Category Archives: Get off my lawn!

Another reason why modern pop and rock suck

The link to this video came from reader Andrea, who said, This may be one reason why you can’t stand today’s music… an insane overuse of the supertonic… the second note on the scale. BTW, the guy in this video has a cool keyboard. Combine supertonic obsession with autotuning, and you get a bunch of […]

Words and phrases I detest

It’s time for your host—now even more peevish than usual because of the pandemic—to vent about his most-despised words and phrases. And you can add yours in the comments, or perhaps you’d like to inform me that language changes and these neologisms are fine. In that case, take a number and get in line. As […]

Rap converges with religious glossolalia

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of rap music, which has replaced soul music, a fantastic period of song, as the African-American pop music. I do like some rap songs, but only when the rapping has a melody interspersed. Here’s Iggy Azalea “freestyling”, which is improvised rap. She’s not very good at it, and […]

In which I deconstruct a NYT profile of Steve Pinker

The New York Times has a new profile of Steve Pinker, with a photo that, while nice, doesn’t include his cowboy boots. It concentrates mostly on the letter signed by 550+ academics calling for the Linguistic Society of America to rescind Pinker’s “distinguished fellow” and “media expert” status. Since I’ve discussed that letter in detail, […]

The unappreciated greatness of Steely Dan

The article below just appeared in the Boston Globe, written by Ty Burr, and it’s about how some young people are coming to appreciate the music of their elders, which they call “dad rock”. Oy! Click on the screenshot to read: The intro: One of the more satisfying cheap thrills that comes with getting old […]

Words and phrases I detest

Yes, it’s that time again—time to take out all your pent-up, pandemic-induced frustration on those who use odious and reprehensible language. As always, nearly all of my examples come from HuffPost. I have to say that I don’t find them by reading HuffPost; I simply hear something I don’t like and google it along with […]

Words and phrases I detest

You’d think that during the pandemic, people might be at home brushing up on their grammar; but of course you’d think wrongly. I never seem to run out of phrases that I detest, and, in this latest installment, all of them come from HuffPost, a reliable source of bad writing by eager but unlettered and […]

More odious words and phrases

It’s sunny outside, the ducks are being frisky, and I have no business trying to brain today. Here: enjoy three words and phrases I have grown to hate. It’s amazing that I rarely repeat these; I suppose that makes me a curmudgeon.  Click on the screenshots to see the source of these irritating usages. The […]

More “here’s how” and “here’s what” from HuffPo and real journalism

Yes, all four of HuffPo’s “personal” pieces today are of the “here’s what” or “here’s how” genre: But wait! There’s more, on the very same page: As I’ve written before, this new “hey, dumb-ass, here’s everything you need to know” trope has spread to other papers, including the New York Times (from today’s issue): Yesterday’s […]

Words and phrases I hate

Yes, it’s time for another chance to blow off steam about words and phrases that irritate you. I have three today: all, of course, are from HuffPo—the source of everything risible and reprehensible. You’re invited to contribute your favorites in the comments. 1.) “Sick” meaning “cool” or “great.” This is another neologism which means the opposite of […]