more from the grammar nazi

October 25, 2005

the other day i was searching the internet for a hallowe'en costume for isabel, when i came across this website.

it will make your eyes bleed, i'm warning you. here's a quote:

"She is an experienced balloon decorator of 9 years and operates in and around Milton Keynes, Bedford, Luton, and Northampton area’s mainly decorating wedding’s and party’s"

the apostrophe abuse! the typos! the run-on sentences!

but even this is not quite as bad as the signs outside the creche at my gym. i will try to get some photos in the next couple of weeks. they are just outstanding.

24 hours of hell

October 24, 2005

8.30pm: meet paul in the pub for a quick drink
10.30pm: stagger home from pub having consumed four pints in two hours.
2.00am: feel rather ill
6.30am: awoken by isabel shouting, "i need a weeeeeeeeeeee". get up, take her to the toilet, go back to bed with crushing headache.
7.00am: force down some breakfast. feel dizzy, tired and everything aches. think about taking paracetamol, but decide paracetamol is for wusses who can't handle their drink, and that's definitely not me. oh no.
8.30am: drive two hours back to stourbridge. feel like shit. it is absolutely pissing it down with rain. discover water is coming into the passenger footwell from somewhere and soaking the carpet. motorway is hideous.
10.30am: arrive home. carry loads of bags/isabel's bike/leftover cheesecake into the house in the pouring rain. isabel gets her trousers soaked walking in from the car. i dump all the bags and start making us lunchboxes. still have headache.
11.00am: leave for gym. so totally not in the mood for the gym, but have appointment with instructor and have booked izzy into creche so have to get money's worth. all my limbs ache as i force myself to get changed. instructor informs me that she's decided to make my impossibly difficult programme even harder. spend an hour doing cardio, feeling like shit.
1.30pm: eat lunchboxes in the car as we have got to go straight from gym to hospital for izzy's routine appointment. drive to hospital.
1.40pm: arrive at hospital. take ticket from barrier, spend 20 minutes driving around the pay and display car park in gigantic queue of traffic. give up and drive out again.
2.00pm: park outside somebody's house bloody miles away. take paracetamol because headache unbearable. walk to hospital, in pissing rain, getting soaked, dragging a recalcitrant isabel.
2.15pm: arrive at outpatients department with a few minutes to spare. queue up to speak to receptionist.
2.20pm: receptionist informs me we need children's outpatients, not normal outpatients. children's outpatients is on the other side of the hospital.
2.30pm: arrive 10 minutes late for appointment. they want a urine sample from isabel so i take her to the toilet with a little bowl and she pisses all over my hand. niiiice.
3.30pm: an hour and ten minutes late, we finally see the registrar. apparently izzy's doctor doesn't feel the need to actually set eyes on her. the registrar more or less says, "what are you doing here anyway?" even though they were the ones who told US to come in! apparently, isabel has to have two highly painful catheter-inserting examinations in the next six months. can't bloody wait for that.
4.30pm: go to mcdonalds. isabel and i share a milkshake, some fries and a fruit bag. on the way back to the car, isabel gets her trousers soaked again.
5.00pm: isabel plays world of warcraft, i lie on the bed only partially conscious.
5.30pm: frozen pizza for dinner, it's all i could manage.
6.30pm: put isabel to bed early. she chooses two long, boring princess books. i read them in monotone. she doesn't notice.
6.45pm: is it my bedtime yet?

sucker for punishment

October 17, 2005

so, i've finally finished my open university course.
it's been officially over for 13 days now.

13 glorious days of freedom. only... i'm starting to get bored already. what am i meant to do with all this free time?

so. yesterday i signed up for another one. doh!


October 15, 2005

i saw a recent post on mighty girl saying that if you have a common name, it's easy to find a gravestone with your name on using google image search.

and i thought, "hey! i have a common name now!" and promptly did a google image search and lo and behold. (except it has the wrong middle initial).

poor mattgreen can't even have a pint in peace

October 11, 2005

i have just started reading eats shoots and leaves. it looks like it's going to be a very interesting book.

it has reminded me of a recent discussion i had with mattgreen in the pub one lunchtime. have a look at this picture:

i am really not happy with that apostrophe. i spent 29 years with a surname ending in 's' so i should know. but it's not as simple as that.

at first glance, i would expect it to be spelled banks'. if a man and his wife were called mr and mrs banks, would it be "the banks's dog" or "the banks' dog"? if they were mr and mrs bank, presumably it would be "the banks' dog" again? if you were talking about just mr bank, it would definitely be "mr bank's dog".

in some cases though, you definitely put the apostrophe after the word if it ends in 's'. for example: charles dickens' novels. the lions' den.

but banks' bitter just doesn't sound right. the bitter is owned by multiple banks. but then again, the den is owned by multiple lions, right?

gah! according to the apostrophe protection society, it would be banks's bitter if owned by mr banks, or bankses' bitter if owned by multiple mr banks.

i'm still not entirely happy. hmm.

general news

October 07, 2005

i gave up smoking on monday. i'd promised myself i would quit when i finished my course, and i decided that it was pointless to cut down to one a day, or whatever, because actually i just want to stop. so i have. surprisingly it hasn't been as bad as i was expecting - i suppose i didn't really smoke that much - it is NOTHING LIKE trying to give up from 20 a day. unfortunately i know from past experience that all resolve goes out the window if i have a few drinks, so i'm not going to drink at all for a few weeks.

i have also joined a new gym and have been going at every available opportunity, sometimes twice in the same day. i had forgotten how great it feels to push myself physically. i have got an impossibly tough programme featuring lots of hideous interval training. this involves running as fast as i can for 2 minutes, followed by speedwalking up gigantically steep hills for 2 minutes, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. i know, it sounds bloody awful, but i love it. i have also been swimming again and boiling myself in the hottest steam room ever. it's totally wicked.

now that my course has finished, i have discovered i have a gigantic pile of chores that have been building up over the last 10 months. for example, i haven't done any filing since january. i have finally sorted out the 473 photos in "latest pictures". today, i took the car in for a service which was 1000 miles overdue. i reckon it'll take months to catch up with everything that needs doing.

fish & chips

October 01, 2005

mattgreen and i are in the car. we're going to pick izzy up from nursery and then get some fish & chips.

alicey: what are you going to have?
mattgreen: i'll have any kind of fish except cod.
alicey: why? what's wrong with cod?
mattgreen: overfishing in the north sea...
alicey: oh, you old hippy.
(we park up at the nursery)
alicey: i'll fetch isabel.
mattgreen: yeah, good idea, i've got to go and hug the nearest tree.

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