February 2-8: Onlineby Diana Balham
100 Best Lists of All Time according to the New Yorker and Grammarnam Style.
LISTING TO STARBOARD: Highly UScentric but the 100 Best Lists of All Time, from the New Yorker, will keep you busy for the rest of the summer. It includes everything from the world Rock Paper Scissors players’ responsibility code and Stanley Coren’s dog-breed intelligence ranking to Van Halen’s 1982 tour-provisions “rider” (pictured) and Richard Nixon’s enemies. Most are not lists at all, but complete online articles.
GRAMMARNAM STYLE: The Onion filed this report recently under the headline “4 Copy Editors Killed In Ongoing AP Style, Chicago Manual Gang Violence”. In New York, the subs “were killed this week amid ongoing violence between two rival gangs divided by their loyalties to the Associated Press Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style … ‘We have reason to believe the killings were gang-related and carried out by adherents of both the AP and Chicago style, part of a vicious, bloody feud to establish control over the grammar and usage guidelines governing American English,’ said FBI spokesman Paul Holstein, showing reporters graffiti tags in which the word ‘anti-social’ had been corrected to read ‘antisocial’.” At least somebody cares.
DOPEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT: On vetstreetcom, the amazing story of George, a two-year-old basset hound that saved its own life by dialing 999 (the UK equivalent of 111) while it was being strangled by a phone cord. The operator heard heavy breathing and gasping down the line and alerted the authorities. Lydia Brown, the daughter of George’s owner, was amazed the dog showed such presence of mind. “He’s really dopey and just likes to chew socks,” she said.
COME OUT, COME OUT: Watch Jodie Foster’s extraordinary acceptance speech when she won the Cecil B DeMille lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes recently. It really was about acceptance and, for once, the tears being wiped away by A-list audience members seemed genuine.
ELK ANON: Sick of getting insects out of your pool? Just be glad you don’t live in Sweden.
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