Post 609: ‘nipped…and more


Andy senes something good around the corner...

Andy senses something good around the corner…

Why, it's fresh catnip leaves that the human tossed by the door! Andy quickly doses up.

Why, it’s fresh catnip leaves that the human tossed by the door! Andy quickly doses up.

Um...dang Dougy comes snooping. Andy doesn't want to share the nip. Nebremind. Dougy doesn't like the fresh too much: too strong for him! Makes his nose twitch!

Um…dang Dougy comes snooping. Andy doesn’t want to share the nip. Nevermind, Dougy doesn’t like the fresh too much: too strong for him! Makes his nose twitch!

Besides, he'd rather climb on the table because he knows that's where the kitty treats are.

Besides, he’d rather climb on the table because he knows that’s where the kitty treats are.



Call this a confession. When I write a blog post, I try to pique your interest with a snappy headline. Yesterday, I got too clever by far. Though no one mentioned it to me — I imagine you all are just too polite to point it out —  I had a snappy headline alright, but it contained a glaring factual error!

Mind you, I can be very anal about such things. I thought about just changing it, but the corrected version no longer had snap. I decided to leave it.

So what was my egregious headline error? The headline reads: “brother” without an “r” is “bother”.

Be honest with yourself, when you read that headline, did you notice “bother” still has an “r” hanging on it’s butt!?

Once the coffee kicked in, I did. Oops!

38 thoughts on “Post 609: ‘nipped…and more

        • A further thought on that: Where I worked in the factory that made industrial and hydraulic hoses, three people were required to verify the branding information was correct one for the hose being run and that all information in the brand was in the proper order and spelled correctly, per branding specification. I worked there almost 36 years, and every year year branding errors did occur and the invariably involved simple things like letters reversed in the brand, things that were obvious as hell once they were discovered (thousands of feet of hose later, sometimes by the customer…!), yet missed by three separate inspections by an operator, a quality inspector, and an area supervisor. If it was an ink brand, it could be washed off and rebranded. If it was an embossed brand (think Dymo-style tape with embossed letters, the tape was run between the hose and a lead pipe extruded over them) or a Mylar® tape brand held against the hose with a wrap applied to the hose, it ended up scrapped unless our sales and customer service people could work out a deal with the customer. (It depended on the severity of the error and whether critical information– like maximum operating pressure or standard to which it was made — was missing.) People lost their jobs over this sort of error. I know this is the root of my anal compulsive spelling disorder…!

          • I was known to be anal about such things, so was something of the unofficial proofreader in my department. Spell and grammar check were a happy addition to the chest of tools, but, as you know, they aren’t perfect.

            As for my own reports, I handed them to a person who wasn’t a happy student of language. She’d stumble on my tortured prose, honestly tell me it was unreadable at this point or that, and she saved me some embarrassments through the years. I miss that help. She didn’t realize how serious I was when I thanked her for helping me write tighter, more readable reports. “I was just a ‘C’ student,” she’d say, “and barely that since I had to work at nights when I was in high school.” (How do you say “Language Goddess” without seeming patronizing or guilty of exaggeration?)

            One of the first things I do after I write what I think is my final draft is try to read it outloud. That really brings up the structural weaknesses! I’m notorious for use of the passive voice. If you see a lot of it in something I wrote, you know I didn’t feel up to a rewrite of that sentence or paragraph that day.

    • So far I haven’t had any pilferage. Once, though, I left a large bag of dry cat food on the floor for lack of a cleared space to put it higher. The next day, “somebody” apparently had a yearning for a midnight snack and had chewed and clawed a hole in the bag to get at the goodies. I’ve never had a repeat of that. At first, I thought, “Oh no! rodents!” The bite marks, however, definitely were kittycat bites.

          • I cannot join you in this. *You have noticed I take pains not to use that sign thats between Q and S in the alphabet, haven’t you? Not so easily done by somebody who took English as second language.*
            I got a male sibling advanced in age – and he is not a paladine of me, not even of the second female sibling he’s got.

          • It is an interesting challenge, one I just failed by the fourth word and the twelfth, thirteenth, and seventeenth and ones, too! As the pirate said, “Arrr!”

            I guarantee, I would not do so well auf Deutsch, one of the reasons I like your blog: I get to practice reading poetry in German, then use the translate function to see if I understood it correctly.

            Since poetry often uses figures of speech, I rarely feel the translations are very accurate! (Especially mine!) The challenge is fun, though, and mentally stimulating since I rarely get to use German. (I guarantee, I am a very poor student of German!)

          • So, unlike Goethe and Schiller, there will never be a Franhunne4u-platz in Hannover…!? I know the spellings sometimes don’t match standard German, and I can’t always guess their meaning. I just take that to be your use of artistic license!

    • Have you noticed how speaking, hearing, or writing something in a language you learned in Hochschule that everything feels more important than it is? I mean, “Es ist kalt heute, Tante Inge” is a simple statement, yet, to a new student of German, it requires word-by-word effort to understand, therefore “It is cold today, Aunt Inge” sounds more profound than it actually is because of the effort required to “process” the meaning in a new language!

      Perhaps I give you the benefit of the doubt because I struggle, still, with German to extract meaning from words. I guarantee, I couldn’t read Goethe and get the meaning!

      • To be painfully honest: Neither could I 😉 Mr. von Goethe is not my cuppa … Though I love one of his most famous poems.
        *You see, I have given up on a “R”-free writing now, one day of that was enough!”
        Wanderers Nachtgebet
        (Wanderer’s night-prayer)
        Über allen Gipfeln
        ist Ruh
        in allen Wipfeln
        spürest du
        kaum einen Hauch
        die Vöglein schweigen im Walde
        warte nur balde
        schweigest du auch

        Over all mountaintops
        it’s quietude
        in all treetops
        you hardly feel
        a whisper
        the birds hush in the woods
        wait soon enough
        you are silent, too.

        • There are Lieder based on this poem. I’m pretty sure Weber composed one based on it, and Schubert did, too. I have vague memories of a Schubert Lieder where a child dies in the night. The poem almost sounds like the one, but it may have been some other German poet’s work, not Goethe. All I can remember of it is it was a thoroughly depressing song! I’ll have to dig out my Schubert Lieder CDs to see if I can find the specific song and poem.

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