The McSweeney’s Joke Book of Book Jokes - Excerpt
Words and Expressions Commonly Misused by Insipid Brothers-in-Law
It really IRRITATES me when people do not use proper grammar. It does not AGGRAVATE me. Do you understand that? IRRITATE means “to annoy,” and AGGRAVATE means “to add to.” So, if you’re already IRRITATING me with your abominable speech and your insistence on smoking a cigar in my living room, your saying, “Hey buddy boy, don’t get so AGGRAVATED; I’ll open a window,” will only AGGRAVATE the situation.
You can no more ALLUDE a former business associate whose job you procured than you can create the ALLUSION of an unprofitable year for the IRS. The words are “ELUDE” and “ILLUSION,” respectively. Don’t make me repeat this. You can ALLUDE to or make an ALLUSION to The Art of War in an email, and this is quite a different thing than REFERRING to or making a REFERENCE to a specific passage from the same book, because an ALLUSION is an indirect mention, and if you just pull the whole thing off your Quote-A-Day desk calendar, it’s a REFERENCE. Sometimes Spellcheck doesn’t cut it. Use a dictionary.
I’m going to try to put this as simply as possible, because I realize that some people thought of English as an elective in college. “FARTHER” is a word that refers to distance. “FURTHER” refers to time or quantity. “FARTHER” has the fucking root “FAR” in it. Like “FAR away from my sister.” Do not confuse these two. Note these two sentences: “My brother-in-law has his head FARTHER up his ass than I thought was humanly possible,” and, “I have no FURTHER interest in hearing your opinions concerning what we should do about the city’s ‘Jew problem.’”
I was wondering AS TO WHETHER you are intending to offend me with your idiotic opinions or if you actually think I’ll sit here and listen to this shit. AS TO WHETHER? AS TO WHETHER? What the hell is “AS TO WHETHER”? Why are you sticking an “AS TO” on the front of “WHETHER”? Just as it is unnecessary for a person to qualify every single statement with, “I’m just saying, I went to Wharton Business School, and…,” the “AS TO” is not needed. You’re not being paid by the word. Just say “WHETHER.” “WHETHER” is fine.
Think about this. Am I IMPLYING that you are a fascist, elitist prick, or can we simply INFER that from the data at hand?
In the name of everything that is good and holy, please, do not ever, ever, ever say “IRREGARDLESS” anywhere near me. What you mean to say is “REGARDLESS.” REGARDLESS of whether or not you think of the English language as solely a means of ordering more sushi or bragging about your BMW, its rules must be respected, and there is no such fucking word as “IRREGARDLESS.” It makes you sound even more stupid than you actually are. The prefix “IR-” is a negative. The suffix “-LESS” is a negative. How many fucking negatives do you need in one goddamned word? So help me God, I will beat the shit out of you with a tire iron.
I can’t even deal with “LAY” and “LIE” right now. I’ll smash something. I know it.
Do you actually mean to say that he LITERALLY dropped dead when you told him you were assuming his position in the company? Do you have any idea what you’re saying? You’re saying that your former boss was lying (not LAYING! not LAYING!) on the floor of his old office, with no pulse, until paramedics came and brought his lifeless body to the morgue? No, I didn’t think that’s what you meant. Why don’t you get that dictionary and look up the LITERAL meaning of the word “LITERALLY,” jerkoff?
You do realize that “THAN” and “THEN” are two different words, don’t you? Do you know how you can tell? Because they’re spelled differently. That “a” and “e” aren’t interchangeable, you callous shitwheel. You can’t just spell it how you like depending upon your mood. “I’m a stupid, fucking, big-shot stockbroker who doesn’t give a shit about anybody but himself and spews his moronic opinions like vomit and probably cheats on his wife, and I think I’ll spell “THAN” with an ‘e’ today.” No. That’s not how it works, asshole! “THAN” expresses comparison and “THEN” expresses a passage of time or distance! Think of it this way: I’m literally going to grab your dick and pull it farther from your body THAN you can possibly imagine, regardless of how shrilly your screams fall upon my unsympathetic ears, until your dick comes off in my hand and I shove it down your goddamned pontificating, no-good throat! THEN we’ll see whether or not you start giving the simple fucking rules of English the respect they fucking deserve!
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