Seriously, Mr. President?

0D35AD3F-49C5-401A-8273-2D2D63834733In an interview with Breitbart News, the President of the United States seems to have threatened violence if Democrats don’t support him.

Claiming that his opponents are treating him unfairly, he praised the toughness and strength of his supporters and predicted that these “tough” supporters will, at some point, end their restraint.

Here is what he said:

“So here’s the thing — it’s so terrible what’s happening. You know, the left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny. I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. Okay? I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

I don’t know how to interpret Trump’s words to be anything but a not-so-subtle threat of violence. Things could get “tough” for Democrats — and maybe for the left in general — he suggested, if they don’t play ball with him.

Is there any other possible way to interpret what he said? Or is this just another case of Trump bluster?

A New Installment

3DC0FD7D-8768-4894-967C-304245BA51EDAnother irresistible installment of Rory’s Oh No Way, Oh So Way! prompt.

Talked to a complete stranger about life.

Depends upon how you define “complete stranger.” If you mean some random person on the street, then the answer is no. If you mean someone I didn’t know very well, like the friend of a friend or in a small group of people, some of whom I knew as well as some I didn’t, then yes.

Gone skydiving

No way. Not on a bet.

Got a tattoo

Other than a phony tattoo decal as a kid that washes off after a day or two, no way.

Had an allergic reaction

Yes, to an antibiotic.

Cried while watching a movie

Okay, yeah, I’m a pussy at sad movies.

Gotten gum stuck in my hair

If you count someone else putting gum in my hair, yes.

Fallen asleep in the sun and gotten burned

Oh so way. I was nicknamed “Lobsterman” that summer.

Over-plucked my eyebrows

Um, no way. I don’t pluck my eyebrows, although they have gotten bushier in my old age.

Been in a haunted house

One of those amusement park haunted house rides, but not a supposedly “real” one.

Fallen asleep during sex

Not during. But immediately after, yeah.

Wore a whipped cream bikini

I have never put on a bikini, whipped cream or otherwise.

Been to an “adult store”

I browsed.

Felt the presence of “paranormal activity”

I have felt the presence of paramedics and paralegals where I questioned how normal they were. Does that count?

Asked someone when they were due when they weren’t pregnant

Almost, but I checked myself before the words came out.

Seen a sex therapist

Well, that what she told me she was.

Burst out laughing at a really inappropriate time

Undoubtedly.

Googled Sex addiction

Who, me?

Called someone the wrong name

Way too often. I’m good with faces, but not so good with names.

Walked in on a stranger who was butt naked

Not a stranger, but I did walk in on a girl I barely knew who had just stepped out of the shower. She was my roommate’s date.

Said you were minutes away when you haven’t even left the house yet

No, but I have said that I was “on my way” when I hadn’t yet left.

Conjunction Junction

5F2D15C6-E9F3-4F05-A089-7609F647F04CEarlier today I wrote a post in which I commented on a blogger who confused the words “than” and “then.” I got some interesting feedback on my post, including one commenter who pointed out that “starting a sentence with ‘but’ (a preposition) is generally frowned upon.”

I admit that I do start a lot of my sentence in my posts with “but” and “and,” both of which are conjunctions. And not to be a stickler, but “but” is very seldom a preposition. When it is used as a preposition, “but” means the same as “except”: “Everyone ate frog legs but Jim. But “but” usually functions as a coordinating conjunction.

Okay, back to the topic at hand. Is the use of a conjunction really frowned upon? Well, I suppose it depends on who you believe. R.W. Burchfield, lexicographer, scholar, and writer, who also edit the Oxford English Dictionary, writes:

“On starting sentences with a conjunction, there is a persistent belief that it is improper to begin a sentence with ‘and,’ but this prohibition has been cheerfully ignored by standard authors from Anglo-Saxon times onwards. An initial ‘and’ is a useful aid to writers as the narrative continues. The same is true with the conjunction ‘but.’ A sentence beginning with ‘and’ or ‘but’ will tend to draw attention to itself and its transitional function.”

Even the venerable Chicago Manual of Style writes:

“There is a widespread belief — one with no historical or grammatical foundation — that it is an error to begin a sentence with a conjunction such as ‘and,’ ‘but,’ or ‘so’. In fact, a substantial percentage of the sentences in first-rate writing begin with conjunctions. It has been so for centuries, and even the most conservative grammarians have followed this practice.”

So is the use of a conjunction to start a sentence an erosion of rules of usage? Well, I’m not an expert, but I think that the “rule” about not starting a sentence with “but” or “and” doesn’t represent contemporary thinking on English grammar.

But hey, if you, as a writer or a blogger, don’t want to start your sentences with a conjunction — or a preposition — that’s your right. Whatever floats you boat.

The Horns of a Dilemma

A229D0F7-A122-45A0-8B9A-EA4980863545Yesterday I read a very good, witty, and entertaining post from a blogger I follow. I so enjoyed the post that I “liked” it and I wanted to write a comment complimenting the blogger.

But I didn’t write that complimentary comment because throughout the otherwise excellent post, the blogger used the word “than” when the correct word would have been “then.”

The blogger would write something like “But than…” or “And than…” and proceed to say what happened next.

I so wanted to post a comment that said something like this:

I really enjoyed you post, but you need to understand the difference between “than” and “then” and use them correctly. “Than” is used to form comparisons between two things, as in “I’d rather have a slice of pie than a salad.”

“Then” is used to express a sense of time or what comes next or used to be, as in “First I’ll have a salad and then I’ll have a slice of pie.” Thus, to write “And than I sat down to watch TV” is wrong. It should be “And then I sat down to watch TV.”

As I said, I never posted a comment because I didn’t want to sound like a pedantic asshole, even though I probably am one. And I didn’t want to make the blogger feel bad.

On the other hand, I felt as if I was depriving the blogger of a “teachable moment.” Wouldn’t it have been beneficial to that blogger to point out that he or she used the wrong word multiple times in an otherwise great post?

The post received a lot of love. Plenty of likes and more than three dozen comments. But not one comment mentioned the “than/then” issue.

What would you do? Would you bite your tongue and let the blogger continue to potentially misuse the word “than” in future posts? Or would you have let the blogger know so that he/she wouldn’t keep making that same mistake?

FOWC with Fandango — Power

FOWCWelcome to March 14, 2019 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “power.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.