Friday, October 30, 2015

The Clashing Pumpkins

When the days get shorter and the nights get cooler, autumn is here … and so is a certain round, orange fruit. It infiltrates store shelves, finding its way into everything from macchiato and hummus to yogurt and KahlĂșa. It pops up in Pop-Tarts. It manifests in Mini-Wheats. It penetrates pasta sauces. Heck, it even adds volume to shampoo. This vine crop crops up everywhere.

Well, not everywhere.

Earlier this week a jump line in my local newspaper alerted readers to “See Pumpkin on A5.” When I jumped to A5, however, I didn’t see the word Linus would label great. I spotted something much scarier: a forbidden fruit.

Should anything come between m and p? The answer lies in the alphabet.

When carving this particular pumpkin, an inattentive writer harvested two k’s. One is stuck in the pump. Remove it. That first k is as out of place as a 30-year-old trick-or-treater. Chunk pumkpkin in the trash. It’s rotten.

Every company from Kellogg’s to Kraft Foods uses pumpkin. Reproduce their work. It’s an act of pumpkin pi…racy. Perfectly legal. And perfectly delicious, especially with a dollop of whipped cream.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Attack of the Near Clones

Actors perform in movies but on TV.

 People travel on a plane but in a car.

 It’s normal to be on the toilet, but to be in the toilet is disgusting.

 One in six is a ratio, but one on six is an unfair fight.

 If your house is on the lake, you’re lucky. If your house is in the lake, you’re miserable.

 A guy with a knife on him is able to defend himself, while a guy with a knife in him didn’t defend himself well.

 The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World is a book on libraries, but To Kill a Mockingbird is a book in libraries.

 If a woman tells you a man has six inches on her, he’s half a foot taller. If she tells you he has six inches in her …  um, TMI.

Enough dirty talk. Let’s turn on the lights and discuss today’s error, from an article about the release of the final trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Our, ahem, First Order* of business is to Ren-ovate the preposition in a quote from Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Sure, the character’s voice is masked by, well, a mask, but he clearly says in, which clearly makes sense.

Our illuminated (and illuminating) discussion reveals that on is anything but a bright spot. It’s time to turn on off.


That’s your cue, in. You’re on!

I’m sure the writer, now aware of his erroneous transcription, regrets his words. May the remorse be with him. (Ooh! That was an awful pun, huh? Kylo can I go?)

* A military organization inspired by the Galactic Empire

Monday, October 19, 2015

You Oughta "Know"

What do you mean?

Your second sentence, after the semicolon, is unintelligible.

Now, now, don’t cry like Bieber during the 2015 VMAs. We can fix this.

How do I know? Well, I begin with a k.

In all seriousness, I know because I’ve got now/know know-how. I mean it. If you could see my face right now, you’d be a Belieber.

Now, you see, is an adverb referring to the present; know is a verb denoting a sense of understanding. The distinction is common, um, nowledge.

In that five-word construction that follows the semicolon, your first now shines, but your second one isn’t too bright. If it had a k, it’d know better.

Now and know each need to appear, as Bieber belted in his debut song, “One Time.”

I need you, know.

I need you now.