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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Conjunction Misfunction

I normally don't cringe too much when people flog the Queen's English. I don't know why, really, because I'm a pretty pretentious and uptight kind of guy, and I like to think I always know when to use "whom" and how to spell "efficacious" without looking it up.

But I just looked it up.

My wife is usually the one who is most significantly bothered, of the people I know and love, when folks commit their linguistic solecisms. One of her co-workers made up a word recently, I can't remember what it was, and, when my wife heard it, she told me, "I died a little inside."

The thought of one of my dear, sweet wife's ribs or ovaries shriveling up, turning black and decomposing inside her body is most distressing to me, far more upsetting than some random schmuck-ball using "there" instead of "their." However, when I went to check my email this morning and was greeted with the following headline and teaser sentence from Yahoo News, I have to confess that I, too, died a little inside:

Mishaps, Spills at American Music Awards

“Taylor Swift wins big, Paula Abdul has a mic misfunction, and Jennifer Lopez falls down while performing.”

I'm sorry-- what, exactly, is a "misfunction?" Is it a function that has yet to get married?

The sad fact, ladies and gentlemen, that will be immediately apparent to anyone who has ever graduated middle school and/or was raised on "School House Rock" that "misfunction" is not a word. When I copied-and-pasted it into MS Word, it got the red-underline-of-death.

The word is "malfunction," motherfucker.

This stupid grammatical misfunction shouldn't make me angry, but it does. Why? Because there is some arrogant little shitbird who probably spends more time on Facebook than s/he does at his/her job who gets to work in Manhattan probably and has no concept of how to write in the English language. And yet, that is what this person gets paid to do. S/he gets to call him/herself a journalist. Or a writer. A professional, at that. And if that doesn't make someone like me mad, well, then nothing, short of dropping a large piece of furniture on my left testicle will.

I was tempted to click on the headline to read the rest of the article to see how many other typographical misfunctions there were, but I just couldn't bring myself to click. Clicking on the article, I think, gives my acquiescence to the piece as a whole, and I can't do that.

Of course, I could go into another direction here and rant about how J. Lo falling on her famous ass or Paula Abdul's mic missssssfunctioning isn't really news in the first place, but why bother. On the Today Show, there was a five minute piece about how Prince William might get engaged to his girlfriend. Because there was a picture of her wearing a ring. Not an engagement ring, though. And not on the right finger, either. It's just, you know, gossip.

Not, you know, news.

Which is just another example of how the modern media is all kinds of missfucked up.


  1. It could be that the journalist that wrote it had been up all night, sitting by the bedside of their dying grandmother, holding her hand and mopping her brow, and had gone straight to work on barely an hour's sleep.

    They hate their inane, vacuous job but can't afford to quit as they need the money to pay their grandmother's medical bills.

    In their sleep-deprived state, while writing a story that made them hate themselves a little, they made a typo -- writing "mis-" instead of "mal-"...

  2. Oh, Jay-- it's so nice to have such an eloquent devil's advocate reading my blog...

  3. The word was "independency".

    You know, derived from "dependency".

    I can use it in a sentence, too:

    "July 4th is the day our country celebrates its independency from Great Britain, and is appropriately called Independency Day"

  4. This soon-to-be out-of-work journalist agrees. Whenever I see that kind of shit, I think, "And THIS is who's in the biz while I'm trying to find a steady job?"

    And, for what it's worth, this all could have been the fault of the moronic editor. My personal favorite mistakes are the ones the editor inserts or the awful headlines the copy editor slaps onto my story.

    Oh, and the "Today" show is a waste of valuable airtime -- I hope it doesn't consider most of its content "journalism" per se.


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