Author Archives: Zay Smith

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.


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.


QT college football on-again, off-again, off-season update

Ben Cleveland
News Headline: “5-star Georgia recruit injures hand in science class.”
Awaiting word on disciplinary action.
What was he doing in a class?

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Santy Claus
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 Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language


News Headline:
“What to do if your wages are garnished.”
E.T., a Chicago reader, writes:
“I keep reading about wages being garnished–instead of garnisheed. The trouble with garnished wages is getting the parsley stains off your paychecks.”
And is it past time for QT’s annual reminder that it isn’t “a penny for your thoughts,” but “a penny for your thought”?


Round and Round we go

Santa's Reindeer
K.R., a Baltimore reader, regarding QT’s annual reminders that it isn’t “God rest ye, merry gentlemen” but “God rest ye merry, gentleman” and that Christmas pudding should be stirred clockwise, writes:
“Is this related to the rule that you should not go widdershins around a church?”
And QT forgot one reminder:
The reindeer’s name is Donder, not Donner.


QT trickle-on economics update

Wal-Mart Food Drive
+ The Walton family, heirs to Wal-Mart, have doubled and redoubled their wealth six times in the last 30 years to more than $150 billion.
+ There are food drives again this year for Wal-Mart workers who are hungry.

Everyone needs a hobby

Poison Dart Frog
News Item:
Scientists have discovered a new species of poison dart frog in the Donoso district of Panama. The tiny orange-colored frog, which is as small as a fingernail. . . .”
This follows recent discoveries of tulips with digestive systems, cannibal lemurs, worms with no mouths, fish with penises in their heads, snakes with tentacles and meat-eating sponges.
. . . . as the Intelligent Designer walks slowly away, whistling to himself.