Things I’m busy not blogging about

– “toucha” as a variant of “touché” (as spotted on mefi the other day) and the difficulty of googling for citations of same for various reasons
– sundry weird details of going on a cruise to Alaska (but here’s a photo set with annotations)
– the strange familiarity of attending an open mic after years away from the scene
– Scotch being pretty much the best drink on the planet

savbuck: half a sawbuck

Coining while the coining’s good: an offhand remark by a new Metafilter member today lead to a sidebar on what “sawbuck” does or doesn’t mean.

Key points:
– Mefi charges five bucks for a new account.
– a sawbuck is ten dollars (a ten-spot, a hamilton, a tenner)
– it’s fun to pretend that something was a typo rather than more strongly incorrect.

So: sawbuck as typo for savbuck. w as alternate rendering of x, as vv. Spread the word. Inform some credulous young persons.

(This also suggests a possibility for an alternate form of sawbuck: saxbuck, to fold back in the supposed X-means-10,X-looks-like-sawhorse etymology explicitly. I’d describe that as “pushing it”, except I don’t think I was standing on very defensible ground in the first place here.)

Bonus link: languagehat discovers “sawbuck”, back in 2002.

Watch your fucking language

A heads up from a corporate spam filter.

It seems like it might defeat the purpose somewhat to decline to deliver mail because of bad language, but then include the unamended subject line.


An email addressed to you from was found to contain possible language that was deemed inappropriate by our Offensive Language filter. In order to protect you and our corporate environment this email can not be delivered to you at this time but has been quarantined.

If this is business related please forward this email to the Service Desk to have them assist you with having this business related email unquarantined.

Subject of the message: Really sexy teen named Nadia gets fucked and receives facial

Lord, save me from your filters.

Take this snow and clone it

Though there have been a couple of mentions of “take this job and shove it” as snowclone material (on Language Log; at the Snowclone Database), I’m not finding any sort of write-up on how it’s been used.

So here’s a quick survey, from google, using “take this * and shove it” -“take this job and shove it” (which yields ~45K hits on google, compared with ~90K for the “job” version).

  • unborn child
  • internship (from an NYT headline!)
  • housework
  • 401(k)
  • career
  • Ed (title of an episode of the cartoon Ed, Edd ‘n Eddy)
  • hijab
  • severance
  • McJob
  • IT Job
  • badge
  • wad
  • job Ruling
  • Joba
  • embryo
  • Congress
  • script
  • cock (song title by the band Throbbing Rods)
  • knob
  • GOD
  • prize
  • team (the Knicks, according to the NY Post
  • mop
  • subpoena
  • bananna (?!)
  • fat
  • smog
  • obe (?)
  • pill
  • Oxy (re: Oxycodone)
  • pinta
  • peignoir
  • hyperbole
  • Eneru (?)
  • anthem
  • curl (re: hair straightening)
  • terrarium (take that, Biosphere 2)
  • contract
  • Jeb (Bush, in the syntactic reworking: “take this, Jeb, and shove it”)
  • this here stick (“…up your fucking ass” — the implicit made explicit)
  • broomhandle
  • car
  • switchblade
  • poll
  • bling
  • iPhone
  • Rudi (Hungarian politics?)
  • mob
  • pitch
  • stimulus
  • waltz (Leonard Cohen, we salute you)
  • Gabagoul
  • crap
  • fist
  • outfit

Those are the unique phrases from the first ten pages of google results — that’s 56/100, which is a pretty damned healthy collection of variants.

P.S. I should follow up on this some time with take this job and x it — a quick glance at the first page yields ship, love, shovel, bleep, squeeze, and (hat tip to The Simpsons) restaff.

P.P.S. There’s a phenomenon that comes with searching for snowclones — it seems like it happens to me every time I do this sort of thing — where having gotten myself thinking in terms of a given template, I sometimes fail to recognize false positives.  So, for example, I find myself giggling that someone would say “take this idea and apply it”, only to stop and realize that, oh.  No, that’s a totally reasonable thing to say independent of the pattern I’m immersed in.

I would like to call this phenomenon “snowclone-blindness”.

It’s just a misplaced apostrophe.

Seriously. Look, I know it’s wrong. You know it’s wrong. We’re in agreement. Awesome! Go us!

Heck, there’s a good chance that the person who typed the son of a bitch knows it’s wrong, too, and was just in a hurry, or is a poor typist. Or maybe they don’t know better. Maybe they’re not so good with apostrophes. Homonyms may trouble them in general. It’s hard to say, at a glance.

But, okay? Okay. We’re agreed. An apostrophe was misused. It was, you are correct in noting to yourself, a case of apostrophe misuse. Good eye! Have a cookie. You are apostrophically observant.

Now: shut your piehole. The intended meaning was almost certainly clear from context, rogue apostrophe bedamned. Nobody gains anything from you pointing it out, except for weariness. You are not a special agent of the Ministry of Punctuation. You have not been appointed by God to go out and spread the Good Word. There is no dearth of pedantry from which your tiresome corrections are a welcome relief. You are not as funny as Bob the Angry Flower. Unless you are a copy-editor, and what you’re doing right now is editing copy, your having bothered to contribute to the subject chalks up as a net loss for all involved. For crap’s sake, hush.