Saturday, October 8, 2011

Parallel Bars at the Language Olympics

The parallel bars event showcases those compact male gymnasts swinging, doing seemingly impossible handstands and generally showing off their upper body strength. The key to the equipment is that the bars need to be, as the name suggests, parallel. A little off and none of those moves would work.

There's something called parallelism in grammar, too. Violations make us look as awkward as Paul Hamm would on non-parallel bars. I'm blowing the whistle on a couple of violators I caught recently.

The first was in a blogger's profile, where she described herself as "a mother of 3 girls and a wife of 17 years." This is a new concept for me, but I have to admit that Married to Time sounds like a pretty good novel title. Now all I have to do is figure out a plot to go with it. There's always a snag.

The second instance was, no doubt, on purpose, but I found it disturbing, nonetheless. My paper bag from Chick-fil-A says in big, bold letters "Serving Chicken and Our Community." Maybe it was a joke of sorts, but the text that followed did not contain any humor that I detected. Noticing that as I drove away, I accelerated a bit more than usual. It seemed in my interest to get out of there before I ended up on the menu.

Hey, Chick-fil-A management, those cows are saying "eat more chicken," not the community! Let's just concentrate on that, okay?

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