language notes

  1. It’s easy to convert a simple statement into a simple asshole statement. Simply prefix it with “Um”. Try it! It works every time!
  2. The following usage is proscribed and prohibited and will be punished: use of the German word “uber” as a generic comparative or superlative. Examples: “We didn’t want to swear around her because she’s uber religious”; “Of course, if there are things on an uber level that any of you see as problematic, please let me know ASAP so we can figure out the best way to resolve.” The second example arrived in email today and caused me to swear and frighten the cat.
  3. “Righteous” and “self-righteous” do not mean the same thing. A righteous person is one who does the right thing. A self-righteous person is someone who declares him or herself to be righteous, and this usage is pejorative. In short they’re almost opposites. Thanks.
  4. Dear the Kia Company: Like many car manufacturers, you’ve chosen Italianate names for your car. Sorrento is a very nice town and an acceptable name for a carr, but why did you take a letter out and call it the “Sorento”? Was it just to hurt me, every time I see that ad? Was that it? WAS THAT IT?

21 thoughts on “language notes

  1. Aquirra
    Car companies get a logic pass. Consider the manufacturer of your vehicle for instance. Not only did they leave off a ‘c’, they amputated a ‘te’ or a ‘cy’ as well.
    And you’ll never know which one they removed!

      1. Marketing will never approve this
        “A breathtaking journey into the heart of darkness” would be my favorite tagline for a car company ever!

  2. I could not agree more on all points, and have been planning on writing up a car-name piece/thing/post for some time now. Your Sorento comment has lit a fire under me.
    (Which reminds me: I can’t stand it when people say “I could care less,” when they mean “I could not care less.”)
    In short, will you marry me, Substitute?

    1. I always figure that “I could care less” is just short for “Well, I could care less, but that would require more effort than [whatever] merits.”
      I figure it helps dull the pain.

  3. yes
    somehow, “um” is a lot more asshole than “uh.” I think “uh” indicates some genuine confusion while “um” is just fuckin asshole. I hate it.

  4. The Town
    Sorrento is a town?! I thought it was just a cheese brand:

    Hey, I guess that’s a picture of it. Looks nice. No cars! I can’t believe it was founded in 1947.

  5. UM.
    for some set of convoluted reasons, my boy and i have developed a rather frightening conversational tic that involves chasing the word UM (said by yourself OR another) with violent SNORTING.


  7. It’s also very easy to convert someone else’s statement from a regular one to a doltish one by adding an “um” to their quote.
    Substitute said, “The following usage is, um, proscribed and prohibited and will be punished.”
    Actually, “uh” probably works better. It’s especially effective if you’re replying in a friends journal to a person with whom you aren’t friends. Think about some rando replying to your reply, quoting you and adding an “uh” to the quote, and then directing the actual content of their reply to your friend, possibly to point out that their friends list is full of trash.

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