Monthly Archives: August 2009

You do the math…or not

Math  by ptwo

flickr by ptwo

You do the math.”  I can’t say when I first heard this term but it seems to be fairly new.  That said, it is being used incorrectly a lot in my opinion.

 I would imagine that originally it mean to compare numbers.  An example might be that if you buy one or two of an item compared to a dozen. Ears of corn or doughnuts, maybe?  If you do the math, it is better to buy the larger number if you do the calculations.

 Now people throw the phrase in even if the situation is not one of numbers.  I was reminded of this when I heard an advertisement as I was driving around today.  The pitch was for some kind of substitute cigarette.  They were trying to convince potential buyers that their product was healthier than smoking.

I almost drove off the road when the voice-over said something about the fact that the company could not claim the product was health, but we as listeners could “do the math.” 

Hello—there were not figures involved!

Funny sign on a business

Funny sign for blogI really saw this sign, and had to go back with my camera.  It is a double FAIL.  The apostrophe police should be after them to start.  Then the grammar police.

Didn’t most of us learn early on that words ending in F should be changed when made plural?  Dwarf–dwarves, scarf–scarves, wife–wives.  Oh, well.

I wonder if they paid someone to apply the letters on the sign.

And, by the way, what is a meat bundle? 

You can’t make this stuff up!

Innocent or naive?

flickr  jglsong

flickr jglsong

I was reading in the local newspaper last weekend about an upcoming musical event. The director of the music called the characters “not so much naive as they are innocent.”

This statement got me thinking.  I guess I always considered innocent and naïve as being synonymous. (For my Iowa readers, this means they are essentially the same.)

 On further investigation, I found there are some differences.

 Innocent means pure or without sin and not involved with evil intent. It also means guiltless (like O.J.?)  Actually, I think he was found not guilty which is a subtle different.  But, I digress. 

Naïve on the other hand means unaffected simplicity or absence of artificiality. A naïve person is usually considered unsophisticated.   They also probably lack life experiences.


What other pairs of words have a close but not exactly the same meaning?

Are you a farrier?

flickr tony austin

flickr tony austin

The last post referenced keglers.  (Some of you were waaay off on that one–shame on you)  

Farrier is another word that has been around for a while. 

A farrier is a specialist in equine (horse) hoof cares including the trimming and balancing of a horse’s hoof and the placing of horseshoes.   In past time, farriers and blacksmiths were usually the same person.  

Some data says the term is derived from the Latin word for iron, which is ferrum.  The symbol on the periodic table is FE.

Don’t confuse the word with harrier, which is an old word for a cross-country runner.

Note: Word spellchecker does not know the word farrier.

Are you a kegler?

bowling flickr pal berge

flickr pal berge

I have been a kegler in the past.  No, this has nothing to do with any college activities, although college students do kegle.  Some get academic credit for it too.

A kegler is a bowler as in bowling alley, bowling pins, funny shirts and beer frames.

The origin of the word comes from the German language meaning a bowling pin or peg.

Back in the day when I bowled, the term was still use.  A clever team might call themselves the Krazy Keglers, etc.  (Naming bowling teams was an art, as you can see)

I must admit a couple of bowling shirts adorned my closet over the years.  They all had a business name on the back and my name on the front.  One really classy bowling shirt (an oxymoron?) had my last name stitched on the back.

So, I bet some of you were keglers.   As they used to say, “Get out of the streets and into the alleys.”