Grammar Guru: will/going to

Further in my collection of posts you won’t find in a coursebook, and nastiness we could do without (if it weren’t funny): I’ve just finished writing a quiz on using future tenses, and have saved the most sexually incorrect joke I could find for you. “You’re ugly.” “And you’re drunk.” “Yes, but in the morning […]

MadTV’s Apple iPad

A: Lindsay! Great job in the sales meeting! – Hey, do you have a pad I can borrow? B: Sure! Here you go! A: No, you know, the ‘other’ kind of pad. B: I can’t believe you still use maxipads. A: I know, I just… I have a narrow cervix, so it’s painful for me […]

Dick Martin pick-up line

“Hey, listen, Cathy, why don’t we go up to my place tonight? You know, I’m a marvellous cook.” “Really? What’s your specialty?” “______________.” PS: How embarassing: The name is Dick, not Dean. Thanks, Meg, for setting me straight!

Goldie Hawn on Laugh-In

Let’s continue our conversation about Laugh-In up here. Chris was saying that he was watching Laugh-In “from the conformity of suburban London”. Well, Washington, DC was also not exactly California, either, and Laugh-In (1968-73) was a revelation to little-girl-me, too, and gave me the specific sense of humor I have. It’s just hit me that […]

Tiny Tim: Tiptoe through the tulips

My niece left us again today, sadly, and she left us a lovely bouquet of orange tulips. We’d talked about how valuable tulips were in the 16th and 17th century, when the bulbs that we consider commonplace were very rare and were traded for enormous sums of money. The tulip mania led to especially frenzied […]

U is for understand

I understand. — Empathy, part 2: an effective active-listening phrase when you don’t really want to listen to somebody (“too much information”), but don’t want to sound rude. Laughs c/o sitcom Two and a Half Men, 1st season, 7th episode. I put together tips and a language exercise on active listening here.

S is for Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel, 1904-1991) is pronounced “Zeus” in English, like the Greek god. And he is a, if not the, godhead in the pantheon of English literacy. In a hilarious reading of Green Eggs and Ham, the Rev. Jesse Jackson called him a “latter-day saint”. He was a third-generation German-American who grew up […]