Tag Archives | The Phrase Freak

You post to your blog, not blog to your blog!

The Phrase FreakDo you blog? Yes? Then when you sit down to write something for that blog, do you “write a blog” or do you “write a post”?

If you answered “write a blog”, then you are one of the doofus digerati that makes the Phrase Freak cry.

It’s a common error (especially on MySpace) and one that is understandable. The blog is still a relatively new phenomenon (not in web years, but in the writing world), so the conventions are still shaking out. That said, this is an error in usage that we should all try to stamp out now, while there’s still time. (I’m still upset that phrase freaks and grammarians everywhere were unable to prevent the odious “proactive” or even worse, “moving forward.“)

If you were writing an article or story for a newspaper, would you say, I’m writing a newspaper? Of course not, that would sound ridiculous. (Unless you’re a one-person operation, in which case it may be accurate, but still sound absurd.)

If you were writing a sit-com would you say, I’m writing a TV? Only if you were the Vice-President of TV.


  • writing a (blog) post
  • writing a blog entry
  • posting to a blog
  • writing
  • posting
  • blogging.

This gets 4 gobsmacks out of 10:
4 gobsmacks out of 10

Alltop is all about the humor usage.

The Phrase Freak: Shovel-Ready

this shovel is ready!The Phrase Freak is a column in which The Skwib questions the phrases that we hear or read in the media, and encourages you, the gentle reader, to mock people who use said phrases. “Shovel-ready” is the most recent neologism that is causing my ears to bleed. (My eyes just roll when I read it.)

Apparently this phrase has been around for some time, but it reached the dim consciousness of the media when President Obama used it on Meet the Press in early January. Since then reporters and talking heads have been repeating it like OCD parrots after too much espresso. (Yes, I’m saying that parrots drink espresso.) Clearly, this is the big BO’s first major gaffe.

The loathsome phrase crossed the border and infected the Great White North in the run up to today’s budget announcement. CBC Radio has an especially bad case. I seem to be hearing it about every other minute on CBC One. (And yes, all of the blood gushing out of my ears is making a mess of my office.)

It would be more bearable if just occasionally a reporter explained what he or she meant by the phrase; if you do a little digging (sorry), you’ll discover that it means infrastructure projects that are prepared for immediate action — all they need is the funding. It’s a buzzword, and the reality is that most “shovel-ready” projects are going to take a little while to get going, even if governments do find a way to cut through some of the red tape that wraps up most public works projects like a straitjacket of crazy-making (and intensely itchy) bureaucracy.

You know what’s shovel-ready? The face of anyone who says it. Bong!

Six gobsmacks out of ten (six repetitions of the scream)

Freak Level on this phrase: 6 gobsmacks out of 10.

Other freakish phrases:

specific timetable | full patch | IED | on the ground| Thanks to tanakawho for the shovel pick.

The Washington Post examines the etymology of shovel-ready. Alltop and humor-blogs.com and Christy Moore say “don’t forget your shovel if you want to go to work.” YouTube Preview Image