Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Nightmare "Before" Prefix

Before the regular season comes the preseason, a series of games in which players sharpen skills and get into top condition, and coaches evaluate said players. These exhibition games don't count in the the standings.

Before the reseason comes the P. This letter always matters. It's an important P — a VI P.

So, what happened to the pre-reseason P at 4 o'clock?

It occurred beforehand. (See the 1 p.m. listing.) In other words, it was preexistent. At 4 p.m. it was no longer pre- existent.

Like Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, it didn't take part in the preseason.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Remorse Code

007 373 596

Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B

Beverly Hills, 9021

Old-school gamers and fans of ‘90s TV dramas know an incomplete code* doesn’t work. The same goes for “Code” names.

The photo below shows a political activist outside the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., in May. She protested. Now I must do the same. I object to one of her signs. Why? Do I have to spell it out for you? Fine. P-I-N.

Shawn Thew / European Pressphoto Agency
Color me surprised.

The anti-war organization is Code Pink, yet someone pink-slipped an integral letter from the sign in the woman’s right hand. Listing CODEPIN.ORG is as useful as stating that your drive-through order is “to go.”

I believe that’s the group’s co-founder, Medea Benjamin, rocking the “PINK void” signs, which only exacerbates the problem. She must have forgotten the old adage**: The domain name must remain the same.

Next time, add a K. ‘Kay?

Think PINK.

* Curious about the actual codes? Inputting 007 373 5963 takes you directly to Mike Tyson in the Nintendo game Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! Pressing up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A at the title screen gives you 30 lives in the Nintendo game Contra. (Not that I ever needed them!) The Fox teen drama starring Brandon, Brenda, Dylan and Kelly, among others, is Beverly Hills, 90210.

** OK, so it’s not an old adage. I just made it up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Prime Example of Carelessness

Dan Aykroyd. John Belushi. Chevy Chase. George Coe. Jane Curtin. Garrett Morris. Laraine Newman. Michael O'Donoghue. Gilda Radner.

Like the nine players who constituted Saturday Night Live's original cast, Sports Illustrated is not ready for primetime.

The writer got off to a precise start, but things went downhill fast after the first four letters. Consider it a prim- and improper spelling.

I prefer two words (hyphenated when used as an adjective), but either way, t should make like an 8:30 p.m. sitcom and be seen only once in prime time.

It should show up just in time.

Oh, too late.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Series Of

In one hazardous word, so to speak, from this TV Guide article about the HBO limited series The Night Of, which concludes in six days, a certain consonant is as common as insults and accusations during our current presidential election.

This is the rare instance in which it’s best not to avoid the pitfalls. Do, however, eschew three consecutive l’s.

You won’t catch me falling into that trap. I know how to spelll.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Not Ag-ain!

Whoa, not so fast!

The modern Olympic Games began in 1896, but it wasn't until the 1904 Summer Games in St. Louis that gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded for first, second and third place. (In 1896, winners were awarded a silver medal, and second-place finishers received a copper medal. Prizes other than medals were given in 1900.) These medal metals are rooted in Greek mythology's Ages of Man, which are the stages of human existence on Earth. Hesiod, a Greek poet, wrote about five eras of humanity: Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, Heroic Age and Iron Age. In the Golden Age, humans lived among the gods. In the Silver Age, men lived for 100 years without growing up and were destroyed by Zeus because of their impiety. In the Bronze Age, men were strong but violent, and they were ultimately consumed by their warlike rage.

Greek mythology gave us our Olympic metals, but science provided their value system. All three elements* — which you'll find in the same column on the periodic table — can be found in their native form. Copper (chemical symbol: Cu) is the lightest and most abundant of the three metals. Gold (Au) is the heaviest and most rare. Silver (Ag) falls in between, in weight and abundance. To the victor goes the scarcest, most valuable metal.

In short, if you finish first, you win gold. If you finish second, you get silver. If you finish third, you take bronze.

So why did bronze dash off in this USA Today article, leaving silver in its wake? That second silver is anything but sterling. The third-to-last word in the paragraph should, like George Hamilton, be bronze.

In a race to meet his deadline, I suppose, the writer introduced an error. Next time, he should do something Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin and Andre De Grasse (note the capital D) rarely do: Take it slow.

* Bronze isn’t an element, but it is an alloy consisting primarily of copper.

Monday, August 15, 2016

An Average Mistake

Falling short: Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve hit .541 in his first nine games after the All-Star break, but that's because he had 20 hits in 37 at-bats. (For those who are unaware, a baseball player's batting average is determined by dividing the number of base hits by the number of at-bats, then rounding to the third decimal place.) If Altuve had 20 hits in 47 at-bats, that would put him at .426. Still impressive, but it's a tall tale.

Monday, August 8, 2016

My Two Dads

Other wrong answers included Martin Crane from Frasier, Diane's (Ione Skye) father in Say Anything…, the beer-drinking character from Frasier who walks with a cane, Suspect actor John Mahoney and the man who voiced General Rogard in The Iron Giant.

Looks like the writer set his Frasiers to stun. I'm shocked that he didn't, ahem, white out one of those related answers.

The dad on Frasier
Frasier dad John Mahoney