Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Comic Strip
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."
Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.
Friday, December 23, 2011
How can they say that?
There are phrases in common use that irritate me no end. Not simply ones that are grammatically incorrect, such as the poor grammar of my ex-wife who would say "The car needs washed." But ones which are clearly impossibilities.
The first is "changed the course of history." That is impossible. History has already happened, its course was recorded and it remains as it was. The only way to change it is to go back in time and do whatever it is differently. Assuming one could do that, we would be unaware that it had actually been changed. It's one of those time travel paradoxes science fiction writers love to play with.
The second is used primarily in golf tournaments by announcers. As a challenger sinks a putt that puts him one back from the leader, the announcer all too often says, "He's moved within a shot of the lead." Wrong. He has moved to one shot off the lead. To be "within one", a putt would have to be worth more than one stroke. And each stroke in golf is counted only as one. No more, no less.
There are other phrases which bug me but none so much as these two. To read or hear either one is, to me, like the sound of chalk screeching across the blackboard.