Saturday, 7 May 2005

A real ho-down

From a recent 7th Circuit opinion:

The trial transcript quotes Ms. Hayden as saying Murphy called her a snitch bitch “hoe.” A “hoe,” of course, is a tool used for weeding and gardening. We think the court reporter, unfamiliar with rap music (perhaps thankfully so), misunderstood Hayden’s response. We have taken the liberty of changing “hoe” to “ho,” a staple of rap music vernacular as, for example, when Ludacris raps “You doin’ ho activities with ho tendencies.”

Sounds a lot like my paper grading over the past week. (þ: BTD Greg)

Monday, 21 March 2005

Think thin(g)

Former Element of Nothingness* Brock Sides notes some controversy about the phrase “you’ve got another thing coming,” used here. Just what I need—another first date question I have to remember to ask.

* What can I say: I’m jealous of those group blogs with cutesy (or even not-so-cutesy) titles for their members.

Monday, 21 February 2005

Prepare to be disappointed

Stephen Karlson writes:

I expect juniors and seniors to have a basic understanding of the meanings and spellings of simple words.

An expectation, mind you, that is largely in vain. In my public opinion class last week, when talking about affect (in the public opinion context, a synonym for emotion), I ended up explaining the difference between the words affect and effect in common usage. I’m pretty sure this was the first time any of my students were made aware that these two words, in fact, are not the same.

Of course, it doesn’t help by the time students have reached me they generally have had 13–16 years of experience with teachers and professors in various fields whose reaction to shoddy grammar and usage can be summed up as “eh, it’s not my job to fix it,” rather than the proper response of whacking them over the head repeatedly with a copy of Strunk and White.

Sunday, 12 December 2004

Spelling follies

Will Baude and Heidi Bond are considering the difficulty of spelling various words correctly. Baude and Bond suggest “necessary, privilege and judgment” are difficult, as is “license.”

The latter two are perhaps difficult because the Commonwealth spellings “judgement” and “licence” are similar (but invalid in Standard American Written English).

Personally, I only seem to have trouble with “tendency”... which I managed to misspell on the American government exam I gave today, and is confusingly different from words like “attendance” that are pronounced the same. The moral of this story: flyspell-mode is your friend.