Wednesday, September 28, 2011

May Explain Charlie Sheen, Too.

I don't usually share personal anecdotes on this blog (reserving it instead for niche pop-culture references and misguided complaints about how not famous I am), but something happened to me last night that I felt I should share with all of you. Also, this story is a great excuse to make it look like I work out a lot.

I wrote this email to a very close friend of mine who adores the show Two and a Half Men. I've added a few footnotes to help those of you readers who don't know me personally to better understand me.

How can you watch a show with a promo like this?
Dear [Friend],
Last night I was at the gym(1), and I noticed the guy next to me on the elliptical was watching Two and a Half Men on the TV(2).  Shortly after I arrived, he got off the elliptical, but continued to stand just behind the machines and watch the remainder of the episode, on mute, with captions. When another episode started, I moved to change the channel, but I caught him out of the corner of my eye. I turned to see him sitting on the exercise equipment, not working out, still watching the gym TV on mute, with rapt attention. I was very confused that anyone would stay in the gym just to watch TV; I started to think I may owe you an apology(3) if Two and a Half Men was riveting enough, even on mute, to lead someone to breach gym etiquette (this guy was sitting on machines people were trying to use) just to watch it.

When I got off the treadmill(4), he was still there, and I was still pondering this situation. Then I watched this guy climb onto one of the seated bench machines...and start pretending it was a racecar.  With my headphones out, I could hear he was even making racecar noises. That's when I suddenly realized: this guy was extremely mentally retarded.

No wonder he watched two episodes of Two and a Half Men. Back to back. That explains everything.

Love you,
Alison
Notes:
  1. Working out hardcore like a hardcore badass.
  2. The TV was in the gym because I was in the gym working out, I just don't know if you heard that part.
  3. For years of abuse, berating, occasional DVR-erasing, and making gag noises every time I walked into the room when you were watching that show.
  4. Like four hours later.

(Another Family Guy Two and a Half Men sketch at the bottom of this post.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Movie Monday

A special little Monday clip for any of you who missed the Emmys last night because you were watching foosball:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Flicky Friday (ft. Christopher Walken)

For today's Flicky Friday, I bring you one of my favorite SNL sketches of all time: the home coming of Colonel Angus.

Monday, September 12, 2011

U SUCK @ GRAMMER: Affect/Effect Edition

Last month, I brought you the first edition of U SUCK @ GRAMMER*, the blog's new grammar feature.  In the first issue, we examined what the hell biweekly means, and why its effect is to make this new segment appear once a month.  This month, aided and corrected by my good-grammar partner Ashley, I will explain correct use of this common grammar pitfall:

"Affect" vs. "Effect" 

I must begin today's edition with a shameful confession: I re-read an email I sent last week and realized, with mounting horror and shame, that I had used "effect" where I should've used "affect." It was a moment of inexcusable grammatical recklessness, rectifiable only by public humiliation ("blogging" is the new "flogging"). So, today I will use my disgrace to  explain the correct usage to all of you, and hammer this lesson home to myself so I sound like less of a retard (ri-tahrd) when I write.

The simple version is this: "affect" is a verb; "effect" is a noun.  When you affect something, what you've done is the effect.  It may be helpful to remember that "Affect" is the "A"ction, while "Effect" is the "E"nd result. Here are some examples to illustrate:
Examples:
  • The effect of Kim K's impersonation was to make me vomit angrily.
  • Remember that time Kim K cried over her lost earring? You shouldn't have such expensive personal effects if you're going to go swimming in them like an idiot.
  • Kim K's affection for being filmed with having intercourse with rappers should not be forgotten.
Um, Kim, it's "Tuesdays with Morrie;" it's not possessive. And your dad got O.J. off.

This concept alone is not too terribly difficult, and it makes sense that there would be different words to convey the same idea through different parts of speech.  (In fact, in Spanish, "afectar" a verb and "efecto" a noun.)  But, because English is a language that relishes taunting and confusing its poor speakers, there are two "rare," or as I prefer to call them, "asshole" uses of these words that bear mentioning:

  • "Effect" can be an asshole if you're using it as a synonym for "bring about."  This is almost always accompanied by "change" in the idiom "effect change."  So, if you G-chat your friend and say, "I think Bobby is really going to effect some change on our beer Olympics team," and your friend says "you mean 'affect' some change," and you say, "no I don't," you're right.  But you're also an asshole.  And I bet your friend Bobby is, too.  
    • "Affect" can be an asshole if you're using it as psychology jargon, as in "she displayed an irritated affect."  This is a pretentious way of saying "she looked irritated."  And she's probably irritated because you're using "affect" like an asshole.
    So, now you know how to use "affect" in an effective way.  And maybe some dirt on Kim Kardashian.

    Until next time, 
    The Strunk and White Girls

    *Grammar is intentionally spelled incorrectly to parody ironically incorrect use of the word. Don't be a douchenozzle and try to point out that we spelled it wrong.