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Friday, October 28, 2011

Glamour & Grammar & the Duchess of Cambridge

Welcome to the second edition of Glamour & Grammar, the blog series in which I address grammatical failures in pop culture.

Allow me to begin with the thought process I went through before writing this post:
Is it okay to correct the grammar of royalty?
Yes, just not to any royal faces.
Is it okay if the grammatical errors in question were made in a letter to a young cancer patient?
No, probably not.

But if it were okay, then I'd point out that Kate Middleton's been having some comma trouble lately.

I would let you know that the comma trouble surfaced in a note Kate wrote to a little boy whom she met in a children's cancer unit. I might even post the note on my blog and turn the problem areas purple.

Dear Fabian, 

I very much enjoyed meeting you at The Royal Marsden hospital last month. Despite the enormously demanding course of treatment you are undergoing, I was so touched by your strength of character, and delighted to hear the news that one of your big sisters will be able to donate bone marrow to you later this year.

I will keep my fingers crossed that your health goes from strength to strength over the months ahead. This must be a troubling time for you, your parents and your sisters, but I know I left The Royal Marsden assured by how incredibly talented, kind and clever the team at the hospital are. Combined with your belief and positive energy, you couldn't be in better hands.

Keep up the good work with the blog and in the meantime I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.


I would explain that "and" provides sufficient separation for "touched" and "delighted" in the first highlighted sentence. The comma between those words is unnecessary.

I would also explain that a comma is needed in the second highlighted sentence. A measly "and" isn't strong enough to carry an independent clause on each side. Like any coordinating conjunction, "and" needs a sidekick comma if it hopes to balance a compound sentence.

Sidenote: I really wanted to say a "prevenient comma." Thank you, Christian theology class.
p.s. I'm not Arminian.
p.p.s. I'm not Armenian either.
p.p.p.s. Christian theo was my favorite class in college. I wish I could take it again. #thingsineverthoughtiwouldsay

I might close my argument by reposting the sentences with correct punctuation:
"I was so touched by your strength of character and delighted to hear the news...."
"Keep up the good work with the blog, and in the meantime I will keep...."

At this point I would probably feel like a horrible person for critiquing a letter to a cancer patient.
I might even decide to give Kate points back for being a classy lady.

There is, of course, the possibility that someone other than Kate Middleton penned typed this letter. If England is anything like America, someone other than Kate Middleton probably typed this letter. 

I have a letter of my own for that person:
Dear That Person,
Clearly you are in need of a public relations practitioner who handles punctuation aptly. Look no further. I have a degree in public relations and 15% of a degree in journalism, and I know how to place a comma. You can reach/hire me via the contact link at the top of this blog.
Grammatically yours, 
Kate, Duchess of Commas

Monday, October 24, 2011

YouTube Gold

Four friends from my brother hall made this music video in the basement of an Asbury dorm a couple of years ago. It enjoyed a brief stint online before one of them robbed the internet of its goodness by taking it down.

This week, however, it reemerged on YouTube, so I'm posting it in hopes that it will somehow be catapulted to viral video fame.

Featuring LandonAbe, Holland and [linkless] Bill

p.s. The best part is the octave change right around 2:20. Whole new octave of awesome.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Things I've been meaning to blog about.

1. I hate it when TV/movie characters kiss right after they have woken up. Worst time to kiss ever. Some of you are probably like, "Kate, how do you know?" And that is a pretty good question. But, in my opinion, the fact that there's a famous musical called Kiss Me, Kate entitles me to be the kissing police. And I say: Go brush your teeth.

The above screencap was taken from the most recent episode of The Lying Game, which I attempted to watch — at Gwen's urging — in the J-Lib today. I don't normally watch television shows in the library, but I had just finished a test and wanted to reward myself. I cut my show-watching short, HOWEVER, when that kiss started to happen. I was like, "Gwen, I cannot watch people kiss in the library." Twenty minutes later when Gwen was still trying to get me to watch the show, totes adorbs undergrad boy sitting next to her said, "I don't think anyone would be embarrassed if you watched people kissing in the library." ! ! !

p.s. I make no apologies about my love of a select few ABC Family dramas.

2. Mizzou invented homecoming. Did y'all know that? It's on Wikipedia and everything. I became a Mizzou student just in time to experience their centennial homecoming celebration, which I consider pretty good timing on my part.

Here I am pre-homecoming parade with Gwen, Melissa, Mollie, Whitney and Jessica. 
Yes, you should read their blogs, and, yes, journalism school is weaning me off the Oxford comma.

3. Speaking of Missouri friends, I have them. I haven't posted many pics of them on here, but we do fun things like Wednesday lunches and Thursday small group and apple-picking and shopping and Orange-Leafing and birthday partying and House Dec-seeing. Oh, and lots of grad school workload commiserating. (Do you like how I started that sentence with regular nouns and then switched to all gerunds? My brain. It is dead. It is throwing parallel structure to the wayside.) These friends are what I am most grateful for about my new life.

4. Speaking of Missouri friends, I have no guy friends. That is a slight exaggeration. I have approximately 1.8 guy friends in Missouri, and that number results from the fact that I know approximately four guys in Missouri but know them, on average, only about 45% as much as you need to know a guy before you can call him a friend. I've always been that girl who hates hanging out with guys, but I'm really beginning to miss male company. I especially missed it a week and a half ago when I needed new brake pads and had no idea what to do. I especially especially missed it a couple of weeks before that when I broke the mini-blinds in my shower and had no idea how to fix them.

5. There's a window in my shower. Yeah, the one I shower in. And the blinds in said shower broke. And by broke, I mean snapped in two at the top and fell out completely. Not having a father or brother or other male friend to call for help with my blinds, I resorted to covering the window with various household goods. First I made a barrier of shampoo and conditioner bottles on the windowsill. That lasted for two weeks or so. Then I replaced the bottles with two giant strips of aluminum foil, which I taped to the tile around the glass. That lasted for two days or so. Then my roommate Scotch-taped the blinds apparatus and put it back up like a champ. I guess I didn't need a man after all, just a roommate and some Scotch tape. (Never ever let that become my mantra.)

6. I've started saying "y'all" more since I moved here. I think this is part of the reason why Mizzou is probably switching to the SEC. They can't handle all my southern-ness. 

7. This picture is the background on my computer. It has been such a comforting reminder to me lately when I've been stressed about schoolwork.

8. My grad school workload is leaving my life in disarray. Exhibit A: Monday's cereal bowl sitting on my desk. Exhibit B: My clean clothes still in the laundry basket two weeks after I washed them. Exhibit C: The tape on those mini-blinds I told you about. I realize this is not a very blogger-y statement to make. Bloggers say things like, "Look at my wonderful crafts. Look at my hipster husband. Look at my vintage dresses. My life is so pulled together." My life does not feel pulled together these days. I do not make crafts for my hipster husband whilst wearing vintage dresses. But I do dry my hair on a fairly regular basis, so that's something.

9. Spotify is my new best friend. Lately I've been listening to lots of George Winston, John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato and Blake Stratton. Weird combo, I know. When I'm stressed about homework, I all about some Bethany Dillon, Jimmy Needham, Robbie Seay Band and Jenny & Tyler. Are y'all on Spotify yet? It is seriously my favorite new internet thing since Twitter. Who Whom are you listening to?

Go listen to this on Spotify ASAP.

10. I went running the other day. It was the seven-year anniversary of my stopping running due to injury. Seven years. I can't believe it. I wanted to blog that day. I wanted to provide a little two-years-later update since my last major post on the topic. But I found myself swamped with schoolwork and unable to carve out the time. I did carve out the time, however, to go for a little mini-run, and it was wonderful. I wanted to test my legs and see how they'd hold up. They held up well, and I was even comfortably sore in a nice muscle-y, non-injury way for a couple of days afterward. I have made so so so so much progress in the last year. Maybe more progress in the last year than in the six years that preceded it. I will try to get that all out in blog form soon.

View from my mini-run. Not even kidding. Approximately two minutes from campus.

11. It was sunny last week, but it has been gloomy this week. It is putting me in a funk. Don't let my oh-so-pale skin fool you — I need sunshine to function!

12. This sentence was in one of my class readings this week. Do not attempt to read it. It will hurt your brain. I just wanted you to see how long and ridiculous it is. 201 words. Not cool, author. Not cool.

13. My mom and sister are coming tomorrow. And by tomorrow, I mean today! Woohoo! I'm so excited.
Insert joke about how they are matching here. 

14. On that note, it is my bedtime.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Reunited and it feels so good.

Remember that time sweet Lindsay paid me a surprise visit all the way back in 2009? Well, she paid me a surprise visit again this weekend!

Okay, okay, I'd known about it for two weeks, so it wasn't exactly a surprise, but it felt like one because I never expected any of my friends to come all the way from Kentucky to visit me. Just me. Being the quality-timer that I am, I've rarely felt so loved.

Here are a few iPhone pics from our Missouri adventures!

Right after we were reunited & right as we began our roadtrip to St. Louis

Hit up Chick-fil-A on our way to STL. Duh. 

The Gateway Arch (Seeing it was on Lindsay's bucket list.)

Lindsay was bummed after we just missed getting tickets to go up in the arch. 
Almost as bummed as that lady in that famous picture from the Great Depression. 
(It was on display in the Museum of Westward Expansion, which we settled for.)

Here I am imitating my ancestors.
(As you've probably figured out from my long, dark hair, I am like 1/128th American Indian. I am basing that fact and that fraction on the presence of a really old photo of an Indian in one of our family photo books. As you've probably figured out from my white, white skin, I am like 127/128th not American Indian.)

Maybe taking pics outside the arch will make people think we went in.

Lindsay hung with new friend Gwen while I T.A.-ed yesterday! Worlds collided.
But soon after that, I had to drop Lindsay off at the airport. Sad face. Definitely shed a tear or two. 

I can't wait to see her again (and all my Kentucky kiddos) next month during Thanksgiving break!
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