Author Archives: Zay Smith

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.


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.


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”?


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.