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Your Horoscope
Week of July 21
(Ramp Accessible)
Born this week you might be a Cancer, you might be a Leo, or you might experience a disconcerting growth spurt in one of your vestigial organs. No matter, your chances for a normal life are better than Rory Culkin's, 24, or Conor Kennedy's, 18, both of whom have birthdays this week.
Mr. Culkin will eventually take his own life after he can no longer stand being mistaken for his brothers Kieran, Macauley, and Nostrodomus. Mr. Kennedy, aside from being saddled with a tragically cliched first name, must also fight the ravages of the industrial-strength STD he caught from Taylor Swift.

Cancer (June 22–July 22) Your financial prospects are so wretched you can only afford the new Vin Disel Fast & Furious grill on a time-sharing arrangement with a family that's overly fond of road-kill. Later in the month a fifteen-pound newborn canary named Junior will escape from his cage and imprint on you.

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22) Your sex life is a shareware program about to expire. One-size-fits-all gloves don't come in your size. If dreams took human form, yours would be wearing toe tags.

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22) Car A leaves Hollywood at 9:00 a.m. on Monday. Car B leaves Bangor, Maine, at the same moment. Car A, which has a 15-gallon gas tank and averages 19.6 miles per gallon, is driving east. Car B, which has a 17.5-gallon tank and averages 18.9 miles per gallon, is driving west. After three days, what color is car B?

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct.23) Like most Librans you are a sniveling complainer, unable to get your mind around the fact that we are all responsible for our own karma. Perhaps the mess that is your present life is but your last request from a previous existence. Try to discover why you were executed in that existence and what your first requests were.

Scorpio (Oct. 24–Npv. 21) According to the George Zimmerman Random Actuarial Profiler, where "10" equals "dead-bolt cinch" and "0" equals "dead in the street," your critical numbers for this week are: communicable disease, 8; grace under fire, 3; plays well with others, 1; inappropriate response 9; cannot recommend for advancement, 8.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21) Sagittarians are ruled by the buttocks, the seat of all power. Their gemstone is porcelain, their favorite time of day is right after meals, and they prize regularity above all other virtues.

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19) Capricorns suffer from automonosis—the tendency to become bored with one's own company. If you hanker to get away from yourself, here's a tip: you don't have to die in order to be reincarnated. If you don't like who you are, become somebody else. There are companies that advertise in the backs of magazines that will help you.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18) Your life is a run-on sentence that is out of control and greatly in need of editing. Learn to appreciate the nuances of subordinate clauses and the hierarchical conjunctions that exist among colons, semicolons, commas, and em dashes.

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20) Ever the cynic you have no trouble believing it isn't butter; that some minds would not be a terrible thing to waste; and that maybe you don't deserve a break today. You also have a highly developed sense of irony, which leads you to walk around muttering "I see living people" in a tiny, traumatized voice.

Aries (March 21–April 19) If the enemy of your enemy is your friend, does that mean your friend's friend is your enemy? Or are you simply being paranoid? Don't make any decisions unless you begin getting calls from a foreign-sounding man who breathes heavily into the phone and identifies himself as a friend of a friend.

Taurus (April 20–May 20) Your sun is in Leo, which could mean trouble because it's supposed to be in Albuquerque. Leo's son, meanwhile, has just confessed his love for his stepmother, who is being blackmailed by a mysterious man named Kurt.Pictures at 11:00.

Gemini (May 21–June 21) After a twelve-course Chinese dinner, you switch fortune cookies with the person next to you when she isn't looking. When she opens "her" cookie, she grins happily. Several weeks later you learn that she has won several $8 million in the lottery. Meanwhile, the cookie that you opened said, "That wasn't really pork."

The Grammar Prick
Meaner than a powdery, old-hag English teacher, The Grammar Prick will split your head if you split an infinitive.
Visit The Grammar Prick
Postcards the Book
The book that inspired a website is available from Cedar Tree Books. Written by someone who was actually raised by pugs, Postcards is a welcome addition to any nightstand.
Sample chapters . . . 1 2

The Grammar Prick Sticks It to Alanis Morissette
Nov 30, 2011 - 10:04:00 AM
an image
"Be gone ye abusers of language, especially you ugly chicks from Canada."
WEST CHESTER, Penna. - When President Obama said that America had been "lazy" for the past few decades, he was talking about our national language scandal. Americans, the president said, are too lazy to search for the home run utterance; they settle instead for a cheap single up the middle; and that, boys and girls, is why the word ironic has been bastardized beyond recognition.

Before we begin today's lesson, let's find out if you're one of the bastards responsible for the gang rape of ironic.

Does ironic mean a) possessing toxic amounts of iron, b) coincidental, c) an incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs, d) an element with an atomic weight of 55.847?

If you answered a or d, you are incorrect. If you answered b, you might be the sort of rat-fucking, butt-scratching dunderhead responsible for turning the English language into a shit heap.

Ironic means "an incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs." For example, the DeLacey family in Frankenstein values intelligence and virtue, yet they set upon the Creature, who possesses both these qualities, and drive him from their house simply because he is uglier than Nancy Grace

That is ironic, boys and girls: bad things happening to a good Creature at the hands of other good creatures. The following are not ironic: a traffic jam when you're already late or a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break.

an image
"Do I look too much like Tim Lincecum in this shot?"
Those examples of stupidity and several others like them can be found in a song called Ironic by the unforgivably louche Alanis Morissette. That sorry wildebeest appears to have confused ironic with coincidental, and so have countless other fuckwads. It is not ironic if you're late and you get stuck in a traffic jam, because there is no incongruity between what you might expect (a normal amount of traffic) and what actually occurs (a two-mile gaper delay).

By comparison, when the DeLaceys went vigilante on the Creature, there was an incongruity between their behavior and the behavior that might be expected from intelligent, virtuous people who are confronted with the unusual.

Still scratching your ass rhetorically? Let's try another example.

You're driving to the supermarket talking to your friend Bitsy on your cell phone. A while later, as you're standing in the "15 items or less" line (which should be the "15 items or fewer" line), you see Bitsy's brother Barry, and you exclaim, "How ironic, I was just talking to your sister."

That is not ironic. It is simply a coincidence that you saw Barry a few minutes after talking to his sister. There is no incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs, because talking to Bitsy while you're driving does not raise any expectations beyond the expectation that you're more likely to crash the car because you're talking on the goddamn phone.

Got that? Let's see if you really do.

an image
"Doers this angle make
my hair look greasy?"
Instead of taking a nap indoors today, you decide to snooze in the hammock in the yard. As you're sleeping, a chunk of blue ice is released accidentally from a plane flying overhead. The ice lands on you, sending you into a near fatal coma. Irony, coincidence, or tough shit?

While you're chewing on that one, boys and girls, The Grammar Prick has to go and delete a few people from his 2011 Xmas card list. He'll probably start with people who don't know the difference between irony and coincidence.

One other thing: there is more than one kind of irony. The kind we discussed today is known as situational (or sometimes dramatic) irony. Its cousin, verbal irony, occurs when your friend falls on his face after tripping over his own feet, and you exclaim, "Way to go, graceful."

Amused? Disgusted? Royally pissed off? Click the Twitter link to share with a friend. Go ahead. It's free.

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© The fine print: the editorial content on this page is fictional. It is presented for entertainment purposes only. We cannot be held responsible for the actions of anyone who takes this sort of shit seriously.


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