Trend Stetting 11: Tend of Days

Mia Lipman on January 24, 2012
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If you haven't been glued to the Weather Channel lately, you might not realize that we Seattleites can now count ourselves as proud survivors of Snowmageddon 2012—also known as the Slushocalypse and a Major Snow Event.

Whatever you call the weather in this town, it hasn't been kind to the U.S. Postal Service. So I'm afraid all the fun new grammar and style books I ordered haven't arrived yet, and you'll just have to endure another list. To make amends, I dug into the archives of one of the finest, snarkiest listmakers in the land: McSweeney's Internet Tendency.

That's right—this is a list of lists, at least partially. There are also funny non-lists in this list. Have I lost you yet? Remember, I was snowbound in my house for days. Be kind.

Here are 10 of my favorite McSweeney's pieces about language, in ascending order of awesomeness. (Note for delicate readers: The contents of this list are rated PG-13.)

10. Spelling Words with "K". "Words Rendered Funny by Spelling with 'K': Kamp, Kollege, Krunchy, Kat, Krazy."

9. Injudicious Uses of Exclamation Points in the Teacher's Video Company Catalog. "Laurence Olivier captures the hubris of the fallen king!"

8. Grammatical and Other Errors Recently Found in an Official Government Document, in Alphabetical Order. "Small, disadvantegeous businesses."

7. Variations on the Spelling of "Vehicles," Submitted by My Sixth Graders Attempting to Earn Extra Credit on a Weekly Spelling Test. "Veaichles. Vealches. Vechicals. Vechiels."

6. Song Titles, Before Editing for Language Efficiency and Clarity. "It Is Morning and You Are Glorious, but I Am Still Unclear About What the Story Is."

5. I Am the Period at the End of This Paragraph. "Why can’t a comma be more like me, stronger, with more self-respect."

4. Things Editorial Assistants Should Never Say to Senior Editors. "Have you read The Da Vinci Code? It is SO good."

3. Internet-Age Writing Syllabus and Course Overview. "Students will acquire the tools needed to make their tweets glimmer with a complete lack of forethought."

2. Notes on "Sweet Child o' Mine," as Delivered to Axl Rose by His Editor. "She's got a smile that, it seems to me—Why equivocate? You weaken your point by framing this as a mere personal observation instead of a fact."

1. Seven Bar Jokes Involving Grammar and Punctuation. "A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to drink." Far and away the best McSweeney's list ever.

Want more McSweeney's lists? There's a book for that.

Stay warm out there!


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