Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy freakin' 500 to Red Pen, Inc!

Holy crap! This is the 500th post on Red Pen, Inc. And to celebrate post #500, of course I had to find a grammar mistake that somehow relates to the number 500. Naturally, the first thing that came to my mind was a NASCAR race--not because I like NASCAR (puh-leeze!), but because a lot of their races are "500" races. And NASCAR's a good topic for this blog because a) when NASCAR's involved, you can pretty much bet some bad grammar's hangin' around, too, and b) I have a fantastic story concerning NASCAR...

Back when I was in radio, one of my jobs on one of my morning shows was to report the NASCAR race results on-air. I'll be the first to tell you I didn't have a clue what the hell I was talking about when it came to NASCAR--and furthermore, I didn't really care, since I didn't think any of the drivers were hot (superficial? Me? Never!). Anyway, I dutifully reported race results and NASCAR stories sounding like I knew what I was talking about, but really having no fucking clue whatsoever. One day I approached some of my other morning show folks and, for once in my life, broached a NASCAR-related discussion. It went a little something like this (and thankfully, this conversation was NOT on-air, or I surely would have found a bunch of scary-looking Pennsylvania NASCAR fans waiting for me outside the radio station, holding pitchforks and fiery torches):

ME: So I don't get the numbers they throw at the ends of these races. Daytona 500? What the hell is that? Why do they give each race some random number?

CO-HOST: They're not random numbers. Those numbers often denote the number of miles in the race.

ME [shocked]: Wait a sec. You mean in some races there are...500 MILES?

CO-HOST [confused]: Yeah, why?

ME: I didn't understand how someone could want to watch and actually sit still long enough to see ONE mile of racing. HOW and WHY can someone want to watch 500 miles of it? You've GOT to be kidding me, right?

He wasn't kidding.

And to this day, I still don't understand this whole NASCAR phenomenon. Give me guys in pinstripes any day--I understand (and love) baseball. But I will never understand (or love) racing!

Anyway, on to the grammar issues...


Leave it to someone writing about NASCAR to commit two homonym errors in one brief paragraph. The writer should have used complement and too, respectively. Sigh. (I've noticed I do a lot of sighing around here lately. It's warranted, though.)

Happy 500 to Red Pen, Inc. And thank you to you, whoever you are, wherever you are. Thank you for reading this, for submitting bad grammar, for commenting, for linking to this site from your own, for telling your friends about it, and for snickering at my snarky little posts. I wouldn't have the energy to do this if you weren't reading it. Thank you for fueling my fire to write this crazy blog every day. I hope you enjoy the next 500+ posts just as much as you've enjoyed the 500 that are already on this site!
* Thanks to JOHN for the NASCAR help!

10 comments:

Mike Spoodles said...

Happy 500th! I've been looking for bad grammar and coming up gloriously empty-handed. Bad for your site, but good for my sanity!

mama grammarphile said...

Congratulations on your 500th post, Sweetie. Love you.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Thanks, Mike! I guess all that central PA bad grammar has migrated up to New York. YOU might not be finding any bad grammar, but I seem to be inundated with it out here! :)

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Thanks, Mom! :) And thanks for being my most loyal reader! Love you, too.

Czola said...

Congratulations and thank you for such a wonderful site!

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Czola, thanks for the kind words--and for reading this site. :)

LaBajista said...

Well congratulations to you and your wonderful site. But also, I must add that I don't get Nascar either. People say baseball is slow and boring...? Well NO it is not. But watching cars drive in a circle (or an oval I guess) is entertaining? wow

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Thanks, LaBajista! And I'm with you--baseball's not boring at all! I would go crazy if I didn't have baseball to watch...and if I only watched a sport where cars drive around and around and around... :)

JD said...

A little late, but congrats - to the girl who puts glamour in grammar. Or something. (British spelling there.)

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Thanks, JD--and thanks for being a faithful, frequent reader/commenter! "The girl who puts the glamour in grammar"--I love it! :)