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Dear (M)all of ‘Murica:

I’m writing to request information regarding your return/exchange policy on The Donald that we received Nov. 8 as an early Christmas gift.

Some background: We tried to order The Hillary, but were told there was a problem with the email server.

It appears, however, that The Donald has this same glitch, among other problems.

Voice command override:
We tried to program it numerous times with numerous voice samples, but it refuses to respond.

False warning signals:
This model tends to beep for no reason beginning around 3 a.m. We are hard-working Americans who want to get some sleep. We can’t have The Donald bleating codes such as “MERYL” and “NYT” over and over.

Security issues:
The Donald was billed as a unit that would keep us safe. However, I’m more worried about break-ins than ever before. The unit is inside barking, “Come at me, Bro!” and “Cash me outside; how bow dah!,” which I think is egging on those with bad intentions. Plus, it won’t let in the people we invited.

Failure to work with existing systems:
Almost immediately upon arrival, The Donald refused to work with other units already in place. It overrode the sensors on various technology and tried to shut them down. Some systems are back up and running on alternative power, but others still are refusing to connect.

Low energy efficiency:
The Donald was billed as a unit that that would increase energy efficiency and protect the environment. However, the model has two pipes that could start leaking oil at any moment.

These are just five of the many problems with this model. We would like to return The Donald as it clearly is as defective as we had heard prior to receiving it. The limited warranty expired Jan. 20.

Line 25 of your operating manual gives some guidance on your return/exchange policy, but I’d like more details, a timeline and information about a replacement.

I know you have The Pence in stock, but I’m not interested in that model because its features are limited. The Ryan has numerous reported defects. I’ve heard The Sanders is on back order and The Kasich is out of stock indefinitely. What other options do you have? Do I have to wait for The Libtard 2020 or The Snowflake 2024?

Please respond at your earliest convenience. We are losing long-time friends because of The Donald, and it is scaring the children.

Eagerly awaiting a resolution,
Beth (and 65+ million others)

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Dear Legislators Hell-bent on Defunding Any Programs Dealing with Lady Bits:

The tweet above is funny (albeit hyperbolic). The executive order it deals with is not so funny.

Listen, no federal money supports abortions. That’s the deal already. What federal money supports is family planning and reproductive health. Can’t we agree that’s a good thing? More education, planning and birth control REDUCES the number of abortions. Isn’t that the goal? (Note that the Guttmacher Institute just released a report that U.S. abortion rates dropped to a record low, falling below the 1973 level  — the year Roe vs. Wade made abortion legal.)

If you defund all these programs, what are people going to do? If you state that life begins at fertilization and make abortion illegal, that is not going to stop abortions from happening (see prohibition, the “war on drugs“).

Why is this a women’s issue? Who is making people pregnant?

Yeah, that’s right.

But the burden is on the woman whether it is consensual or not (for birth control too). And the embryo seems to be more important than the woman herself. Why is that? If the woman has the child and struggles financially because the man is nowhere to be found, then she is a “freeloader.”

That’s just great.

There’s also the fact that there are about 540,000 children in foster care or waiting to be adopted, according to the Administration for Children and Families.

Want to ban abortions and birth control? Go ahead and ban sex.

You go first.

Constituently yours,
Beth

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Dear Mitt Romney,

It’s apparently sweater weather in hell, as I have suddenly developed a bit of affection for you. In fact, I retweeted you last night.

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-3-07-22-pm

And I don’t even think it was just debate delirium.

I wasn’t a huge fan of yours back in 2012. At the time, I thought of you as a used-car-style smarmy salesman peddling elitism (evidenced succinctly by that 47 percent comment).

Time and Trump have a way of changing minds.

You are like an ill-fitting prom dress that suddenly doesn’t seem so bad. “Maybe I can take it in here … and here … and dye it … “

Here’s a roundup from Forbes on Nov. 7, 2012, of why you lost that election. Nothing has changed since 2016 except Trump made it OK to be loud and proud about being racist (and misogynistic and xenophobic).

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-3-37-20-pm

You clearly don’t like the GOP’s 2016 nominee. Isn’t there something you can do from the inside to bring the party back to its original values? Remember that the party of Lincoln touted “Free Speech. Free Press. Free Soil. Free Men.” (1856) and equal rights for all. Poppy Bush and supporters wanted a “Kinder, Gentler Nation” (1988).

I do too.

Awash in nostalgia (and ice skating on the River Styx),
Beth

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Dear Ashley Van Sipma:

I discovered your article about World’s Fattest Woman Pauline Potter via a link to a Huffington Post version of the story a friend posted on my Facebook wall. (Thanks Julia!)

I can’t imagine what you must have thought when your Closer (UK) editor assigned the story. Or maybe you found Potter on your own.

American journalists are supposed to try to avoid inserting bias by using words such as “shockingly” and “incredibly,” but really, I think you just put into words what we all were thinking.

I admire your restraint in not editorializing more, instead choosing to let Potter and her ex-husband Alex tell the tale I’m not sure we needed to know.

While I admire Potter’s attempts to lose weight by exercising, I’m not sure I needed to know that she does it through sex with Alex the Ex up to seven times a day. And I certainly didn’t need to know that “it’s great exercise just jiggling around.” And that he came sniffing around again when she had hit her largest weight of 728 pounds. (Does he have a little fetish?)

During the interview, what did you do when Alex said the following?

It’s hard to position her and find her pleasure spots as she has a lot of fat in the pelvic area. But it turns me on knowing she’s satisfied. Although once, when she got on top, I couldn’t breathe.

Did you just look down at the notepad and keep on writing, pretending this was the most normal interview ever? Or did you look up, eyes wide, shocked at your good luck at finding someone so quotable?

I mean, this is great news for Potter as she’s lost 98 pounds already. And they both seem very happy. But I just think that the quotes are so candid — graphic even — that it forces us as readers to gawk, gape and form lasting mental images.

But perhaps this frank reporting will be inspiring to others.

Anyway, good job on the article, and congrats on Huffington Post reworking it for the U.S. audience. Because of that, you earned an increase of about 2,800 percent in Facebook, Twitter and email shares.

Maybe you’ll get a raise, or at least diversified story options (read: ones that are not tabloid fodder).

Still Cloroxing my mind,
Beth

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Dear AP:

I don’t know if I can continue in this relationship. I trusted you, but you betrayed me with that trollop, “hopefully.” You know how I feel about that word. How could you do this to me?

Your change of heart was swift — much quicker than your decisions about “email” and “website.” How long did you go on defending yourself about those two, even when the whole world used the form you finally adopted? Everyone knew you would cave eventually. But “hopefully” was, sadly, a blindside. At least for me.

You might say, “The whole world used ‘hopefully’ to mean ‘I hope’ or ‘It is hoped,’ so what’s the big deal?” You and I both know that there is a huge difference between deleting a hyphen (“e-mail”) and accepting a word used improperly. Just because everyone uses it the wrong way doesn’t mean it is OK.

I held you to a high standard. I badgered students in my classes to learn your mysterious ways or face certain peril, grade-wise. Now I just don’t know if I can continue to cite you, to force adherence, to claim allegiance.

You are a sellout. I’m so disappointed in you. I’m not the only one who feels this way.

It’s been two weeks and I’m still not even close to being over this stab to the back of good grammar. It will take time. It may not happen at all.

I hope you understand.

Sincerely,

Beth
Your Former No. 1 Fan

P.S. Of course, you can make it all better and say it was just a joke. Please say you were just kidding.

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The following tweet and resulting class discussion prompted today’s post:

The discussion concerned the use of “dreamt.” Should he have used “dreamed” instead?

Both are correct, but “dreamed” is standard American, while “dreamt” is a British thing. So #Ross can use “dreamt” without raising an eyebrow, along with “regards,” “towards,” “spilt” and “learnt.” Americans drop that “s” in the former two and use the “ed” form in the latter two.

And that brings me to other “ed” issues.

  • The correct past tense of the verb “to plead” is “pleaded” (at least according to AP Style). Sorry “pled” lovers.
  • The preferred pronunciation of “striped” is “strEYEpt.” Fortunately for Claire, Merriam-Webster also allows “strEYE-ped.”
  • The most common pronunciation of “blessed” is “BLESS-ed,” but Merriam allows the one syllable variant as well. It depends on how you use it. One syllable for “I’ve been blessed with a generally even-keeled demeanor, even in the face of perceived classroom disrespect” and two for a use such as “I never get one blessed moment of peace at home.”

And by the way, I have never brought any Starburst candy for class — laced with drugs or not.

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I love that WordPress lets me know how people find my blog via search engines. For example:

My posts about the annual Redneck Games, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and rhetorical devices get the most visitors from search engines. Interesting.

I talked to Trish yesterday about following up our Redneck Games extravaganza with the annual Claxton Rattlesnake Roundup next month. She claimed she put it on her calendar. Hmmm. I suspect I’ll have to hound her into submission.

I’ve got nothing to say today about the Cheetos. I have a pantry packed with Flamin’ goodness.

I’m not sure I’ve got much left to say about rhetorical devices. And that’s a device right there. Aporia (“Uh-POHR-ee-uh”) is the act of expressing real or simulated doubt.

Another one comes to mind because some friends and I have been talking about the musical “Hair.” (It has been 10 years since we — yes, I was in it — performed it at SCAD.)

Ain’t Got No” is an example of anaphora (“Uh-NAF-er-uh”) because each line begins with the same words.

Finally (for today), dialysis refers to weighing two arguments as a choice: either/or, this/not that, no/yes, etc. For example, I had a Twitter spat with some woman in Atlanta who objected to what I said about Glenn Beck:

 

So, according to nautilus55, EITHER I like Glenn Beck, OR I am a liberal. No room for anything else there, I guess. And that’s a false dilemma, my friends, which is a logical fallacy. More about those some other time …

 

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