Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Oh, I care

I'm not sure why I care so much about ridiculous details, but I do. Like, when people mix up 'who' and 'whom,' or, like the lady in Claire's office, people who say 'oldtimers' instead of alzheimers, and... I can't think of any other examples at the moment except the subject of this post:


President Grover Cleveland

Last night, Tyler and I were watching Barack Obama's acceptance speech. Immediately afterward, Brian Williams came on holding a chart with all the previous presidents' faces. He pointed to the sea of white men to hammer home the point that we've never had an African-American as president before. He said something along the lines of, "These forty-three white men have served as president...." I rewound it to make sure I had heard him right. Yup, he said 43.

True enough that Barack Obama will be our 44th president, and probably there were 43 pictures on Brian's chart. What I would have expected Brian Williams of all people to know is that two of those pictures are of the same man: Grover Cleveland, the only man to serve two non-consecutive terms in office making him the 22nd and 24th president.

(Tyler wonders why I would expect anyone to know such obscure facts. This coming from the man who didn't know who Robert Burns was, a fact he revealed to me while we were at the Tucson Celtic Festival. In fact, he was so sure that no average person would know who Robert Burns was and offered to take a straw poll. I thought we would probably get skewed results at the Celtic Festival, but I guess I can open it up now. Do you know who Robert Burns was?)

The point is, Brian, I'm sorry to tell you this, but only 42 men have served as president. Get your facts straight.

7 comments:

Amy said...

You would know that. You're funny. And I have no idea who that guy is...

Anne & Aaron said...

Kudos on correcting people on tv. I would not have caught that. But you can bet your buns that I will next time!!!!

Myriah said...

Um, I'm glad you posted about that. I was hoping you might because when you IMed me that information earlier I was not in a position to give you my full attention. Sorry about that.

I don't really know who Robert Burns is, although as I was guessing, I thought he did something literary, and I just looked him up and I was kind of right. My knowledge wouldn't have won me a game show though.

Also, nice work on your fancy blog page. I'm holding out on my old school one until I get married. Then I can be more scrap-bookish.

allison.plummer said...

Arrrgh Robbie Burns? Who dinna ken who Robbie Burns is? Silly Sassenach.

allison.plummer said...

I just read a political blog where the person wrote "Irregardless" ouch. Also I don't like "anyways", you don't like further and farther mistakes. We got a postcard in the mail for a city wide party that said it was going to be the "funnest" night. I couldn't go after that. Just remember to live "positive". You should check out Grammargirl.com.

Claire said...

One of my biggest pet peeves (grammatically speaking) is when people spell the phrase "just desserts" instead of the correct "just deserts." Food has nothing to do with it, people.

Desert (d-zûrt)n. 1. Something that is deserved or merited, especially a punishment.

The only time I ever saw "Just Desserts" and it was correct, was in TIME magazine once, and it was a play on words because they were talking about diet.

Valerie said...

I have to admit, at first I didn't recognize old Bard there, but I do know Auld Lang Syne, does that count?

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