By Mickey Dunaway

Maybe it was the Grammys the other night, which I did not watch. However, I was delighted that Song of the Year,  “Just Like That,” went to 73-year-old Bonnie Raitt—a member of MY generation! Maybe it is the political smallness that never ends. Perhaps it is that I cannot watch a news broadcast without finding captions misspelled. Maybe it is that February 2023 in the Carolinas has looked a lot like February during my three years in Indiana. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my bit of cultural causticness or throw rotten tomatoes if that makes you feel better!

Even better, send me a list of what grates on you to: mickeydunaway@icloud.com.

So, here goes my dose of cultural causticness. Just call me an old codger. I plead guilty and am proud I have lived long enough to join this elite group of Americans.

  1. “Each and every” — Pick one. They mean the same thing. 
  2. People who say things like, “the trip ended badly for he and I.” — For crying out loud. Does no one teach the object of a preposition cannot be a nominative case pronoun? Obviously not. No one sounds sophisticated when they use the wrong case pronoun. 
  3. “Urinating scenes in TV shows and movies” — WHY? In God’s name, showing excretory bodily functions in EVERY show is not art. RULE: Men do not talk when standing at the urinal 
  4. “Fake Southern accents in movies and TV.”— Are there no Southern actors? 
  5. “Acronyms” — Damn, I hate acronyms such as FOMO (Fear of Missing Out); LOL (Laugh Out Loud); BTW (By the Way); ASAP (As Soon As Possible); POTUS (President of the United States) 
  6. “Music that all sounds the same” — Modern country and pop. What happened to George Jones and Rock and Roll? 
  7. “Optics” — What the hell are optics? 
  8. “Robo-calls” — Geeze. Where is technology when you need it? 
  9. “Churches with multiple campuses” — None of the personalization and all the bureaucracy of large organizations prevalent in an impersonal world. Come on, churches – be different. Jesus did it with twelve people. 
  10. “Pseudo-smart celebs with causes” — Just do your art thingies and leave the causes to actual intelligent people. 
  11. “Colleges who profess diversity of opinion, and then ignore or suppress conservative speakers.” — I know this happens. Experienced it. 
  12.  “Politicians” — All of them, regardless of party. 
  13. Gen X Comedians for whom the meaning of the word humorous is unknown. And demonstrating its meaning even more so. You know—folks like Jonah Hill, Chelsea Handler, Jim Carey, Sarah Kate Silverman, Ricky Gervais, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Steve Carrell, and most of all, Stephen Colbert! Give me Bob Newhart, Billy Crystal, Lucille Ball, Don Rickles, and Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, and David Letterman.


If you have not read the classic book, Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: A Humorous Approach to Punctuation by Lynn Truss—or is the title Eats Shoots and Leaves? [The comma tells all]. Get one for yourself and another for a punctuation-challenged friend. Also, it makes a great birthday gift for any member of the Grammar Police (my wife is a founding member)


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