496. Word Derps: Final Round

My younger brother, John, has a gift for butchering the spoken word. I keep a meticulous record of his mispronunciations, y’know, for science. The first two parts of the list can be found here and here.

Today’s entry concludes the list… for now. I plan to continue updating the list long after this blog has withered like the grass and fallen like the flowers. (I may be ridiculous, but at least I’m consistent about it.) For now, please enjoy this final round of word derps!

Special thanks to John, of course, for putting up with me. He’s the beth—excuse me, the best—younger brother a guy could have.

Enough talk. WE DERP NOW.

  • Waping for waiting
  • Sir for sure
  • Letter for later
  • Uvver for other
  • Harned for hand
  • Enthusium for enthusiasm
  • Lank for yank
  • Egg zacky for exactly
  • Prenny for plenty
  • Seriousless for seriousness
  • Wurg for word
  • Gurd for good
  • Shammer eye for samurai
  • Bear achoo duh for barracuda
  • Pilmgrim for pilgrim
  • Twain for train
  • Odors for orders
  • Poppity for properties
  • Blaine for plane
  • Shounds for sounds
  • Teens for tins
  • Coupon for keep on
  • Kwunchy for country
  • Sinking for singing
  • Athettically for aesthetically

From the full list, my favorite derps so far are “pleeple” for “people,” “flaw-plaw” for “firepower,” and “pervervy” for “perverted.” At least one derp has entered John’s regular vocabulary; he insists on calling my beard a “bleared,” and I can’t say I blame him.

I Can’t Even

I can’t even.

I belong to the generation of millennials, but that doesn’t mean I always understand them. Few of their quirks confuse (or amuse) me so much as the phrase “I can’t even.”

These words are meant to represent speechlessness due to shock, dismay, or joy, which are my own reactions to this idiom. It baffles, irritates, and fascinates me: “I can’t even.”

You can’t even… what? You can’t even handle it? You can’t even finish the phrase? What can’t you even do?!

Perhaps this incomplete phrase is meant to represent an inability to express oneself due to strong emotion: “I can’t even,” trailing into overwhelmed silence. A more cynical theory is simply that my generation doesn’t understand how the English language is supposed to work.

For better or worse, “I can’t even” has entered our cultural lexicon. The Babylon Bee, a satirical Christian website, recently broke this “news” report: “Millennial Diagnosed With Tragic Inability To Even.” A geek folk band called the PDX Broadsides wrote a catchy song titled “The Girl Who Couldn’t Even.” Heck, I’ve even heard the phrase at work.

I can’t even, guys. I can’t even “I can’t even.” I am presently afflicted by a tragic inability to even. I can’t. I just can’t.

Now This Is How You Teach English!

Learning English - Chainsaw

Learning a new language is hard. Fortunately, one brave little book is trying its best to make that arduous process easier, or at least funnier.

English Words That Don’t Appear on Tests is a book for Japanese-speakers learning the English language. It’s certainly… educational.

Learning English - FartThis book is apparently an actual thing that exists.

English Words That Don’t Appear on Tests

Here, in no particular order, are a few of my favorite pages.

Learning English - River crabs

Learning English - Bra

Learning English - Mario Kart

I have a degree in English Education—no, seriously, I do—and I approve these teaching materials. More can be found at this article on Kotaku. Learn, and enjoy.

This post was originally published on April 27, 2016. TMTF shall return with new posts on Monday, September 5!

467. More Word Derps

My younger brother, John, has a talent for mangling the English language. Some time ago, I shared a list of his mispronunciations, titled John’s Word Derps.

Since then, I have updated this list meticulously—y’know, for science. It’s my privilege today to share (with his permission) more of my brother’s verbal fumbles. Please enjoy responsibly.

  • Setner for center
  • Vihjoe for video
  • Coids for cords
  • Detooler for detour
  • Hammo for hammer
  • Cass for task
  • Snay for say
  • Und for and
  • Wordst for worst
  • Beg for bed
  • Streep for street
  • Boke for smoke
  • Mast for fast
  • Appline for applying
  • Hiud for hood
  • Pervervy for perverted
  • Laoods for loads
  • Rook for root
  • Firth for first
  • Parasuit for parasite
  • Site for suit
  • Tunk for sunk
  • Light for right
  • Cronneled for chronicled
  • Butt wheat for buckwheat
  • Graining for gaining
  • Spannitch for Spanish
  • Shuringe for syringe
  • Electred for elected
  • Febluary for February
  • Reft for left
  • Releash for release
  • Stort for sort
  • Quaft for quick-fast
  • Trees for cheese
  • Smo for slow
  • Screezing for squeeze
  • Rall for wall
  • Mate for make
  • Gerfy for goofy
  • Ricken for written
  • Goo for grew
  • Owctually for actually
  • Shongs for songs
  • Bitter for better
  • Pless pray for press play
  • Crawl for call
  • Guvade for grade
  • Depreshing for depressing
  • Funz for tons
  • Sennger for single
  • Nodge for nudge
  • Quig for quick
  • Happity for happy
  • Glameplay for gameplay
  • Bun for bunch
  • Komma for camera
  • Bleen for beam
  • Fweequently for frequently
  • Klar for car
  • Brack round for background
  • Wattle for water
  • Bleared for beard
  • Woof for wolf

Now This Is How You Teach English!

Learning English - Chainsaw

Learning a new language is hard. Fortunately, one brave little book is trying its best to make that arduous process easier, or at least funnier.

English Words That Don’t Appear on Tests is a book for Japanese-speakers learning the English language. It’s certainly… educational.

Learning English - FartThis book is apparently an actual thing that exists.

English Words That Don’t Appear on Tests

Here, in no particular order, are a few of my favorite pages.

Learning English - River crabs

Learning English - Bra

Learning English - Mario Kart

I have a degree in English Education—no, seriously, I do—and I approve these teaching materials. More can be found at this article on Kotaku. Learn, and enjoy.

395. Word Derps

My younger brother, John, has a number of talents, such as recreating pictures in pencil. (You should check out his DeviantArt page!) Some of his other gifts are a little less, um, ordinary. For example, when pausing movies or videos, he often freezes them on bizarre or creepy frames.

The greatest of John’s unusual talents is his involuntary tendency to mangle the English language in everyday conversations. Some time ago, I began keeping a meticulous list of his mispronunciations. For science.

The list, titled John’s Word Derps, has grown larry vong—excuse me, very long. When it was shutter, er, shorter, it wasn’t worth sharing, but when it plast, um, passed a certain point, I thuck—I mean, I thought—the time had come to unleash it upon the world.

I need hardly add that every one of my brother’s verbal fumbles is genuine. All were mistakes; none were intentional.

With John’s blessing and no further ado, TMTF is delighted to share dozens upon dozens of examples of how English words can go wrong.

  • Pleeple for people
  • Owler for hour
  • Reppens for weapons
  • Morst for most
  • Unventure for adventure
  • Bock for back
  • Expenshiv for expensive
  • Slabbered for slobbered
  • Were-chair for wheelchair
  • Blugged for bugged
  • Fameless for famous
  • Fannum for phantom
  • Warking for working
  • Blabe for babe
  • Poistman for postman
  • Bloy for boy
  • Zacky for wacky
  • Wayney for zany
  • Quabbling for squabbling
  • Liter for later
  • Prevence for presence
  • Kerackly for correctly
  • Weeding for reading
  • Shutter for shorter
  • Canonical for conical
  • Larry vong for very long
  • Misselling for mispelling
  • Wester aunt for restaurant
  • Speeze for speed
  • Twennyse’en for twenty-seven
  • Max for masks 
  • Crom for come
  • Crip for creep
  • Darm for darn
  • Pepper for paper
  • Brench for bench
  • Plast for passed
  • Planting for planning
  • Obble for awful
  • Reem for ring
  • Sorn for scorn
  • Bicycley for basically
  • Pershun for person
  • Ruth for roof
  • Blad for blade
  • Monely for mostly
  • Weed for weird
  • Elloquint whee for eloquently
  • Wong for wrong
  • Orpenned for opened
  • Thuck for thought
  • Effisode for episode
  • Obvee on iss for obvious
  • Statue for stature
  • Insped for instead
  • Plarts for parts
  • Foast for first
  • Ween for mean
  • Kine zah for kinda
  • Insoud for inside
  • Clyde for cloud
  • Eye prawn for apron
  • Flaw-plaw for firepower
  • Jude for dude
  • Scub cout for cub scout
  • Con seized for conceived
  • Wom for wall
  • Track for truck
  • Craces for creates
  • Supplized for surprised
  • Beth for best
  • Drist for dressed
  • Punnel for pummel
  • Bretter for better
  • Horiful for horrible
  • Shavver for shower
  • Parsley for partially
  • Uttock for attack
  • Brig inning for beginning
  • Nack snep for neck snap
  • Ond for and
  • Delieve for delete

Quirky Bible Translations

There are many English translations of God’s Word. How many? I’m not sure, but I prefer not to spend years of my life counting.

I often read the Bible, and when I do, I prefer the 1984 New International Version.

Yes, I'm this guy.

Confession: I am a Condescending Bible Translation Guy.

In my twenty-two years, I’ve stumbled upon some Bible translations that are best described as… quirky.

Here’s part of 1 Corinthians 13 in the plain English of the New International Version.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Here’s the same passage in the HWP Bible. That’s the Hawaiian Pidgin Bible, in case you were wondering. Read this excerpt aloud. Read slowly. Savor it.

Wen you get love an aloha, dat no goin pau eva. Da guys dat talk fo God, bumbye no need fo da tings dey say. Wen peopo talk diffren kine, bumbye nobody goin talk lidat. Da stuff da smart guys know, no matta, bumbye no need. You know, we ony know litto bit. Wen we talk fo God, we get ony litto bit fo tell. Bumbye, goin come da time wen everyting stay perfeck. Dat time, no need fo da litto bit kine stuff no moa. Small kid time, I wen talk jalike one small kid. I wen tink jalike one small kid. I wen figga everyting jalike one small kid. Now, I big, dass why I no do da tings da same way da small kids do um.

Right now, us guys can see stuff, but ony jalike wit one junk mirror. Hard fo figga wat we see dea. But bumbye, goin be clear. Us guys goin see everyting jalike was right dea in front our face. Right now, I ony know litto bit. But bumbye, I goin undastan everyting, jalike God undastan everyting bout me.

So now, get three tings dat stay: we can trus God, an we can know everyting goin come out okay bumbye, an we get love an aloha. From da three tings, da love an aloha kine, dass da main ting, an da bestes way.

Then there’s my favorite offbeat translation of Scripture… the lolcat version.

Luv no haz endingz. Tellin the futurez, tungz, an alla stuffz u know wil die. We haz knowingz a bit, an we haz profacy a bit. We no haz two much tho. O, wait. Win teh perfict coemz, teh not perfict will dyez, lolol. Wen i wuz a kitten, i meweded leik a kitten, thinkded liek a kittenz, an I chazed strings liek a kittenz. Wen i wuz becomez a cat, i NO WANT kitten waiz ne moar. For nao we see in teh foggy mirorr like when teh human gets out of teh shower, but tehn we see faec tow faec. Nao i haz knowingz just a bit, tehn i will haz all teh knowingz, as i haz been knownz.

Nao faithz an hoepz an luvz r hear, theses threes, but teh bestest iz teh luv. srsly.

Yes, this is a real translation. The entire Bible has been translated into lolspeak, the Internet language of funny cat picture captions. After all, the Apostle Paul did write about becoming “all things to all people.”

 What’s your preferred version of the Bible? Are you a Condescending Bible Translation Person or do you prefer idiomatic versions like The Message? Let us know in the comments!

This post was originally published on March 22, 2013. TMTF shall return with new content on August 24, 2015!

339. I Talk Too Much

Update: I just realized that I’ve already written a post about wasting words. Do you see what I mean? I really do talk too much!

Besides death or divine intervention, nothing in the universe can stop me once I start rambling.

I was reminded of this a few days ago. At the time, I was explaining to coworkers how a gerund looks remarkably like a chicken when diagrammed in a sentence. (This fact was pointed out to me by a college professor.) The English language fascinates me, and I’m greatly amused by this quirk of sentence diagramming. I was enthusiastic in sharing my amusement with my coworkers.

My gerund-chicken was met with one or two blank faces, and I realized I was babbling. It probably wasn’t the first time that day. Ah, well. No harm, no fowl. (Pun intended. I’m so, so sorry.)

I ramble all the time, and most people aren’t blunt or brave enough to ask me to stop. A few politely change the subject. Many suffer in silence. If I may, for the sake of illustration, borrow and edit a couple of old comic panels from Gigi D.G. of Cucumber Quest fame: many of my conversations go something like this.

The greatest difference between this illustration and real life is that I hardly ever chat with one-eyed war veterans.

The greatest difference between this illustration and real life is that I hardly ever chat with one-eyed war veterans.

I’m exaggerating a bit for comedic effect, yet the truth is that I talk too much. As an introvert, I generally keep to myself around other people. However, the very second a conversation turns to something that interests me, I begin to talk… and eventually to babble.

One of the things that troubles me most about my lamentable loquacity is that it afflicts my nearest and dearest. Most of the people who meet me will never hear me ramble. It’s my family and friends (along with a few coworkers and acquaintances) who put up with my enthusiastic floods of words. It’s when I feel comfortable around someone that I let down my guard, and when my guard is down that I talk too much.

That said, you should take it as a compliment if I ramble at you… I guess?

Anyhowz, I have three points to make about my tendency to talk too much.

1. Writing is awesome because it allows me to moderate my own words.

Probably my favorite thing about writing is the freedom it gives me to find exactly the right words and phrase them precisely the way I want. Written words can be revised. If I begin to ramble in, say, a Facebook message, I can go back and cut out the fluff.

Speaking doesn’t give me that luxury. It represents immediate, irrevocable communication. There is no revising spoken words, except by speaking more. Once a word is spoken, it can’t be deleted. I wish I could revise and moderate my speaking the way I do my writing.

2. Rambling is selfish.

When I ramble about stuff that matters to me, I forget—or worse, ignore—that it might not matter to other people. I disrespect people by demanding their time and attention, airing my own views and opinions, when they’re not interested. Worse, I don’t spend enough time listening to them.

Talking too much is a way of saying, “I don’t care enough about you to listen.”

3. The Bible says some pretty harsh things about talking too much.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus Christ says, “I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”


The Proverbs add quite a few cautions against babbling. “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise,” quoth the author of Proverbs, and later adds, “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”

I… suppose I’ll end here, actually. Heaven knows I don’t want to ramble.


Emoticons—those short combinations of letters, numbers and punctuation marks that sort of resemble little faces if you look at them sideways—have crept over the Internet like an army of tiny pictographic soldiers.

When I was a student teacher, some of my students even used emoticons in their homework. This annoyed and perplexed me greatly. Apart from being childish and unprofessional, putting emoticons in hand-written assignments seemed pointless. I can’t imagine why my students made the effort to write out emoticons when they could have just drawn little faces.

Though I seldom use emoticons, I have nothing against them. They’re an interesting development of written English, and they can give informal writing a certain charm.

For the sake of Internet People everywhere, I’ve compiled (with a little help from Dave Barry) a list of useful emoticons.

Typewriter Monkey Task Force is proud to present…

The Official TMTF List of Eminently Practical Emoticons for Convenient, Everyday Usage!

: )         Happy person

: (         Sad person

: – )       Happy person with a nose

: – (       Sad person with a nose

: — (     Person who is sad because he has such a big nose

: /          Frustrated person

: D        Overjoyed person

. (         Person who ran with scissors

X D        Amused person

<l : )      Gandalf the Grey

:’ (         Weeping person

: P        Cheerful person

:V: (      Person with an alligator on her head

:-3         Cat

; )          Wry person

: o )       Clown

XO        Person who is afraid of clowns

: o          Slightly surprised person

8 O        Very surprised person

: ) ?        Captain Hook

: I           Person who has eaten too much

: ) ~D     Person about to drink a calming cup of Jasmine tea

: ^ (        Cyrano de Bergerac

O Internet People, it is now up to you to use these emoticons with creativity, discernment and wisdom.

Just don’t use any of them on homework assignments, all right?

What emoticons did I miss? What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!

This post was originally published on January 20, 2012. TMTF shall return with new content on January 19, 2015!

Annum Novum Faustum Felicem!

Annum Novum Faustum Felicem! Thus I wish you cheer.

Annum Novum Faustum Felicem in the coming year!

Annum Novum Faustum Felicem, as I said before;

Annum Novum Faustum Felicem now and evermore!

I presume I’ve now made plain this Yuletide wish to you.

Explication would make it mundane: a fate I fain eschew.

Ergo, Annum Novum Faustum Felicem! How so well expressed!

Annum Novum Faustum Felicem simply says it best.

Id est: Happy New Year!

~ Eugene Meltsner, Adventures in Odyssey

I would like to share these warm wishes from Eugene Meltsner, even though his words are so, well, wordy. A number of them are in Latin, and even some of the ones in English are a little hard to follow.

When I was a child, I delivered unto my listeners the following pronouncement: “People don’t always understand me when I use big words, but say let ’em learn ’em!” (At any rate, my relatives tell me I made such a statement; I don’t remember it, but that’s hardly a surprise.) Even as an adult, I sympathize with Anne from Anne of Green Gables, who declares, “People laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas you have to use big words to express them, haven’t you?”

I like wordy words, but I’ll be the first to admit they have two faults. First, the purpose of language is communication, and fancy-sounding words don’t always fulfill that purpose. What’s the point of using those words if nobody understands them?

The second problem with a large vocabulary is that is gives an impression of self-conceit. People who use big words seem like they’re showing off. In college, a classmate once accused me of shaming others by flaunting my vocabulary. His criticisms really stung. After all, I don’t consider it a personal insult if other people are more skilled than I at dancing or baseball or repairing cars. Why should anyone be outraged if I use big words? My classmate and I argued about it until a professor shut us up.

In the end, as much as I appreciate fancy-sounding words for their power to convey precise shades of meaning, I acknowledge they aren’t suitable for many contexts. The value of language is in being understood, not in seeming smart.

That said, instead of repeating Mr. Meltsner’s unintelligible benedictions, I’ll just say, “Happy New Year,” and leave it at that.