Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Tittle Fest for the Ages

I had forgotten about this card I bought Stephanie when her son Greg graduated high school.

I got nothing to say.


Greg and Stephanie worked so very hard on getting Greg to his graduation day. I am so proud of both of them. Greg has just enough challenges that he needs that little extra push, and I think a lesser parent would have ended up with a far less accomplished kid.

What's that got to do with tittles?? Oh, just everything, I think. Greg would never write like this. Never. His mom wouldn't let him. But if the world does it, that's just wicked peachy.

You have no idea the load I shoulder in this life.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Speaking of Dumb...

For someone who thinks this stuff is not all that important, Harry has developed a decent eye for it. Here's one from one of his son Jason's book. It brings to the fore, yet again, on of the key fronts in the war against literacy.

I like to call it: THE WAR ON YOUTH.

Not so long ago, Camel cigarettes got hammered for using a hip cartoon character to promote its products. Well what the heck is this? I mean, can we assume that the editors and publishers of this book understood that their target audience is still impressionable? After all, they didn't choose to be bricklayers or electrical engineers, now did they? THEY ARE PROFESSIONAL EDITORS. They are expected to understand stuff like, um, I dunno, ELEMENTARY EDITING!

Who could blame the kid who upon reading this book suddenly lurched off of the straight and narrow and began a life of borderline illiteracy?

Not me, folks. Definitely not me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This kids gets it!!

Memorized the Sesame Street song about something that gets so little love around here: The Capital "I":

Here's the classic original.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Ah, sweet, sweet vindication...

Here's a wiki page dedicated entirely to the discussion of a particular character's use of ill-placed lower case "i's". So, I'm right. This DOES matter. And here's my proof:

I'll take apologies as cash donations, although I do enjoy handmade greeting cards...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tittles "R" Fun!! (Part II)

As I've already pointed out, the marketing world has gone absolutely ga-ga over the hipness and unadulterated fun of the misused tittle. They are so easy to find these days that I almost didn't restart this blog (Did I hear clapping? Not. Funny.). It felt as though the horse had left the barn -- and run down the street -- where it found a rocket ship -- which it took to another galaxy. But I digress.

I went to lunch with my daughter and her friend, and while we were waiting for a table we went to the Hallmark store, and learned that tittles are where it's at for all of the cool teens.


And what small child -- still learning their alphabet -- their caps and smalls mind you -- wouldn't want fun shoes from these folks!!!

Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun fun, right?? I see tittles, I think "Fun!!", don't you? Tittles can make ANYTHING festive and light!!

Well, almost anything...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You say potato...

So Harry tells me the other day that I need to "get over it" basically, and Harry has known me for most of my life, so his words have weight, frankly.

He explains that language evolves, and therefore these sort of usage changes are inevitable -- whether we like it or not. He cites some of the work his dad has done (Morris Freilich, professor emeritus from Northeastern Univversity -- an anthropologist whose observations are fascinating even when clearly wrong). Harry writes insightfully about language and origins...

Natural Languages "evolve" over time and this process rarely has any logic or reason to it. This applies to vocabulary as well as punctuation. If you look at an English book from 500 years ago, the language looks very different. There is nothing logically wrong with the phrase "wherefore art thou", but this would now be meaningless if we didn't happen to read Shakespeare.

English dictionaries are written based on common usage (after the fact). They are updated every year based on frequency of the spoken and written words. It is all based on a consensus of what is out there. This applies to punctuation as well.

The evolution of language is often related to people finding new things that look/sound more interesting. After a while, some things stick and become part of the language.

Great stuff, right? But then he JOINS "The "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks" because, apparently, some changes in uses are more important than others.

Ouch. That left a mark, Harry.

But he did send me this little bit of child abuse, which makes it all better, frankly.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

iTunes, iPhones, iCarly and the like...

Following up on the deeper meaning of tittles....

Putting a lowercase "i" in front of a word has become shorthand for suggesting that a thing is somehow cool, tekkie, and Internet related. Apple didn't invent this idea, but they own it now -- a very clever marketing move.

But it messes with the language, as this reporter points out:

This is how language changes, and the Web, with its pressures for writing that is tight, short, and skimmable, is a force for change. In print, the limits are clear: Some things won't fit on the page. The situation online is subtler. It is theoretically possible to run articles that go on and on. But on an entry page (the "front page" of an online publication), space is as tight as on its ink-on-paper counterpart.

But it's worth noting that the Web headline for the story was, its first letter aside, actually more of a traditional hard-news headline than what ran in print. The print headline was more a "flavor headline." It suggested what happened but had no subject – no "doer" – or predicate verb.

By contrast "iPhone Users Plagued by Software Problems" would have made sense, grammatically at least, to a traditional green-eyeshade copy desk of a century ago. They might have had a little trouble understanding "software problems," though. They might have thought that "software problems" were what happened on a weekend when you had houseguests and you ran out of bath towels.

I like to make fun of myself and my obsessions in this blog, but this serious discussion about how changes in convention can lead to changes in language sort of strikes at the heart of what made me notice "tittle" in the first place...

Home Depot Wants ME!!

I got an e-mail from Home Depot today asking me to join their do-it-yourselfer club. After making the standard Groucho Marx observation that I would by definition refuse to join any club that would have me as a member, I signed up.

Those of you less than handy with tools probably wonder if these sorts of handyman projects are safe. Before you go there, ask yourself a more fundamental question.

Is Home Depot safe?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Vacation = Respite, right?

That's what they tell me anyway. Go far away, where there's limited Internet access preferrably. Forget your worries and cares. Relax and get away from it all. In fact, if you are tormented by the bad use of tittles in the popular culture, go to a foriegn country! Yah, that's it. Go where they don't even speak English.

Ahhhhhh. I can feel the relaxation just sort of washing over me in warm waves....

So we went to Mexico, Stephanie and I, and escaped to a place where the tittles could not find me. We strolled on a perfect moonlit evening down to the waterfront to have a nice meal. Italian perhaps?


"Sorry, honey, I. Just. Can't. "

"But Bob, it looks nice."

"Doesn't matter, it's a principle thing. "

"It's a stupid thing, if you ask me. " (I never realized that sometimes you can actually hear a person's eyes roll.)

"I didn't ask you. And besides, I saw a cool looking sports bar back there..."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Oh, it's a just drop of milk!!

See, to me it looks suspiciously like that drop of milk is NOT random. Far from it in fact. It's screaming like a little beacon to all who value ending the corruption of young minds...

This sort of brings me to an interesting point: Stephanie thinks I'm getting a tad carried away with this. She has worked with small children for many years, and doesn't think this is nearly the big deal that I make it. I suspect something very different is going on.

She's a plant.

She's marrying me to try to stop my crusade. My message: Honey, I love you, but it's NOT GONNA WORK!!!

Thanks to William for signing up to the cause. He adds "The only thing more upsetting than this sad little tittle is the contents of something called a "Milk Smoothie"."

Yah, I'm not exactly dying for one either, are you? And then, if you look closely, the flavor is peach and canteloupe. Yum. The word "rancid" comes to mind. As in: "How can I curdle this milk? I know, I'll add some peach and canteloupe...."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

That's ALL I'm Saying!!

There are horrors and there are HORRORS. This is an example of a "cute 'n fun!!" tittle. Stephen took the time to do an actual screen shot from a youtube video.

Does that get his "too much time on his hands" factor above mine?

I'm thinking yes, but who am I to judge...


This comes from Bethany at the "blog" of unnecessary quotation marks.

While the government is talking euthanasia, can we sign up "DAViD's" editor? Umm. That was a joke, okay? PLEEEEZE don't report me to the White House. I'm more "beefy" than "fishy" anyway.

Friday, August 14, 2009

And what if your whole life...

... is based on LIES!!!!

I'll bet these people think this is cute!! The dumbing down of America for kicks!! (although the dude with the spiky hair does more of that than any of this does, but I digress).

What is WRONG with these people!! Do they not have "I"s?

Let's boycott. Readers of this blog (if there are any): Don't go to FRiDAYS unless you're really hungry and there's nothing else around!!! BE STRONG!!

Now, to the biggest problem: Commercial Use!!

This pic is a little old, but representative of a large and annoying trend: Hip tittles. It seems as though marketing types have fallen in love with the dot on the "i" as a cool and friendly new look. It's spreading like wildfire.
It pretty much means that we're all doomed to looking at these ill-placed lowercase "i"s forever.
Once comething permeates the Madison Avenue culture, it starts to "look" right to people.

Where tittles are king...

Steph and I like traveling. As part of all that, we end up in many of the little specialty shops that sell, essentially, crap. Some of it's clever. Most of it is at least a little overpriced. Frequently it's fun to look at.
These places are ground zero for hand-written, misused tittles.
These are from Maine, I think.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tittles "R" Fun

The next generation is pretty much doomed when it comes to dotting "i"s inappropriately. It's almost a cliches to see stuff like this now. I often wonder why educators don't spit the bit when they see this stuff.


I'm baack!!

The siutation has only gotten worse, I'm afraid, as unnecessary tittles have become a trademark for "FUN!!" This needs to be documented. I'm here to serve. This will be a busy blog...