Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mr. Language Person Visits

Mr. Language Person was an occasionally-used persona of humor writer Dave Barry, and I used to enjoy the Q&A format answers like this:
Q. I have trouble remembering the difference between the words ''whose'' and ''who's.'' Should I put this in the form of a question?

A. In grammatical terminology, ''who's'' is an interlocutory contraption that is used to form the culinary indicative tense.

EXAMPLE: ``You will never guess who's brassiere they found in the gumbo.''

''Whose'' is the past paramilitary form of ''whomsoever'' and is properly used in veterinary interrogations.

EXAMPLE: ``Whose gwine spay all them weasels?''
Well, I can't compete with that, but I can link to a neat article on Mental Floss - 38 Wonderful Foreign Words We Could Use in English.  Like:
1. Kummerspeck (German)
Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.
Enjoy both of them.
"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."


  1. From an English teacher--I love the English quote and cartoon.

    1. If you haven't seen Dave Barry's Mr. Language Person columns, he did several of them. You can probably find them with Google or your favorite search engine.

      Dave keeps a blog at The Miami Herald, the newspaper he most recently worked for, but only has one Mr. Language Person column linked there. Not the one I quoted from, but worth the look.