Wipe Those Feets

Spellcheck hoghlight feets

Yes, I know you think it’s a spelling error.

Every morning that I get stuck with the duty have the privilege of taking Maddie out to make morning rounds, when we return to the porch I will tell her: “we have to wipe those feets.” Yes, Microsoft, I understand that “feet” is the plural of foot, but Maddie has four feet so I don’t think “feet” goes far enough. Feets is plural for feet in my book, which, by the way, is not the book you want to read if you’re trying to learn proper English. Also in the “by the way” category, I didn’t misuse “make morning rounds” nor was I searching for a comical metaphor. Maddie makes morning rounds.

Specifically, she walks the perimeter of the yard.

I was told by a friend who had both a male and a female Doberman that females check the perimeter of their property, whereas a male wanders about randomly. I’m sure that my editor is shaking her head at the male part and thinking “what, we needed to study animal behavior to figure that out?” He said that in the military, guards walking the fence will have female dogs while males are used to intercept.

Maddie – walks – the – fence.

Maddie walks the fence before she pees! Seriously, we take her out for the last time at night around 7:30 – 8:00 and we take her out in the morning around 6:00, and she spends 1-2 minutes walking the fence before peeing. I would be…sorry, I digress. I wanted to talk about plurals. I guess I went off-track. Wandering randomly if you will.

In addition to feet, I don’t like the so-called-correct plural forms of other words and I tend to not use them. I’ve mentioned before that I prefer ‘jacki’ to jackasses and croci to crocuses. What I didn’t mention is that some dictionaries list ‘croci’ as an acceptable plural form of crocus. None seem to list jacki as being acceptable. Still, I’m sure the people around me understand me, especially in the context in which I use that word, i.e. when referring to a large group of jacki as opposed to a herd or a pace of jackasses. Yep, a pace of jackasses is a thing.

Another word whose plural I don’t like is data, because it doesn’t have one. Data is plural. That is, if you’re old enough to remember the word datum, or if you took Latin in school or if you’re anal about such things. Because data is technically plural, the way feet technically can mean two, three or four feet, we’re supposed to say things like “the data used for this chart were out of date.” I would tend to say “was out of date” but some jackass someone in the room would interrupt to point out that “data is plural so you should say were out of date.” Who cares? “were out of date” sounds dumb. I’m going to go with the walks-like-a-duck theory here and say if it sounds dumb, it is dumb.

Actually, my way is gaining favor, if you give any credence to the folks at onlinegrammar.com – I just heard my editor scream – “are those the same people who said you can begin a sentence with ‘but’?” They might be. In any case, they say that ‘data was’ is acceptable when the data is non-countable, i.e. where it might be referring to information rather than a series of numbers. I know, “if you mean information, say information and then you can feel free to use ‘was’

I would rather go for being understood than being grammatically correct. Whenever I say “the data was something” everybody understands me. It’s only the jacki word-nerds in the room who immediately think “ooh, I should correct him ‘cuz data is plural…” Yes, I know those people wouldn’t say ‘cuz and I know that I am walking a fine line between having this post edited and having it wadded up and thrown at my head because I am insinuating that my editor belongs in a group of…I’m not going to say it…not even going to say it and strike it out. Nope, smarter than that.

But, (sorry) I would argue that, even if I wrote it, the reference shouldn’t be implied. Jackass, and its non-acceptable-plural ‘jacki’ is a gender-specific term. Jack is a male donkey, a female is a Jenny. So there.

The plurals that I try to get right are Pirates, Steelers and Penguins. The Pirates are a great baseball team and I am a Pirates fan. While I do also like individual Pirates like A.J. Burnett and Andrew McCutchen, I am a fan of the team, the organization and I appreciate the regional significance of the Pirates. And, (sorry) since I’m thinking in Pittsburgh terms now, yinz have a nice day.

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
This entry was posted in Humor, Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

78 Responses to Wipe Those Feets

  1. Very fun post to start the morning! My cat Joey used to secure by property by walking the perimeter of the yard every evening before retiring. The other younger males would follow him.
    I guess I’m still getting to know about your and your menagerie – I hadn’t realized that Maddie was an Irish Setter. Gorgeous dog. I adopted a setter waaaay back – called him Trapper after Trapper John of M*A*S*H

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Maggie. Maddie is the fourth Irish we have had, and the most difficult to deal with. She is a hunter and an imp. Setters are stubborn but Maddie takes it to a new limit for us. I always liked Trapper John, also kind of an imp. That’s a good name for a pup.

      Like

  2. loisajay says:

    I loved this. A know-it-all supervisor used the term ‘indices’ as the plural for index, which, I know is correct, but it just sounds weird. Someone piped up and said, “You mean indexes (pronounced just like it is spelled)?” I busted. Tomato, tomahto…..whatever.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maddie is a beautiful dog, and I can see a valued and loved member of your family. :-) Trying to be grammatically correct is a challenge, and then when you throw in the auto correct function on every piece of equipment you use it is like a firestorm to see whether man or technology wins out. I’m also hanging my head in shame because I’ve been known to start many a sentence with ‘but.’ LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Judy, and no shame according to my sources. My editor would take you to task, but I’d remind her that you are the woman with the tomato stake pictures and she’d smile and say “ok then.” I frequently shake my head and murmur a little “what?” under my breath when Word adds that little red squiggle to something I’ve written. It’s good when I’ve spelled replace ‘repalce’ which I do often, but a lot of times, it’s annoying.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Norm 2.0 says:

    That is one adorable “puppy”.
    I always prefer being understood rather than being grammatically correct.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Almost Iowa says:

    After the final draft of an essay is complete, I toss it over the wall to my editor. She reads it with a red pen in hand. When it comes back over the wall, I look at it and shout, “What? Did you bleed to death on it?”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. joey says:

    I throw my grammar out 99% of the time. I need it for professional writing and that is all. I’d say the data is outdated, and who cares about how you talk to your dog? Dogs don’t care about grammar, which makes them the opposite of jacki, plus, cute. Sadie checks her perimeter on each and every trip to the back yard. I had no idea it was a gender issue, but I tell ya, she’s our first female canine, and since having her, I’ve said I don’t want another male — your perimeter factoid only enhances that. She also only makes on the perimeter, and I LOVE her for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Joey – I was worried that the English major might take exception to this. Maddie also tends to use the perimeter more than the central yard, which is a good thing. We’ve had three females and I’m not sure we would do anything else. The male peed on everything!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Dan Hen says:

    What’s an ” editor ” ? What’s ” grammar ” ? No one told you can’t start a sentence with “but” . But I don’t really care , obviously . My blog is full of obviouslies , obviously.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Dan… whatever you do, don’t ask poor Charlotte (the editor in John Howell’s Wednesday stories) to be your editor. She’s go over the edge… right beside me. ;)
    Thanks for a fun post. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Steve Weissman says:

    Grammar … married to Granpa … by which I mean, it’s all relative! :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh my you’ve opened my eyes to what Diva Dog has done for nigh on 13 yrs! She walks the parameter of our backyard before taking care of business. She sniffs all the way round it. I didn’t know male dogs do it differently.

    Yinz! He-Man and his family say it so it sounds like “you-uhnz” to my ear. `Steelers season has already started. I’ve got to order a Terrible Towel for #1 Grandson!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      I think “yinz” and “you-uhnz” and “yunz” are all acceptable. The first dog we had was female and she circumnavigated the yard each morning like clockwork. Our second female had chronic health issues and wasn’t all that dog-like in many ways. This one, Maddie, is all dog and all nuts and apparently female in the perimeter-checking sense. Get the boy a Towel!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Wendy Brydge says:

    Lol! This was great, Dan. Such a fun post!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Go Steelers. Nice post. Loved the feets.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sammy D. says:

    LOL You’ve had too much coffees ( yes that much coffee deserves a plural). Or maybe you just get as hyper as I do when discussing grammatical anomolies. They’re in my draft folder, Dan – a whole herds of them.

    I think that’s the ‘Upward Hiny Downward Tail yoga pose Mimi has mastered, and Maddie just shines in the photo of her at the fence on 2/4ths of her feets.

    It all made me laugh and snort and wonder if your editor is dreaming of retirement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Her retirement as my editor or my retirement and the opportunity to spend 24/7 with her? I do use the expression “I need a beers” and if that’s a yoga position you’re familiar with, I’m not sure I want you to write about it. Then again, you’ve dragged me through so many aisles and drawers and topics that I thought I’d never comment on, I guess you could pull it off. Thanks Sammy, and pry one of those grammar issues out and let fly :) Hinny (pl hinnies) is also a type of donkey/ass/mule thingie – but different, I think from hiny.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. dweezer19 says:

    LM (non gender specific) AO, Dan. This was awesome. I agree on all counts. Data “were”.?. Give me a break! That’s “break”. Not “brake” for all the speedy fingers out there that skipped English and Spelling. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Now I must admit between what you wrote, Dan, and the comments, I really was laughing. And I laughed OUT LOUD when I saw MiMi in your suitcase. Hehehehehe Sorry I really cannot talk dog to you or with you or whatever because I don’t have a dog, yet I will take your words for it that females will do the perimeter thingie. BUT, I honestly would like to know who made up the rule about not starting a sentence with BUT? I think starting a sentence with BUT … sorry to be redundant here … brings anticipation and drama into the thought that is being written about. I was taught when using BUT as the first word in a sentence to always use a comma after it. Was I taught wrong or am I out dating myself here? Hmmmmm ….. GREAT POST! I will not forget jacki! LOL <3

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      I’m not sure I was ever taught Amy, but I’ve been criticized for starting a sentence with but or and. And, like you, I think it works sometimes. MiMi is quite the character kitty. If I zipped it’s up and put her on the plane, she would love it. Thanks for the comment and I’m glad you enjoyed it I had fun with this one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • AmyRose🌹 says:

        ;) I really could see you had fun with it …. as I see your editor cringing …. LOL AND as for MiMi know you have a unique cat. All of mine hate to travel. ALL. You should see a trip to the vet …. NOW that is a story with some of mine …. YIKES!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dan Antion says:

          You have a bunch of them, correct?

          Liked by 1 person

          • AmyRose🌹 says:

            Oh yes, Dan. Are you ready? Make sure you are sitting down now. Yep, a total of 14 special needs cats. Some are beginning to get older so the problems have intensified. I am treasuring each moment I have with them. I Love them as if they were my kids. Really. Most peeps don’t get it. It just is. For me at least. :)

            Liked by 1 person

            • Dan Antion says:

              Wow, 14! And all as well cared for as they will let you. Amazing. You’re such a good person Amy.

              Liked by 1 person

            • AmyRose🌹 says:

              Sometimes I think I need my head examined as to WHY I do some things. GRINNING! These cats came here, Dan, when they were starving, dying, frozen, very very ill and we took them in, bringing them back to health. AND as that happened, a family feeling came about. Today they all have relationships with each other, some even soul mates. I did not go looking for them. They knew where to find me. My oldest is 16 and my youngest just turned 4 which I cannot even believe. Seems as if just yesterday he was a very sick baby. :)

              Liked by 1 person

            • Dan Antion says:

              Wow. Not much else to say. That’s so cool.

              Liked by 1 person

            • AmyRose🌹 says:

              I correct myself. I adopted 3 of the 14. And they all have stories attached to them as well. I have stories people honestly wouldn’t believe because even to me they seem so surreal, yet I know these things really happened.
              Thank YOU for keeping me company tonight, Dan. I am just finishing up, giving the last Homepathy Remedy to Molly and then prepare for bed. Between you and my cats that hung out with me while I administered evening meals and meds and you, I had a very enjoyable evening. :) <3

              Liked by 1 person

  16. AmyRose🌹 says:

    PS I LOVE having fun with words and make them up as I go along. I have a 3 year old next door to me who helps me out with this. GRIN!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Our cat used to “make her rounds” in our backyard. When she was let out back she would walk around the whole yard and make her inspection. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. bikerchick57 says:

    I have three comment: 1) Love the feets in the suitcase. 2) Isn’t Date the robot dude on STNG? 3) The Packer will beat the Steeler on Sundays.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. bryantduhon says:

    If you use the same lingo all the time, it becomes house style. Poof: #grammarbluesbegone

    Right or wrong, been my story for 20 years and sticking to it.

    There’s a line somewhere in Strunk and White (I’m sure of it, though I can’t ever be bothered to thumb through my copy to find it — on the off chance I may have made it up), that clarity in the written word trumps all.

    So, keeps doin’ what you gots to do and move your feets to the next post.

    Like

  20. Peter Nena says:

    What about ‘agenda’? There’s ‘agendum’, which is its singular, and I have never used it. I don’t like the way it sounds when you “the agenda are”. Someone told me that ‘agendas’ is allowed but I’ve never looked it up. I think it’s rather strange for a word to be simultaneously its own singular and plural.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. reocochran says:

    My good childhood friend, Sandy, used to say “you-ings,” and when expressed quickly it came out “y’inz,” Dan. Wonder what part of the country this is from? Since her Mom was from Wisconsin and I honestly don’t remember where her Dad came from.
    As far as how you talk to kids or pets, any way you say things is fine with me. If I were writing a children’s book (past Language Arts teacher here), I eould insist on quotation marks around “feets”, “jacki” and your plural for crocuses: “croci.” I like this one done “cactuses” become cacti.
    I like the historic or informational details about male and female dogs’ peeing and guarding habits. This was very amusing and kept my attention, Dan. No snoring or drifting off. . . :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Robin. As far as I know, “yinz” was a Pittsburgh thing. I never heard it in any other area that I lived in. However, I could go pretty far before people started looking at me funny. New England simply wouldn’t tolerate it. I have a long history of not doing what language arts teachers wanted (sorry) but not writing a book, so… I’m glad I could keep you awake :)

      Like

  22. Paul says:

    “I would rather go for being understood than being grammatically correct.” I know what you mean, but it’s a tough call for me sometimes. As a professional editor, I have to make this kind of decision quite often, and I’ll be honest — it can go either way. It depends on the circumstances.

    I don’t mind being colloquial or slangy (for the most part), and sentence fragments are fine. But I refuse to perpetuate certain errors. Take the misuse of “their,” for example. “Each student should grab their backpack.” Nope. HIS backpack. And if someone wants to be gender-inclusive? Fine, make it: “Students should grab their backpacks.”

    Of course, the material I’m working on is intended for editors who expect things to be clean and error-free. A personal blog post is another matter entirely. Your page, your rules. So if you want to wipe them feets, well, you go right ahead, Dan. :) Good post!

    Like

    • Dan Antion says:

      Yours is an interesting perspective Paul and we need people like you to keep the bar high on professional writing. For years, I wrote and edited out company’s Annual Report and we didn’t talk about feets.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Love the way you incorporate humor in your blog post.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Aunt Beulah says:

    Thanks for today’s best chuckle. And, just so you know, I think the Cardinals are a great team and I am a Cardinals fan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Cardinals? Hmmm. OK, we’re still good :) Actually, I think the Cards are a great team. Sometimes I wish we weren’t in the same division though. It’s going to be a fun rest of the season. Thanks for the comment, I’m glad you enjoyed this.

      Like

  25. Glynis Jolly says:

    Yes, I would say the term, feets, is right for our furry friends. Be the way, Mimi is hilarious. :D

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Ellen Hawley says:

    Feets as a plural for feet? Makes sense to this retired editor. I could mount a defense for that.

    If you ever want to feel really silly, try wiping a cat’s feets. They’re so little, and can get so muddy. And any cat worthy of the name gets really, really annoyed.

    Like

  27. MLou says:

    Love the post and your Irish Setter. They are such beautiful dogs! Thank you also, for the follow. Looking forward to more posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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