Skitt’s Law

Pedantry, or, Skitting the Trump Fantastic

#trumpswindle | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Donald Trump awaits his introduction at the 2005 launch of Trump University. (Detail of photo by Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press.)

“Donald Trump is poised to become the first American in history to headline a presidential inauguration and payoff the victims of an allegedly fraudulent scam in the same week.”

Steve Benen

It seems pedantic enough to wonder if “payoff” really should be one word in this particular usage. As a compound word, we are more accustomed to a noun, that something is a payoff, while the verb remains two words, to pay off.

Never mind. Compared to the obvious point, ossification creates a risk of spilling beer on skittles far too great to warrant boning the point like that.

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Image note: Donald Trump awaits his introduction at the 2005 launch of Trump University. (Detail of photo by Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press)

Benen, Steve. “Details emerge on ‘Trump University’ settlement”. msnbc. 21 December 2016.

The #GOP47 (Texas Smarts Edition)

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) during the Reuters Washington Summit in Washington, October 24, 2013. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

“I believe we are hearing echoes of history. I believe we are at a moment like Munich in 1938.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Does anyone actually need Godwin’s Law and the relevant corrolary explained?

Next question: Do we really need to rehash the Republican penchant for bawling that President Obama is Hitler?

Last question: Really? After all this, all we get is yet another Hitler analogy from the #GOP47?

Remember, though, as you pass through the myriad faces of your days, that some of your neighbors actually voted for this.

But there is yet undiscovered territory here; so far the #GOP47 have, with this one petulant stunt, tripped over Skitt, Poe, and Godwin. Which raises one more question, and we do apologize for that: Does Ted Cruz have what it takes to faceplant squar’ into Rule #34?

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Image note: U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) during the Reuters Washington Summit in Washington, October 24, 2013. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

McCabe, David. “Cruz: Iran, US talks like ‘Munich in 1938′”. The Hill. 12 March 2015.

A Matter of Priorities

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama pose with the Jackie Robinson West All Stars Little Baseball League in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., Nov. 6, 2014. (YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

It is, of course, a tragically stupid tale:

Little League Baseball has stripped the U.S. championship from Chicago-based Jackie Robinson West and suspended its coach for violating a rule prohibiting the use of players who live outside the geographic area that the team represents, it was announced Wednesday.

Jackie Robinson West must vacate wins from the 2014 Little League Baseball International Tournament — including its Great Lakes Regional and United States championships.

The team’s manager, Darold Butler, has been suspended from Little League activity, and Illinois District 4 administrator Michael Kelly has been removed from his position.

The organization found that Jackie Robinson West used a falsified boundary map and that team officials met with neighboring Little League districts in Illinois to claim players and build what amounts to a superteam.

As a result, the United States championship has been awarded to Mountain Ridge Little League from Las Vegas.

“Quite honestly, we had to do this,” Little League International president and CEO Stephen D. Keener told ESPN on Wednesday. “We had no choice. We had to maintain the integrity of the Little League program. … As painful as this is, it’s a necessary outcome from what we finally have been able to confirm.

“The real troubling part of this is that we feel horribly for the kids who are involved with this. Certainly, no one should cast any blame, any aspersions on the children who participated on this team. To the best of our knowledge, they had no knowledge that they were doing anything wrong. They were just kids out playing baseball, which is the way it should be. They were celebrated for that by many, many organizations, many people. What we’re most concerned about today is that it’s going to be hard on these kids. And that’s the part that breaks your heart.”

(ESPN)

People are, as you might imagine, furious. And they should be. Yet what is it about our society that so many people waste so much energy being furious about the wrong thing?

(more…)

The Problem with Local News

Chyron for CBS 2 Los Angeles Inland Empire Reporter Crystal Cruz.

Sometimes we adore local news, and you can take the word “adore” in that derogatory context, so loathsome it’s adorable.

CBS Los Angeles, which is a local affiliate and not a crime drama spinoff, reported yesterday on an exclusive story about an auto service receipt that had already achieved viral status:

A man in Riverside who went to see an auto mechanic said he was personally offended by what was written on his receipt – and it wasn’t the price.

Customer Ruben Rodriguez said, “I saw the words ‘stupid’ and I just kind of was like, ‘What?’ And I read it and reread it.”

CBS2/KCAL9′s Crystal Cruz confirmed that scribbled at the bottom of the receipt was “customer to stupid to understand normal thinking.”

Rodriguez said it was written by George Fritts, the owner of George Fritts Auto repair in Riverside. He’s quick to point out a grammatical error: Fritts should have used “too” when he wrote “to stupid.”

“That is one of the issues that I pointed out when I went back into the store. And I don’t think he was too excited about that, but I did my best to help him out,” Rodriguez said.

It should be pointed out that even if the term is unfamiliar, we are witnessing a variant of Skitt’s Law, an internet axiom suggesting that pedantry will be subject to pedantry. You know, like writing “to” instead of “too” when denouncing another person’s stupidity.

Setting that aside, what makes the story adorable is CBS News “Inland Empire” reporter Crystal Cruz:

Yes, this rude receipt, sort of gone viral. The customer posted it on social media, has gotten a lot of mixed responses regarding this receipt. Tonight we’ll let you decide who’s in the right or the wrong.

Really? Who’s in the right or wrong? How is this actually a question? From a business perspective, we need not merely observe that the customer is always right; there is also the fact that this sort of thing chases off other customers. A more general perspective might wonder about advice on keeping oil clean; the first thought to mind is that we use oil filters for this purpose, but then perhaps it might be that the mechanic is just a poor salesman trying to con the customer into using some sort of additive. Given a chance to respond, the mechanic only said that he stands by his assessment, and offered no details toward what his advice about keeping oil clean actually was. In the end, there isn’t really a question about who is right or wrong. More than the receipt itself, CBS 2’s “exclusive” report is a waste of time, money, and human resources.CBS2 (Los Angeles) Inland Empire Reporter Crystal Cruz, 19 November 2014.

And this is why local news is adorable. Certes, cable news has myriad problems of its own, and print media looks more and more like its sorry electronic version, but local television news makes Kenny Brockelstein into a modern prophet and casts the abysmal midday talk shows offering homemaking tips for the housewife audience between soap opera reviews and teases media geniuses. CBS 2’s “exclusive” report is a genial presentation of style lacking any sense of journalism in general or reporting specifically.

Which, in turn, only highlights the importance of Australian anchor Karl Stefanovic’s bit with the blue suit. The problem here isn’t a matter of wardrobe or hairstyle, but, rather, what passes for reporting in the twenty-first century.

And that’s the problem with worrying about her hair or wardrobe; maybe we should start asking reporters to pay attention to their reporting.

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CBS 2. “Exclusive: Auto Mechanic Leaves Shocking Note On Customer’s Receipt”. CBSLA.com. 19 November 2014.