09 July 2006

Broken Promise + Grammar

If anything will get me to break a promise, it's grammar. Take a look at this week's On Language column. (It's not by Safire--wtf? Did he finally curl up in a little desicated ball of a shell and blow away in the fucking wind? Is he down in Circle Eight, writing speeches for Tricky Dick? I don't read the NY Times Magazine often enough to follow these things.) [Late update: the, uh, longer, at-the-end by-line says Safire is on vacation. Oh well.] Ben Yagoda writes about parts of speech, or "lexical categories", which phrase I must admit has a little more cachet.

But regardless of name, lexical categories are quite useful. They make possible not only Mad Libs but also the rhetorical device anthimeria — using a word as a noncustomary part of speech — which is the reigning figure of speech of the present moment. [Emphasis added.]

Mister hardcore grammarian writes one of the most most offhand belly-splitting-with-laughter phrases of the year! Mad Libs! I bet grammarians fill out the most ridiculous Mad Libs in their spare time.

--Charles, look at this Mad Lib I filled out: 'After a sesquipedalian micturation, Bobby cogitated that his turkey had become an inextirpable ossification.' Har har, I'm such a latitudinarian!