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Get the Line Right!

Being a wordsmith, a pet peeve of mine is when people incorrectly quote movie lines.  I recall spending many a summer day in the YMCA pool shouting my favorite lines from “Airplane!” with one special (at the time) girl. Over the years, I’ve heard “Animal House,” “Revenge of the Nerds,” “Gone With the Wind” and so many more ad nauseam.

So, for those who still don’t know, Darth Vader never says, “Luke, I am your father.” It’s “No, I am your father.” And Ilsa never says, “Play it again, Sam.” It’s “Play it Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.’ ”

So, here are some others, courtesy of a video I saw online from

Do you feel lucky, punk? — I have never actually seen “Dirty Harry,” but I know the quote is, “Well, do ya, punk?”

Whatculture actually quotes the entire speech: “I know what you’re thinking, did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kind of lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handful in the world and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

Hello, Clarice — Hannibal Lecter never says that. He says, “Good evening, Clarice.”

I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto — No, Dorothy, you’ve got a feeling you’re not in Kansas anymore. And the dog’s name comes first.

I want to drink/suck your blood — Ever since I was young, this was a line I understood to be from “Dracula.” Then I saw the Bela Lugosi version. It’s not there. I thought maybe it got cut. It didn’t. It was never there.

If you build it, they will come — That mysterious voice from “Field of Dreams” actually invites Kevin Costner’s character it build it so “he will come,” meaning the ghost of his father.

I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille — Actually, it’s “Alright, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”

You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth! — Go back and rewatch “A Few Good Men” and you’ll see Col. Jessup ask, “You want answers?” Lt. Kaffee shout, “I want the truth!” and Jessup shouting back, “You can’t handle the truth!”

Until next time! Use the right words!


January 4, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Six Years Later, Another Example of Gym Stupidity

I went to my local Crunch gym yesterday and saw every clock was an hour off.

When I finished my workout, I went to the front desk, where the general manager happened to be.

“When are you going to turn the clocks back?” I asked.

A look of recognition appeared on his face.

“Oh, daylight savings time!” he said.

“No,” I responded, “standard time. Daylight saving time ended Sunday.”

Yes, daylight saving time. Not savings.

I am reminded of how in 2011 the YMCA I worked out at put out a brochure that was titled, “Our Guiding Principal” when it meant principle and the executive director refused my offer to proofread everything. Read it here.

It obviously takes a special type of person to work at a gym.

Until next time! Use the right words!

November 7, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Gym Stupidity, Years Later

Many years ago, I wrote about how a certain YMCA would rather mangle the language than hire someone (me) to fix those mistakes. Read it here.

Well, here we go again.  My current gym, Powerhouse Fitness, was sold to Crunch Fitness, and we got a note proudly proclaiming, “There will be no changes to your membership or fee’s.”

Yes, fee’s. Not fees.

The note also said, “We will be investing over a million dollars innovations and new equipment.” It’s more correct to say more than a million dollars.

I asked a girl at the front desk what the sale meant. She told me the mimimm-wage employees (including her) are still being paid minimum wage, but the trainers are gone because Crunch offered them too little money to continue. (My membership doesn’t expire until next August, so I’m taking a wait-and-see approach).

But, hey, she got a nice T-shirt to wear!


Until next time! Use the right words!

It’s here! My début book, “If You Experience Death, Please Call: And Other Fatal Mistakes We Make With Language” is available on Amazon for only $14.95.  Order here.

August 4, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The stupidity of my local YMCA and its executive director

In my ongoing search for mangling the language, I have discovered the North Valley YMCA is guilty of putting out literature with ridiculous mistakes. I found so many typos and graphic-related inconsistencies that I went to the executive director, showed them to her, and offered my services to fix them all.

Her response: “I’ll show it to my staff.”

Needless to say, nothing changed, simply because the staff, hard as it tried, didn’t have the training I had to find and fix all of their problems.

Then one day, I saw what I consider an egregious mistake: confusing principal with principle.

A heading on a brochure read “Our Guiding Principal.” It didn’t refer to someone or something of importance, degree or authority. It referred to a credo, a belief, a fundamental truth. A principle.

I immediately contacted not only the executive director, but her boss as well. I sent them a copy and told them they needed my services because their credibility was at stake.

The executive director’s response: “I’m not hiring you.” I never heard from her boss.

I went to the YMCA today. That brochure is still on display. UPDATE: On Nov. 16, I noticed the brochure was gone.

Until next time! Use the right words! The North Valley YMCA sure doesn’t!

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The “Effect” of Misusing “Affect”

Today I was at the YMCA exercising and watching “Let’s Make a Deal” on the TV when I heard Wayne Brady say something like “I hope that doesn’t affect you.” I had on the captions, and they read “I hope that doesn’t effect you.”

Attention, company that hired that caption writer: Fire that person and hire me. I know the difference between effect and affect.

Affect means to influence: I hope this blog affects you enough that you will continue to read it (and tell your friends). Affect also is used in psychology to describe a person’s mind or feelings. In the psychological meaning, you pronounce the word AFF-ect. It’s more commonly pronounced a-FECT.

Effect can be either a noun or verb. As a noun, it means result: The effect was amazing. As a verb, it means to cause: This invention will effect change for decades to come.

Hope you visit my blog and Web site for decades to come!

Until next time! Use the right words!

October 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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