Officially adding Text Hacker to my list of things you can call me.
‘Cause, you know, I’m cool like that, y’all.
Truth: I’m much more excited than my children are about this week’s opening of Disney’s new movie Maleficent.
Her name alone is awesome. Eat her dirt, Evil Queen [a title, dearie, not a name] and Lady Tremaine [seriously, how wicked can one be with a name like that?]. Only Cruella de Vil holds a creepy candle in the name department.
Maleficent has been my favorite villain [favorite villain – that’s a thing, right?] since I first saw Disney’s 1959 animated Sleeping Beauty as a child. I’m not sure why – something about her horns or her dragon-morphing or her use of the succinct-yet-scalding catchphrase, “Fools!” … I don’t know. I guess I find her elegant, in a badass, Mistress-of-All-Evil sort of way.
So the new telling of Maleficent’s backstory – complete with pointy prosthetic cheekbones and imitation goat-eye contact lenses – has me thrilling, no lie. And the previews [of which I might have seen all, many times over] are visually stunning. Now I just hope the original script holds up to the art direction.
I mean, those wings? Fairy, please.
Nice-to-know info whenever you’re the next contestant on WHEEL. OF. FORTUNE!!
Interestingly – for me, anyway – all the letters of my first and last names are within these top ten – except my first initials [K + C]. Hmmm ….
The 100 Most Beautiful Words in the English Language? It’s possible.
According to Dr. Robert Beard, these are they. I must confess, I’m a fan of many of these … denouement, imbroglio, pastiche, scintilla. So very lovely, how they elegantly unfurl from the mouth.
Beard, 76yo, is a linguist specializing in morphology [the study of words]. He taught at Bucknell University for 35 years, leading the Russian and Linguistics Programs. Retiring as a univ prof in 2000, Beard founded the popular linguistic website, yourDictionary.com, writing under the pseudonym Dr. Language. Currently, he runs The Lexiteria, a language product and services company that operates alphaDictionary.com; he writes there under the pseudonym Dr. Goodword.
So, which word on this list is your favorite? Which other words should have been included?
And why aren’t there any K words at all?
My sweet husband and I will celebrate 19 years of wedded bliss this month.
And honestly, it’s been pretty blissful over all.
Among the myriad reasons we’re happy together is that we’re both very, very literary – and we love that about one another.
One of my favorite stories about my honey:
Several years ago, our local theatre was putting on a tribute to the music of jazz performer Fats Waller.
But their promotional marquee, located along a major thoroughfare, listed the musician’s name as “Fat’s Waller.”
My hubs couldn’t stand it. He pulled into the theatre’s parking lot, went up to the box office and explained to the unsuspecting woman working there that there is no apostrophe in the name Fats Waller. Or any name. Ever.
And, just double-checking, the show wasn’t about the waller [whatever that may be] of a man named Fat, was it?
Actually, my husband is nothing if not exceedingly well-mannered, so I’m sure his correction was extremely courteous. And you know what? They didn’t just write him off as a loon. They righted their sign.
That’s my man – making our world more grammatically correct, one apostrophe at a time.
It’s no wonder I love him so. 😉
Mr. Chris Rondeau
CEO, Planet Fitness
113 Crosby Road, Suite 15
Newington, NH 03801
Dear Mr. Rondeau,
I’m a professional business writer and self-confessed grammar geek from Austin, Texas, and I’m writing to both express my distress about and request a couple of corrections to your company’s marketing language.
I’m distressed about Planet Fitness’ use of the phrase “Judgement Free Zone.” While I understand and fully support your philosophy of offering an environment where gym members can exercise without feeling self-conscious, I must alert you to two blatant grammatical errors within the phrase “Judgement Free Zone.”
Error #1: Misspelling of Judgement
In American English, judgement is generally considered a misspelling of judgment for all uses of the word. In British English, judgment was traditionally preferred, but judgement has gained popularity over the past couple of centuries, so today, both spellings are common – in Great Britain. There is a web-based myth that judgement was the original spelling and judgment is a 19th-century American invention; this is simply untrue.
Error #2: Lack of hyphenation between Judgment and Free
In the phrase “Judgement Free Zone,” judgment and free work together as a single adjective describing zone: a zone that is free of judgment, or judgment-free. This compound modifier must be hyphenated. Without the hyphen, both judgment and free are working as separate adjectives, each describing zone – so you are effectively saying the zone is both a judgment zone [the opposite of your actual intention] and a free zone [wholly inaccurate, as your members all pay dues to work out in such a ‘zone’].
I urge you, now armed with these corrections, to change your company’s use of Judgement Free Zone to Judgment-Free Zone. Any company that can invent and trademark a clever term like lunk for its own marketing purposes can surely take care that all its marketing language is grammatically correct. Planet Fitness – the self-proclaimed “most innovative health club brand in the United States” – deserves no less.
Thank you in advance for your contribution to proper English use.
Yes, I live in Austin. Yes, I’m married to a musician. Yes, I’m an uber-hipster. OK. Two out of three.
But I have no tattoos. [I’ll pause while you gasp.] Actually, I’ve vowed to my musician husband I’ll never tattoo while he’s still alive. Yeah, I guess we’re not uber-hipsters together.
But, if I were to tattoo [God rest his soul], then I believe I’d go with words over images. ‘Cause that’s how I roll.
But these may not be . . .
Want to see more [who wouldn’t?]? Click here for 69 “inspirational” typography tattoos, ala Buzzfeed.