plaid shorts

September 12, 2008

So this morning when I went into the bathroom and sat down, I noticed something that I had, er, never noticed before.

But before I get to what I noticed in the bathroom, I just noticed that I just started a sentence with “So.” I’ve been told that starting a sentence with “so” is a Utah thing, but like most things that people categorize as a “Utah thing,” I don’t believe it. I even had one guy from Florida (who, by the way, turned out to be CRAZY) object to the use, and tell me it was not just a Utah thing, but was also condescending and rude. Well. Condescending AND rude. The RUDE puts it over the top I guess. Anyway. Here’s what the Grammourpous has to say about it:

“You must not start a sentence with a conjunction” has been the mantra of many an exasperated English teacher, especially since the oiks [I have NO idea what an “oik” is] started getting state education. Any pupil brave, daft or naive enough to raise a hand and ask “Why?” would probably have received some Kafkaesque explanation along the lines of “Because it is said.”

So now we’re all grown up, we’ll ask again – why? The honest answer is that there is no reason. It’s just an arbitrary rule that’s been passed through the ages. But all language is arbitrary, isn’t it? Words and letters are but abstract concepts, the understanding of which can only come through the education of rules.

As usual with these issues, the argument is between the way English is used and the way it is “supposed to be”. Sometimes a full stop is required to drive home a sentence or give a meaningful pause. And an afterthought like this one gets more impact when it’s a sentence rather than a conjoined clause. So when someone tells you not to start a sentence with a conjunction, say: “But I’ve already done it.”

Okay? OKAY?! So GET OFF MY BACK!

Oh, right, you weren’t the ones giving me crap. Nevermind.

So, when I sat down in the bathroom, I noticed the tag on my shorts. Lately I’ve been going to Costco about once a month to get their tortillas, which are better than normal grocery store tortillas by a factor of about a gazillion. But once I’m in Costco, I get distracted by everything else they have there, like lawnmowers and battery chargers and big screen TVs.

In particular, I’ve been walking past big tables covered with plaid cargo shorts, which are my second or third favorite things in the world. And they are only TWELVE DOLLARS!

So, I have about 10 pair of them now, one for every month I go to Costco to buy tortillas.

Today I noticed the tag: “Made In Bangladesh.”

Is that a bad thing? Or am I helping their economy by wearing their plaid shorts? And do they wear plaid shorts in Bangladesh, or do they just make them for us?

These are some of my thoughts.

8 Responses to “plaid shorts”

  1. Steve Says:

    So, you are aiding and abetting (just watched Bones the other day, great show) a dictatorial and oppressive government keep wages low by paying only $12 for plaid shorts made in Bangladesh. I think they only make them for you because no other self-respecting person would wear them. However, because you probably also help feed a family of 27 with one pair of shorts we’ll cut you some slack.

  2. Eber Says:

    So pretty good post today Dug.

    Bangledeshy plaid is some of the truly finest plaid available. They extract it from the coat of the bangledeshy plaidypus.

    Maybe pick up a pair for me next time you go (and a white plastic christmas tree too – you know the one with the power driven color wheel).

    PS I’ve always wondered…should you put a comma after “so” when you start a sentence with it?

  3. Rob Says:

    Don’t be silly. Bangladeshians don’t wear shorts. But they make a plaid short version of their skirts for the american market…

    http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Asia/Bangladesh/photo550061.htm

  4. bikemike Says:

    plaid comes from bangladesh, huh.

    if so many people end sentences with prepositions, then, we can, by God, start’em with conjunctions.

    by the way, i’m from florida and to say that someone from florida is crazy is redundent. we live in hurricane alley, we’re crazy and stupid.

    i didn’t know you could buy ANYTHING for twelve dollars.

  5. mark Says:

    One indication that the crazy Floridian was not a Utahn in disguise: he said “condescending and rude,” where a true Utahn would have said “condescending and ignorant,” with the word ignorant being synonymous, as it is only in Utah, with rude.

    Eber, the comma goes before the conjunction, not after. Perhaps this is the rationale for not beginning a sentence with any of the fanboys.

    The “don’t end a sentence with a preposition” rule is a carryover from the days when grammarians thought that English should follow the same rules as Latin, even though the syntax is fundamentally different.

    We really need a language academy. Then we can be as uptight about our manner of speaking and writing as the French.

  6. BotchedExperiment Says:

    Dude, those 8 year olds gotta work too. They got bills to pay and cigarets to buy.

  7. tonks Says:

    So don’t forget that “ignorant” would actually be pronounced with only two syllables…”IG-nernt” in Utah, because to say it otherwise would be culturally ignorant.

  8. Jodi Says:

    I just hope that $12 will give them enough food to nourish and strengthen their bodies.

    Speaking of Utah.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: