Thursday, September 10, 2009

Things this GraphJam post has taught me:


1. Apparently using concise language is a lost art. (Wouldn't that headline sound better if it was written like "Things Dora the Explorer has taught little girls"?)

2. Life long and lifelong are not quite the same thing, and the latter would have been the better choice in this case.

3. What is a mid-drift? Is it like a snowdrift, only with more skin showing?

4. Dora's a freakin' hussy!

Thanks, KIM, for spotting this disastrous picture!

18 comments:

EVula said...

In addition to the typos, I love the ranting paranoia at work here. Talking inanimate objects are a staple of most cartoons aimed at kids, Dora is hardly breaking new ground.

Also, as someone that's unfamiliar with Dora, I had to look up a picture of her to see about the midriff thing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dora_and_Boots.jpg

Just goes to show that people that get upset about kid stuff are far, far sicker than everyone else; never in a million years would I have thought "Oh look, she's showing off her midriff" (and I say that as an admirer of midriffs, albeit ones that are legal).

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

I agree on all points! Also, I have never been annoyed by Dora's exposed midriff, exactly, but I have frequently thought "Can't they design the poor girl to wear clothing that isn't ill-fitting?" It looks like that poor animated child has outgrown her little shirt!

EVula said...

Eventually, Dora grew up and got some decent-fitting clothes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dora_grows_up.jpg

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

That's right--I forgot that happened! And, if I recall correctly, didn't a bunch of parents make a stink about Dora looking too "mature"? *rolls eyes*

April said...

Years ago, when my kids were smaller and cuter and Hannah Montana had yet to be discovered, Dora was quite popular in my house and I had NEVER noticed that she had a teeny bit of belly showing there.

Obviously, I have failed as a mother for allowing my children to be exposed to such a trampy girl. Oh, wait, my girls are amazing and find most of the "fashionable" stuff for their ages to be appalling. huh.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Haha! April, it sounds like you raised your daughters well. :)

Kathryn said...

When I was young (not THAT long ago - in the 1960s) we wore crop-tops that showed our midriffs and no one thought a thing about it. They were just summer clothes for young girls. When did people get such dirty minds?

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

People seem to get so paranoid these days about things corrupting their children...and many of the things they worry about (like Dora's belly showing) are really silly. I wasn't alive in the sixties, but I'd have loved to experience such a liberal-thinking era! :)

Rob said...

I tend to believe that the current paranoia regarding our children, and the acute sensitivity of adults toward these sorts of images, stems from their own generational exposure to such elements as adolescents. In addition, the information glut that we are exposed to from all types of media continually pushes on those sensibilities whether for the shock factor or to show how "liberal" our society is becoming, whether that is true or not. As usual I blame the news media first for their need to sensationalize everything, and second, I blame advertisers (sorry Grammarphile ;)) as they attempt to change our minds regarding what we need, do, and should look like.

One source of pointing this sort of thing out is Sarah Haskins:
http://current.com/sarah-haskins/
She takes a sarcastic look at advertising and points out the insanity that it tries to portray as reality with a focus on advertising to women.

Bridgete said...

I actually see "mid-drift" quite often, it's really irritating.

Anyway, I'm with all of you regarding how silly it is that people make a big stink over what is "inappropriate" for children. I wore two-piece swimsuits when I was a kid. Then later when I taught swimming lessons I heard fellow instructors/lifeguards complaining about little girls wearing two-pieces. I just said, "whatever, I wore them" and they realized that I'm not the person to complain to about that. I mean, come on, little kid two-piece suits aren't styled like bikinis anyway, they're styled like the sporty two-pieces, but with fun patterns. No one thinks it's sexual when a woman wears a sporty two-piece suit to swim laps. Two-piece suits are easier for a lot of reasons (varying torso lengths, using the restroom, etc.), and if you're comfortable with your stomach, why not? Anyway...I feel the same about this whole issue with Dora's midriff. I kind of agree that it just looked like she outgrew her shirt...but I never looked at her and thought, "oh my! I can see her belly! How atrocious!"

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Great comment, Rob--yeah, I can definitely see where you're coming from there. It makes sense that these more conservative attitudes toward things like the oh-so-controversial Dora are actually a result of people's more liberal upbringings when they were younger.

Yeah, I often hate what the media does to readers/listeners/consumers/etc, too. But since pretty much every job I've ever had has been in the media, I often have to smile and nod so that I keep getting my paycheck. ;)

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

I'm with ya on this one, Bridgete! You know, I wonder what happens to children when they're taught by conservative parents that it's not acceptable to wear sporty two-piece bathing suits. I wonder how THAT skews their body image--growing up thinking that, even in a situation where it really is totally appropriate to let a little belly show, they shouldn't do that. I wonder if that will actually make the kids stay prudish, or if it will have the opposite effect and make 'em want to be more...show-offy with their bodies.

Yvie said...

I love that they had the time to make that entire chart but couldn't bother with a quick spell-check.

During a college Ethics class I had to peer-edit another kid's paper... he spelled "background" as "back round" (two words every time) throughout the entire 8 pages. It was amazing.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ Yvie: I know! Such irony, right?

OMG, "back round" is just...hysterical. Sounds kinda like a synonym for "ass." As in, "Hey, check out the "back round" on that ballplayer..."

Rimpy said...

Wow. That one generated a lot of dialog, all very interesting. I just wanted to say how funny if was, and what a treasure trove GraphJam is for us language snarks.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

I, too, was pleasantly surprised to see that this post facilitated such a fun discussion! :) I'm going to have to start combing GraphJam regularly myself now to see if I can find errors that top the ones in this post!

London Web Design said...

I agree on all points! That one generated a lot of dialog, all very interesting. Thanks for sharing such a great and informative post with us. Keep blogging.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Thanks, LWD! :)