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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Loyalty and love — or something like that.

Remember that time we talked about Express's ridiculous promos for their perfume, Love?

Well, I was back in the store Monday, and lo and behold, they've done it again. For men this time. I mean, if they're going to throw skewed portrayals of love at women, they better do something comparable for men, right?

Their new cologne for men is called — wait for it — Loyalty. And check out this ad they're running:

If that picture doesn't convey loyalty, I don't know what does. They look so loyal to each other, what with their wedding rings and all. What with that look of commitment on his face. What with their obvious interest in something more than each other's bathing-suited bod. 

Oh, wait, what's that you say? This picture doesn't convey loyalty AT ALL? I guess that's just Express's M.O. — take a worthwhile idea and cheapen it. The name hints of something real, and the image makes you look, so they throw them together and reveal how truly low their standards are.

It's not that I think the images in Express's perfume and cologne ads are any trashier than those in any other fragrance ads. They're actually tamer than some I've seen. It's the pairing of these images with these names that gets to me. Words derive their meaning from their context. That's like Linguistics 101.

So put the word "Loyalty" next to an image of two half-naked models, one of whom is practically groveling and one of whom looks blasé at best, and to those who see it — and view it with an uncritical eye — that's what loyalty comes to mean. Not all at once and not all the way, but somewhat. And that's a shame.

So I've come up with few alternative names for Express's cologne. These words, I believe, fit better with the image they've chosen. (I've included both adjectives and nouns, so take your pick and run with it, Express, and don't worry about compensating me. I do all my linguistic integrity preservation pro bono.)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

This is so my life.

Sometimes I wonder how much I'd get done if it weren't for the Internet.
But then I get distracted by the fact that I haven't checked Twitter in five minutes.

Aziz has summed up my struggles with the Internet pretty well.

p.s. How totes adorbs is Aziz Ansari?

Sunday, March 11, 2012


I've got a lot on my plate these days. Papers and projects and presentations are tugging me in too many directions. My brain won't stop thinking, and my body won't stop twitching. (Seriously. I am prone to stress-twitching.) I'm not sure how everything is going to get done on time (even though I know it all always gets done somehow).

Still, though, there's not a day that I set foot on campus that I'm not grateful to be there. Today marks a year since I learned I'd been accepted to Mizzou, but my excitement over this fact hasn't waned.

Every day when I see the columns, a little giddy voice inside me says, "Oh, my gosh. I get to go to Missouri." I get to go to Missouri. That makes all those papers and projects and presentations more bearable.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Glamour & Grammar & Gavin DeGraw

Welcome to the third edition of Glamour & Grammar, the blog series in which I address grammatical failures in pop culture. Today we'll be talking about Gavin DeGraw and his preposition problems.
Gavin's newest CD, Sweeter, totally melts my soul. I haven't figured out exactly how it causes this soul melting, but I'm guessing it has something to do with the way Gavin plays the piano and croons like an angel sent from the heavens above. My soul  Play-Doh.

But there's this one song that always irks me. It's called "You Know Where I'm At." 

"Oh, it's better up ahead / The worst is over now / Remember what I said / 

To live you don't have to look back / but if you ever do, you know where I'm at"

You can listen to it below. I also included the most soul-melting song on the CD for good measure.

Let me preface my critique by saying that I don't abide by the old "Don't end a sentence with a preposition" rule. Prepositions are actually some of my favorite words to end sentences with. If you read some of my old posts, you'd probably find sentence-ending prepositions strewn throughout. They are all over. Sentence-ending prepositions are just something I am a huge fan of. I'll stop now so that we can move . . . on. Bahaha, I crack myself up. (I really am stopping! That "up" wasn't functioning as a preposition!)

Even though I usually don't mind a good new-fashioned preposition at the end of a sentence, the way Gavin has used this preposition drives me crazy. (And not like Britney-Spears-circa-1999 crazy. Like Britney-Spears-circa-2007 crazy.)

It's just so unnecessary. The idea of at-ness is already all wrapped up in the word "where." 

It makes just as much more sense to say, "You know where I am." 

You can apply this to a few other prepositions as well. "To" and "until" are two oft-abused prepositions that come to mind. If a sentence makes sense without the preposition at the end, leave it off! "Where are we headed to?" becomes "Where are we headed?" "How late does it go until?" becomes "How late does it go?" And just like that, you've saved two more prepositions from going to waste. (Look at you, conserving prepositions like a champ.)

In related news, I have always held that spelling and grammar skills can be mutually exclusive. Check out one Google search I conducted while writing this post:

That didn't even merit a "Did you mean...?" They went straight for the "Showing results for..." #harsh #butsodeserved
I swear I do know how to spell both "yield" and "symbol." What can I say? Sometimes my fingers are in a hurry. 
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