|Don’t look now, but there’s a great joke about algebra close to the end|
|Tuesday, September 4, 2012|
By ANNE DONNELL
Which of these examples is correctly written? John was born in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1975. OR John was born in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1975. I see this in print both ways – in books, in magazines, and in newspapers. Thank you for working to “polish up” the language skills of your readers. -One of Those Readers
Yep, don’t believe everything you read (OK, believe this newspaper). Don’t believe all the “facts” you read, and don’t believe the way they’re written.
Step back in time to November 3, 1948, the day after national elections. The Chicago Tribune published a bold headline on its front page: Dewey Defeats Truman. There’s a famous photograph of President Harry S. Truman, with a big grin, holding the newspaper. Thomas E. Dewey, then former governor of New York and the Republican nominee for president in 1944 and 1948, was expected to win; but Truman, who succeeded to the presidency upon the death of Franklin Roosevelt, won. Life Magazine earlier printed a picture of Dewey captioned, “The next President of the United States.”The pundits and the pollsters, though undeterred by this, as we can tell from all the noise coming out of them this election year, were wrong. Chicago Tribune “Politics” (online) notes, “Radio comedian Fred Allen noted Truman was the ‘first president to lose in a Gallup and win in a walk.’”
Our QP of T (Question Person of Today) is inquiring about a rule more broken than correctly observed. The rule, which is the same for dates which include month, day, and year, is that all elements are separated from the rest of the sentence. (When locations and dates occur at the end of a sentence the end mark of punctuation is sufficient.) The rest of the time a comma is needed between the elements of a date or location and after them. EXAMPLES. (Borrowing from QP of T) John was born in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1975. Our country remembers September 11, 2001, with grief for the lost and pride for the brave.
BACKUP FROM GRAMMAR BOOK.COM. “Rule 5a Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year and after the year. Example: Kathleen met her husband on December 5, 2003, in Mill Valley, California.
Rule 5b If any part of the date is omitted, leave out the comma. Example: They met in December 2003 in Mill Valley.
Rule 6 Use a comma to separate the city from the state and after the state in a document. If you use the two-letter capitalized form of a state in a document, you do not need a comma after the state. NOTE: With addresses on envelopes mailed via the post office, do not use any punctuation. Examples: I lived in San Francisco, California, for 20 years. I lived in San Francisco, CA for 20 years.”
MY ADDITION TO BACKUP, Rule 6. It is not wrong to use a comma after the two-letter capitalized form of a state.
ONLINE DEPARTMENT “Advice to an Old Man” (Thanks, P.K.) I was working out in the gym when I spotted this sweet young thing. I asked a trainer who was near-by, "What machine should I use to impress that sweet thing over there?" The trainer looked at me and said, “The ATM in the lobby”
“Getting Older” (Thanks, P.K.) ▪ A distraught senior citizen phoned her doctor's office. “Is it true,” she wanted to know, “that the medication you prescribed has to be taken for the rest of my life?” “Yes, I'm afraid so,” the doctor told her. There was a moment of silence before the senior lady replied, “I'm wondering, then, just how serious is my condition because this prescription is marked ‘NO REFILLS.’” ▪ An older gentleman was on the operating table awaiting surgery and he insisted that his son, a renowned surgeon, perform the operation. As he was about to get the anesthesia, he asked to speak to his son. “Yes, Dad, what is it?” “Don't be nervous, son; do your best, and just remember, if it doesn't go well, if something happens to me, your mother is going to come and live with you and your wife.” ▪ The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for. ▪ When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.* ▪ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.
One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young. ▪ Two guys, one old, one young, are pushing their carts around a large chain store when they collide. The old guy says to the young guy, “Sorry about that. I'm looking for my wife, and I guess I wasn't paying attention to where I was going.” The young guy says, “That's OK, it's a coincidence. I'm looking for my wife, too.” The old guy says, “Maybe I can help you find her; what does she look like?” The young guy says, “Well, she is 27, tall, with red hair, blue eyes, really well built, long legs, and is wearing short shorts. What does your wife look like?” To which the old guy says, “Doesn't matter, let's look for yours.”
“FloridaSenior Ads” (Thanks, P.W. & A.A.)You can say what you want about Florida , but you never hear of anyone retiring and moving north. FOXY LADY: Sexy, fashion-conscious blue-haired beauty, 80's, slim, 5'4' (used to be 5'6'), searching for sharp-looking, sharp-dressing companion. Matching white shoes and belt a plus. LONG-TERM COMMITMENT: Recent widow who has just buried fourth husband, looking for someone to round out a six-unit plot. Dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath not a problem. SERENITY NOW: I am into solitude, long walks, sunrises, the ocean, yoga and meditation. If you are the silent type, let's get together, take our hearing aids out and enjoy quiet times. WINNING SMILE: Active grandmother with original teeth seeking a dedicated flosser to share rare steaks, corn on the cob and caramel candy. BEATLES OR STONES?I still like to rock, still like to cruise in my Camaro on Saturday nights and still like to play the guitar. If you were a groovy chick, or are now a groovy hen, let's get together and listen to my eight-track tapes. MEMORIES: I can usually remember Monday through Thursday. If you can remember Friday, Saturday and Sunday, let's put our two heads together. MINT CONDITION: Male, 1932 model, high mileage, good condition, some hair, many new parts including hip, knee, cornea, valves. Not in running condition, but walks well.
*Note on Facebook (Thanks, M.R.) Dear Algebra, Stop asking me to find your X. She’s not coming back. We don’t know Y either.
BW (Bigtime Word) jussive – describing a command, usually a mild one. Most modern children seemed to think any commands are mild and to be obeyed “mildly.” Why can’t we channel General George S. Patton?