Author Archives: Zay Smith

QT New Year’s news you can use

New Year's
A reminder to those who are out of work–or know others who are–while the merriment happens all around:
The outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas will offer free job-search and career advice to anyone who calls from anywhere today and tomorrow, December 28 and 29.
The number is (312) 422-5010.
The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST.
And always remember:
There are Twelve Days of Christmas.
And a New Year after that.

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Santy Clause
Who hides in a bakery at Christmastime?
A mince spy.
Ho, Ho, Ho!
That should do it until QT returns next week.
Ho, Ho, Ho!
Only one thing left to say:
Merry (QT offers this statement without representation or warranty as to the effects or repercussions thereof upon any and all persons who might elect to celebrate the holiday as represented therein and with the understanding that any persons taking such actions without such representation or warranty do so with the express understanding that they have agreed to indemnify and hold QT harmless from the effects thereof) Christmas!

QT Christmas news you can use

Christmas Hotline
A word to those who are out of work–or know others who are–while the merriment happens all around:
The outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas will offer free job-search and career advice to anyone who calls from anywhere on December 28 and 29.
The number is (312) 422-5010.
The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST.
And always remember:
There are Twelve Days of Christmas.
And a New Year after that.

EXCLUSIVE: QT has commissioned a portrait of Donald Trump by the artist Pricasso, who is famous for painting with his penis, which seems about right for our politics these days

Donald Trump
QT some weeks ago watched a TV network news story on Tim Patch, better known as Pricasso, the Australian artist who paints with his penis.
QT had just finished watching a speech by Donald Trump.
One thought led to another.
QT reached Pricasso in Australia and commissioned a special portrait.
It has arrived.
QT here unveils it.
And now all seems right with the world.

WRITE TO QT:  qt@zaysmith.com

The сияющий город upon a hill

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - MARCH 03: Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (L) watch a military exericises at Kamenka polygon on March 3, 2014 near Saint Petersburg, Russia. Ukrainian forces in Crimea have reportedly been issued with a deadline for surrender by the Russian military as it continues to mass equipment and personnel along the border. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)

News Headline: “Putin’s imperial adventure in Syria.”
We have to keep in mind:
Vladimir Putin believes Russia is the greatest nation in the world.
He believes in Russian exceptionalism.
And you know how people like that can be.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language

Hearts and Guts
News Item: “. . . the heart-wrenching story of. . . .”
News Item: “. . . the gut-rending songs of. . . .”
Rich Rzadski, a Chicago reader, reminds us that it isn’t “heart-wrenching” and “gut-rending” but “heart-rending” and “gut-wrenching.”
And as we are heading  into the political season:
Events can be both stomach-churning and stomach-turning.
Not to mention mind-boggling and mind-numbing.
And will be.

WRITE TO QT:  qt@zaysmith.com

QT digest of Donald Trump’s remarks from the past week (for your convenience)

Trump Mouth
“. . . idiot. . . stiff. . . total loser. . . true moron. . . clown. . . total lightweight. . . .”
Say this for Donald Trump:
He’s not be overly intelligent.
But he’s unpleasant.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language

CIA Manual
The CIA Style Manual and Writers Guide for Intelligence Publications wants you to know:
+ ” ‘Data,’ ‘media,’ ‘criteria,’ ‘phenomena’ are plural and require plural verbs. . . . One never satisfies a criteria or observes a phenomena.”
+ “ ‘All right.’ Never ‘alright.’ ”
+ “ ‘’Different from’ is correct; ‘different than’  is not.”
+ “ ‘Ironically’ involves a sharp contrast between the apparent and the expected. Do not use ironically when referring to a trivial oddity.”
+ “ ‘Hanged’ is the past tense of hang when referring to an execution; ‘hung’ is the proper past tense in all other meanings.”
And keep in mind:
Homeland Security will know if you break these rules.

WRITE TO QT:  qt@zaysmith.com

From Poor QT’s Almanack

Battle of Cerignola, Italy, 1503
On this day in history 512 years ago, the Spanish defeated the French at the
Battle of Cerignola, which seemed important at the time.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language

Sentence Diagram
K.W., a Denver reader, writes:
“Could we readers have some instruction on the use of ‘it’s’ and ‘its’? And ‘any more’ and ‘anymore’–one word or two?”
It. It’s a settled matter how its uses differ.
Anymore.  The British tend to stay with two words. But in the U.S., any more than one word, when used as an adverb, isn’t necessary anymore.
And is it time for QT’s annual reminder that it isn’t “a penny for your thoughts,” but “a penny for your thought”?
Not yet.
But we’re getting there.

WRITE TO QT:  qt@zaysmith.com