Archive for the ‘Non Sequiturs+’ Category

Non Sequiturs + Other Quasi-Funny Stuff #10

02/14/2016

Unintentional humor from the Internet journalism realm — actual excerpts, published to the Web, in bold … though the all-caps headlines are mine:

SUPER BOWL: THIS DOES NOT COMPUTE

The NFL announced … that Super Bowl 50 will be graphically represented using numbers instead of Roman numerals, which the league has been using since Super Bowl V in 1971. … The league started using the word “Super Bowl” for the third game in 1969. Note: This news went public long before this year’s big game.

Let’s note the absurdity of what this excerpt actually says. First, a numeral is, by definition, a number. So the initial sentence above essentially says: …Super Bowl 50 will be graphically represented using numbers instead of Roman numbers.

This is, of course, nonsensical. Adding one word, however, would make the sentence work. Which word would you add? I’m going with Arabic, to wit: …Super Bowl 50 will be graphically represented using Arabic numbers instead of Roman numerals.

How about the second sentence? Specifically, this reference: …the word “Super Bowl.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but the name “Super Bowl” contains two words.

To fix this in accord with Logic 101 standards, I’d change one word: …the term “Super Bowl.” If you’re skeptical, here’s the Dictionary.com definition of term: “a word or group of words designating something, especially in a particular field.”

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DEPARTMENT OF REDUNDANCY DEPARTMENT

Look for Taj Gibson to remain a big part of the Bulls … as a sixth man off the bench.

Yes, this writer needs to review some basketball basics: Since five players start for each team, a sixth man always begins the game by coming — you guessed it — off the bench.

Hence the inclusion of the above excerpt in the Department of the Redundancy Department. You know, because it’s redundant. And unnecessarily repetitive. And … oops. Never mind.

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TWO TEAMS, ONE UNPLEASANT TRIP TO THE BATHROOM

Arsenal and Manchester City have thrown up some spectacular games in recent seasons.

Let’s keep it simple: Please, use a different choice of words than, you know, thrown up.

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MORE REDUNDANCY FOLLIES

Why he’s No. 1: In summary, a combination of athleticism and upside helped Josh Sweat edge out a competitive group to land in the top spot. … Sweat is a talented prospect who has demonstrated a competitive nature…

For the record, the context here is the realm of college football recruiting. First, we learn that Josh Sweat is ranked No. 1 in the nation (at the DE position, by the way). Then, we read this: Sweat is a talented prospect.

Since he’s among the very best prospects in the country, is it necessary to say that he’s talented?

I don’t think so either.

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SOCCER MISFORTUNE?

Unfortunately for Mexico, one of their strongest players in terms of blunting the attacks of opponents is Jose Juan “Gallito” Vazquez. His persistent play and constant movement in games were key for Mexico in the group stage, but he will miss the match against the Dutch due to yellow-card accumulation.

Huh? So let’s get this straight — the first sentence here says it’s unfortunate for Mexico that Vazquez is one of their strongest defensive players? Yup, that’s what it says.

I’ll make a suggestion: Move unfortunately to the second sentence, right after but — and call it a day.

P.S. Or, if you want to avoid editorializing, simply delete unfortunately.

© Bruce William Deckert 2016

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Non Sequiturs + Other Quasi-Funny Stuff #9

06/22/2015

 

Unintentional humor from the Internet journalism realm (actual excerpts in bold):

Grizzlies guard Mike Conley has made a case to be an All-Star by becoming more of a scorer on the offensive end.

If you’ve played or watched much basketball, you see the redundancy here. Let’s just say that it would have been enough to write: Conley has become more of a scorer — period.

In other words, is it necessary to say he’s becoming more of a scorer on the offensive end? Not exactly. But if he’s becoming more of a scorer on the defensive end, he might be an All-Star for the other team.

(And yes, you can make a case that my explanation of the redundancy in the above excerpt has been, shall we say, redundant.)

+++

Here are my dazzling duos (not in any order): …

I’ve heard of a list not being in any particular order … but not in any order?

Sorry, that does not compute. And if it’s true, this list must not exist — because a list has to be in some kind of order.

+++

NASCAR driver Brian Vickers missed the last month of the 2013 season after a recurrence of the bolt clots that caused him to sit out most of 2010.

Yes, this item deals with a serious situation, but the linguistic misstep seems too classic to pass up. Apparently, when a race car driver develops blood clots, they are known as bolt clots. Either that, or the writer had cars and bolts on his mind, not the human body, when he wrote this sentence.

+++

Balado and his wife have a pair of 4-year-old twins.

Wow, four 4-year-olds … but apparently two of them — one pair of twins — were adopted? Unless the Mom gave birth to quadruplets, not twins.

Or maybe, just maybe, the writer should have omitted “a pair of.”

+++

Louisville might still be in the hunt for one more player, possibly juco prospect Sam Cassell Jr., who could bring playmaking abilities to the point guard position.

Basketball fans, help me out here: A point guard, by definition, is supposed to have playmaking abilities … right?

So this is like saying that your friend who just passed the lifeguarding test could bring swimming abilities to the lifeguard position.

+++

“He’s a good player. The more good players you have playing, the better chance you have.”

No commentary necessary — simply enjoy the humorous obviousness, tip your cap and move on.

© Bruce William Deckert 2015

 

Non Sequiturs + Other Quasi-Funny Stuff #8

01/21/2015

Some samples of humor, intentional and unintentional, from the Internet journalism realm — actual news item first, followed by brief commentary:

Notre Dame To Fix Souvenir Cup Error
Darren Rovell discusses the souvenir cups sold by Notre Dame that included the spelling error “FIGTHING IRISH.”

In other news: There is apparently no truth to the report that Notre Dame graduates have been receiving diplomas for years that bear the title, “FIGTHING IRISH DILPOMA.”

+++

LeBron One Vote Shy Of Unanimous MVP Honor
… LeBron James laughed during a portion of the video when forward Mike Miller said the two of them now have four MVPs between them, “so let’s keep it going.”

In other news: Just to clarify, in case anyone is confused — LeBron has, yes, four NBA MVP awards. And in case the math is too complicated: Mike Miller has zero.

+++

Name Of Four-Team Playoff Revealed
Rece Davis and Kirk Herbstreit report from the BCS spring meetings, where it was announced the four-team playoff will be called the College Football Playoff.

In other news: The NCAA has announced that the immensely popular annual basketball event known as the NCAA Tournament (aka March Madness) will be creatively renamed to … the College Basketball Playoff.

+++

During Race, NASCAR Driver Receives Speeding Ticket
… NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski … was handed a speeding ticket in the form of a pass-through penalty when he tried to exit pit road a little too quickly.

In other news: There must be a safety reason for this rule, but doesn’t it seem absurd that a NASCAR driver can receive the equivalent of a speeding ticket during a race? And by the way, from now on boxers and MMA fighters will be arrested for assault and battery at certain random bouts.

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Basketball Recruiting Update
… At 6-foot-11 and about 225 pounds, Turner is a face-up post man with range to the 3-point arc. … He runs the floor well, finishes above the rim, and plays with energy and urgency.

In other news: Is it, shall we say, necessary to write that he “finishes above the rim”? If you’re 6-foot-11 and you don’t finish above the rim … well, let’s go out on a limb: You won’t be showing up in a college basketball recruiting report.

Non Sequiturs + Other Quasi-Funny Stuff #7

07/31/2014

Here are actual writing samples from official Internet sites — unintentional humor, apparently, but it still makes one wonder…

Since losing to Washington (Mo.) on Oct. 6, the Eagles have won six consecutive games in a row, outscoring opponents 18-1.

Just wondering … Have the Eagles also won six straight games?

+++

The Bob Allen Women’s Player of the Year award is given annually by USA Hockey to the top American women’s player.

Just wondering … Let’s see, is the USA Hockey Men’s Player of the Year award given annually to the top men’s player? But wait — does he have to be American, too? This is so confusing…

+++

The wide receiver was never particularly fast, so he doesn’t have a lot of speed to lose. The team needs to do a better job of playing to his strengths, the main one being his ability to run after the catch.

Just wondering … If the receiver isn’t particularly fast, how can his main strength be running after the catch? (OK, maybe he’s elusive, but still, isn’t that worth explaining so you don’t sound, shall we say, knuckleheaded?)

+++

2. The entire secondary must be replaced
The return of Smith is a boon to this secondary, but he is the only starter returning in the Huskies secondary.

Just wondering … Since Smith is returning as a starter, are you sure the entire secondary must be replaced?

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Against Chile, they committed 21 fouls, four times more than the number they registered against Croatia.

Just wondering … So against Croatia, this team committed — hold on, let me get my calculator — 5.25 fouls? Is this a case of unusual officiating, or perhaps unusual rules … or does the word “about” need to be added somewhere in the above sentence? You make the call!

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P.S. If — actually, when — I write something unintentionally humorous and/or knuckleheaded … well, enjoy the laugh, and kindly let me know so I can correct it. And now, back to your regularly scheduled program…

Non Sequiturs + Other Quasi-Funny Stuff #6

01/31/2014

Unintentional humor observed on the Internet — my comments in bold, followed by the actual examples from the Web…

Math 101, Part 1: From the illogical equation department
The Dodgers now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.

No offense … but has any offense ever, you know, played D?
Mike D’Antoni won in Phoenix with an up-tempo offense that played little defense, but he wasn’t necessarily going to use that same style in L.A., right?

Two TV analysts unknowingly join the Ravens’ roster
Joe Budden Has Faith In Ravens
Rapper Joe Budden discusses the Ravens’ chances of beating the Patriots with Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless.

The Yankees: apparently the first team in history to suffer a collective broken bone
TAMPA, Fla. — The New York Yankees finally have a date for Derek Jeter’s return to game action after suffering a broken ankle in the American League Championship Series last October.

Math 101, Part 2: Glad to know that key 2 and 3 info
But that probably understates LeBron James’ efficiency improvement because a big chunk of James’ shots come from 3-point range, where the value of an improved jump shot is leveraged even more (three points is worth more than two).

Non Sequiturs + Other Quasi-Funny Stuff #5: The Martian’s Tale — Part 2

08/28/2013

The Martian’s Tale — Part 1

Once upon a time, Martian scientists and scholars were planning a trip — the first-ever journey from Mars to Earth. Before embarking, they used their Web search engine — called Gaargle — to gather information about Earth’s customs. And while Gaargle is an amazing tool, its performance can be spotty because of the vast space it reaches across…

As the Martian researching Earth’s sports Gaargled our Web, he came upon some puzzling info — and as he had done previously, when he sought help in understanding what he’d read, he sent an M-mail to a fellow scholar:

+++
SUBJECT — Earth sports research on Baseball

Thank you again for your assistance earlier with the sports of soccer and MLB. According to further Gaargle evidence, there is a sport played on Earth called baseball. I think baseball might be closely related to the Earth sport called MLB. However, I’m still researching the issue.

In the meantime, I need your combined linguistic and mathematical expertise. Here is a baseball list I came across via Gaargle:

Most Consecutive Scoreless Innings: Single Postseason
1905 Christy Mathewson: 27 (Giants)
1957 Lew Burdette: 24 (Braves)
2012 Justin Verlander: 23 (Tigers)
2006 Kenny Rogers: 23 (Tigers)
1981 Jerry Reuss: 23 (Dodgers)
1930 George Earnshaw: 22 (Athletics)

I haven’t been able to determine conclusively what an inning or postseason is — you guessed it, I encountered Gaargle issues when I searched these terms. It does appear, however, that an inning is a unit of measurement within a game of baseball (a game is a single contest).

Apparently, baseball games are extremely lengthy, because Justin Verlander is responsible for 2,012 scoreless innings of baseball in a single postseason (see the above chart).

If baseball games are not extremely lengthy, here’s another hypothesis: The inning might be an especially tiny unit of measurement within a game – maybe an inning is even synonymous with a single pitch.

By the way, a pitch is an instance when a baseball player (known as the pitcher) throws a small spherical orb toward an opposing player known as the batter, who then decides whether to attempt to hit the orb with a bat. Oh, a bat is like a thick stick, about one meter in length.

Communicating about a distant sport we have little knowledge of is challenging. It seems necessary to define every term, or every third word.

Baseball definitions aside, do you think I’m correct in my interpretation of the above numbers? Please advise and let me know if you concur with my observations. As I’ve indicated, I believe the first number indicates the number of consecutive scoreless innings (in a single postseason) that pitcher is responsible for — for instance, 1,905 innings for Christy Mathewson.

Also, I’m curious about the second number next to each name. What do you think the second number represents? I wonder if it’s the player’s uniform number.

Please advise, and thank you in advance for your assistance.
+++

After the Martian scholar M-mailed his colleague, he wondered further: “How can I know if I’m accessing reliable information via Gaargle about Earth’s sports? What if some untrustworthy earthling has posted false or mistaken information, and that’s the info I’m finding? In that case, all my research will be for naught.”

Using his scientific and scholarly Martian logic, he arrived at a preliminary conclusion — to obtain reliable information about Earth’s sports, he would need to meet in person and interview earthlings who were not only knowledgeable about sports, but also truthful.

If possible, he also wished to meet the inventor of the Earth sports he was researching.

But this line of thinking suddenly discouraged him. No decisions had been made yet about which Martian scientists and scholars would be on the spaceship that was scheduled to depart Mars for Earth. So while he had a chance, he might never be able to meet earthlings and learn firsthand about Earth sports.

As he waited for news of who would be chosen to be part of the interplanetary expedition, he reasoned that the best he could do was to keep researching via Gaargle and draw the most accurate conclusions possible. And if a colleague asked him for enlightenment about Earth sports, this Martian scholar realized he would need to make a decision and commit to the Gaargle information that he believed was most accurate and trustworthy.

In short, he saw that he’d need to trust that info and the earthling who provided it — in other words, take it by faith.

“At least Earth sports are basically benign,” he thought. “I could have been assigned a life-and-death Earth topic — like medicine or religion.”

© Bruce William Deckert 2013

Non Sequiturs + Other Quasi-Funny Stuff #4: The Martian’s Tale — Part 1

07/31/2013

Once upon a time — or once above a time — Martian scientists and scholars were planning a trip to planet Earth.

This would be the first-ever trip from Mars to Earth. Martian technology had reached the point that space travel to such distant destinations was possible. At least, all the Martians’ test flights and projections indicated this was their new reality, but the anticipated trip to Earth would be their first manned — or, more accurately, Martianed — space odyssey to such a far-flung place.

To prepare for the journey, these Martian scientists and scholars wanted to learn all they could about Earth and the customs of its inhabitants. The Martians were hoping for a meaningful, educational encounter with earthlings — apparently, these were not the terrifying, vanquishing, destroying Martians of “War of the Worlds” infamy.

How did these curious Martians learn about Earth? Simple — or maybe not.

Using high-octane computers and an elaborate deep-space wireless network, plus potent satellite-like devices orbiting Mars, they somehow were able to access our Internet via Earth’s satellites. Once connected, the Martians used their powerful search engine — called Gaargle — to surf the Web and gather information about our planet.

A caveat: While the Martian search engine was powerful enough to reach across all those empty miles and access Earth’s satellites, the extreme distance — and resulting complexities with the space-time continuum — meant that Gaargle wasn’t nearly as effective as Google. So sometimes the search results were as spotty as cell-phone service on a remote road.

Anyway, each scholar and scientist was assigned a certain subject to research: economy, family life, government, religion, etc. As the Martians got busy Gaargling and pursuing their subjects, they realized another category begged to be added: sports.

Evidently, on Mars sports are for schoolchildren. Period. There are no professional sports leagues and no college sports — by the way, the latter is because there are no colleges, but that’s another story. Once the Martians discovered the role athletics play in human society, they added sports to their list.

The Martian researching Earth’s sports went to work. Puzzled by the first news he found when he Gaargled “soccer,” he consulted a fellow scholar via M-mail (short for Mars-mail — yes, the Martian equivalent of e-mail):

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SUBJECT — Sports research on Soccer

Your expert linguistic opinion is requested. Please examine this sentence about the Earth sport called soccer:

“The United States will play a friendly against Scotland on Saturday. Later, the U.S. faces two World Cup qualifiers against Antigua and Barbuda and Guatemala.”

Two questions:

1 — In a competitive sport, why would a team play in a “friendly” manner?

Please note: I am assuming that “a” is accidentally included in the first sentence. Thus, I believe it actually means to say: “The United States will play friendly against Scotland on Saturday.”

2 – I was able to ascertain via Gaargle that the “World Cup” is a soccer tournament featuring teams from countries around the Earth. But Gaargle failed me when I sought to learn about these three countries: “Antigua and Barbuda and Guatemala.”

Why would the sentence say the U.S. has TWO World Cup qualifiers and then list THREE countries?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.
+++

Perhaps it would have helped the Martian scholar if the two countries mentioned had been designated this way: “Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala.” But who knows, maybe not.

A few minutes later, the Martian came upon another sentence via Gaargle that prompted this email:

+++
SUBJECT — Sports research on MLB

Once again, I’m seeking your expert linguistic knowledge. Please look at this information about the Earth sport called MLB:

“The Giants have a questionable MLB situation, with unproven Chase Blackburn and Mark Herzlich trying to fill that role.”

I’ve Gaargled “MLB” and found pages upon pages of info on the Internet about Major League Baseball. I’ve also discovered that the “Giants” are a professional MLB baseball team from San Francisco, USA.

What I’m unsure about is this — why do the Giants have a “questionable MLB situation”? According to Gaargle evidence, the Giants won the World Series (the tournament that crowns the best MLB team) in two of the past three years. This would appear to be far from questionable.

Also, I Gaargled “Chase Blackburn and Mark Herzlich” but unfortunately the results were nonexistent.

Please advise re: your take on this conundrum.
+++

Clearly, it would have helped the Martian scholar if his Gaargle search for the two players had worked — because at the time that report was written, Blackburn and Herzlich both played football for the New York Giants of the NFL.

And MLB? In this case, as football fans on Earth will know, it refers to … middle linebacker.

To be continued…

The Martian’s Tale — Part 2

© Bruce William Deckert 2013

Non Sequiturs + Other Quasi-Funny Stuff #3: Coach’s Unintentional Riddle

12/09/2012

This is part non-sequitur, part quasi-funny anecdote and part riddle — and it’s a true story, too:

A high school soccer coach was doubling as the van driver — common enough at a small private school — and driving her team to an away game, when she cried out: “Be quiet, I can’t see!”

What could be the reason for such a strange statement?

“Sit down, I can’t see” — that makes sense. Or: “Move your head, I can’t see.”

But … “Be quiet, I can’t see” — huh?

Spoiler alert — if you want to ponder the riddle, hold off on reading the rest of this post…

The backstory:

At one point, the coach was backing up the van while listening to a player in the rear seat who was communicating how much maneuvering room the van had available. Since some players were talking noisily, the coach called out, “Be quiet, I can’t see!”

Without missing a beat, one player replied: “Coach, turn the light on, I can’t hear!”

P.S. How does this story shed light on a key factor to consider when we don’t understand verbal or written communication? Especially before we dismiss something we don’t comprehend — something that doesn’t make sense to us — as nonsense.

Could the communication glimpse this story gives help us in our relationships? Including the one that is said to be of utmost importance — the relationship with our Creator and His means of communicating with us?

Non Sequiturs + Other Quasi-Funny Stuff #2

11/08/2012

During the 2012 Summer Olympics, an online media outlet posted the following tease and link:

(Remember, since NBC was broadcasting the major events via tape delay, news reports provided spoiler warnings.)

Shocking result in big swimming showdown
Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte square off in the most anticipated duel of the Olympic Games. SPOILER ALERT
Phelps barely qualifies

Correct me if I’m wrong … but this info precisely spoils the drama!

Phelps was the dominant athlete at the 2008 Games, winning a record eight gold medals, so he’s the focus of this London 2012 showdown. But then the link spoils it royally: We can deduce that Phelps swam worse than expected — no Einsteinian logic needed — and we’re also told outright that he qualified, albeit barely.

If he hadn’t qualified, that would have been a colossal shock — far more shocking than the “shocking result” this tease doesn’t exactly conceal. Spoiler-wise, readers know the key news without clicking a link.

More accurately, the tease could have read: ALREADY SPOILED ALERT!

Non Sequiturs + Other Quasi-Funny Stuff #1

08/27/2012

In their debut 1976 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went 0-14.

John McKay, Tampa Bay’s first coach, reportedly was asked during the season about his team’s execution.

His reply: “I’m in favor of it.”