Friday, November 12, 2010


I'm always in search of new and interesting things to feature on Red Pen, Inc...and the other day, a little light bulb went on over my head.  This little light bulb came on courtesy of my buddy JEREMY, who asked me a grammar-related question.  I thought, hey, why not start a mailbag feature?  And so Ask The Grammarphile was born...

Q: A customer of mine called me today to tell me when he was going to pay his bill. He said that wanted to "keep me up to breast" of his situation.  The question: Is "keep me up to breast" proper or is it "keep me abreast". Google hasn't been much help here.

The Grammarphile's answer: Your customer can say he'll keep you "up to speed on the situation," or he can say that he'll keep you "abreast of the situation," but if he says he'll "keep you up to breast of the situation," he's got either Playboy or Perdue on the brain. ;) "Up to breast" is definitely not good grammar, but it certainly makes for a good giggle!

Q: You know, I didn't honestly think he was using it correctly but Google showed 14,000+ entries where someone had used "keep up to breast" exactly. So, I figured either I'm wrong or 14,000 people are wrong.  Finally, the minority wins! 

The Grammarphile's response: I think people have boobs on the brain...well, that and bad grammar.  Also, 14,000+ people are idiots.

Thanks, JEREMY, for being the first participant in Ask The Grammarphile!

Have a question for The Grammarphile?  Send it in!  (Humorous questions preferred...I try to keep the stuffiness level down around this site.  I'm a big fan of humor, snark, and mockery--I'm less of a fan of technical explanations of grammar rules.  But hey, I'll take a stab at anything you send me...)


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