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These are my four favorite signs from around the TigerLogic office in San Jose.  I often find myself reading them again because they’re kind of hilarious.  Maybe I just have an odd sense of humor.

4. Engraved plastic sign on breakroom vending machine

Once you have notified the receptionist, you may then commence shaking the machine using appropriate company procedure.

Once you have notified the receptionist, you may then commence shaking the machine using appropriate company procedure.

One can only imagine how many lawsuits were filed by irate employees who had injured themselves by shaking the machine before the building management finally ponied up for an official-looking engraved plastic sign asking them to please stop.

3. Repair request in vending machine

Notice the circled date on the note.

The above plastic engraved sign suddenly makes more sense.

Notice the circled date on the note.  To my knowledge, the Rockefeller Group doesn’t even lease in this building anymore.

2. Dymo label on non-roving supply cabinet

STATIONARY

STATIONARY

Once I put up a post-it with an arrow pointing to this label that said, “Yes, it is.”  It stayed up for almost a week.

1. “Microwaving Water!” Warning

Microwaving Water!

Holy shit!

This is an all-around gem.  First, the sensationalist exclamation point and the alarming underline is carefully crafted to capture the attention of many an unwarned member of white collar corporate America as he or she reheats lunch.  These stylistic choices plainly say “forget the latest issue of People magazine waiting for you at your desk because this is going to be CRAZAY”.

Then, it revs up the drama, slowly setting the scene: a 26-year old man decides to have a cup of coffee.  As he places the cup of water in the microwave, you can hear the slow beginning of the Jaws theme.  Ba-dum.  Ba-dum. “NO!” you want to shout.  “STOP, 26-YEAR OLD MAN!  USE THE TEA KETTLE!”

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Ba-dum. Ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum...

The whole thing reads like one of those fearmongering emails your grandma forwards to you.  You know:

Subj: FWD: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: MICROWAVING WATER!

(in size 30 Comic Sans font) This is true, a scientist from Wisconsin confirmed it this morning.  GE and other big appliance companies are trying to keep this hushed up because it could hurt sales  They won’t keep us in the dark!  We need your help!  Please pass this on to everyone you know who uses a microwave or drinks water!!!!!

The saddest thing is that the printout in our kitchen is so neatly formatted that someone must have spent about 20 painstaking minutes sifting through the entire forward — taking out all of the >>>>> symbols, inspirational quotes in shimmering hypertext, and pictures of roses created entirely from dashes, semicolons, and backslashes — in order to print it out and place it in a protective covering to grace our breakroom microwave.  And for that, I would just like to say thank you.

When I interviewed for a copy editing posititon at The Daily Cal, one of the interview questions I was asked was, “What is your favorite punctuation mark and why?”  We’re all nerdy grammarians at the copy desk, so my response was, “I’m so glad you asked that question.  I love the interrobang.”

The what

The interrobang.

Feast your eyes on that. Aww yeah.

The interrobang.

It’s a combination question mark and exclamation point, to be used in instances like, “SHE SAID WHAT” or “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT“, when the normal ?+! combo just won’t do.  I love the muddled combination of utter surprise, confusion, and exitement an interrobang conveys.  And visually, it’s one of the most beautiful punctuation marks out there.  I mean, look at those curves and that serif stylizing.

It’s fallen out of fashion to use interrobangs (they were invented in 1962 and were the hot new thing to have on your typewriter keyboard for a while), but I think that retro styling just adds to the interrobang’s charm.

If I ever form a rock band, I want to be called The InterroBANGS.  Too bad this band already beat me to the punch.  Check out this facebook group dedicated to the revival of the interrobang.

Hey there. I’m Katherine. This is going to be a blog about being a college student living in Berkeley, CA. The best way for you to get to know me is probably to explain myself in terms of Cranium, the best party game of all mankind:

If I were a game category in Cranium, I would definitely be the Word Worm. I’m not so much of a Data Head; I thought my college admission might be revoked because I almost got a D in Calculus (uh, integrals, what?) but luckily, that didn’t happen, and now I get to live in Berkeley, the most rocking city this side of the Mississippi.

As a word worm, though, I can spell forwards and backwards, individually or on a team. I don’t like to brag (I secretly do), but I’m a two time high-school spelling bee champion. I am pretty much all over this literacy shit. At school, I happily work for less than $5/hr as a copy editor for The Daily Californian, meaning that I proofread articles for grammar, write headlines, and would really like a shirt that says, “bad grammar makes me [sic]”.

I’m not too much of a Star Performer (my humdinger performances are notoriously incomprehensible), but get me in front of Rock Band and despite being tone-deaf and rhythmically challenged, I will rock and roll all night (and party every day). My favorite band is The Ramones, and my first concert was Social Distortion at the Fillmore in San Francisco. I love music, and will be blogging about my favorite bands, both famous and emerging.

I’m not a picky eater, but I detest overhyped restaurants and go to great lengths to debunk such establishments. One of my favorite things about living in Berkeley is finding (and sometimes fabricating out of thin air) special occasions that necessitate celebrating at a locally acclaimed eatery. Some of that enthusiasm for food will probably carry over onto this blog as well.

Say hi in the comments and let me know what you’d like to see!