Different Rant

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Example of perfectly acceptable uses of the words ‘than’ and ‘from’.

My November Day Thirteen, and a Friday to boot.

And now for something completely different….

There is a ban

On ‘different than’

I learned that little rhyme in grade school and have never forgotten it.  When people use those two words together it sounds like lazy grammar and just grates on my nerves.  I want to correct them.  It’s ‘different from’.

Different FROM everybody!  Don’t be dumb, say different from.  That one I made up on my own.

I know both phrases are now acceptable, and maybe they were when I was taught that they weren’t, but it’s a good rule and I like it and it bugs me when it’s broken.  So stop saying it and writing it and thinking it in your head, okay?

Here is a convincing little blurb from my on-line dictionary.  Yes, I am still reading the dictionary.  I even downloaded the premier edition.  Is it geek week?

In formal writing, different from is generally preferred to different than. This preference has to do, in part, with the historical use of the word than. This term entered English as a conjunction often used with comparative adjectives, such as better, taller, shorter, warmer, lesser, and more, to introduce the second element in a comparison. Different is not a comparative adjective. Thus, when different than first started appearing in English, it sounded grating or less natural to discerning ears.

They are talking about my ears, attached to my anal brain.  This is almost as bad as mixing up YOUR and YOU’RE.  Almost.  Please tell me you’re not making this faux pas with your words.

I also read that in the UK it’s common to say ‘different to’.  Is that true?  It sounds backwards.  Although preferable to ‘than’.

The only instance in which different should be used with than is when you say something like

This house is different than I remember.

But you could also say

This house is different from what I remember.

Or you could simply pretend you don’t remember a damned thing about the house and shut up about it already.

I don’t usually rant on a Friday the 13th, or any other day really.  I have no idea from whence all this came.  Be thankful you aren’t having coffee with me and listening to this rather meaningless grammar lesson in real life.

Happy Friday everybody!

I think I will now get myself out of the house and into some fresh air, so tomorrow’s post will be pleasantly different FROM this one.

The Storms Rant

Sparks

Sparks (Photo credit: PhotoGraham)

Now are you afraid? I’m coming.

Madness in the air tonight.

Grinning fury, threatening menace,

Blinding whiteness, hot as ice.

Do you feel it?  Cold descending,

Heavy heat begins to weep.

Crawling, creeping, rising, fleeing,

Off to wait, a watch to keep.

Can you see the branches dancing?

Swaying terror, frantic bliss.

Every leaf with hissing whispers

Shivers warning, blows a kiss.

Am I laughing?  So perceptive.

Yes, the rumbling’s belly deep.

Hard as silk and cruelly soothing,

Temper held and then unleashed.

Are you dreaming of the burning?

Sparks in darkness feed on drought.

Smoke and rain and choking blackness;

I could put the fires out.

Am I hell-bent on destruction?

Are you cowering, weak and small?

Bolts and volts and cracks and howling,

Fierce remorseless torrents fall.

Are you nodding off?  I’m going;

Wrapping up, my tantrum spent.

I’ve been harsh and you’ve been frightened.

Time for calm. I will relent.

What this night have I extinguished?

What ignited with the dawn?

You’ll remember me tomorrow.

Now I’m dying.  Played out.  Gone.

What Bugs Me

Daily Horoscope: February 17, 2012

            A big night out might seem like the release you need, but you’d be surprised how soothing and rejuevenating something a little lower-key can be.  Have fun, but treat yourself right, too.
  • Compatibility: Leo
  • Mood: Relaxed
  • Lucky Color: Gold
  • Lucky Number: 28
  • Lucky Time of Day: 5am      

The release I need…..from what?  Inertia?  Telling me to be low-key is like telling someone to lie down and stop breathing altogether.  Simple and informal and bordering on dormant is my idea of a good time.  And I always treat myself right.  It’s a trait I share with W and our daughter, both of whom are Leos.   Looks like we just might all hit it off tonight.  Our “big night out” is going to be something earth shatteringly thrilling like dinner at Boston Pizza, or some such hot spot.  Maybe we’ll even have a pre-dinner drink.  My spine is tingling in anticipation!  After that my mood will be relaxed, no problem.  We’re not celebrating anything in particular;  she has a room- mate moving out and just wanted to make herself scarce for awhile.

I don’t wear gold anymore, because I think it clashes with my silvery hair.  But I’m drinking coffee from my brown and GOLD cup.  Coincidence?  I think not.  I was blissfully unconscious at five o’clock this morning.  I wish I had known sooner that running out and buying a lottery ticket before dawn would have been a luckier activity for me at that time of the day.  I guess I should start reading these things right after midnight to get the full benefit of their revelations.

The title for this meandering post was going to be something along the lines of “things that pissed me off at work yesterday” but then I realized I don’t feel at all like ranting anymore.  So I’ll just say what they were and get over it.  I work in the optical department of a big box store.  We have our own space but no doors, so it’s wide open on one side to the rest of the store.  And to all the retail shenanigans.

There is a cashier with a very loud and irritating voice who talks baby-talk to every small child unfortunate enough to have a mother who chose that particular check out.  She also says the eye rolling “HELLO?!!?” which is meant to mean “are you serious, you didn’t know that, you’ve got to be kidding me, what were you (or I, or they) thinking?”  It is by far and away her favourite comment on just about everything.  I try to tune her out, but I think if she had her own microphone she couldn’t get much louder.

Kids sitting in shopping carts, fake crying (and some of them have to work extremely hard at it to keep up their wailing long after they’ve forgotten whatever it was that upset them in the first place) are not QUITE as irritating as their mothers who are trying to reason with them and get them to stop.  Why would they stop?  They’re getting exactly the one on one attention they want.  When they’re good, they don’t get that, they get ignored.  There might be a great bribe in the works if they can carry on with the annoying noise for long enough. So they do. Without tears. Tears are harder to fake.

And then there’s the cell phone users who have no clue that the people around them don’t really want to hear their scintillating half of a conversation.  Especially in a public washroom from the next stall.   Can it not wait until after you’ve flushed and washed your hands?  Gawd.

Okay, I suppose that was kind of a rant after all.  Sorry.  But since I’ve never done anything myself to annoy anyone, I feel entitled and justified.  (Hello?!!?)  GAH.

It’s Random Acts of Kindness Day!  I’m not off to a very good start, but the day is young.  I have things to do and places to go.  Once I figure out what those things are exactly, it will be all downhill from there.  And what bugs me can be forgotten and buried in the past where it belongs.              

I Haven’t Got Time For the Pain

Don’t you just hate it when old people go on and on about all their various aches and pains?  You just feel like interrupting their incessant damn whining and telling them to take a few pills for the love of God.  So if you’re one of those people who hates that, don’t read any further, because I’m about to become one of those people doing what you hate.   But just for this one blog, I absolutely promise, and then I’ll take a few pills and shut up about it.

My right shoulder has been driving me insane for over two months.  At its worst it was a pain that originated in my neck and spread down to my elbow and up the back of my head and into my right shoulder-blade.  When I lifted my arm above my head something would click and lock and it hurt like hell to bring the arm back down again.  My neck also makes strange clicking sounds.  No one warned me that when you get old various parts of your body would start to spontaneously dislocate themselves.

The MD wasn’t much help – something is sprained – rest it.  Diagnosis and cure in under five seconds.  The chiropractor has been a little more interesting and helpful.  He has pinpointed the source to a spot on the side of my neck where a muscle is torn, and that’s what’s causing all the rest of the discomfort.  Because pain likes to radiate.  Stupid little bugger.  It took only two little clicks to re-align things and a few test movements to determine that it wasn’t rotator cuff related, whatever that means.   One visit he did one of those mega vibrating massage things all over my back and up into the right shoulder until I saw stars.  I was wondering if one of those things could cause a retinal detachment when he finally stopped and I slowly regained the use of my optic nerves.  The last visit he used what sounded suspiciously like a staple gun, clicking away on various spots until he finally found the most painful one possible.  Then he stopped, because why push your luck.  I think he’s running out of things to do to charge me for, because for the last fifteen minutes of that visit we had a long detailed conversation about support pillows and how they’re a load of crap.  He said to roll up a towel and use that as neck support.  Perhaps his towels are softer than mine, because I tried it and it felt much like what I assume a rock would feel like if you tried to go to sleep with one of those between your neck and shoulder.

I know this story is much too long, but I don’t care.  My neck hurts and I NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT, GODAMMIT!  I purchased a piece of foam and rolled that up and secured it with rubber bands and that seems to be working a bit better.  I can sleep for several hours at a stretch now before I have to get up and grope around in the dark for the Advil 400’s.  Now there’s a pill that actually works.  Believe me when I say I have tried others that did not.  I am trying to do as much as I can with my left hand and rest my right, but there are some things, like blow drying one’s hair that just don’t come out the same.  I’m trying to remember to keep my thumb up when I raise my arm above my head.  Have you ever tried that?  Do you know how few things you can accomplish well with your right thumb up in the air??  Try putting away plates or optical trays and see how awkward it is.  I like my thumb DOWN, but that way hurts.

Okay, I’ve had my rant, and it IS getting better, so I guess that’s entirely enough on this fascinating subject for now.  I’ve had to give up Angry Birds for the time being, because that forward head posture and the tension in my right bird tossing arm turned out to be one of the many things I was doing to keep the pain and inflammation fresh and vibrant.  Thankfully typing and using a mouse haven’t shown any harmful side effects, except for that morning when I dropped the mouse into my coffee, but that’s a whole other story.  And they don’t seem to have any pills for that.