Snag this snazzy T — from which I stole my post title — at One Horse Shy for a cool $22.

Lots of language stuff going on right now — and not only in relation to my unending quest to update a certain stylebook that shall remain nameless, but in the mainstream media, too! Huzzah.

When I’m not getting my kicks reading insta-classics like Lapsing Into a Comma (Bill Walsh) and Woe is I (Patricia T. O’Connor),  I’m trawling through a pile of newspapers and magazines. Generally, they’re a fertile field from which to harvest examples of the uses (and misuses) of modern language; occasionally, they cross the line into explicitly surfacing issues of punctuation, style, and usage — as the Times did today in a story about the inclusion of a semicolon in the MTA’s latest public service ads about throwing away newspapers. It’s quite mawkish, not to mention obnoxiously high-handed, but I’m always secretly pleased that someone somewhere is still pondering the importance of clarity, concision, and coherence in writing.

Elsewhere: Mike Clark of the Greensboro News-Record recently took on the colon; the Daily Freeman reported on schoolchildren protesting a restaurant’s use of capitalization; and the Sydney Morning Herald also ran a (somewhat confounding) glossary of new words that already seem a bit dated — I mean, tanorexia? How Rachel Zoe, circa 2006.

If reading isn’t your thing (which … umm … would be nonsensical, as this text-heavy post is all about word nerdery….but I digress …), you can fake it until you make it with buy grammarrelated T-shirts!)   

Maybe it’s a fluke — or perhaps all this language lovin’ is in anticipation of National Grammar Day on March 4.  The Web site devoted to the holiday has some great links, and its creators even offer a recipe for a Grammartini. See, we’re only selectively curmudgeonly!


According to New York magazine, Equinox (a chain of fitness centers) has signed a deal with Pure Yoga and will debut a 20,000-square-foot space on East 86th St. come spring.

“‘Yoga is in great demand, and that continues to grow,’ says Equinox CEO Harvey Spevak. (It’s currently a $3 billion industry.) Spevak says the new club will be ‘design and amenity driven,’ which means the usual Equinox high-end gloss, five rooms simultaneously offering classes in different styles, and an emphasis on customer service, including the ability to book the exact floor space for your mat online.”

I’m sorry. I love going to the gym as much as the next person, and I understand that yoga is good for the body and soul. But “yoga” as it is imagined in the U.S. seems quite different from yoga as understood in the daily lives of those in India. Have trouble breathing? Assume a certain posture. Depressed, and need to be uplifted? Go to a neighborhood yoga camp. Incorporate small changes into your daily life, and gather with others seeking a more organic solution than those traditionally offered in urban centers.

Doesn’t neurotically planning every second of the experience somehow undermine the calming benefits of mindful movement? Doesn’t insanely posturing for the best mat space, months in advance, make the whole thing a bit less about fitness and healing, and a bit more about cultural cache, money, and unenlightened attachment to the trappings of modern society? Bakwas.  

(Picture is from when I taught at a journalism school in Kerala. I took a weekend trip to a town called Aranmula, which is famed for a particular type of metalcraft mirrors; we stopped by this river to get a drink of water and happened upon this man quietly meditating under his umbrella. After about 20 minutes, he stood, bathed with his buffalo, and walked off down the road.)