Archive for the 'Language' Category

May 08 2012

The Great Caramelized Onions Debate

There’s been a kerfuffle over the past week around the issue of caramelized onions and whether or not they can be made in a short period of time, such as ten or fifteen minutes. (What you missed it?) It started with this article on, in which Tom Scocca complains that “recipe writers” lie about […]

6 comments so far

Feb 28 2010

Fly vs. Flies

Categorized under Home,Language,Moi,Writing

This morning, Martine found the following sentence in a recent Vanity Fair magazine article: “The couple still fly separately.” There are two problems with that sentence; first, “the couple” is a singular object, so the verb should be “flies” not “fly” (Bob flies, Bob and Fred fly). So the immediate reaction is to change the […]

4 comments so far

Aug 01 2008

How I Waste My Time (#238)

I like Flickr. There is lots of good stuff on Flickr, and I’m not just talking about the photos. There are interesting discussions, cool tools, fun mapping toys, and of course lots and lots of images. Flickr is one of the original “social networking” sites that came about before “social networking” became “a thing” (a […]

13 comments so far

Oct 05 2007

The Ubiquitous Gregory Charles

Categorized under Culture,Language,Music

Gregory Charles is everywhere. He’s a multi-talented, classically trained pianist and singer who hosts TV and radio shows in French-speaking Quebec, has acted in numerous stage and TV productions, gets tremendous airplay for his recently released easy-listening record album, and makes guest appearances on every second TV and radio show in Quebec (at least the […]

10 comments so far

May 18 2007

Open? Close?

Categorized under Communication,Language,Moi

Below you see a familiar sight; the “open door” and “close door” buttons found in the elevators of many downtown office buildings: Maybe it’s just me, but I can never figure out which button to push. To be precise, by the time I figure out which is the correct button, it’s too late. The reason […]

19 comments so far

Jul 24 2006

Try and Speak Correctly

Categorized under Communication,Language,Writing

Languages evolve, yes, and sometimes they evolve in annoying but understandable ways. But sometimes they evolve in annoying but not-so-understandable ways. My current pet peeve along these lines is the evolution of “try to” (e.g., “I will try to speak correctly”) into “try and” (e.g., “I will try and speak correctly”). It’s one of those […]

18 comments so far

Aug 08 2003

I am so blogging THIS!

Categorized under Language

Loyal readers of will recall the “bise moi” kerfuffle from a few months ago. For those of you just arriving, “bise” is a slang word in French for “kiss,” so this unbearably sweet anglo one day said, to M, my francophone girlfriend, “bise moi!” The sentiment did not go unnoticed, and neither did the […]

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