Author Archives: Zay Smith

Finally time for an intervention?

Walking Fish
News Headline: “Autumn color destinations: From the Smoky Mountains to Switzerland.”
This is the Intelligent Designer.
News Headline:
“Walking fish, noseless monkey and 200 more new species discovered.”
This is the Intelligent Designer on drugs.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language

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Sen. John Tester (D-Mont.) regarding drug use by adolescents:
“Now is the time to nip it in the butt.”
K.R., a Baltimore reader, says it is time to nip nipping in the butt in the bud.
And can it be past time for QT’s annual reminder that it isn’t “hoist by his own petard,” but “hoist with his own petard”?
Evidently.

WRITE TO QT:  qt@zaysmith.com

QT loud guy at the end of the bar update

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush listens to a question from the audience during a town hall meeting campaign stop at the Medallion Opera House in Gorham, New Hampshire July 23, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX1LKI3

News Headline: “Donald Trump keeps hammering ‘low-energy’ Jeb Bush.”
We all know people who have “high energy,” of course
And we cross the street to avoid them.

Meanwhile in Texas. . . .

Texas Flag
News Headline: “Texans fear Obama-led military invasion.”
News Headline: “Operation Jade Helm under way in Texas.”
News Headline: “No signs of military takeover in Texas.”
Does this mean President Obama has an opportunity to invade Texas and is ignoring it?
Impeach him.
Impeach him now.

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

Meanwhile in Texas. . . .

Nuts and Wackos
Bastrop County Republican Chairman Albert Ellison wants you to know that fellow Texans who believe President Obama plans a military invasion of the state are not “nuts and wackos. They are concerned citizens.”
In the spirit of compromise, we can seek middle ground:
Think of them as nuts and wackos who are concerned.

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