April 25, 2010

Missed metaphors, part 2

(If you missed SFTC's groundbreaking Missed Metaphors, part 1, feel free to either scroll down a bit or click here.)

I realize that because of the iPad and Kindle - and, frankly, because we as a society just keep getting stupider - the good old hardback book is quickly becoming obsolete. Which probably means that book-inspired metaphors are also becoming more and more archaic. Soon, I would venture to guess, the very concepts of "judging a book by its cover" or "throwing the book at someone" will be nearly meaningless.

I think that explains why the good folks who edit Associated Press sports articles failed to catch a botched attempt at turning such a phrase. Trying to explain that the UCLA gymnastics team's two most recent championships occurred immediately before and after a string of five straight championships by the University of Georgia, an AP writer offered:
The Bruins won the title for the first time since 2004, bookmarking the Gym Dogs' five-year run.

I don't read a whole lot, but I'm pretty sure a bookmark is something you stick in the middle of a book, not on either side of one. It would have been nice for the editor to realize that UCLA's 2004 and '10 victories bookended the Georgia wins.

This sentence also reminds me of one of the main reasons I never tried out for Georgia gymnastics: the name Gym Dogs.

April 22, 2010

Missed metaphors

Rod Blagojevich kicks ass at several things - selling Senate seats to the highest bidder, styling his hair, assessing and then reassessing his place on the racial continuum and getting booted off of Donald Trump TV shows among them.

But one thing at which he does not kick ass is understanding the meaning of common metaphors. Consider, for example, his explanation in this CNN.com piece of what he thinks will prove to be "the smoking gun" in his corruption trial:

During his news conference Tuesday, Blagojevich repeated that he was innocent and that the tapes of his conversations would prove it. "It is because there is a smoking gun in those tapes, and the smoking gun is that the government is covering up the big lie Mr. Fitzgerald gave to the world when he had me arrested," Blagojevich said.

It's clear that while a former governor awaits his fate, logical rhetoric is also on trial.

April 16, 2010


In the past 24 hours, SFTC has logged hits from two people - both of whom, I'm certain, are brilliant and exceedingly good-looking - from Scandinavia.

Now, we here at SFTC don't get too many clicks from nations with offset crosses on their flags - which, I know, is probably a shock to longtime SFTC readers - so this development caught my attention.

I can only assume that this exciting trend is occurring because Finns and Swedes are staying inside more than usual to avoid being overcome by all of that volcanic ash blowing in from Iceland, and they're profoundly starved for entertainment.

Anyway, I really appreciate the hits from overseas, because I know this blog is really out of the way compared with all of the Scandinavian blogs you have to choose from. Just want to say to our friends across the Atlantic: Välkomnande! And mieluinen!

April 14, 2010

Writing a check is time consuming

I've had my share of complaints about Sprint in the past - notably, this one - but I have to admit, ever since the company's CEO started wandering aimlessly through Central Park or Impressive Office Buildings in black-and-white TV ads, I think the customer service has actually gotten better.

Now, for example, when they lie and tell me that since I just renwed my contract for two years through a special promotion, they won't make me re-renew it again when I buy a new phone three weeks later... and then they make me re-renew my contract when I buy a new phone, I can actually get them to honor their commitment by badgering a customer service rep on live chat for about 10 minutes. (I love live chat.)

And, now, when they charge me an $18 "upgrade fee" for - I think I have this correct - the right to buy a new Sprint phone that cost more than my last three phones combined, I can get the nonsensical charge reversed by calling customer service and asking them three times to reverse the charge. (The first two times I asked, I was told there was absolutely, positively, no way they could change it, because it was their policy. Apparently, the cliche is true: The third time really is the charm.)

And, now, when the Fancy New Phone I've bought is eligible for a $100 mail-in rebate, I get an confirmation email from the company a scant five weeks after sending in my receipt, telling me that the "rebate is in the final stages of processing and should be mailed to [me] within the next three weeks."

If whatever they're doing to "process" a check is going to take three more weeks, I'm thinking that they're still a little closer to the preliminary stages at this point.

April 8, 2010

Separated at birth, black cassock edition

This was the front page of the New York Times website a few days ago:

The dude in the main photo is a Vatican priest who landed in some matzoh ball soup* for comparing the criticism of the Catholic Church's latest sex abuse scandals to persecution of the Jews. Which, as you might imagine, didn't sit too well with a whole lot of Jewish people. And, apparently, it wasn't particularly well received by advocates for sex abuse victims, either. I have to imagine that's a pretty rare double-whammy in terms of groups being offended by a single comment.

Upon reading the story, I had two main thoughts:
1) That was sort of a dumb thing to say; and
2) I'm almost sure I've never met Raniero Cantalamessa before, but, golly he looks familiar.

And then I thought: Sure! I know where I've seen this guy before! The short white hair, the close-cropped white beard, the glasses, the black turtlenecky thing, the somewhat imperial stance behind a lectern on a stage. Why, that's not Raniero Cantalamessa at all! It's Steve Jobs!

Well, I guess if the priest gig doesn't work out, Raniero could always move to Cupertino and hawk iPads.

* That's Jewish hot water. 10 points if you figured it out without checking this footnote

April 2, 2010

I think it's "i before e except after gg"

Whoever edits the Los Angeles Times website is doing such an awesome job these days. To wit, an excerpt from a police blotter item posted last night on the always-fascinating L.A. Now page:

The attacker is described as Latino, 20 to 30 years old and unshaven. He was wearing a baggie black hoodie and baggy black pants, police said.

I feel like that description is really going to help narrow the suspect list a lot. Also, nice to see that "hoodie" is now acceptable newspaper writing.