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“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Jul 10, 2013
erunning some of my favorite Q-and-A’s from a decade of advice. Over the years I’ve composed hundreds of “scripts” for people who struggle with “how to say it.” My goal is to help readers start conversations.

DEAR AMY: My brother is trying to get me to date this girl I don’t like. She’s one of those futureless, pot-smoking screw-ups with the IQ of a sponge, one of the “bad crowd”(like about every other person in this town). I know he’s just trying to help me, so how do I tell him to stop and not to try again? I highly doubt any of the people he knows would interest me at all.-- Don’t Like Her in N.D.

DEAR DON’T: I’d probably leave out the futureless, pot-smoking screw-up with the IQ of a sponge part and just cut to the chase. You could say,“Thanks, man, but I’m all set.” Then I think it’s time for you to book your bus ticket. If you are surrounded by such losers, it sounds like it’s time to make plans to “get out of Dodge.”(2004)

DEAR AMY: My first-grade son brought home some corrected homework the other day on which the teacher had written this note:“Write neater.”

Under any other circumstance, I would never correct another adult’s grammar; that would be rude and embarassing. But she is a teacher, after all, and she would probably appreciate being reminded that adjectives modify nouns and adverbs modify verbs, and the grammatically correct statement is,“Write more neatly.”

Any thoughts?-- Stickler for Grammar

DEAR STICKLER: In a world gone mad, it’s something of a relief to know that there are still people out there for whom grammar is a headline.

If you think your son’s teacher would appreciate having her grammar corrected by you then, by all means, let her know that this language breach is something with which you cannot put up.(By the way, you’ve misspelled “embarrassing” in your note to me, but, hey, I’m just letting you know.)

But since it’s rather toward the beginning of the school year, why don’t you sit on your grammar issue for a few more weeks and assume that she might have committed a one-time offense.

If you notice further grammar problems or if your son comes home with his participles dangerously dangling, you should speak with her. But don’t get cute by circling her comments in red pen or anything. Just tell her you’re a stickler and say you’ve noticed a grammar issue: Is she aware of this?(2003)

DEAR AMY: During the past few years a friend has taken improv comedy classes, which always culminate with skits open to the public. I have attended these shows with a friend or two to show my support, although they can be quite painful to watch.

It seems that my friend expects attendance with “see you there” remarks when extending an invitation. While I am open to going to these shows occasionally, I would rather not be a perennial audience member.

Is there a polite way to say no to these invitations, or should I bite the bullet and go every time? Please keep in mind that the shows usually run for a while, so it’s difficult to come up with an excuse that spans several days.-- Looking for Comic Relief in Chicago

DEAR COMIC RELIEF: Maybe you could stand inside one of those imaginary telephone booths and mime your distress by doing a silent scream?

“Call him out” and make him perform a rap song in the character of an improv-theater-loathing squirrel?

Improvise a scene in which you offer to trade places with Saddam Hussein in exchange for one night of improv ... and Saddam says no?

Or you could just tell your friend,“I’m probably going to miss this show, but let me know what comes up next, because I’m interested. I just can’t make it to every show.”

This way you’re covered, just in case your pal is the next John Belushi or Bill Murray.(2004)

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 Jul 10, 2013
Well, there went 2 minutes of my life I'll never get back.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#3 Jul 10, 2013
There is an ad on the right side of my screen for Doggie Dentures. I don't think it is a joke.

(turns page, shaking head)

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#4 Jul 10, 2013
Yeah, I find it ironic that the people in letter 1 are automatically typecast as losers with an IQ of a sponge, yet in L3 John Belushi, who died of an overdose of cocaine and heroin is alluded to as an act to follow.
Don't misunderstand me, I thought Belushi was hilarious, and I wish there were more comedians like him. He was from Wheaton and some of the people I knew, knew the whole family.
One time they got rowdy and pushed a John Deere lawn tractor into the Mirabella's swimming pool.
When I was 16 I was working in a pharmacy as a cashier and one of the pharmaiscts knew Belushi's mom. He was real good friends with her and he talked about Belushi all the time. And then he OD'd.....That was rather tragic.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#5 Jul 10, 2013
O...kay. Q of the day, anyone?

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#6 Jul 10, 2013
What were red winged blackbirds called before they discovered blackbirds?
j_m_w wrote:
O...kay. Q of the day, anyone?

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#7 Jul 10, 2013
PEllen wrote:
There is an ad on the right side of my screen for Doggie Dentures. I don't think it is a joke.
(turns page, shaking head)
It's for treats that whiten dogs' teeth. But it is creepy.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#8 Jul 10, 2013
RACE wrote:
What were red winged blackbirds called before they discovered blackbirds?
<quoted text>
Cat food

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#9 Jul 10, 2013
L1: And here we have a very early example of Amy's unwilliness to actually answer the question that was asked of her.

L2: My college roommate was an elementary ed major, as were many of the women she hung out with. I was never overly impressed with their intellect. They were, as a group, horrible at math (many were taking remedial math courses, so low level, they weren't earning any credits and they didn't apply toward their major) and their grammar skills varied widely. BUT: They were fun, they loved kids, they wanted to teach. For the lower grades of elementary school, I think that's just fine.

Also, it's entirely possible that a teacher's aide/volunteer parent wrote that note.

Also x 2: I 've read that boys are force to learn to write before they have the fine motor skills to do it well. I don't think I"d be so harsh on a 6yo boy about his legibility, so long as he's trying.

Also x3: Make this an issue with your kid's teacher and she may make an issue of HIM. Stay out.

L3: YOu went once, you're off the hook as far as I'm concerned. You don't owe your friends a willingness to take an avid interest in THEIR hobbies.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#10 Jul 10, 2013
not a ghost wrote:
<quoted text>
Cat food
HA! Patrick Swayze once rescued a kitten from his two dogs, who were playing way too rough with it. HE named it "Dog Food."

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#11 Jul 10, 2013
I'm just sayin' that many of the greatest artists have come from the world of avant-garde and who have a history of dabbling in the forbidden.
Oscar Wilde is another good example. There are many more.
They come from the fringes of society, not the center.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#12 Jul 10, 2013
Why does the woman still have a job?

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#13 Jul 10, 2013
squishymama wrote:
Why does the woman still have a job?
Amy or the teacher or both?
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#14 Jul 10, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
HA! Patrick Swayze once rescued a kitten from his two dogs, who were playing way too rough with it. HE named it "Dog Food."
Have you got anything for "best joke"? I like that thread.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Melrose Park, IL

#15 Jul 10, 2013
1- Your bro is just trying to get you laid, dude.

2- Lick my nuts better. Is that grammatically correct?

3- I'm gonna start asking people who can't say no for money.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#16 Jul 10, 2013
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
Amy or the teacher or both?
I was speaking of Amy.

The elementary school teacher; I will cut her a break and so should the LW. It's not like she *teaching* the kids grammar in kindergarten/1st grade.
pde

Palatine, IL

#17 Jul 10, 2013
squishymama wrote:
<quoted text>
I was speaking of Amy.
The elementary school teacher; I will cut her a break and so should the LW. It's not like she *teaching* the kids grammar in kindergarten/1st grade.
I was actually surprised by the amount of writing my kid was required to do in 1st grade. At the end of the year, every child in the class had to write an entire report (for them, it was 5-7 correctly composed paragraphs) on a marine animal.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#18 Jul 10, 2013
not a ghost wrote:
<quoted text>
Have you got anything for "best joke"? I like that thread.
Check the Regs thread

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#19 Jul 10, 2013
pde wrote:
<quoted text>
I was actually surprised by the amount of writing my kid was required to do in 1st grade. At the end of the year, every child in the class had to write an entire report (for them, it was 5-7 correctly composed paragraphs) on a marine animal.
Kids are learning more, earlier these days. Nick's 6yo finished kindergarten and he reads really well. Kindergarten wasn't teaching that when I was a kid. Kindergarten was more about learning letters, using safety scissors, art stuff, nap time.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#20 Jul 10, 2013
pde wrote:
<quoted text>
I was actually surprised by the amount of writing my kid was required to do in 1st grade. At the end of the year, every child in the class had to write an entire report (for them, it was 5-7 correctly composed paragraphs) on a marine animal.
Lulu had to do quite a bit of writing too. She had a journal, a science journal, she did a report on a farm animal, wrote several short stories and even had a book bound, but grammar and spelling seemed to be secondary to the story or method they were practicing. Especially the journals; they really seemed more about putting thoughts down than written well.

I really love some of the misspellings. I have a picture of marine life Lulu made for me here at work and she drew a lovely dolphin as part of it and it's labeled "dollfin".

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