Monthly Archives: October 2013

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What? A novel? From QT?

Z.N.S., a Chicago reader, writes:
“I hear you’ve completed a novel! From what I understand, 60606  is the suspenseful tale of a newspaper reporter who runs afoul of right-wing religious terrorists, among other things! And that it is hilarious at times, as well! And that it is in special e-book pre-release for QT readers! How can I purchase a copy?”
No. Sorry.
QT will not tell readers that they can find out more by going here.
QT does not indulge  in shameful self-promotion.
It prefers shameless self-promotion.

QT XCV Days Until Super Bowl XLVII Update:
In the past VII years, NFL players have been arrested CDIII times, including CX  for drunk driving,  LXIV for drugs, XLIV for assault, XXII for battery, XXIX for domestic violence, and XXXIII for guns.

News Headline: “Black sesame seeds can be so much more than a decoration.”
Slow news day.

QT News You Can Use:
Martha Stewart wants you to know that the necessary equipment for carving a Halloween pumpkin includes a keyhole saw, a sabre saw, a wood gouge, a linoleum cutter, a hole cutter, a plaster scraper, a melon-ball scooper and a power drill.

News Headline: “United Nations adopts plan to defend Earth from threatening asteroids.”
Such as Asteroid 2013 UX2, the second asteroid in a week to be discovered after it had passed between Earth and the moon.
But this matter has now attracted the attention of a U.N. committee.
So we can breathe easier.

From the QT Archive of Knowledge:
+ Fifteen thousand male witches were put to death in Europe between 1450 and 1750.
+ Happy Halloween!

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
Jack Finarelli, a Falls Church, Va., reader, writes:
“What is the distinction between ‘avow’ and ‘aver’?”
Someone has been doing crosswords.
QT will asseverate that much.
And as we are almost at the Halloween moment:
The first syllable of  “Jekyll,” as in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, rhymes with “bleak.”
And there is no “hollow” in Halloween.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

It never lets up, does it

News Headline: “Each year, 500 U.S. children killed, 7,500 wounded by gunshots.”
Always more complaining about dead children.
See what the NRA has to put up with?

News Headline: “Rick Santorum describes GOP as leaderless and in a state of ‘mess and confusion.’ ”
And mind you, he’s dwelling on the positive.

The Case for the San Andreas Fault:
San Jose, Calif., has shut down school fundraising car washes because of environmental concerns raised by soap and water.

News Headline: “Dick Cheney: Military action against Iran may be inevitable.”
If Cheney were startled suddenly from a deep sleep, would his first mumbled words be “military action may be inevitable”?

News Headline: “Designer unveils plans for underwater city.”
No need.
A few more years of climate change, and we’ll have Boston and Miami.

News Headline: “Nanoscale engineering boosts performance of quantum dot light diodes.”
And isn’t it about time?

News Headline: “Lego people to outnumber real people by 2019.”
Which is when they will make their move.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
News Item: “. . . leaving behind a grizzly scene. . . .”
News Item: “. . . go into all the grizzly details. . . .”
News Item: “. . . when she made the grizzly discovery. . . .”
. . . that our nation’s bear population seems to need thinning.
And J.R., a Chicago reader, reminds us that Daylight Savings Time will not end this Sunday.
Daylight Saving Time will.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Mega dittos on this one

News Headline: “Pope decries ‘scandal’ of hunger amid plenty.”
News Headline: “Pope Francis on gays: ‘Who am I to
judge?’ “
News Headline: “Don’t reduce faith to ‘moralistic’ ideology, pope warns.”
Isn’t it clear by now?
The pope is a Muslim who hates America.

News Headline: “Loud fish sex being blamed for keeping residents awake at night.”
Even in nature, we sometimes have to bang on the motel room wall.

News Headline: “GOP erupts as Democrat compares Tea Party to KKK.”
As well the GOP should.
The comparison is wildly inappropriate.
The Ku Klux Klan has never pretended it’s not racist.

News Headline: “Another hazardous asteroid to dart close to Earth in 2065.”
Which isn’t to mention Asteroid 2013 URI, which was discovered last night, three days after it passed halfway between Earth and the moon.
On second thought, let’s not mention it.

T.K., a Jiangmen, China, reader, writes:
“I watched ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ on  DVD  tonight.  I noticed the name Glenn Beck in the credits, but I couldn’t figure which of the apes he was.”
Easy there.
The actor named Glenn Beck played one of the  astronauts.
The actor named Glenn Beck has played, also, a cop, a pilot, a marshal and even Abe Lincoln.
He has not played a TV talker who hawks loon politics and overpriced gold to the gullible.
That role is taken.

Facebook Query to QT:
Complete Your Profile. Work: Where is the Chicago Sun-Times located? Enter City: —-.
When you communicate with Facebook,  go slowlyand use small words.

News Headline: “Listening to music relieves pain: study.”
A study that evidently didn’t take into account Andrew Lloyd Webber.

QT Trickle-On Economics Update:
McDonald’s, which tripled the pay of its CEO last year, advises workers who call its helpline that they might try food stamps to make ends meet.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
News Item: “. . . The general consensus of opinion is. . . .”
Doesn’t matter what it is.
Everybody’s entitled to his general general opinion of opinion.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Simply a matter of taste

News Item: “. . . 12 percent of American adults reported watching porn on the Internet. . . .”
News Item: “. . . 12 percent of Americans approve of
Congress. . . .”
So now we have 12 percent of Americans explained.

News Headline: “Lockdown lifted at Brandon Hospital; ‘shooter on the roof’ was maintenance worker with drill.”
Why do these silly panics keep happening in a nation with only 300 million guns that anyone can get his hands on?

News Headline: “Red wine helps kill cancer cells, new study reports.”
News Headline: “Beer can be good for your heart.”
News Headline: “Peanut butter may help to prevent cancer.”
News Headline: “Chocolate is healthy for your brain and heart, study says.”
Keep up the good work, researchers!

News Headline: “Saudi clerics protest women driving.”
Reminds QT. It hasn’t checked lately.
There are currently 1,710 Google hits for “tap-dancing militant Islamic fundamentalists.”
For those keeping track.

Stephen J. Smith, a Minneapolis reader, regarding another reader’s judgment that, in referring to Tea Party members as Banana Republicans, we guava winner, writes:
“This line of thinking could make a mango nuts.”
Stop it.
Kiwi please stop this?

News Headline: “White House works to flip Obamacare narrative.”
When did changing a story become flipping a narrative, and when can we have changing stories back?

 

News Headline:Insects aren’t gay, study finds, but possibly confused or over-excited.”
That’s their story, and they’re sticking to it.

QT Modern Corporate Gibberish of the Week:
Aenova and Vitera have announced mergers.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
B.S., an Evanston, Ill., reader, writes:
“Some of us were talking about the death of adverbs, as in the street sign ‘DRIVE SLOW.’ What do you think?”
QT thinks adverbs, like adjectives, should be used sparing.
But even if used rare, they should be used correct.
And there are always the signs that have the adverb right but forget the punctuation:
“CHILDREN AT PLAY DRIVE SLOWLY.”
As well they should.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Should wingnuts be allowed to marry?

News Headline: “Rick Santorum blames ‘Will and Grace’ for gay rights.”
Which returns us to the question:
Who is to blame for Rick Santorum?

News Headline: “Are you sleeping too much?”
News Headline: “Do you talk too much?”
News Headline: “Is your car ready for winter?”
News Headline: “Are you breathing wrong?”
Will someone please get the Internet off our backs?

News Headline: “A ‘tech surge’ will probably still take weeks to fix Obamacare website.”
Add surges to the list of things that aren’t what they used to be.

We Have Seen the Present, and It Does Not Work:
British physicians are warned to avoid using the word “obese” when treating obese patients because the word “obese” can be considered “derogatory.”

News Headline: “”Nothing Ted Cruz said about the ACA today is true.”
Katharine Rylaarsdam, a Baltimore reader, writes:
“Shouldn’t we give him credit for thoroughness?”

News Headline: “GOP eyes Donald Trump for governor run.”
Fair warning to avert ours.

News Headline: “Donald Trump tells David Letterman: ‘I’m really definitely not’ running for governor.”
Our short national nightmare is over.

News Headline: “Mexican drug leader assassinated by clowns.”
Considering the world’s news, this may qualify as Today’s Chuckle.

News Item: “Hillary Clinton could win all 50 states running against Banana Republicans in 2016.”
D.A., a Washington D.C. reader, writes:
“Banana Republicans. We seem to guava winner here.”
Stop it.
Stop it now.
J.K., a Chicago reader, meanwhile writes:
“Would you please tell your readers that it isn’t ‘a penny for your thoughts,’ but ‘a penny for your thought’?”
Sorry. Ran out of space.
Maybe next time.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

In other news. . . .

News Headline: ” ‘Glee’ to end after sixth season.”
Our long national nightmare is over.

News Headline: “House stenographer removed during vote on shutdown, debt limit.”
Or as the stenographer announced while being led off the House floor:
“. . . God shall not be mocked. A House divided cannot stand. . . He will not be mocked. Don’t touch me. He will not be
mocked. . . This is not one nation under God. . .  Had it been, it would not have been. No. It would not have been. . . .”
No truth to reports the stenographer was subsequently invited to speak before the Tea Party Caucus.

The Case for Zero Tolerance of Modern School Administrators:
A boy who drew a funny picture of a cartoon bomb and showed it off  at Hillcrest Middle School  in Simpsonville, S.C., was suspended for posing a “threat to student safety.”

News Headline: “London firefighters urge ‘common sense’ after penis freed from toaster.”
News Headline: “Did Republicans learn their lesson from the government shutdown?”
Maybe if the Republicans had listened to the London firefighters. . . .

News Headline: “Oregon Ducks to wear pink helmets against Washington State to fight breast cancer.”
QT never thought it would say this.
Never.
Go, Ducks!

QT Digest of the Week that Was (for Your Convenience):
“. . .  edge of the cliff. . . rabid. . . kick the can down the road. . . steamroll. . . forest for the trees. . . nuclear bomb. . . hostage. . . cancerous. . . matches and gasoline. . . .”
In other news, a bipartisan congressional committee met to discuss raising the metaphor ceiling.

News Item: “. . . has developed a theory that President Obama is actually the dead terrorist Osama bin Laden. . . .”
The debt crisis is done.
Our politics have finally returned to normal.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
Rich Rzadzki, a Chicago reader, writes:
“Perhaps you should  mention that a ‘factoid’ is not a fact but a ‘fabricated statement presented as fact but without supporting evidence.’  That would seem germane to the recent blatherings in D.C.”
And is one of those points that deserve repeating.
Or reblathering, if in D.C.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Final notice for GOP

News Headline: “What default? Republicans downplay impact of U.S. debt limit.”
Kids, go get grandpa and ask him what it was like when Republicans talked about meeting responsibilities instead of how to get away with being a deadbeat.

News Headline: “Ted Cruz dominates Republican straw poll.”
Or as Cruz put it in his recent 21-hour Senate speech, presented here in QT Digest Form:
” I. . . can’t. . . believe. . . Americans. . . are. . . buying. . .
this. . . .”
Again, this is in digest form.
But we have the gist.

News Headline: “Topeka library wrestles with concealed-carry law.”
Time is being wasted.
We need the concealed carry.
How else to deal with the national epidemic of library violence?

News Item: “. . . Quebec schools. . .  ordered to hire spiritual animators. . .  to  run anti-bullying campaigns. . .  focus on young people’s search for meaning. . . .”
When did guidance counselors become spiritual animators, and when can we have guidance counselors back?

News Headline: “Dennis Rodman returning to North Korea.”
News Headline: “Bjorn Borg might drop underwear over North Korea.”
Just how much more can North Korea take?

News Headline: “Veterans angry over Tea Party takeover of march on memorials.”
Let’s try to be fair.
Sarah Palin and her associates fought the urge to exploit the march.
But war veterans make such good props. . . .

Modern Education + the Criminal Mind =
A bank robber in Syracuse, N.Y., returned to the bank he had robbed to complain that the teller didn’t give him as much money as he had demanded.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
News Item: “. . . date back to the signing of the
Magna Carta. . . .”
J.J., a Denver reader, writes:
“If it isn’t time for your semiannual reminder that there is no ‘the’ in front of Magna Carta, it should be.”
Not to mention never a “the” in front of hoi polloi.
And who is the QT to disagree?

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

As the ticking time bomb rides a tiger toward the cliff

News Headline: “World bankers warn of dire consequences if U.S. defaults.”
In other news, House Republicans introduced a bill changing the motto of the United States from “In God We Trust” to
“Hold My Beer, and Watch This.”

News Headline: “Dead star eats water-rich asteroid.”
You don’t want to be in the neighborhood when the Intelligent Designer becomes bored.

News Headline: “GOP rep compares default on the debt to the American Revolution.”
Exactly.
Makes a patriot think back to the day the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

News Headline: “No, print isn’t dead.”
And if any of your friends doubt it, show them this story you found on the Internet.

QT Trickle-On Economics Update:
Wells Fargo, whose CEO received a $5 million raise last year, has laid off 5,500 workers since July to cut costs.

News Item: “The International Day for Disaster Reduction is a day to observe how people and communities are reducing their risk from disasters and raising awareness. . .”
. . . just as a typhoon hit the Philippines and earthquakes hit Venezuela and Crete.
This isn’t to mention Asteroid 2013 TL127, which was discovered during the weekend  three days after it crossed our moon’s orbit.
But we seem to have enough to worry about.
Which is why QT won’t  mention it.

Beware the ides of National Women’s Small Business Month.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
Robert Crystal, a Rochester, N.Y., reader, regarding QT’s mention that the inventor of GIFs pronounces it JIF, writes:
“Wait. Then is gigabyte GIGGA- or JIGGA-byte?”
JIGGA, according to the U.S. National Bureau of Standards.
But you will probably find a billion people who disagree.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Shoes and ships and ceiling wacks

QT Digest of Debate Over Government Shutdown and Debt Ceiling (for Your Convenience):
“. . . extortion. . . irresponsible. . . ignorant. . . .criminal. . . sadistic. . . tyranny. . . insane. . . travesty. . . sabotage. . .  dictatorial. . . . gutless. . . .reckless. . . progress. . . useful. . . keep talking. . . . ”
Wait a minute.
We’re not almost on the verge of being calm and reasonable, even for a moment, are we?

News Headline: “James Woods calls Obama a ‘true abomination.’ ”
News Headline: “Ted Nugent: Obama is a ‘monster in the White House.’ ”
News Headline: “Liberals on Twitter call for death of  actor James Woods, Tea Party.”
There. That’s better.

We Have Seen the Present, and It Does Not Work:
The President’s Council on Fitness has ordered  the Postal Service to put a hold its new stamp series on physical fitness because it depicts activities that include doing a headstand without a helmet.

News Headline: “Fracking wastewater contaminated–and likely radioactive.”
News Headline: “Industrial fishing scrapes the sea floor smooth.”
News Headline: “New study calculates year climate change will hit your city.”
News Headline: “Kentucky distilleries rapidly expand.”
And can’t expand rapidly enough.

The Case for Zero Tolerance of Modern School Administrators:
P.B., a Bethesda, Md., reader, wants you to know that Charlotte Elementary School in Nashua, N.H.,  has banned tag on its playground because, although tag “seems innocent enough,” it involves “contact” among the children.

Modern Education + the Criminal Mind +
A man in Port Charlotte, Fla., who owned an illegal gun called police to report it had been stolen.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
Tom Hedeen, a Chicago reader, writes:
“Why do people pronounce digital photographs, called GIFs, as JIFs? GIF stands for ‘Graphics Interchange Format,’ so shouldn’t it be said with a hard ‘G’?”
QT tends to agree.
But the inventor says it is pronounced JIFs.
And as far as sources jo, that’s as jood as it jets.
By Giminy.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

In the valley of the shadow of debt

News Headline: “Bachmann’s ‘good news’: End of the world is near.”
Talk about shutdowns.

News Headline: “Where does dizziness come from? Researchers pinpoint a key area in the brain.”
And don’t think for a moment it was easy getting Michele Bachmann to hold still.

We Have Seen the Present, and It Does Not Work:
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has directed that competing teams no longer shake hands after games, citing an increased risk of fighting among young athletes who show sportsmanship.

News Headline: “Can Big Business wrest control of the GOP back from the Tea Party?”
Human sacrifice. . .  dogs and cats living together. . . mass hysteria. . .  reasons suddenly existing to cheer for  Big Business. . . .

J.Z., an Evanston, Ill., reader, writes:
“The Republicans are right. We shouldn’t have to obey rules and stuff if we don’t like them. Signed, Johnny Smith, age 9.”
Or as President Obama should say to Capitol Hill Republicans:
“Don’t you make me come up there!”

News Headline: “Documentary: For years, NFL ignored concussion evidence.”
In other news, with CXV days to go until Super Bowl XLVII, this season’s NFL players have suffered XXXVI concussions.
Give or take I or II.

News Headline: “State lawmaker calls Obama ‘De Fuhrer.’ ”
News Headline: “Study claims U.S. adults dumber than rest of the world.”
Not all.
Just some.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
H.J., a Chicago reader, writes:
“I recall you had something to say months ago about the pronunciation of ‘gerrymander.’ I hear it a lot on TV these days, and no one seems to have it right–assuming you had it right.”
You are right that QT is right:
The news readers don’t have it right.
The word is taken from the name of Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry, who in the early 1800s showed unusual ways to redraw state senate districts.
He pronounced his name GARY, not JERRY.
So the word should be GARY-mander, not JERRY-mander.
We can always save the “J” sound for “gigabyte.”
Which should be JIG-uh-bite.
As long as we’re at it.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.