April 17, 2009

Language Arts
The English language is a complicated and wondrous thing. They're, their, there. You see? Safe to say if English wasn't my first language I probably wouldn't speak it. There's no way learning it is anything but a colossal mind-fuck and general waste of valuable time that could be spent doing anything else. Case in point: English speakers no longer use the language to express themselves. We use lolcats, txt spk, slang, and baffling nonsensical expressions to converse. It saddens me that we don't respect the language. It saddens me that vowels, once so essential that they had to be individually purchased on Wheel of Fortune, are now optional and frequently considered a pointless excess. Modernity, what hast thou wrought? But alas and alack, it's no good just weeping and gnashing my teeth over the state of the tongue today unless I'm prepared to right a few of the wrongs that have insidiously crept into our lexicon through the years. It's an uphill battle. I'll just arbitrarily start somewhere in the middle by breaking down some of the more common baffling nonsensical expressions. ESL students, bless you. And seriously, good luck.

I laughed my ass off.
Clearly you didn't. I mean it's still there, right? And if you were able to laugh your ass off, you'd only be able to do it once. So it had better be the mother of all jokes.

I cried my eyes out.
I'm not entirely sure of the science behind tears but I'm assuming that if one cried hard enough to dislodge one's eyeballs, the tears would either stop functioning or would become blood. I know, it isn't pleasant! But neither is crying so hard your eyes fall right out of their sockets.

I'm so hungry I could eat a horse.

While I'm sure in some countries this isn't a hyperbole – either being unfathomably hungry or actually eating a horse - in the western world it's generally accepted that horses are for riding and possibly pulling a plough or cart and not much else. Certainly not for eating. And if you were actually hungry enough to eat an animal, given the predominance of the burger culture in our society wouldn't you actually be hungry enough to eat a cow?

Dead tired.
If you're so tired you're dead then you are no longer tired. Exhaustion of any form is a function of the living. Dead tired is just dead. Tired is what happens before the dead part takes care of the exhaustion once and for all.

I'm so mad I could spit.
This one could be true. I mean, llamas do it.

It's as hot as hell in here.
I bet not! I bet hell is a whole lot hotter than summer in middle North America. If not, what are we so afraid of? I mean if the hottest hell gets is soaring summertime highs that make you sweat profusely and overwork your air conditioner, how bad would going there actually be?

Drunk as a skunk.
Other than the clever (?) rhyme scheme, what's the scientific basis for this? Do skunks drink? Do skunks drink to the point of intoxication? And how unruly is a drunk skunk?

High as a kite.

So you're high enough that you're wheeling around in the sky doing loop-de-loops and nose-dives and play-fighting other kites with brightly colored streamers trailing from your ass and some six year old kid holding onto the other end of your fishing line leash? Yeah, okay. I'll give you this one.

Three sheets to the wind.
Huh. I don't know where the sheet analogy fits into drunkenness unless, through some weird set of circumstances, you're drinking while hanging the laundry and are so fumble-fingered with booze that you let go of three sheets into a sudden wind that just carries them clean away. Even then it seems like a mild inconvenience at best. I mean the flip side is you're actually doing the laundry.

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