The Geek Hideout
Physics in English Bitches!

Physics in English Bitches!

English… basically your stuffed either way

English… basically your stuffed either way

The very model of an amateur grammarian

(With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan)

I am the very model of an amateur grammarian
I have a little knowledge and I am authoritarian
But I make no apology for being doctrinarian
We must not plummet to the verbal depths of the barbarian

I’d sooner break my heart in two than sunder an infinitive
And I’d disown my closest family within a minute if
They dared to place a preposition at a sentence terminus
Or sully the Queen’s English with neologisms verminous

I know that ‘soon’ and not ‘right now’ is the true sense of ‘presently’
I’m happy to correct you and I do it oh so pleasantly
I’m not a grammar Nazi; I’m just a linguistic Aryan
I am the very model of an amateur grammarian

I’m sure people appreciate my pointing out their grammar gaffes
And sorting out their sentences and crossing out their paragraphs
When you crusade for good English, it’s not all doom and gloom you sow
The secret of success is: it’s not who you know; it’s whom you know

The standards of our language are declining almost every day
Down from a peak in 18– or 19– I think – well, anyway
Pop music, TV, blogs and texting are inflicting ravages
Upon English and unchecked, this will turn us into savages

I fear that sloppy language is a sign of immorality
For breaking rules of grammar is akin to criminality
So curse those trendy linguists, lexicographers and anyone
Who shuns the model English of the amateur grammarian

Conjunctions at the openings of sentences are sickening
I wish that the decline of the subjunctive were not quickening
And that more people knew the proper meaning of ‘anticipate’
Of ‘fulsome’ and ‘enormity’, ‘fortuitous’ and ‘decimate’

I learned these rules at school and of correctness they’re my surety
I cling to them for safety despite having reached maturity
Some say that language changes, but good English is immutable
And so much common usage now is deeply disreputable

My pedantry’s demanding but I try not to feel bitter at
The fact that everyone I meet is borderline illiterate
When all around are wrong then I am proud to be contrarian
I am the very model of an amateur grammarian

Found whilst being chased by the grammar police and hiding at The Stroppy Editor

Red wong two!

Red wong two!

you’re trying to say it now aren’t you? ;) Cannot be unseen/unheard of the day

you’re trying to say it now aren’t you? ;) Cannot be unseen/unheard of the day

Grammar - to use or not to use, that begets this statement

  • Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  • And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
  • It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  • Avoid clichés like the plague. (They’re old hat)
  • Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
  • Be more or less specific.
  • Remarks in brackets (however relevant) are (usually) (but not always) unnecessary.
  • Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
  • No sentence fragments.
  • Contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used.
  • Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  • Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
  • One should NEVER generalise.
  • Comparisons are as bad as clichés.
  • Don’t use no double negatives.
  • Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  • One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  • Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  • The passive voice is to be ignored.
  • Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.
  • Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.
  • Kill all exclamation points!!!
  • Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
  • Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth shaking ideas.
  • Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed.
  • Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
  • If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.
  • Puns are for children, not groan readers.
  • Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  • Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  • Who needs rhetorical questions?
  • Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.


The University of Baltimore is offering a new class on the undead.

The course is being taught by Arnold Blumberg, the author of a book on zombie movies, “Zombiemania”, and the curator of Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, which focuses on American pop culture.

Students taking English 333 will watch 16 classic zombie films and read zombie comics. As an alternative to a final research paper they may write scripts or draw storyboards for their ideal zombie flicks.

And I thought only some of the students (ok.. all of them) were zombies in my classes. OMG Can I teach this? Can I Audit it? [Am really going to look at getting the lect notes & tutes for this class ]

“In English,” the professor said, “a double negative forms a positive. However, in some languages, such as Russian, a double negative remains a negative. But there isn’t a single language, not one, in which a double positive can express a negative.”

A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”

Strangely we don’t get told about the missing person report filed about that student that afternoon.. muwahahah
I’m Incorrigible

I’m Incorrigible

Spelling with real English ;)

It has come to my attention that some people might not realise that I spell things somewhat different to the USA so called “English” spelling.

This is because I live in Australia where we spell things as the English language was supposed to be spelt. With U’s in Colour, and S’s in realise instead of Z [pronounced Zee and not Zed ;)]

Therefore for your edutainment I have compiled a list of “Proper English” to “USA English” so that no grammar or spelking police will annoy me. LOL

English/AU                USA 

aeroplane                         airplane  

ageing                               aging  

aluminium                        aluminum

amortise                            amortize

anaemia                            anemia

analogue                          analog

analyse                             analyze

annexe                              annex

apologise                          apologize

armour                               armor

artefact                              artifact

authorise                           authorize

behaviour                         behavior

Blonde                               blond

calibre                                caliber

candour                             candor

capitalise                           capitalize

carburettor                        carburetor

catalogue                          catalog

catalyse                             catalyze

centre                                center

cheque (money/bank)         check

chequered                        checkered

clamour                             clamor

collectable                        collectible

colour                                color

convenor                           convener

cosy                                   cozy

counsellor                         counselor

criticise                              criticize

customise                         customize

defence                             defense

demeanour                       demeanor

dependant                        dependent

dialling                              dialing

dialogue                            dialog

disc                                    disk

doughnut                          donut

draught                              draft

emphasise                        emphasize

endeavour                        endeavor

enquiry                              inquiry

enrol                                  enroll

favour                                favor

favourite                            favorite

fibre                                    fiber

finalise                              finalize

flavour                               flavor

foetus                                fetus

fuelling                              fueling

galvanise                          galvanize

gaol                                    jail

generalise                         generalize

glamour                             glamor

grey                                    gray

harbour                             harbor

harmonise                        harmonize

honour                              honor

humour                             humor

initialise                             initialize

instalment                         installment

jewellery                            jewelry

kerb                                    curb

kilometre                           kilometer

labelled                             llabeled

labour                                labor

lasagne                             lasagna

Learnt                                learned

litre                                     liter

lustre                                  luster

manoeuvre                       maneuver

marvellous                        marvelous

maximise                          maximize

meagre                              meager

metre (measurement))          meter

modelled                           modeled

modelling                          modeling

mould                                mold

mum, mummy                 mom, mommy

neighbour                         neighbor

nett (as in an amount)           net

ochre                                 ocher

odour                                 odor

offence                              offense

optimise                            optimize

organisation                     organization

organise                            organize

orientate                            orient

orientated                          oriented

orthopaedic                      orthopedic

pædiatrics                         pediatrics

paedophile                       pedophile

paralyse                            paralyze

parlour                               parlor

penalise                            penalize

plough                               plow

practice (as a noun)            practice

practise (as a verb)             practice

pretence                            pretense

programme                       program

pyjamas                            pajamas

rancour                              rancor

realise                                realize

recognise                          recognize

rigour                                 rigor

rumour                              rumor

sabre                                  saber

saviour                              savior

savour                               savor

sceptical                            skeptical

signalling                          signaling

snorkelling                        snorkeling

speciality                           specialty

standardise                       standardize

sulphur                              sulfur

theatre                               theater

titbit                                    tidbit

tumour                               tumor

tyre                                     tire

valour                                valor

vapour                               vapor

vigour                                vigor

visualise                            visualize

woollen                             woolen