Regular Spelling
Thoughts and observations about language

The Antlion

One of the webcomics I read is xkcd, a stick figure comic focusing on commentary of various things, language included. A fairly recent comic was about tripping up grammar nazis with careful use of affect and effect.

Looking at his blogblag just now, however, I discovered an entry that it apparently came back to bite him, as he spelled "foreign" wrong in the comic and didn't catch it until later. People then proceeded to comment on the entry, talking about other grammar mistakes, but tripping over themselves as they made their own mistakes in their comments, digging themselves deeper and deeper.

Antlions are a family of insects, who, in their larval form, dig pit traps to catch prey. As they struggle to escape, the walls of the trap give to the disturbance, dragging them further and further down to the antlion. Thats very much what that comment page reminds me of, the author as the antlion in the center, with the grammar nazis falling into a trap to correct his other stuff, then tripping over themselves in a panic to try to escape because of their own mistakes and just falling deeper and deeper in.


Date posted: 01 11 07 - 13:19
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