I'm more conservative on the following topics than you'd expect

  1. The spelling of the word "doughnut." Ever since I was a child, I've disliked the "donut" spelling. It reeks of sloth, as if one can't be bothered to write or type the letters "ugh." Plus, they're made of dough, not "do." Yeah, I know they're not made of nuts. Shut up.
  2. Split infinitives. It's a real stumbling block for me to read "to more effectively serve" or "to clearly write." Less obvious infinitives don't bother me; it's mostly the "to [adverb] [verb]" construction that I find distracting.
  3. The use of "at" as the last word in a sentence. "Where are you at?" -- or worse, the dreaded "Yeah, so that's where I'm at in my research." Apologies, everyone. It's nothing personal; one of the customs of Festivus is the airing of grievances, and these are mine.
  4. Rules associated with clothing and seasons. NEVER wear white after Labor Day -- which means no white belts, shoes, or purses, but other white clothing items are okay. Never mix black and navy blue. Never wear black pantyhose and white shoes. My Old South conservatism in this regard made it extra hard to pick out suits recently; if any suit was even a little too light-colored, I couldn't bring myself to try it on.
  5. Unnecessary use of profanity in the classroom. As a student, I was always kind of disappointed when my teachers dropped the f-, etc. bombs in class, so I don't do it (but it's fine with me if students do). I know plenty of teachers who can make it work, but it's not my style.
  6. The use of "Ye Olde." This only became annoying after I read Tari Fanderclai's rant some years back.


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Aqua Teen Episode

I don't know if you saw the new episode involving a BoostMobile product placement, but Shake said "where you at, dog" about ten thousand times.


splitting infinitives

Maybe this will help you get over the split infinitive, and maybe not. The rule, as you probably know, was among the many (all?) that were simply fobbed off on English from those classicists who came up with the rules. Latin was their template for English, but things didn't quite match up. For instance, infinitives in latin are a single word, impossible to split. So, somehow we get a rule to not split them (same with prepositions at the end of setences; can't be done in Latin if the sentence is to make sense). So, throw off the shackles of latin in your English!

That being said, I tend to agree with your pet peeve nonetheless. With me it's not so much about being right or wrong, but about a sentence being clunky or smooth. Split infinitives tend to make for/lead to clunky sentences. Here's my mother's preposition joke:

A woman was walking around the Harvard campus, looking for the library. She spotted a professorial looking man sitting on a bench, walked up to him and said "Excuse me, can you tell me where the library is at?"
"Madam," he said, "We at Harvard do not end sentences with prepositions."
"Pardon me," she responded. "Can you please tell me where the library is at, asshole!"

Not with you on the split

Not with you on the split infitive -- sorry! but it can make a difference! And the at thing doesn't really bother me. You really shouldn't be wearing black pantyhose with white shoes (it looks so ugly), though the rest of the white stuff goes by me -- this is why some things are coloured winter white, because they are white for the winter.

But I am really there on Ye Olde Doughnuttes.


On at

(This can work anywhere!)

Oklahoma State Cowboy fan, in Norman, home of the university of oklahoma, for a game of sport, to some transplanted non-Okie English majors sippin' lattes outside a Starbucks:

"Hey, can y'all tell us where the rasslin' match will be held at?"

Non-Okie English major: "Sir, we do NOT end sentences with 'at' in Norman! You people must be from Stillwater (home of OSU)."

O-State Cowboy fan: "Do what? The damn hell you say. Huh. Welp, can y'all tell us where the rasslin' match wil be held at, y'all assholes?"


Long time no comment, Clancy. Hope you had a merry-merry one!

Well, dadgum

I just now noticed that bradb beat ne to the "at" joke!

Humph. :-)

And now you got me wanting to stop by the Winchell's on the way to work to get some dognuts!

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