Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Sposta Postah

"Supposed to". It means "assumed true", but we use it to mean "should". "Jimmy Hoffa is supposed to be dead" vs. "You're supposed to watch out for that! It's your job!".

This is lame. I propose a new word: sposta.

spo-sta (spoh-stuh) - auxiliary verb.
1. should; ought to; must. He's sposta wash the dishes.

O, Blogworld! Unedited publishers, unite! Use the word! Show those leather-elbowed oligarchs at Merriam-Webster that the language is ours, that it lives here with us on our gaudy webpages and not in their dust-blanketed mahogany bookcases.

Let 'sposta' be the warning shot across the bow of their reputation. They would be wise to recognize our meager word -- if not we will hit them with a flood of new verbiage equally if not more base and plebian. We don't need their authoritarian condescension anymore, and if they don't want to be completely supplanted by pure democracy, that had best show we groundlings some respect.

Why should the linguists decide what is correct? Sposten't it be a decision made by all users of the language equally? How dare people who have dedicated their lives to the study of English claim the right to rule over it! Just because you have thirty years of experience and alphabet soup after your name doesn't mean you know more than us, especially if we're loud and numerous. Proletariat!

Monday, September 25, 2006

My Head is Full of Flames

Daddy, Daddy! Alex is quoting Elliott Smith again!

Now, son. That's only natural when people go back to work after vacation.


Dude, I went to the awesomest library this weekend. I don't want to wig anybody out, but I think it may have been created for me. One of those deals where God goes back in time and makes it so it was always there. See, I was talking about libraries with Dr. V. So I says to him I says "libraries should sell coffee and have free wifi". His reply? "We're going there tomorrow".

Friday, September 22, 2006

According to...

Add this to the litany of cautionary tales regarding the complete uselessness of the staff at videogame stores.

My dear old grandmother plays bridge regularly. She had a copy of Hoyle's Classic Games for her PC, with which she would practice her mad brizzidge skillz. The CD disappeared, and she needed to reinstall.

Now, one would think that if an old lady were to walk into a videogame specialty store with the case for an earlier version of a current title -- a title which was in stock at the store, no less -- and ask for help, she would leave with a newly purchased game. There, gentle reader, is where you would be wrong. Dear old Grandma was informed that they did not have the game and that she should leave with haste. I assume she was asked if she wanted to pre-order Madden '08.

On my recent visit to VT, a stop was made at the mall. Now, I'm not good for much, but finding videogames? Come on. I walked in, looked under "H", found the game, and purchased it. Clearly I have some kind of preternatural ability. What else could explain how I was able to make the game appear where none was there before? I certainly hope her bridge acumen improves, what with me foresaking my immortal soul and all.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Considering this, I would like to point out that I am an HR information systems manager for a hospital. So, I'm #1 and #7 and work with lots of people in #2. Sweet.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Friday, September 15, 2006

Terrible Silence

Looks as if the Mountain Goats will not be returning to Buffalo this year, despite their "see you next year" promises. I think... I think we may have scared them. The image of four of us standing far behind the crowd, arms crossed and heads moving just slightly in time to the strumming, while in truth a reverent meditation, may have appeared as disdain or even derision from the stage. The dude just fled off stage after his encore, as if about to chase the bottom of a bottle, break hotel furniture, and make incoherent threats towards abstractions.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

That guy

Need some new geek duds? Swing on over to the cafepress shop and see just what it is I've been doing with my evenings.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Finally! At last I learn what these damn stickers mean.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

If it's good enough for Paine...

Throughout my bookish life, I have tried and failed several times to read various non-fiction books. It turns out I just don't have the stamina for it.

Here's the issue: they just don't need to be book length. For example, I am currently sweating through Guns, Germs, and Steel, which claims to explain differences in the technological development in various societies throughout history. I just read a whole damn chapter on wild almonds. Sorry, but the sentence "some wild plants lent themselves to cultivation better than others" would have suited me just fine. I have a feeling that when I reach the final page I will wonder why the author didn't just write a five paragraph essay.

I move we bring back the pamphlet. Go ahead and spend your adult life proving something -- just boil it down to the essentials for me. Thirty pages tops. And I know you think you have already, that you've tearfully stripped untold pages of vastly important details on the mating habits of horseshoe crabs which your editor told you the unwashed plebs just wouldn't be able to handle. Your editor is right. Trim that puppy down, no matter how a good thick book looks on a library shelf.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What will I do when you're gone?

Since B A Start appears to have become an etymology blog, can anyone tell me if the idiom "bite the dust" existed anytime between The Iliad and Queen?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I say, good show old man. Capital.

As I plowed through a writing project this weekend, I caught myself typing the stale phrase "that rarest of species". I know, I really am that stuffy. Maybe it's The Dante Club, maybe the Pride and Prejudice, but my English has become substantially more Queen's recently, probably to the same degree as Johnny's has become Queens.

Either way, I struck the phrase, assuming I was unconsciously quoting something. Damned if I can figure out what though. I mere googling returns a litany of articles using the phrase, but no source. I tried Shakespeare and the KJV. Even a thorough bartleby session turned up nought. (See? Who uses 'nought'?)

Anybody got anything on this? I mean, it must have come from somewhere. Three cheers to you if you find it. I'll toast your name with a sherry in the parlor and draw up an epigram praising your alacrity.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Old Gods and Ziploc Bags

Check this out.

Main Entry: her·met·ic
Pronunciation: (")h&r-'met-ik
Function: adjective
: being airtight or impervious to air —her·met·i·cal·ly /-i-k(&-)lE/ adverb
Her·mes Tris·me·gis·tus /'h&r-(")mEz-"tris-m&-'jis-t&s,/ Greek mythological character. Hermes Trismegistus was identified by the Greeks with the Egyptian god Thoth. To him was ascribed authorship of various works on astrology, magic, alchemy, and medicine. It was also believed that he had invented a magic seal to keep vessels airtight, and from his name the adjective hermetic meaning airtight was derived.