Tuesday, May 09, 2006


A woman: without her man is nothing.

A woman without her man is nothing.

A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.
I saw this on car chock full of bumber stickers and I was inching forward, trying to read them all. The image it produced in my mind made me laugh out loud. Then it reminded me of the above sentences in Lynn Truss's grammar book Eats Shoots and Leaves.

Chock full is a strange expression. Am I spelling it right? I wonder where it comes from. In the past 2 weeks 2 people have said to me "take a gander" and I have never heard that before. I told my students that and some of them thought that was funny. Then I proceeded to ask them to take Dylan's "Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues" with a grain of salt, and they didn't know what I meant. I would like to know the etymology of all those phrases.


Carol said...

That's strange. I've never heard that expression either. (What does it mean?) I suppose it has to do their being from the south and speaking differently down there. Last year the southern summer staffers in Reynosa didn't know the expression "as the crow flies". Most peculiar.

Anonymous said...

so jealous of the picture!!!

chuie said...

well as one of the people who likely uses that expression from time to time it basically means to "take a look", but there are other southern expression that are funnier-like "my foot!"

kate said...

believe this or not: I passed the exact same car with the feminist bumber stickers later that evening. There was an old lady behind the wheel. I think it was Margaret Sanger.