TCPB #2: “Don’t man the phone—phone the man!”

The second installment in my commonplace book analyzes a line from the hilarious children’s television show Phineas and Ferb. When Stacy becomes exasperated with Candace waiting for her boyfriend to call, she says: “Don’t man the phone—phone the man!” I love this clever inversion: the same words are used in reverse order and with different meanings. In … More TCPB #2: “Don’t man the phone—phone the man!”

Dual Adverbs

Recently I discussed my new project for trying to benefit the people I talk to and make them feel more comfortable. One of the ways I’ve been trying to do this is to find two ways of saying the same thing (like “Have you taken out the trash yet?” and “Have you taken out the … More Dual Adverbs

"I feel stupid."

“I should hang onto this piece of paper, but I don’t want to get out the filing stuff…” “I should get out the packing list and double-check, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got everything…” “If I leave now, I’ll be early, so I’ll get back on the computer and try to just check one thing … More "I feel stupid."

"Already" and "yet"

It’s funny how a small shade of meaning can color a whole sentence. Compare these two questions: Have you taken out the trash yet? Have you taken out the trash already? These two questions mean exactly the same thing, in that the answer to one will be Yes or No exactly if the answer to … More "Already" and "yet"