Because I know you’re curious

5 February, 2011
Rat Fink

And because the Grammar Hammer can only stay in the drawer for so long:

Insulted Idioms and Lambasted Labels (poor things)

  1. It takes two to tangle. No, it takes two to tango.
  2. Card shark/pool shark. Actually, if you do something like play cards or pool really well, you’re a sharp. A card sharp. I know, sounds funny. And it’s unlike a loan shark; that’s a fish of a different color altogether. :-)
  3. Extract revenge. Getting someone back for wronging you is exacting revenge. Extracting revenge would be pulling vengeance out of another person, thus putting it on oneself. Don’t nobody want that.
  4. Please RSVP. This is really picky, I know, but it doesn’t make it any less redundant. “RSVP” stands for the French phrase, répondez s’il vous plaît, which means “Please answer.” So, a proper response to “Please RSVP” would be, “All right already; ya doesn’t hasta beg.”
  5. Laundrymat. Seems to make more sense, but actually, it’s laundromat, used by Westinghouse years ago to describe their automatic laundry machines.
  6. Orangutang. Definitely more fun to say it that way, but there’s no ‘G’ on the end. OranguTAN.
  7. Get the “i” out. It’s pastoral, mayoral, electoral. Same thing with the “u” sound. Don’t say nup-tu-al; say nuptial. No need to put an extra syllable in there, as Americans are often wont to do.
  8. Upmost. Nope. You have the utmost respect for your elders.
  9. We need your imput. No you don’t. You need my input.
  10. Finally, for the hundredth time: There is only ONE ‘R’ in SHERBET. SherBET. BET. I snickered when I read this quote from Primer magazine: “This is one of those words that ultimately had to abandon its crusade for righteousness and now has been corrupted to the point where dictionaries may list the incorrect pronunciation as acceptable because of just how rampant the carelessness grew to be. But there’s only one ‘R’ in ‘sherbet,’ America. No matter how awesome the rainbow flavor is, there’s still only one ‘R’.”


Hey, the chocolate cake is done. Time to put together an experiment in decadence before taking off for rehearsal. Happy weekend!

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5 February, 2011 9:46 am

YAY! I love your “Schmenglish” postings! The ones I hear over and over again, are #’s 5,6. I have heard reporters on different news stations pronounce #6 with the “g” at the end! And with the approaching “heart” day coming up – please folks – don’t say, “Happy ValentiMe’s Day!” It’s ValentiNe’s Day!!!! *sigh*


5 February, 2011 10:32 am

Can I add one that drives me, the math teacher, NUTS? When saying the year, there is no ‘and.’ ‘And’ represents a decimal point! So, the year is “two thousand eleven,” not “two thousand and eleven.”


5 February, 2011 2:13 pm

How about “ATM machine”?
We are going to “TGIF Fridays?”
Yes I do read and think and even respond [periodically :))]


5 February, 2011 3:30 pm
Reply to  Rat Fink

Sounds like a job for the Department of Redundancy Department.


5 February, 2011 9:19 pm

One I kept hearing in my class: drawling!! It DRAWING, people!!!


5 February, 2011 10:03 pm
Reply to  Rat Fink

I think it must have come from a certain state just south of Ohio. I learned how to understand the language from a former custodian who hailed from “them thar parts!” When I first started teaching, I couldn’t understand a word he said. “Gazzeedazumpit” he’d say to my 22-year old blank face. After a year, he started making sense. Then it hit me: I was learning a new language! By the way, “bununer” (pronounced very gutteral – like German) is “banana” in that language!