1. Not only funnier – more sensical. I mean, if the scissors wasn’t broken by one o’ those rocks, what’s the lineup for?

  2. And where’s paper?
    After the rock culprit is identified, Paper will cover the trial and sentencing.

  3. Following onto the discussion about regional pronunciation, here’s a question about usage. I have always thought of “scissors” as a plural object (requiring a plural verb), but I know that there are regions where it is used in singular. My first contact was in Peanuts (this isn’t the strip I was hoping to find, but it’s a fair example for a number of other instances):

    As a kid I thought that Schulz’s phrasing was at least odd, if not downright incorrect. However, my American Heritage dictionary documents both options, so I was wondering whether my perceived impression (that the plural form is far more common) is correct.

  4. I didn’t get the scissors one; I realised it was something to do with rock-paper-scissors but couldn’t see how and why there was no paper. I thought they were in a geological museum, the scissors accompanied by a museum guard. Only after seeing the comments did I realise it was a line-up.

    It would have helped me if the rocks were standing at floor level, and there was some hint of a measurement marker. Also, as Mark H. mentioned, if the scissors were broken or injured in some way, perhaps illustrated with a bandage on one of the blades.

    Plural scissors the norm in Britain… I’d think of “a scissors” as US usage. U.S.-age.

  5. Even when given singular agreement, scissors retains the letter -s. But quite well established by now in fashion writing is “a pant” — meaning a style or design for a pair of pants.

  6. In the Bleachers is the worst combination of “art” & subject in the history of comics. Yes, worse than Six Chix.

  7. @Downpuppy, however, it’s hard to say anything definitive about Six Chix, since they have six different drawing styles and senses of humor. (Some of which, I have to agree, are often lacking.)

  8. As long as we’re picking nits about scissors, may I pick one about ‘judgement’? I’ve always spelled it ‘judgment’. Is this another instance where incorrect spelling just becomes accepted as alternative?

  9. Chak, I think that is mostly just a longstanding US / UK spelling difference.

    “Mostly just” because there are some Americans who have that among the cherry-picked British spellings and punctuation conventions they like and use. You may see that as mere affectation; but notice that these are selective, and sometimes have reasons, whether or not one would consider them good reasons.

    In the case of “judgment” the reason given is liking to see the base word (“judge”) in its full normal form. Or connected with that, the -e- helps show why it is a “soft” -g-, while “judgment” seems to invite a strange hiccupping pronunciation with a “hard” -g-. “Judd guh meant”

  10. buses and traveling are my “won’t follow American spelling convention” ones — they just look wrong, as if they should be read “byew-ses” and “traveel-ing”; much more logical and correct are “busses” and “travelling”, even if my stupid spell correct underlines both in red.
    Yet I won’t spell it colour or humour…

  11. I usually say “a pair of scissors” but let’s face it: if you take it apart you get two things which I suppose you could call each of them “a scissor” but it’s really just a badly-designed knife that doesn’t cut well at all. I also say “a pair of shoes” and “a pair of pants”. One shoe works perfectly well on its own foot, but I don’t think I could wear one pant without being in danger of indecent exposure.

  12. According to what I saw via Google, us English are inconsistent even within our own shores:
    “In US English, “judgment” (no “e”) is the only correct spelling. In UK English, “judgement” (with an “e”) is standard, but “judgment” is used in legal contexts.”

    As for the “guh” Mitch 4 mentions, there’s a town a few miles from me called Bridgwater, without the “e” but pronounced Bridge-water – but I like to say “brid-guh-water” for fun.

    Wikipedia is inconclusive on the etymology. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgwater

    It is thought that the town was originally called Brigg, meaning quay. It has been argued that the name may instead come from the Old English brycg (gang plank) or Old Norse bryggja (quay), though this idea has been opposed on etymological grounds. In the Domesday Book* the town is listed as Brugie, while Brugia was also used. After the Norman invasion the land was given to Walter of Douai, hence becoming known variously as Burgh-Walter, Brugg-Walter and Brigg-Walter, eventually corrupted to Bridgwater. An alternative version is that it derives from “Bridge of Walter” (i.e. Walter’s Bridge).”

    *Domesday Book was compiled 1086 AD.

  13. It was spam, and should be on the way back.
    Yes, it’s worth mentioning as you did, since the mistakenly-marked-spam comments are there among many many actual spams, and I need to be alert to not mark those as delete-forever. (Actual moderated or “pending” are the contrary story – almost always anything in there just needs an Approve, and the list is short and all of that kind. How can you tell? Moderation will tell you so, spam gives no response.)

  14. I grew up with as many British friends and teachers as American (living overseas) – I honestly have no idea, in many cases, which spelling is (USian) correct. I had an awful time in school after we came back (high school, by then)… The added Us I can spot, doubled letters are hit or miss, and er or re will mess me up every time (theatre vs theater, for instance), particularly since the re is used in the US…sometimes!

  15. @ jjmcgaffey – That American “theatre” spelling is especially favored by upper-class theatrical snobs and wanna-bees. In typical practice, “theater” is used for the building, and “theatre” for all the stuff that goes on inside it.

  16. A long time ago, a newspaper reporter writing a story hit a block when he realized he didn’t know which was correct: “ax” or “axe.” He tried it one way and it didn’t look right. He tried it the other way and it didn’t look right either. In the end he wrote “ax” because although there was a chance he was misspelling a three-letter word, “axe”, there was no excuse for an experienced writer like himself to misspell a two-letter word.

    I read the story in a book by H. Allen Smith so I am sure the newspaper reporter was mentioned by name but I don’t remember who. Most likely Smith himself.

  17. I would be surprised that a writer at the time would not have a dictionary available.

  18. Brian in STL: Especially a reporter in a newspaper office. Why were there not six different dictionaries available for all the writers? Or perhaps he looked it up and it showed both spellings but didn’t say which one to use.

  19. @Mark in one place and @Brian in another, “Or perhaps he looked it up and it showed both spellings but didn’t say which one to use.” — That was my thought as well. Ah, but then … wouldn’t a newspaper have an official Style Guide?

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