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Language Log

Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2006 - 5:12 p.m.

Phone message from my mother today:

"Hello? Doesn't anyone CARE that I'm sitting here in a mobile home and there's a hurricane on the way? People used to call, but no one does any more."

Well, mom, you moved into that stupid mobile home well after the deadliest hurricane season of our lifetimes, and I asked you about it the wisdom of it before you bought the place and you weren't worried. But now we should drop everything to come and grouse about it with you on the phone? Besides, your highly effective take-charge son is there to help you now, so what is there to worry about? Oh, one more prescriptive grammar jab for the day. Found on a prescriptive writing website: "Nonfiction tends to require more sentences with linking verbs, but the passive voice structure can be avoided." Goddamn it's just too easy.

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