Snark Tank

Making the world a better place, one snark at a time. (For a fuller explanation see the blog post of the same title.)

Welcome back, you illiterate swine!

No, wait, not you.

These guys:

The novel, published by a reputable publisher, which, in the first 10 pages, spelled the word “judgment” as “judgement.”

BZZZT! Thank you for playing! Novel, into the recylcing. Next!

The other novel, a good one, also published by a reputable publisher, that expressed a quantity we’ll call ‘x’ as greater than a quantity we’ll call ‘y’ thus:

“x was more then y.”


After I finished screaming, “THAN! THAN! More THAN, you illiterate swine!” I realized I was too far into the book to toss it. But my heart wasn’t in it anymore, so I skimmed my way to the end. And then I put it in the recycling.

These lapses in literacy sent my mind reeling back to other instances of mangling or misusing words that drive me nuts.

The NPR reporter who consistently pronounces the three-syllable word “president” as a two syllable word, “prezdent.”

The ditsy morning DJ I stopped listening to because she consistently pronounces words ending in “ing” (which should rhyme with “ring” or “swing”) as “een” (rhyming with “sheen” or “mean.”) Really? REALLY? You are go-eeen to answer the phone that is ring-eeen causing the cat’s meow-eeeen because it is bother-eeeen you?

Worse, a certain public figure in my state seems to believe he can make himself seem “folksy” by making television ads in which he appears in an immaculate stage set meant to look like some sort of workshop, wearing a pristine lumberjack plaid shirt and droppin’; the “g”s off every word that should end in “ing” (to rhyme with “ring” or “swing”) – right, dude, I’ll be lulled into believin’ that you are just a regular guy, right in there fightin’ for a regular gal like me, makin’ things better (oops wait you haven’t made anything better – in fact I can’t see that you’ve accomplished much of anything, sorry, “anythin’ ” that you promised to do, sayin’ “I’m gonna…” another way you try to make yourself sound “folksy”… do this that and the other thing, seemingly all by yourself, because you seem to think, as billionaire businessmen are wont to do, that you can just decree something and make it so; news flash, dude – you can drop your “g”s from now until kingdom come and it won’t make a bit of difference – you will never be “folksy” and you are never “gonna” accomplish anythin’ all by yourself. Are you gettin’ this?


For the sake of our child, who loves to listen to the radio, I won’t get started on the spectacularly irritating pop song lyrics that make no sense at all, even though listening to them over and over makes my teeth curl.

Hopeen and hopin’ that you are haveen  or havin’ a more literate morneen or mornin’ than I (yes, I, as in “I hope you are enjoying a nicer morning than I am enjoying.” You wouldn’t say, “than me am enjoying,” now, would you?)

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.


OK, here we go:

Get this through your brand-addled, casual-Friday-ed, open-environmented, ergonomic- ball-chaired, giant post-it-note conference “spaced” head:

If you are having a discussion AROUND something, you are not having a discussion ABOUT it. In fact, you are avoiding having a discussion about it.

“Oh, we’re going to have a discussion AROUND the hideous failure of the new ad campaign! I’m so relieved! I thought we were going to talk ABOUT it!”

So, you’re actually going to have a discussion ABOUT something! Don’t forget to “take a deep dive” and festoon your “space” with giant post-it notes full of “brandstorming!”

Alright, now, Millennials, this one’s for you:

No. More. Periods. After. One. Word.

This is not emphasis. It is illiteracy.

Sentences, which end with periods, require a noun and a verb.

Now, don’t get me started on adverbs.

When I’m ready, I’ll post a full Requiem for the Adverb.

Which you can read quick while you eat healthy and work smart.

For “all intensive purposes.”

Hope this has “peaked” your interest.

OK, your turn. Toss ’em in. This is the Snark Tank. Open for grammatical and word-use pet peeves and examples of preventable stupidity. Go for it.

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