Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Grammatical Conundrum

Jay was away over the weekend. This meant I didn't need to prepare any meals, so had some extra time in my day. Sunday morning I had a rather foolish thought. I decided I would spend a bit of time updating my blog header. Winter is just around the corner and my header had a fall theme. I also know that as Christmas approaches things will get much busier, so thought it best to tackle the header project now rather than wait for the official start of winter. Please queue the ominous music...

The first problem I encountered is the fact I'm not a graphic artist. It's very frustrating to have a clear vision in my head of what I would like my header to look like, but not be able to translate that vision into reality. My lack of skills means I have to rely on what I can come up with using PicMonkey. I worked for over an hour on something, popping it into my blog, not liking it, tweaking it a bit, still not liking it, drinking tea, trying again, still not being happy with it, needing something stronger than tea, and, well, you get the picture. If any of you stopped by my blog in the midst of this process you would have witnessed the mess I had made of things. My apologies.

I ended up completely ditching the header I had by then spent almost two hours on. I started from scratch and came up with something I thought I could live with. If you stopped by my blog between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning this is what you would have seen.



Perhaps I'm just a little bit crazy, but I actually lost sleep over this blog header Sunday night. The thing that was bothering me was the saying I put at the bottom. "All you need is tea and warm socks." Truer words have never been spoken, but that didn't mean they were grammatically correct.

From the moment I put the expression in the header it didn't seem quite right. But here's the thing. I got the expression from a mug I had just gifted a friend. It says those exact words. In black. And they sell it in stores. In fact, if you Google the expression you can see it's widely used. So I emailed my grammar expert friend Hilary, who said she would run it by her even more expert daughter Rachel. The bottom line? That niggling feeling I had was for a reason. The expression should say "All you need are tea and warm socks." Bugger. (I can say that because I'm Canadian. It isn't a bad word here.) Actually double bugger, because the friend I had just given the mug to was my grammar expert friend Hilary.

In non-grammar news I can now show you two pairs of gift socks I've recently knit, as they have found their way to their recipients. Here are the socks I knit for my daughter Alexandra's birthday.

Biscotte & Cie yarn, Tang fish colourway


These are the Christmas socks I knit for my grammar expert friend Hilary. Hopefully they make up for that mug.

Opal yarn of unknown colourway

Our recent cold snap has transformed the docks down at the lake into works of art. I took these pictures on my walk yesterday. This dock has been strung with Christmas lights, and with the addition of the ice it must be very stunning to see at night. I must remember to go down in the evening and have a look.


This was my favourite ice formation. You would have to be very brave to sit on that bench right now!



If you are in need of some editing help I highly recommend Hilary's daughter Rachel. She has a unique editing business. She will proofread and edit your document up to 1000 words for just $5. I hadn't heard of the fivvr.com site before Rachel started her business. I wonder if they have a category for knitters.

And finally, today is Karsten's birthday. He is 33, which seems rather hard to believe. I'm quite sure it was just a year or two ago that I was that age myself.

35 comments:

  1. Love the new blog header. Perfect.

    Will be watching for Christmas Lucy pix.

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  2. I LOVE my socks and my mug. Thank you! And the saying is true, all you need are warm socks and tea!

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  3. I love the socks and your new header - of course!! I am guessing - only guessing! - that the grammar is because there is a plural, so you use are correctly in that case, however, if you had added a comma I am guessing that is would have been correct, all you need is tea, and socks. Although, common usage - just as acceptable! - would I also guess be all you need is tea and socks. So don't lose any sleep over the header or the mug!! We love 'ya, no matter what your spellin' or grammar!! xx

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  4. I like the new blog header! I think you did a great job putting it together. The socks are fantastic! The description of tang fish is a perfect way to describe the coloration in the socks you knit for Alexandra. :-D

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  5. I noticed your new header yesterday and was impressed. Now I know you did it yourself, I am even more impressed. Great work!

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  6. Great ice photos, your socks are really great love Opal yarn ones

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  7. Great header, I wouldn't even know where to start! Wow the ice photos are beautiful, and as for your socks, they are lovely! x

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  8. The new header is great (although personally I would have added in chocolate to go along with the tea and socks, just saying...). And it's a nice point of grammar, I must say, being a bit of a grammar fiend myself. It's too funny that your expert friend was the recipient of the ungrammatical mug! -- Ruth

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  9. I like the new header! I wouldn't worry about the grammar. If you do a goodle search for "All you need is/are" you can see that people will fight both sides of the battle for is/are. Apparently the word "all" makes a difference and some people think that makes "is" correct. I am having visions of my very stict English high school teacher as I write this....lol. But really isn't it the thought that counts and not the correct grammar? Its a lovely gift. Hope your day is going well and that you are warm and snug. Its been so darn cold here in Alberta that both tea and socks have been needed every day!.

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  10. This made me smile, I too have spent hours on blog headers and woken up during the night thinking about it! I like your new header. The ice looks beautiful but cold. Sarah x

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  11. I love the new header, grammatically correct or not. I was truly impressed with the socks, they are gorgeous. The ice formations were also a delight to see.

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  12. Laughed out loud, and at bugger! Isn't language just amazing - that a word can be 'bad' in one country but not in another. So is the fact that we lose sleep over it. Love the ice photos.

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  14. Lots of grammatical mistakes end up in print on signs and things don't they? Sometimes I think the signmakers are having a laugh, they must surely know it's wrong. Fantastic socks, and they are certainly needed judging by that ice. I had no idea there were places where it's okay to say bugger. (I'm allowed to repeat it here because technically the comment box on your blog is Canadian territory). CJ xx

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  15. It was!!! (the age, kids age differently than we do) Happy b-day to Karsten!

    Would it be okay if Hilary gave the mug to Rachel? Hilary has those great socks! And I think the mug should belong to whomever (is that correct?) it would bother the most. :)

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  16. PS - In reporting on a Ferguson related protest, one of the networks tweeted that the folks were chanting "Who's streets? Our streets." People on line were having fun with that--claiming they didn't know "who is streets" either.

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  17. Happy birthday to Karsten! I really like your blog header. It's simple but festive. I'm not good at making them either. When I wanted to change from using one of my own photos to something more graphics-based, my husband did most of the work. I bought a set of vector art designs on Etsy for $5 and let him go with it. He came back with a few weird ones but also the one I've been using now for almost a year, which I liked a lot. But he did most of the technical stuff, it really isn't my area. The socks all came out beautifully. I think they will be perfect for their recipients, grammarians and otherwise. :)

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  18. I love that you care that much about grammar. Of course, I read "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" for fun, so that may explain why. Now if I could just grasp when to use "lie" vs. "lay." Love the header, by the way.

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  19. I love the new grammatically-correct header. It's clean and simple, yet festive. Well done! ~Kim

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  20. Yes, but, if you take "tea and socks" as one item, then wouldn't "is" be correct? I mean, you can't have one without the other and have all you need, can you now?

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  21. I like the grammar conundrum, but dare not hazard a guess which is correct! Even though a quiz on Facebook says I am a Grammar Nazi, or something...
    Love those icy pictures, and the gorgeous cosy socks, and of course I like your new header very much. Perfect for the season.

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  22. oh grammar, the stuff I I never paid attention to when I was in school (tuned all that info right out). Love your new grammatically correct header! Happy birthday to K and you are older than me because I'm 21 (ha ha ha!).

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  23. Great ice pictures and love the socks - especially for Hilary.

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  24. Your new header look fabulous, what amazing ice photos.

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  25. Great socks!! Hand knit socks are the best! Tea and socks are the best too!!

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  26. Gosh, would an ellipsis have helped? "All you need is tea ... and warm socks!" No, I suppose not. The header looks great, by the way!

    Oh, those blue stripey socks are wonderful. Are those afterthought heels, or did the yarn colouring just work out perfectly?

    Truly fabulous ice formations. I'll bet they look eerie at night.

    :)

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  27. I'm an unabashed Grammar Geek and really, I would not find "is" jarring; "are" is good too.

    Nice job.

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  28. Love the new header ! I like it just the way it is :)

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  29. I think your new header is perfect. I don't mess with my blog at all because I just know I'd end up deleting it all after clicking on something I shouldn't. I love the socks, I can never get self striping yarn to match up, mine would have had a tiny bit of yellow right on one of the toes, my tension must differ from one sock to the other as I always cast on at the same place.

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  30. Not being a competent computer expert myself I usually fiddle with my blog header and hit a disaster zone. Finally afterr drinking many cups of tea, losing sleep and wallowing in panic mode, I finally get it as right as I can make it. Your new header looks really good and you've made an excellent job of it.

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  31. Happy Birthday to Karsten. Love the new header. I leave all my blog tweaking to my sister, I am a total dork at all of that stuff.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  32. Wow, all that ice is amazing, not the kind of sight we often see here.

    I'd have gone the comma route as Amy suggests, or better still added a full stop, turning the warm socks into an afterthought. 'All you need is tea. And warm socks." Or in my case coffee ;)

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    Replies
    1. Oops, I forgot to say Happy Birthday to Karsten.

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  33. Your new header is wonderfully seasonal, whichever verb you use and the socks are fantastic. Lucky recipients. Belated birthday greetings to Karsten.

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  34. I love your new blog header - (and argh grammar!) and I love the socks too - I'm sure they were gratefully received!

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