Category: wording and grammar

I Heard A Song On The…Radial?

I learned something last week, and apparently I’m not the only one who did.

Someone was talking about those fields on a form where you have to choose one choice, for example are you male or female, and kept referring to them as radial buttons. I was 99.999999999999 percent sure they were supposed to be called radio buttons, but I didn’t want to correct them only to find out I was a giant fool. So off to Google I went.

I was in fact correct, it is called a rradio button. But just for fun, I searched for Radial button just to see what I would find, and lots of people are confused. I had assumed, and so did Steve, that this was one of those blinklish words, words only blind folks get wrong because they’ve listened to their screen-readers for too long. But no, sighted people make this mistake too. Crazy, crazy stuff. Steve and my minds were both a little blown that day.

Some Wrestling Talk And A Grammar Lesson. What More Could You Ask For

Time for some more wrestling talk. See you soon, everyone who comes here for dick jokes or dog stories.

1. Even with all of the recent drama, you expect Brock Lesnar to re-sign with the WWE.

First things first, everyone needs to stop saying “the WWE,” because the World Wrestling Entertainment makes no sense and is wrong. I’d understand if it was just people still having a hard time adjusting from the days of saying “the WWF,” but back then we also had a “the WCW,” which was also stupid. The World Wrestling Federation = good. The World Championship Wrestling = bad. Therefore, you are not the best wrestler in the WWE, you are the best wrestler in WWE. Or if you feel you need to put more words in there, you are the best wrestler in all of WWE. Clear?

What the hell was the question again? Oh. Right. Lesnar.

I don’t know what I expect him to do, but I sure hope he stays. He’s quite literally the only thing about WWE that feels even remotely special right now, probably because he’s not around enough to get sucked too deeply into the shit vortex they call booking around there. But on the other hand, if I were him there’s a chance I’d still have something to prove in the UFC, and I’m not getting any younger. If I’m feeling healthy enough and the money is there which it almost certainly is, I’ve got one foot out the door unless Vince McMahon walks up and hits me over the head with a giant briefcase full of thousand dollar bills.

2. While the booking of the IC Title and Champion Wade Barrett has been poor, you are excited for the ladder match at WrestleMania.

I want to watch the ladder match because those are usually enjoyable spectacles, but there’s a difference between wanting to see and being excited for. What, exactly, is there to get excited about? Not only are they telling the story all wrong (Announcing that you’re hanging the belt above the ring before everyone and their brother starts stealing it during matches every week? How stupid are you people?), but the winner has to be IC champ. Oh boy, I get to kill myself in a dangerous ladder match for the right to lug the geek title through airports and lose on TV every week. I can’t wait!

3. CHIKARA announcing Bullet Club (AJ Styles and The Young Bucks) for this year’s King of Trios tournament has captured your interest.

Nope. Try as I might, I’ve never been able to make it through an entire CHIKARA show. Not even the ones I thought I was interested in beforehand. I could never put my finger on what exactly it is, but I just can’t watch it. If I find myself wanting to see the Bullet Club guys, I’ll put on some Ring Of Honor.

4. Jon Stewart’s segment on Raw was one of the better celebrity segments in a long time.

It was sure as shit better than Wiz Whatshisnuts on Monday, I’ll say that. Yeah, Stewart did great. I think it might have been the best use of a celebrity since Stone Cold (Cold Stone?) and Mike Tyson back in 98. And if WWE hadn’t edited the video they put online to take out most of the best stuff, I’d share it with you all. Such morons.

5. Talents like Alberto El Patron, Rey Mysterio and Samoa Joe opting not to re-sign (or leave their promotions for other reasons) is positive thing for the wrestling business as a whole.

Of course. Any time somebody with name value can lend it to an alternative in a positive way, it’s a good thing. Maybe nobody’s touching WWE for the number one spot in the industry right now, but the existence of a bunch of strong twos and threes is, to quote every promo in WWE for the last couple years, what’s best for business. That there are other things I can watch is one of the main reasons I’m still a wrestling fan. If all I had was the last 5-10 years of WWE over and over again, I’d have likely given up a long time ago.

6. What is your current excitement level for WrestleMania 31?

Ahh, this question again. But since WWE hasn’t done anything else to get me excited for Mania since the last time I answered it, I’m going to put just as much effort into answering it this time.

That’ll do it for this round. Now back to your regularly scheduled dick jokes and dog stories.

What Do You Call A Person Who Assaults People?

No, that’s not the start of a bad joke. We’re actually curious.

Carin and I were having breakfast and chatting as usual when I made a comment that somebody was “a rapist at worst and an…assaulter? at best.” It occurred to us that if there’s a word for someone who commits assaults, neither of us knows it, and that it’s kind of weird that we wouldn’t if it exists. And if it doesn’t exist, why doesn’t it? We have words for all kinds of other criminals, so how did assault find itself left out? Just off the top of my head I can come up with rapist, burglar, murderer, strangler, fraudster, voyeur, robber and thief, and that’s by no means a complete list I’m sure. It’s just what I could do without thinking hard. Is the problem that assault is too broad a category? It does seem like a catch -all type term for a lot of things (punching, kicking, spitting, sometimes even stabbing), so maybe that’s it. But maybe there’s an assaulter, assaultist, assaultizer, assaultrix, assaultinator or even an assaulthief floating around in some dictionary or criminal code somewhere that nobody uses anymore. If there is, we’d like to know about it.

Accessible Voting In The Waterloo Region: Here Are All Your Options…I Think…

I usually don’t wait until the day before advanced polling starts to put up a link to accessible stuff around the region, but a. Captain Nameless Illness is making me work really slow, and b. We’re still figuring out this huuuge city, so didn’t have much of a clue. So, it took longer to make sense of the info that was available.

But here it is. I would have been lazy and linked to this one beautiful page that had things consolidated in one handy place, but their page didn’t have Cambridge on it, the information looked slightly wrong, and commenting required you to respond to an inaccessible CAPTCHA. Way to go, Independent Living Centre Waterloo Region, way to go. *clapclapclap*. I should amend that, at least they’re looking into alternatives, but um? How wasn’t this caught sooner? How long have they been wandering along with that CAPTCHA up there?

And while I’m dealing out sarcastic applause, I give one to the City of Kitchener’s election page for posting the “voter’s guide to an accessible election,” a document that clearly states that the guide is for the clerk’s use, and to use the sections that are correct for their city/town, and to not make the whole guide available to the voters, like they did here. Woooo! Hehehehehe! Good job!

So, I’m going to have to find all the info for each city myself and assemble it here.

Which is proving more difficult than I thought.


On the City of Kitchener’s voter information page, there is a heading of “special needs” which appears to have most of the necessary information. However, they don’t mention a detail that I read about greeters being available to open external non-accessible doors if necessary, or the part where if you brought a buddy with you to vote, you’d have to take an oath that you were unable to vote on your own. Um, gross?

The skinny is all polling stations are mostly wheelchair accessible, unless of course the outside doors don’t have buttons to open them, but if you want to use those accessible voting machines, you have to go to one of the five advance voting spots linked to under “advance voting”.


So…I hope RIM Park is easy to get to, because if you need an interpreter or one of those accessible voting machines and live in Waterloo, that’s where you’re goin’, sucka. Also, I hope if you need an interpreter, your job doesn’t mind you scootin’ out between 2 and 4 in the afternoon. Blech. Also, what’s up with the line “Voters with disabilities are encouraged to vote at advance voting locations where assistance is available.”

As opposed to those barren wastelands of nothingness. Maybe a comma could have cleared that up, i.e. don’t vote on election day like the unwashed masses, you disabled voter you. Or maybe, like I thought, it meant go where the service you require is. Or maybe, like I alternatively thought, it meant don’t go to some of the advance polling locations…we staff those with lazy arseholes!

More info can be found on this Waterloo where to vote page.

Cambridge, poor, little, left out in the cold Cambridge

But you’re a rather progressive little out in the cold city! You, unlike the rest of the region, think folks with disabilities should be able to vote using assistive voting equipment on election day. And, and, people in Cambridge can vote by phone and online! Yes!

with the caveat that blind folks might wanna vote by phone, since according to this KW Record article, the online version has a whole lot of CAPTCHA goin’ on. You also might want to get your 13-digit PIN from your voter card written down since no PIN, no votin’.

For all the juice on Cambridge election options, here’s their page on voting options. I don’t like the not so nice touch of having every supplementary document available in pdf, but at least the viewer has a download option, so whatever.

Aaack. That took far more effort than I originally bargained for. But at least I could have fun with it. Hopefully I manage to post this without breaking my links. Apparently today, concentration isn’t my strong suit and things I could do in my sleep before are a bit of a struggle.

Everybody, if a municipal election is coming up, get out and vote. There’s gotta be a way to do it that works for you.

Learning The Coolest

We have a guest contribution from Gill for the first time in a little while. She’s right. Learning English is hard enough when it’s your first language let alone your second, and slang just adds to the…fun?

Canada’s Cool Factor

We are a nation of immigrants, so whether you are the son of Cambodian refugees, or the daughter of ninth generation Canadians, we all came from somewhere

“What The Smerf?`

A very good friend of mine came from Pakistan in 1981 at the age of five, and she told me that she learned around 90% of her English by watching things such as The Barba Papas, and the Smerfs. It has been said that that is a great way to learn English, and lets not forget the cool factor.

Plop It Down, but don’t give me The stink eye

What those ESL classes don’t teach is the commonly used slangs. My sister worked as a bank manager in Toronto, and was enveloped by a plethora of nationalities. One time around Christmas her financial advisor, who had immigrated from Iraq had a document and asked her where to put said document. Heather looked at him and replied, “oh just plop it on my desk.` Having only been in Canada a couple of years he asked, “tell me about this word plop?`

The lady who cleans my house is from Serbia, and has only lived in Canada three years. Her English although improving is still quite limited. Recently I told her “with Elora gone there’s no one to give you the stink eye.` She smiled with the smile of the genuinely confused, so I explained that the stink eye was just another way of saying dirty looks.


Put yourself in their shoes, and imagine what it would be like to learn another language. Also give yourself the opportunity to teach someone the cool way, yes those general things are good, but plop some slang in as well.

Homophones Are So Gay! Oh, And You’re Fired

Today in perhaps you should be enrolling in the school instead of running it: Language School Blogger Fired for Writing About Homophones

A social media specialist for a Utah language school that teaches English to non-native speakers says he was fired for writing a blog post about homophones—words that sound the same, but carry different meanings—because his boss was afraid readers would think it was about “gay sex.”

Tim Torkildson told the Salt Lake Tribune that shortly after his lesson went up, Nomen Global Language Center owner Clarke Woodger fired him, complaining “now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality.”

“I had to look up the word” Woodger said, according to the account Torkildson published on his personal blog, “because I didn’t know what the hell you were talking about. We don’t teach this kind of advanced stuff to our students, and it’s extremely inappropriate. Can you have your desk cleaned out by eleven this morning? I’ll have your check ready.”

And believe it or not, the boss confirmed that he really is this stupid.

“People at this level of English,” Woodger told the Tribune, “may see the ‘homo’ side and think it has something to do with gay sex.”

Credit for not rushing out a standard, see through denial, I suppose.

And just to add another layer of dumbassitude to a situation that should be crumbling under the weight of more than enough of it already, the report also points out that the school’s blog contains a post about homophones…written in 2011. Some fine quality control work, Lou.

Word Crimes

Weird Al released a new album this week. It’s called Mandatory Fun, and you can buy it on his website, among other places. He’s been putting songs on YouTube to promote it, and this one’s the best of the bunch, no contest. “Weird Al” Yankovic – Word Crimes

In case you’ve somehow been fortunate enough to have never heard it, that’s a parody of a shitty song called Blurred Lines performed by a fellow named Robin Thicke, who’s most recent claim to fame is spectacularly shitty album sales.

Heds Will Roll: Where All The Headlines That Should Be In The Newspapers Go

When Carin and I write news stories, we can pretty much call them whatever the hell we want. But sadly, our “real reporter” friends don’t enjoy that same degree of editorial freedom. So it’s nice to see that there exists a place where all of the clever/funny/that’s just wrong headlines I know for a fact they have in them can live on and be enjoyed. Heds Will Roll

It reads like a list of titles we’d totally use, which means we must be doing something right…right? Please tell us we’re doing *something* right.

It’s hard to pick a current favourite of the ones I’ve seen, but I’m somewhat partial to this one:

Eton Trifles
A tabloid item on Paul Weller, the former singer of The Jam, being photographed outside a pub after gaining some weight

In case you don’t get it, The Jam ~ Eton Rifles

Simple, yet effective and with just the slightest tinge of cruelty. Near perfect, I say.

Can A Period Mean Somebody Is Mad At You? Yes, But That Has Nothing To Do With Text Messages

Do me a favour. Read this article all about how periods at the ends of sentences in text messages now mean that you’re angry at the person you’re writing to and see if it makes any sense to you, because I understand about 0 of it.

Honest to god, in a million years I would not have been able to think this up. Where did it come from? It just all feels so arbitrary. They seem to be using the argument that it’s all about people’s inability to detect the intended tone in writing, but if that’s the case, why does it only apply to texts? Using this logic, shouldn’t every email be an angry one? Is everything in the newspaper, no matter what it’s about, written by someone who is unhealthily upset? And what about books? Don’t even get me started on books. So many sentences, so many blood pressure related deaths just waiting to happen.

and what of all the other punctuation marks nobody is using anymore? If periods mean anger, what sort of evil is signified by the poor, forgotten apostrophe? Is my proper use of a comma actually saying “I’m going to come over to your house and blow a load in your eye?” It must be something like that, because surely we’d all be happy to write in complete sentences if periods weren’t meany marks.

I know I’m talking nonsense right now, but these guys started it. Of course periods mean finality, because the sentence is over. Feel free to start a new one, you know, as if you’re a human being with even the faintest grasp of how a conversation works. If you need clarification, ask for it.

And did it ever occur to any of these people that maybe all the shorthand and digital chicken scratch might be part of the problem? When all of your thoughts just sort of run together in a giant jumble of what the hell is that supposed to say, of course tone is going to be hard to pick out. This feels like one of those problems that phones with full keyboards should have solved by now.

It’s not innovation. It’s laziness. It’s partly convenience, but it’s laziness and an excuse for it when you get right down to it. If it were simply a necessary adjustment required to facilitate clearer SMS communication, a whole lot of the internet wouldn’t look anything like it does. End of story. Period.

What Kind Of Name Is Decadent Chocolate Chip For A Cookie, Anyway

Speaking of Dave Nichol, Carin wondered this morning while we were talking about him why you would ever call a cookie decadent, since decadent means decaying. I said I was pretty sure that it also meant something like sinful or pleasing, but she wasn’t convinced. Well, I looked it up. There’s decay and moral decline in there as expected, but there’s also this:

:  characterized by or appealing to self-indulgence (decadent pleasures)

Who are you to doubt the President, Carin?