Thursday, September 21, 2006

Dictionary Madness!!!

Pity me. At the Weekly, I use an American Heritage dictionary as my weapon and partner in spelling enforcement. But in my freelance work, I use Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition. Big deal, you say? Think again, TOSC fans. Consider just these two crucial differences:

A.H.'s first preference is "work force" (two words), while Webster's first preference is "workforce."

Further, A.H. spells it "ambiance," while Webster's tells me it's "ambience."

And that's just two discrepancies. Then figure in that some pubs use A.P. style, others use Chicago, and all of them have their own local styles. How does one copy editor keep it all straight?

Superhuman intelligence, that's how. I don't like to talk about it much, but I was bitten by a radioactive, nerdy monkey when I was a child. Besides the fleas, that incident also bestowed upon me a preternatural ability to keep a multitude of styles and lexicographical philosophies stored in my mind at the same time.

And, no, I don't throw poop as a result of the monkey bite. That's just Craig being Craig.

21 Comments:

Anonymous Pat said...

That monkey clearly is not radioactive. Nerdy, yes, but even then only in a self-consciously New Hip kind of way.

I dare say you're making the whole thing up.

Well not all of it.

I believe you likely were bitten by a simple, nonradioactive monkey which, nerdy as it may have appeared, failed to imbue you with any book smarts.

Your mad copy editing skillz don't come from a radioactive bite, Craig; they come from inside of you. And the sooner you realize that, the sooner you'll be able to see that the true radioactive, nerdy monkey was you all along.

It was you all along.

Which would explain the body hair.

To a degree.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

I can't decide if the monkey is trying to look like Harry Potter or Philip Johnson. Either way, I was never actually bitten by a monkey. It was more of a figurative bite, from a metaphorical monkey.

But I was bitten by a horse. Oh, how I hate horses.

12:03 AM  
Anonymous pat said...

Remember that Metaphorical Monkey show at St. Andrew's in Detroit?

Damn we were wasted.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

Literally

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good lord man! You were bitten by leading
20th century architect Philip Johnson
!

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doh. Craig already took Philip Johnson...

damn your eyes.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where'd you get that picture of Moby?

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why'd you put a picture of Moby in a post about radioactive monkey bites and superheroic brainpower?

5:36 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

Actually, it's Ralphie Parker from "A Christmas Story," BEFORE the whole adult-film thing.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Pat said...

Craig,

Peter Billingsley played Ralphie, and he never "went" porno. You're confusing him with Scott Swartz, who played Flick, the kid who got his tongue stuck on the icy pole. He went porno.

Ha ha ha. Pole.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

I was referring to the monkey.

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