Tag Archives: grammar

I am Orangutan

It’s finally reached the breaking point, boiling over, filling me with rage.  I want to shout it loud and clear: YOU CANNOT BE OCD!!!  Not possible.  OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is a NOUN.  That is like saying “I am apple” or “I am orangutan.”  It doesn’t work!  Unless, of course, you are an orangutan who has mastered the basics of English but still stumbles over little things like articles, in which case I applaud you, Sir Ape.  Congratulations on achieving something so monumental.  Surely you are the envy of your ape peers.

Furthermore, if you say you are obsessive compulsive (which is the right way to say that, if not “I have OCD.”) then you are probably still wrong.  Let me break it down: Obsessions are the thoughts.  The ones you can’t get rid of.  They invade your brain, leaving room for nothing else.  The only way you can stop them is if you do something.  And that is where the compulsion part comes in.  A compulsion is a thing you do to help drive out the obsessive thought.  For example, there was once a man who had to drive over a single speed bump on his way to work every morning.  And every time he drove over that speed bump, he had the same obsessive, invasive thought: What if that was a person I just ran over?  He thought about it so much that he had to turn and go around the block again just to double check that it was a speed bump and not a person.  This would be an obsession followed by a compulsion.  Even worse, as soon as he went over the bump again, he had the same thought: Was it a person?  He would go back over that same speed bump so many times that it made him late for work.  In the end, he began waking up earlier in the morning just so he could accommodate this hour-long, obsessive-compulsive delay and still arrive to work on time.

That, my friends, is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

It is not:

Wanting to finish eating your hamburger before starting on your fries.

Wanting all your pencils to be sharp.

Cleaning your room regularly.

Watching every episode of a show in order.

FURTHERMORE, it is definitely not a disorder unless it meets the three D’s: Deviant, Dysfunction, Distressful.

In other words, if it doesn’t fuck up your life in a major way, it’s not a disorder.

So stop abusing OCD.  People who really have it will thank you.  People who don’t have it should be glad they don’t spend six hours a week driving over the same speed bump.  I don’t care if you can only listen to Britney Spears music while wearing pink socks.  That might make you weird, but it doesn’t give you the right to self-diagnose with a serious disorder.

In other news, I’d like to take a quick second to thank everyone who has supported my blog this far.  I recently surpassed 200 followers, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is to me because I started this thing with zero.  And I don’t really do a lot of self promotion, or comment regularly on other blogs, so 200 is a big accomplishment for me.  So thank you.  And please excuse the rant.

Love,

Bex

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Filed under Grammar, Humor, Language, writing

Mistaken Word Identity

Hello.  How has your life been these days?  Mine has been hectic.  On top of trying to find work to pay for my career as an author, moving to a new state, and writing, my computer is still pretty broken.  It won’t even open Firefox anymore, which sucks because I am used to using it as my browser.  I even tried uninstalling and reinstalling it.  No luck.  Can you even break a web browser?  Apparently I can.  I am that kind of special snowflake.

Anyway, I was on a plane for reasons, and I was reading a book.  The book was called Supernaturally.  It is the sequel to the book, Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White.  The first book had a unique enough premise, so I thought I’d read the second.  That’s usually how things go.  The problem is, the second book left me with kind of a bad taste in my mouth.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not terrible.  It’s pretty standard for the new Young Adult Paranormal Romance genre that is all the rage these days, and that I, myself, write for.  The thing is…I don’t know.  It just wasn’t for me.  One of the big problems, the one I wanted to talk quickly about, was that I think the author used a word incorrectly.  I know this shouldn’t be a big deal, but it really pulls me out of the book when I see a word used to mean its exact opposite.

So we’re going to do the Words of the Day a little early here.

Nonplussed (adj) DOES mean: utterly perplexed; completely puzzled.

It DOES NOT mean: Unfazed.  Cool.  Calm.  Unaffected.

That one gets misused a lot, because it sounds like it should mean what it doesn’t.  I will add the disclaimer that White might have been using it correctly.  The character could have either been confused or nonchalant, but I got the impression he fell into the latter category, in which case “nonplussed” was the wrong word to use.

This happened to me one other time, a while back when I tried to read a book called Tithe by Holly Black.  She used the word “enervate” to mean its exact opposite and I just kinda lost a few respect points for the author.  “Enervate” is another word that sounds like it should mean its opposite.

Enervate (v) DOES mean: to deprive of force or strength; destroy the vigor of; weaken.

It DOES NOT mean: To energize.  Give energy to.  Fill with life.

It just sounds like it’s supposed to mean that.

Watch out for those words, and others like it.  Just a helpful hint.  I’ve got another post for you about my recent editing process for Hellbound, so look out for that soon!  Hopefully with pictures.  (Dare I risk plugging in my tablet?)

Word of the Day (even though I already gave you two): Lugubrious (adj) – mournful, dismal, or gloomy, especially in an affected, exaggerated, or unrelieved manner.

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Cold Days

So I bought the newest installment of The Dresden Files a couple days ago.  It’s called Cold Days.  I’ve finished it now.  Here is what I have to say:

Oh my GOD I love Jim Butcher so much.  His books are like my crack.  I think.  I mean I’ve never been on crack, but if I were, I don’t think it would be nearly as exciting as reading one of his books.  Harry Dresden(‘s dog) is my favorite character in fiction ever!  I’m a fan girl.  Sad but true.

Also there were three typos:

1. “His” was written instead of “He.”  “His turned his golden eyes away…” (Cold Days, 15).

2. “Courtesy” was written instead of “Curtsy.”  (Not 100% sure about this one.  The line is “‘Lord Gruff,’ she said, giving him a courtesy that somehow seemed natural” (Cold Days, 35).  I mean…the “courtesy” bit could be referring to her calling him “Lord” or something, but it makes more sense with “curtsy” in there, doesn’t it?)

3. There is a character named Butters, but the possessive form of his name was written “Butter’s.”  It happened just once, so don’t ask me to remember what page it was on.  It’s not like I took notes.

I’m not saying I would have caught those mistakes if I were Jim Butcher’s editor.  I mean…those people are really busy, I imagine, and they don’t have time to go over every single page with a fine-toothed comb.  All I’m saying is that when I finally get my book published, the first typo I see is going to be my undoing.  I’m gonna be like “NOOOOOOOO!!!  My world is over!”  And maybe I’ll tear off my shirt or turn to vigilante superheroism or something to make up for it.

No comic today because I am lazy.

Words of the Day: Courtesy (n) – Excellence of manners or social conduct; polite behavior.
Curtsy (n) – a respectful bow made by women and girls, consisting of bending the knees and lowering the body.

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Filed under books, Grammar, Humor, writing