Pigsaw Blog
All the pig that's fit to saw

Archive for September 2005


New Labour: The future is now

[The] 82-year-old lifelong Labour party member heckled [Jack Straw], shouting “nonsense” and “it’s a lie”. To the horror of delegates and later of TV viewers, Walter Wolfgang appeared to be grabbed by the collar from his seat and manhandled out of the Brighton venue. [...] When Mr Wolfgang tried to re-enter the Brighton conference venue [...]

Strong versus hard

More subtle word differences. This is from an item on the iPod Nano’s tendency to scratch easily (or for some Nanos to scratch easily, depending on who you listen to). I had to read it twice to be sure: I wonder if the whole thing is just a cock-up between the engineering dept and the [...]

In praise of… corruption

Last night I was speaking to an Australian lawyer friend who does a lot of business with China and other countries in Asia. He said that one problem in some Asian countries is the corruption — that in order to get something done you need to give people backhanders, which then percolate their way to [...]

Management’s problem

I was troubled this morning by the following word usage (free registration required): All journalists say they know who their readers are. Managements do not believe them. All journalists say they know what their readers want. Managements want them to prove it. A quick search of the GU archive shows other uses of the word [...]

That BC strip explained

There is currently much discussion of this BC comic strip: The question is: what exactly is the grammatical mistake being referred to? Language Log proposes a few good options, but rejects them all. Nicole and Pashmina are wondering, too. Folks, your methods are flawed — the answer is clear. The important thing to consider, once [...]

Surrealism from the terror

This terrifying tale had a happy ending, fortunately, but the details are just surreal. First, here’s what happened: It was gripping television. A commercial jetliner unable to retract its front landing gear circled for three hours south of Los Angeles, burning fuel, before it attempted an emergency landing. As the pictures were carried live on [...]

Just another sordid statistic

When I saw The Register‘s headline “MS Hardware in nipple flash shocker” I didn’t click on it. I almost clicked on it, and then I realised at the end of the day someone at their offices would look at their site stats and say “Surprise, surprise. The nipple story was the most popular one today. [...]

Another “not” theory

Some time ago I wrote about a bullshit detector — that if you can add “not” to a sentence and it makes just as much sense, then it’s bullshit. Yesterday Stephen told me about another one, which was coincidentally used by Simon Hoggart today. This theory says that if the negative of a sentence is [...]

The authoritative biography of, er, …

Dave reads the Daily Mail so I don’t have to. Today he points to “the Daily Mail who are predictably furious that Cherie Blair doesn’t much like the Windsors“. Pumping up its story, the Mail says: Cherie Blair denounced Princess Anne as a ‘bitch’ in an extraordinary feud with the Royal Family, an explosive book [...]

Do not fear the semicolon

Nicole, a tireless guide through grammar, talks today about the semicolon. Apparently Americans tend to avoid it, while Britons “can’t get enough”. The FT article which set this off gives a handy summary of its use: Big deal or not, there is really only one use of the semicolon that is “more or less mandated”, [...]