and CEO Arne Sorenson:

“The driving force behind this transaction is growth. This is an opportunity to create value by combining the distribution and strengths of Marriott and Starwood, enhancing our competitiveness in a quickly evolving marketplace.”

This is pure boardroom-approved corporate-speak, full of syllables and buzzwords, signifying nothing. Yet somehow, “value” is going to be created.

Hint: In corporate mergers, the “value” most often created is the reduction in expense due to reductions in force. Expect rather a lot of people to be kicked to the curb; perhaps they won’t get in the way of valet parking.

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Gratuitous hyphenation

Actual spams received here:

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The only reason to do things like this, of course, is to evade filters, but who has filters for stuff like that?

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Who would have guessed?

I mean, what are the chances?

Hartford Courant report on Do Not Resuscitate orders

Is DNR in some people’s DNA or something?

(From Bad Newspaper via Miss Cellania.)

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Reasons to shake it off

Life can’t be easy when you have the same name as a celebrity:

Taylor Swift, the woman, has shoulder-length blonde hair and blue eyes and receives gushing letters from fans all over the world. As it turns out, so does Taylor Swift the man.

Taylor Swift the man is a professional photographer who lives in Seattle and every day must move through the world shouldering the burden of sharing a name with a famous pop star. His online identity is pretty much ruined: His photography website won’t be surfacing in Google results anytime soon, and he had to stop using his email address (taylorswift@gmail.com) for obvious reasons. The baristas at Starbucks even make fun of him when he gives them his name!

Nor will “Taylor A. Swift” work: he’s Adam, she’s Alison. And anyway, at thirty, he had the name first. Not that this matters a great deal.

Then there’s the guy suing Ms. Swift for ripping off his song:

An R&B singer named Jesse Braham, who records as Jesse Graham, claims in the suit, reported by multiple media such as CBS News, the Verge, and New York’s Daily News, that Swift stole lyrics for her hit from one of his songs, “Haters Gonna Hate,” in 2013.

The suit asserts that lyrics of Swift’s chorus (“Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate”) are similar to his lyrics, “Haters gonna hate / players gonna play.”

Plaintiff gonna lose the first time the defense plays this song from 2001:

If you ask me, the lawyers should’ve said no.

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He knows this is trouble

Heck of a way to fill a blank space there:

Lawyers only love words when they’re torture.

(Via, inevitably, @SwiftOnSecurity. If you’re not up on CISA, this is what’s going down.)

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Careful with that zygote, Eugene

From Lawrence Ulrich’s first drive of the new BMW 7-series, in Automobile (December):

The lean, new body wears rather conservative clothing. The exterior is stately and tasteful but safer than the sex in a Planned Parenthood brochure.

I have no idea what this could possibly mean, and I’m not so sure Ulrich does either.

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Apparently it’s no longer fun

Young man, we are talking to you:

I will be gobsmacked if anyone joins the Navy in response.

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How things have changed

Yea, even in the Land of Cheeses:

I’m sure Mari Negro will do a fine job as assessor.

(Online version is behind a serious paywall. Via @mdrache.)

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Baron von Toll House reports

I think he has this one right:

But phrased this way, they can charge seven bucks for it.

(Via Dan McLaughlin.)

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So easily confused

I’m not quite sure how I would react, were I the person misdescribed:

Clipping from the Sentinel

Mr Lyday, for the record, “loves Michigan, and dogs … and dogs on Michigan rugs.”

Jay Leno once read this clipping on “Headlines,” so it’s pretty old (2011).

(Via Mike Flores.)

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Rudeness in Ottawa

Setup for that implausible-sounding title:

Legislators in governments based on the Westminster system enjoy parliamentary privilege, which means that, while in the House, they can speak their minds without the fear of being sued for slander. But to retain some modicum of decorum during debates, the Speaker of the House has the authority to rein in politicians who use language deemed unparliamentary, asking foul-mouthed lawmakers to withdraw their comments or face discipline.

Canadians, by reputation anyway, are generally big on decorum. But this exchange in Parliament in 2004 suggests that they’re also not given to mealy-mouthedness:

Betty Hinton (Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys): I would ask hon. members to please remain calm. I realize that this is an emotional issue. I would ask the hon. member to try to stay within the confines of parliamentary language.

David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands): Madam Speaker, I have a question. Was the unparliamentary language the word “incompetent” or was it the word “corrupt”?

I note purely in passing that Mrs Hinton and Mr Anderson, both of whom represented ridings in British Columbia, have since left Parliament, though not over whatever incident precipitated that exchange.

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Zero Fuchs given

This is, I think, one of the few times when Comic Sans would have been a palpable improvement:

Then again, given Indiana’s record at the time, perhaps this was deliberate after all.

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Your account has been limited

And someone is being sent to address this matter:

Also, you will now be able to render unto Sears the payments due Sears.

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This is why we can’t have nice role models

I mean, seriously:

The Sagittarius in me says that this is a load of Taurus.

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Person cave

Once in a while the typo is better than the correct version:

I did manage to wring a chuckle out of myself this morning. Someone had posted a ginormous replica of Elsa’s ice-castle from Frozen that was for sale at Costco or somewhere. And I remarked that I needed one in life size, and on the side of a remote mountain (and with a sewing room and a library — it already has a grand piano in it). And it would be my Fortress of Solitude.

Which I typed first as Fortress of Solidude.

I imagine a Fortress of Solidude would have more sports-themed decor and probably a beer fridge. (Sadly, I can’t think of a “lady” equivalent of “Solidude.” But yeah, sometimes I really want somewhere extremely remote from everyone and everything else where I can go and that has everything I need…)

I suppose I could try to argue that “fortress” is actually the feminine version of “fort,” but I don’t think I could get away with that one.

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Some other country

I’ve had Taylor Swift’s 1989 on CD for a while now, but it occurred to me this weekend that I’d never bothered to paste it into iTunes. The mighty Apple machinery jumped into import mode, and it recognized the album, of course, but:

iTunes Import screen for 1989 by Taylor Swift

Or, alternatively, some other folk. Then again, what can you do? It’s a machine. Importers gonna import.

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