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December 5, 2010 5:09 AM   Subscribe

America's copyeditors would like to encourage Metafilter to change the message at the top of the site.

"'Tis the season" is reserved for church newsletters.
posted by Mo Nickels to MetaFilter-Related at 5:09 AM (154 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

More recently: “’Tis the season”: Not in copy, not in headlines, not at all. Never, never, never, never, never. You cannot make this fresh. Do not attempt it.
posted by Mo Nickels at 5:11 AM on December 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yes, Virginia...
posted by John Cohen at 5:15 AM on December 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


And it doesn't have a full stop! Someone call the punctuation police.
posted by h00py at 5:18 AM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Copyeditors follow rules. That's their job.
Editors make rules and do what they want.
posted by bru at 5:19 AM on December 5, 2010 [9 favorites]


I could not agree more. This may lead to donning of gay apparel.
posted by Wolof at 5:22 AM on December 5, 2010 [54 favorites]


Can I call these people a bunch of Ebenezers?
posted by evilcolonel at 5:42 AM on December 5, 2010


Bah humbug.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:57 AM on December 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


i'm dreaming of a christmas with a professional white background
posted by pyramid termite at 6:06 AM on December 5, 2010 [21 favorites]


Also, since this blog is in Channukah colors, I am offended that "Tis the season" is not written in alternating red and green. For balance and originality.
posted by iamkimiam at 6:08 AM on December 5, 2010


T'was the night before GRARMas
When all through the sites
not a spammer was linking
or causing a fright.
posted by zarq at 6:11 AM on December 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Sheesh! What a bunch of Scrooges/Grinches!
posted by calcetina at 6:16 AM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also unfreshable: "Sleigh Ride." That song sucks.

And can I sneak in a quick complaint about how people are still wearing Uggs even though it's been like five years?
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:16 AM on December 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


Also unfreshable: "Sleigh Ride." That song sucks.

I couldn't disagree more. The most harmonically adventurous of all Christmas songs. Brilliant.
posted by John Cohen at 6:22 AM on December 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


To be fair, I would assume that the American Copy Editors Society holds itself to a different standard than metafilter. And I can definitely see the utility in the list of cliches to avoid that Jim fellow pasted in to the second post in the thread: if you're publishing however many headlines every day, the newspaper is going to start repeating itself if everyone starts an article with "'Tis the season for bank robbery," or whatever.
posted by kavasa at 6:29 AM on December 5, 2010



And can I sneak in a quick complaint about how people are still wearing Uggs even though it's been like five years?

Uggs are comfy, warm, and you never need to worry if you have clean/matching/intact socks.

They've been around for a lot longer than 5 years, even in the USA.

I will concede that teenagers who wear the tall ones with a short dress in humid Washington, DC, in the summer look ridiculous.
posted by jgirl at 6:43 AM on December 5, 2010


Speaking of Christmas, there's Jingle Bells, right? I mean the song, of course. Did you ever wonder why you never hear anything but the first verse and the chorus to that number? It's because the rest of the verses are godawful. Just painfully bad. Don't believe me? OK, I'll post them here. Tis the season!

A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon, Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side,
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
He got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot.

|: chorus :|

A day or two ago,
The story I must tell
I went out on the snow,
And on my back I fell;
A gent was riding by
In a one-horse open sleigh,
He laughed as there I sprawling lie,
But quickly drove away.

|: chorus :|

Now the ground is white
Go it while you're young,
Take the girls tonight
and sing this sleighing song;
Just get a bobtailed bay
Two forty as his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack! you'll take the lead.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:43 AM on December 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't really mind 'Tis the season' its probably better than using the word 'christmas' which risks disenfranchising other religious groups.

On the other hand the word 'awesome' is so overused.

Earthquakes, Tidal waves, Hurricanes can all be awesome events, a few links posted onto a website not so much.
Sure there might be posts about an awesome topic, but some of the best metafilter posts examine the minutiae of life - are they somehow less valued?
or are we are expecting a rash of awesomely BAD posts as people try to win the competition?

'tis the season for shopping and splendid posts
posted by Lanark at 6:44 AM on December 5, 2010


Someone isn't in the x-mas spirit.
posted by nomadicink at 6:47 AM on December 5, 2010


Parodies of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" are, if possible, even more tedious than the original.

Somebody's jealous of my Japanese transistor radio. And my beer.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:51 AM on December 5, 2010


Christmas is a tradition. The entire holiday is a cliche. If you rooted out all the cliches there'd be nothing left.

Nobody is trying to make anything fresh. Just the opposite. The intent is to invoke tradition, not fight it. You might as well campaign for changing the Happy Birthday song because it is a cliche.
posted by vacapinta at 6:54 AM on December 5, 2010 [25 favorites]


Parodies of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" are, if possible, even more tedious than the original.

Other than the Twelve Days of Cantona, of course:

"Five Can-ton-as! Four Cantonas, three Cantonas, two Cantonas and an Eric Cantona".
posted by Infinite Jest at 7:19 AM on December 5, 2010


yes, we are
posted by Wolfdog at 7:26 AM on December 5, 2010


I am an American copyeditor and I do not give a good goddamn whether MetaFilter (note interior cap) changes the message at the top of the site or not.
posted by languagehat at 7:29 AM on December 5, 2010 [18 favorites]


I'll just refer to people not in the spirit as grouches.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 7:35 AM on December 5, 2010


Yeah, I hate that 'hive-mind' shit myself.
posted by box at 7:37 AM on December 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yes, it should be "It's the season". Weird typo.
posted by nomad at 7:38 AM on December 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Skip the contraction, how about "This is the Season"
And be specific--
"This, the Holiday Season, is for--"

Perfect!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:49 AM on December 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Another classic terrace adaptation is Walking in A Winter Wonderland (mentioned in a different context by the copyeditors); should imagine most UK teams have a version. I used to like the one Brum fans did for Heskey, due to the modesty of the claim made:

There's only one Emile Heskey,
one Emile Heskey,
He used to be shite,
But now he's all right,
Walkin' in a Heskey wonderland

posted by Abiezer at 7:51 AM on December 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sorry, we should have been clearer. We're actually announcing a new Otis Redding collection called "The Season", but we ran out of capital O's in that font size.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:00 AM on December 5, 2010 [10 favorites]


On the one hand, I largely agree with TFA for the simple reason that Xmas starting in October, November, or for that matter before December 18th, really really annoys me. Put up the lights a week before and take 'em down before the year ends. Play the god-awful sickly-sweet music on Xmas eve and day, and never again throughout the year.

That said... The sanctimonious tone of TFA bothers me. McIntyre doesn't rant against materialism or the ever-receding starting date of "the season"; merely against the futility of trying to spice up the language surrounding an autocliche of an event.

I would, however, encourage people to do their shopping throughout the year, because nothing promotes Good Will Toward Men™ like overcrowded icy mall parking lots.
posted by pla at 8:02 AM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sheesh! What a bunch of Scrooges/Grinches!

Colbert Counters War On Christmas With Blitzkrieg On Grinchitude (Video).
posted by ericb at 8:09 AM on December 5, 2010


It should be changed to read "IN CELEBRATION OF THE SECULAR CONSUMERIST FESTIVAL OF CHRISTMAS"
posted by Artw at 8:10 AM on December 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Haters gonna hate.
posted by kafziel at 8:11 AM on December 5, 2010


Happy Holidays Mo Nickels!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:32 AM on December 5, 2010


McIntyre doesn't rant against materialism or the ever-receding starting date of "the season"; merely against the futility of trying to spice up the language surrounding an autocliche of an event.

I relate. It's comes down to personal pet peeves. I don't celebrate any holidays this time of the years, but have no grudge with those who do. The materialism doesn't bother me (because I don't partake in it) and I don't care when the season starts. It often DOES annoy me to hear Christmas stuff in November, but that BECAUSE of the cliches. If it was original -- or even non-original (because how original can you be about something that returns every year?) but straight-forward -- it wouldn't bother me.

But my brain can't ignore those cliches. I try to tune them out but fail. They're like fingernails on a blackboard to me.
posted by grumblebee at 8:34 AM on December 5, 2010


Well bless your heart.
posted by Babblesort at 8:53 AM on December 5, 2010


America's copyeditors are getting a copy of Strunk & White in their stocking if they keep this up.
posted by griphus at 8:53 AM on December 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh God, yes, let's eliminate the cliches of Christmas.

The Christmas trees. The jolly elfs. The reindeer. The carols. The Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed films. The yule log. Dickens. Family gatherings. Giving presents. Good cheer.

All of it must go. All of it. What are traditions but a bunch of fucking cliches?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:55 AM on December 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't want to resort to seasonal cliche, but in the interests of the holidays, America's copyeditors can go fuck themselves.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:57 AM on December 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


> You might as well campaign for changing the Happy Birthday song because it is a cliche.

No, it needs changed because it's under copyright and none of you people ever pay royalties!
posted by cjorgensen at 9:02 AM on December 5, 2010


(Some) MetaFilter readers would like to encourage America's copyeditors to fold it up until it's all corners and stick it where the sun don't shine.
posted by Bruce H. at 9:04 AM on December 5, 2010


No, it needs changed because it's under copyright and none of you people ever pay royalties!

I also don't pay royalties when I sing "She's a Lady" during my amorous advances.

[Tears off shirt] She's a LADY! WhOOAH WhooAH WHOOOAH SHE'S A LADAAAY!
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:06 AM on December 5, 2010 [9 favorites]


... because it's under copyright ...

It's really true. My mom used to work for the company that does the licensing.
posted by Bruce H. at 9:07 AM on December 5, 2010


WORD BOFFINS PLUNGE INTO XMAS ROW.

Disappointed this wasn't really about Metafilter.
posted by boo_radley at 9:08 AM on December 5, 2010


Could we PLEASE, worldwide, ditch the fatuous "Happy Holidays!" and return to the more elegant "Season's Greetings"???

And some "Christmas" songs could be extended throughout the winter, notably, "Winter Wonderland" and the like.
posted by jgirl at 9:09 AM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nobody should ever do anything that has already been done, ever.

Also, Carol of the Bells is a millions times worse than Sleigh Ride.
posted by Aquaman at 9:16 AM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


My goal for this holiday season is not to tell anyone else how they should or should not celebrate. I suspect this will make me more popular than Santa and, perhaps, Jesus.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:27 AM on December 5, 2010 [15 favorites]


You might even give The Beatles a run for their money.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:29 AM on December 5, 2010


And some "Christmas" songs could be extended throughout the winter, notably, "Winter Wonderland" and the like.

Yeah, I always wondered why "Jingle Bells" and "Frosty the Snowman" got lumped in as Christmas songs when they're pretty much winter songs.

Also, everyone else I know thinks that Winter Wonderland is about getting married but I am pretty sure that it is about an unplanned pregnancy between two people who are fairly young. That would explain why the snow parson is asking if they are married when they tell him they are expecting a baby; they're not, but they will get married and start a family together. That would also be why they "face unafraid the plans that [they've] made" -- the plans are to keep the baby and they are working together to face this decision and to do so unafraidly (definitely a word). They build a snowman and wait until the OTHER kids knock him down, making it clear that they themselves are also kids. They maintain their playfulness even as they plan to get married and raise a child which they had not expected. I think this is romantic and inspiring but the rest of my family thinks I'm a nut.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:30 AM on December 5, 2010 [22 favorites]


Yeah, and fuck the national anthem, too, with its archaic "O, say" and "O'er ramparts." We need modern language.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to my job at the Ministry of Peace to design new rockets for the war against Eurasia. Or is it Eastasia? We have always been at war with one of those punks, I just keep forgetting wait wait what are you doing with that cage of rats?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:38 AM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


The lyrics make perfect sense.

SNOW is cocaine, PARSON BROWN = the CIA.
posted by Artw at 9:38 AM on December 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Christmas trees. The jolly elfs. The reindeer. The carols. The Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed films. The yule log. Dickens. Family gatherings. Giving presents. Good cheer.

All of it must go. All of it.


It's another Festivus miracle!

Moving on - I got a lot of problems with you people! And now, you're gonna hear about it . . .
posted by gompa at 9:40 AM on December 5, 2010


That's what we do here, it's all airing of grievances all of the time.
posted by fixedgear at 9:45 AM on December 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


i've decided to start a new christmas tradition - i'm going to go to south haven with my friends and surfboards and tiki lamps and reenact the entire movie, beach blanket bingo - unless someone has some kite-surfing equipment ready, we'll just have to fake the sky diving

i get to play frankie, of course

it'll be a good time and i can just about guarantee it won't rain
posted by pyramid termite at 9:47 AM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nobody should ever do anything that has already been done, ever.

Metafilter World!
posted by scalefree at 9:47 AM on December 5, 2010


they're pretty specifically talking about newspaper stuff and mefi is not a newspaper nor is gift-giving a newspaper thing unless you wrap it in newspaper which I do because I am thrifty and after my butler irons it there's not a damn thing wrong with a bit of festive minimalist newsprint
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:54 AM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some readers (and, sadly, some writers) lap up this swill. It is familiar, and the complete lack of originality is a comfort. It is for such people that television exists.

Sentences like these are a dead giveaway that the person you're dealing with belongs in a toilet.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:58 AM on December 5, 2010 [10 favorites]


wait wait what are you doing with that cage of rats?

we're dipping them in florescent green and red paint and hanging them up on the tree, silly
posted by pyramid termite at 9:59 AM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


You cannot make this fresh.

I work in a research lab. Our collective job is to think five to ten years into the future and then, you know, create it. As a result, my day-to-day is filled with bizarre and interesting experiences that I am not allowed to tell you about. But picture this: one moment, I might be working with holograms, and the next, I'll be trolling the empty streets of Disneyland at 4AM, testing something new. Or I'll come in at midnight to work on something time-sensitive, and find myself being stared down by a giant animatronic eye.

That's all fine, but like any job, the really exceptional things are the complaints and the issues that plague my coworkers. For example, just last week someone ruined an experiment of mine by sitting down and drinking coffee next to me; the water vapor destroyed my materials. Aaagh! Or recently, one of my projects was so successful that I've had to build three of them. I'm a researcher, not a machinist!! This is a poor use of my time!!! AAAGHHHH!!! Did you know that many kinds of Mylar have aluminum on only one side of the polyester film??? WTF!!! bLBAHABBGGGG!!!! It's almost impossible to find LED or LCD matrices (much less CMOS sensors) with progressive refresh/readout!! You know what really pisses me off? There's no milk at the free cereal bar when I'm at work on a Sunday morning! fffUUUUU!!!!!!!

All that just to say that, while Thanksgiving is over, I'm really thankful that I chose to drop out of grad school and never pursued my childhood dreams of becoming a Great American football player copy editor.

Merry Xmas, all! May all your tinsel be two-sided!
posted by fake at 10:18 AM on December 5, 2010 [11 favorites]


Seriously? When some random group of people tries to tell me how to not use my words, especially in an informal setting, it just convinces me why I should do exactly opposite of what they say.

I now have an inexplicable urge to tis all over the freaking place.
posted by edgeways at 10:20 AM on December 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


And some "Christmas" songs could be extended throughout the winter, notably, "Winter Wonderland" and the like.

Yeah, I always wondered why "Jingle Bells" and "Frosty the Snowman" got lumped in as Christmas songs when they're pretty much winter songs.


If "Christmas songs" means songs with lyrics that explicitly refer to Christmas, then yeah, those aren't Christmas songs. But if "Christmas songs" means songs that are heavily played during the month leading up to Christmas and rarely played at other times, they are Christmas songs. True, it's a cultural convention that we associate humanoid snowmen and jingling bells with December rather than January or February. But Christmas itself (and, by extension, any labeling of any commodity as a "Christmas ____") is just a cultural construct anyway.
posted by John Cohen at 10:22 AM on December 5, 2010


I think that the ACES are wise in suggesting that it's hackneyed and awful for newspapers and magazines to go hog-wild with "'Tis the season" headlines.

MetaFilter: Not actually a newspaper or magazine.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:54 AM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's obvious that MetaFilter is tissing ironically. 'tis OK.
posted by rjs at 10:55 AM on December 5, 2010



And can I sneak in a quick complaint about how people are still wearing Uggs even though it's been like five years?


Thanks for reminding me that I can do something about my cold toes. Hang on just a second while I go get my Uggs.

Ok, back. I love wearing Uggs in the winter, they are so great for warming up frozen toes! Now if I can only convince my partner to wear them before he climbs in bed with me . . .
posted by arnicae at 10:55 AM on December 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


They maintain their playfulness even as they plan to get married and raise a child which they had not expected. I think this is romantic and inspiring but the rest of my family thinks I'm a nut.

That's a fairly revisionist version of what actually happened. All this "it's about an unplanned pregnancy" stuff is fairly defensible, if a little eccentric. What you ACTUALLY said was "I think the song 'Walking in a Winter Wonderland' is about abortion." THAT is why I told you you were crazy.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:57 AM on December 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's a bit of a tangent, but when Frank McCourt published Angela's Ashes, with its grim description of Limerick in the 30s, and the sequal 'Tis, a Limerick man offended by the bleak picture [self-]published an upbeat rebuttal--'Tis in me ass.
posted by lapsangsouchong at 10:59 AM on December 5, 2010


JINGLE BELL ROCK BELL JINGLE BELL BELL ROCK JINGLE JINGLE BELL JINGLE ROCK BELL JINGLE BELL BELL JINGLE ROCK BELL JINGLE JINGLE ROCK BELL ROCK JINGLE BELL JINGLE ROCK ROCK BELL JINGLE BELL BELL ROCK JINGLE BELL JINGLE BELL BELL ROCK JINGLE ROCK JINGLE BELL JINGLE ROCK JINGLE BELL JINGLE BELL BELL ROCK JINGLE BELL JINGLE ROCK BELL JINGLE BELL JINGLE ROCK JINGLE BELL ROCK RINGLE JOCK RELL BOCK JELL BINGLE BOCKLE RELL
posted by loquacious at 11:02 AM on December 5, 2010 [14 favorites]


Look, it'd be one thing if "'Tis the season" weren't punctuated right. Then I'd be up in arms. But this is something else. This copy editor (who hates the Newspeak construction "copyeditor") doesn't care whether MetaFilter (again, as languagehat pointed out, note the CamelCase) uses "fresh" language in missives to its members.
posted by limeonaire at 11:07 AM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Twas the month before Christmas, when all through the site,
Many Mefites were stirring, ready to snark,
The beanplates were posted, with many a GRAR,
In ways that St Jessamyn could barely endure.
posted by philipy at 11:07 AM on December 5, 2010


Happy Holliday's to Americas copyeditors!!
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:08 AM on December 5, 2010 [8 favorites]


Fa la la la la, la la, la TATERS
posted by not_on_display at 11:22 AM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think we need to import Zwarte Piet from Holland to change things up around here.

* Not cliche here
* Holy shit would there be a fooferaw
* Speaking of holy shit, why not also bring Caganers over?

By selectively pillaging doing homage to other world traditions, we can spice up the mulled wine that is our USian holiday season. Together.
posted by everichon at 11:30 AM on December 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


YOUSEESHE'SBEENSICKFORQUITEAWHILEANDIKNOWTHESESHOES
WOULDMAKEHERSMILEANDIWANTHERTOLOOKBEAUTIFUL
IFMAMAMEETSJESUSTONIGHT
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:31 AM on December 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


* Speaking of holy shit, why not also bring Caganers over?

I posted on Etsy Alchemy looking for someone to make me a Glenn Beck caganer, but nobody bid on it.

We also need to introduce the Caga Tío!
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:34 AM on December 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Troll the ancient yuletide carol!
posted by bluedaisy at 11:40 AM on December 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think we need to import Zwarte Piet from Holland to change things up around here.

I would pay another five bucks to watch that. Spectator watches Sinterklaas & his 'Pieten' arrive in Amsterdam.
posted by fixedgear at 11:47 AM on December 5, 2010


We need Meat Hook, the Icelandic Santa* who steals meat with a hook.

*there are about fifty of them. The Clive Barker/Todd MacFarlane toy line would be EPIC.
posted by Artw at 11:52 AM on December 5, 2010


Oh see I thought Meat Hook was the chief villian in the Axe Cop universe.
posted by Babblesort at 12:00 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when by Xmas caused;
'Tis better to have 'Tised and 'Twased
Than never to have 'Tised at all.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:11 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


'Tis the season for this particular American copy editor to tell other American copy editors to stop making us all look like petty, pinch-mouthed pedants. Tra-la-la-la-la, ser-i-al-com-ma.
posted by scody at 12:17 PM on December 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Put up the lights a week before and take 'em down before the year ends.

While I share the displeasure that you and many others feel toward putting up Christmas lights early, I would like to defend the practice of leaving them up into the new year. The Christian season of Christmas extends through January 5. That is why the song is called the Twelve Days of Christmas. It's Christmas until it's Epiphany. Therefore, leaving your decorations up is totally reasonable.

(This atheist also mostly just likes religious Christmas carols. I have been told that I am really weird.)
posted by naoko at 12:19 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


bluedaisy: "Troll the ancient yuletide carol!"

♪♫ Fla-fla-fla fla-fla-flag and move on ♪♫
posted by Rhaomi at 12:22 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can we atheists say "'Tain't the season?"
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:35 PM on December 5, 2010


Can we atheists say "'Tain't the season?"

Haven't you atheists tainted the season enough already?

(I keed, I keed)
posted by Aquaman at 12:49 PM on December 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well, it's better to taint the season than to season your ...

No, no. Leaving now.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:07 PM on December 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


What about kwanzaa?!
posted by nomadicink at 1:21 PM on December 5, 2010


* Speaking of holy shit, why not also bring Caganers over?

I posted on Etsy Alchemy looking for someone to make me a Glenn Beck caganer, but nobody bid on it.

We also need to introduce the Caga Tío!


SRSLY WHAT IS IT WITH CATALANS AND POOP. Stop hitting that log, you maniacs. I just want some turron without any sort of arboreal defecations.
posted by elizardbits at 1:22 PM on December 5, 2010


Also, "Kriss Kringle"? Pretty pretentious. The double-s is by no means standard or accepted - in fact, it's much less common than the single-s version.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 1:23 PM on December 5, 2010


I was passing by a Forever 21 shop on 14th last night and it had a flashing lit up "Ho Ho Ho" sign. But two of the Ho's had burnt out. Make of that what you will.
posted by jonmc at 1:38 PM on December 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


SNOW is cocaine, PARSON BROWN = the CIA.

So they build a giant cocaine-CIA-agent?

That sounds like the awesomest drug-lord party ever. Build a life-size CIA man out of cocaine and then snort him in effigy.
posted by wildcrdj at 1:56 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ha! Sharing this link with a pal of mine made her reconsider an upcoming Twelve Days of Christmas parody article she was fixing to write. The system works!
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:02 PM on December 5, 2010


> This copy editor (who hates the Newspeak construction "copyeditor")

Newspeak? It's the onward march of language, like "baseball" for earlier "base ball" or "blog" for "weblog" for "web log." We all have our peeves, but if I were you I wouldn't plant my flag on this hill.

As for Caganer, the -r is silent; it's /kəγə'ne/ (the γ indicates a fricative g, as in Spanish; the stress is on the last syllable). The more you know!
posted by languagehat at 2:07 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Newspapers, meh. Try listening to the radio when a commercial break comes on. (I know, nobody listens to radio any more. I do, though.)

Taking a song that's already trite, and then cutting it up into little 5-second catch-phrase jingles makes it ten times worse. Like how TV commercials take a pop song, but then only clearly feature the one line everyone knows - sometimes twice, and out of sequence for the song. God damn that's irritating. Then make it a fucking christmas carol.

Don't get me started on 'clever' adaptations of 'Twas the night before christmas (and all through Home Depot...)

I'm going to break all the station preset buttons and the volume/on-off knob flailing at the radio before this season is over, I'm sure of it.
posted by ctmf at 2:15 PM on December 5, 2010


Our collective job is to think five to ten years into the future and then, you know, create it

FINALLY we know who to blame when the shit goes down!
posted by briank at 2:18 PM on December 5, 2010


I support this complaint. The corrected Metafilter Christmas message should, of course, begin:

"Ti's the season."
posted by reynir at 2:22 PM on December 5, 2010


"If you rooted out all the cliches there'd be nothing left. "

Good, let's get started. I never realized how much I hated this season until I lived across the street from a family that decorated their entire house and yard. They would then leave it on all night, and leave town. AND IT MADE NOISE. AND MOVED. AND AAAARG. And every idiot and their brother would stop, block the road, and honk at it. GRAR.
posted by strixus at 3:15 PM on December 5, 2010


philipy : site [...] snark [...] GRAR [...] endure.


<Big Mac>
That totally doesn't rhyme.
</Whopper>
posted by pla at 3:22 PM on December 5, 2010


This shit sleighs me...
posted by a humble nudibranch at 3:28 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


TO: A. Zombie

cc: cortex, languagehat

The jolly elfves.
posted by Mister_A at 3:58 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, everyone else I know thinks that Winter Wonderland is about getting married but I am pretty sure that it is about an unplanned pregnancy between two people who are fairly young.

See also: my theory that "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is the greatest song about date rape ever written. (As in, it's a great song. Wonderful duet. But have you listened to the words?)
posted by sonika at 3:59 PM on December 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


And if anyone says "house style" I shall shoot him or her them.
posted by Mister_A at 4:00 PM on December 5, 2010


Ooh sonika you're right that really is like a creepy trap set by "The Contintal" or something. I think the tl;dr version is "get nude or get out (into the life-threatening weather)."
posted by Mister_A at 4:01 PM on December 5, 2010


You're all celebrating the wrong holiday. Festivus is the holiday for airing grievances.
posted by IndigoRain at 4:15 PM on December 5, 2010


Also unfreshable: "Sleigh Ride." That song sucks.

Nonsense.

Also: my theory that "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is the greatest song about date rape ever written.

Wait, is there another way to interpret that song?
posted by moss at 4:37 PM on December 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


(This atheist also mostly just likes religious Christmas carols. I have been told that I am really weird.)

This agnostic freely proclaims that you are no weirdo. Religious Christmas carols are classics, and they've endured over the years because they're good. No shame in liking them better than the newer stuff.

As for the MetaFilter 'tis, it makes me twitch every so often because the sentence starts with a lower case 't,' but confronting your grammar pedantry every so often is probably good for you.
posted by librarylis at 4:54 PM on December 5, 2010


JINGLE BELL ROCK BELL JINGLE BELL BELL ROCK JINGLE JINGLE BELL JINGLE ROCK BELL etc.

Ah, thanks for reminding me of the only likable, nay, sublime thing about this most hellish time of year.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:10 PM on December 5, 2010


Parodies of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" are, if possible, even more tedious than the original.

LIES! Dreadful lies!

Brought to you by the Klein Four Group, the a cappella group who brought you "Finite Simple Group of Order Two".
posted by Night_owl at 6:21 PM on December 5, 2010


Hey you know what song I really can't stand? The Carol of the Bells. It's just dumb. Ding-dong, Merry Christmas. That should be upbeat and fun but it's all weird and dark like some third-rate Vivaldi had a bad day or something...
posted by Mister_A at 6:47 PM on December 5, 2010



My goal for this holiday season is not to tell anyone else how they should or should not celebrate.

Come Mefites, throw your Richard Dawkins collections on the fire and come celebrate with st alia the day of the birth of our lord and saviour Jesus Christ.


MO NICKELS knows what she's talking about - is mefi full of people who talk as though they were characters from a dickensian novel ?


Man, the mods werent even born when mo was here.
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:55 PM on December 5, 2010


'Twas the best of threads, 'twas the worst of threads.
posted by Mister_A at 7:08 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can live with the occasional typographic cliché, but what freaks me out is the existence of radio like my local 'lite rock' station (link is mercifully silent). Almost every damn business in town buys a radio, tunes it to this station, and then welds the tuning mechanism in place for eternity. The week before Thanksgiving they switch over to playing Christmas music 24/7. It's like having someone inject liquefied cheese into your ears with a caulking gun while being peed on by the thousand cutest puppies in America...and that's during the rest of the year. I will get down on my knees and pray to your God-King for the rapture to occur RIGHT NOW if it means an end to their relentlessly cheerful vacuity.

On a slightly related note, I would like to preëmptively request that the MeFi mall never ever be described using any part of the phrase 'ye olde shoppe,' for the same reason that London cabbies should avoid reprising Robert De Niro's role in Taxi Driver.
posted by anigbrowl at 7:22 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


MO NICKELS knows what she's talking about

He'll be thrilled that you gave him a vagina for Xmas.
posted by jonmc at 7:27 PM on December 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Thank God those barking dogs doing "Jingle Bells" have not been heard in about 40 years. But we're still stuck with Grandma and the reindeer.
posted by jgirl at 7:29 PM on December 5, 2010



My goal for this holiday season is not to tell anyone else how they should or should not celebrate. I suspect this will make me more popular than Santa and, perhaps, Jesus.


And the Beatles!
posted by jgirl at 7:33 PM on December 5, 2010


MO NICKELS knows what she's talking about

MO NICKELS IS A DUDE.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:49 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


And the Beatles!

I wouldn't go that far.

Especially since I've heard they're coming out with Beatles-flavored instant noodles. It's gonna be big.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:55 PM on December 5, 2010


I'd promise to not grumble at the title clichés in exchange for article content that at least tries to be substantive, fact-checked, and otherwise not entirely phoned-in.

Bonus points for a lessening of the insistence that everyone is obsessed with buying shit right now. Even those who are emphatically not buying shit are obsessed with buying shit, amirite, because not buying shit is part of the buying shit season!)
posted by desuetude at 7:56 PM on December 5, 2010


On the First Day of Christmas

Gimme a friken break.
posted by stirfry at 8:23 PM on December 5, 2010


> You might as well campaign for changing the Happy Birthday song because it is a cliche.

No, it needs changed because it's under copyright and none of you people ever pay royalties!


Actually, it appears Snopes got that one wrong.

'tis the season for giving, after all.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:47 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
posted by not_on_display at 9:11 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thank God those barking dogs doing "Jingle Bells" have not been heard in about 40 years. But we're still stuck with Grandma and the reindeer.

Not quite 40. I think it finally disappeared from the radio when the first cheap sampling keyboards came on the market from Casio, which made it possible to replicate that very Christmas morning within about a minute of the wrapper coming off, provided only that you had a dog that could be persuaded to bark once. So, roughly, late 1980s.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:48 PM on December 5, 2010


See also: my theory that "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is the greatest song about date rape ever written.

No kidding. I wonder if Sinatra ever performed that song back-to-back with the equally objectionable "I Couldn't Sleep A Wink Last Night?"
posted by the_bone at 10:10 PM on December 5, 2010


Hey you know what song I really can't stand? The Carol of the Bells. It's just dumb. Ding-dong, Merry Christmas. That should be upbeat and fun but it's all weird and dark like some third-rate Vivaldi had a bad day or something...

The problem is sappy translation. Folk song adapted by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych. Maybe the decision to experiment with repeating the minor third in a song originally about New Year prosperity was a bit cynical? He wrote the piece the year before the Russian Revolution and was murdered by the Cheka a few years later. (Merry Christmas!)
posted by gingerest at 10:57 PM on December 5, 2010


Mo Nickels is funnier
posted by clavdivs at 11:19 PM on December 5, 2010


Hey! Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
It's Dominick the donkey.
Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
The Italian Christmas donkey.
(la la la-la la-la la la la la)
(la la la-la la-la la-ee-oh-da)
posted by fixedgear at 2:42 AM on December 6, 2010


MO NICKELS IS A DUDE.


HE HAS A FEMININE SIDE
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:23 AM on December 6, 2010


DAMN YOU, FIXEDGEAR. That song is like herpes. It never really goes away and once in your brain there is little you can do to prevent future outbreaks.
posted by sonika at 5:45 AM on December 6, 2010


MetaFilter: And then we got upsot.

See also: my theory that "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is the greatest song about date rape ever written.

I only really listened to this song for the first time last year (I was certainly aware of it as a classic previously but I guess it just washed over me sonically like so much spilled egg nog at a rapidly deteriorating office holiday party but that's another story) and my first reaction was "how is this song on the raido?"

Cue to me getting home and busting into the house OH MY GOD DID YOU EVER HEAR THIS SONG HEY BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE IT IS TOTALLY ABOUT DATE RAPE HOW CAN THEY PLAY THIS ON THE RADIO and that's where I made my next discovery that many people can't really hear this song. It's like we've put the glasses on in "They Live" and everyone else is ready to fight us.

When they used that song in the movie Elf, where Buddy the Elf sneaks into a locker room and performs an ambush duet with the girl showering I was starting to wonder if this was really a family comedy movie or if I had accidentally switched to Cinemax or something.
posted by mikepop at 6:35 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


We have always been at war with Xmas.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:35 AM on December 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


I love "Baby It's Cold Outside," and cry balderdash at the "date rape" characterization.
posted by desuetude at 7:42 AM on December 6, 2010


JUST PUT ON THE GLASSES ALREADY
posted by mikepop at 7:46 AM on December 6, 2010


"Haters gonna hate."

Taters gonna tate.

No one is saying MetaFilter should do anything, by the way. As a mild-mannered (ok, not really) sometimes copy-editor working for a major metropolitan newspaper, I think this bears repeating:

"...I can definitely see the utility in the list of cliches to avoid that Jim fellow pasted in to the second post in the thread: if you're publishing however many headlines every day, the newspaper is going to start repeating itself if everyone starts an article with "'Tis the season for bank robbery," or whatever."

This is the purpose of the list. To keep EVERY article in your morning paper from being "Tis this" and "Twas that". Some of you may want a paper where every single headline starts the exact same way from Halloween til New Years', but the majority do not. It's purely a business decision and has nothing to do with MetaFilter.

"Put up the lights a week before and take 'em down before the year ends. "

No. If you are going to celebrate the holiday, you light the lights first on Christmas Eve, and then take them down on Jan. 6th, which is Epiphany. Those are the 12 days of Christmas. Period.
posted by Eideteker at 8:10 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love "Baby It's Cold Outside," and cry balderdash at the "date rape" characterization.

Cry "balderdash" & let slip the reindeer of war!
posted by scalefree at 8:25 AM on December 6, 2010


If words are only ever to be interpreted in their literal, denotative meaning, then I can maybe see how "Baby It's Cold Outside" could be read as a story of date-rape. Seems to me though that people in a conversation (which is the form the song takes) often use words to mean other things entirely, in ways that are well-understood by their conversational partners due to cues of context and intonation.

For example, a particular situation might be so obviously an occasion of mutual seduction that an observer would have to be borderline autistic to miss the emotional cues, which is certainly how every version of "Baby It's Cold Outside" I've ever heard has been performed.
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 8:27 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


No. If you are going to celebrate the holiday, you light the lights first on Christmas Eve, and then take them down on Jan. 6th, which is Epiphany. Those are the 12 days of Christmas. Period.

Eideteker, this is my folkway. The lights start on the first day of Advent and go until Epiphany. This year, the first day of Advent was November 28.

You put the lights out on Advent so that Mary and Joseph know to come to your house. Or something like that. I never pay that close attention to folkways, because if you do you wind up with a house full of shitting logs and Glenn Becks and Christmas donkeys.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:00 AM on December 6, 2010


This is as good place as any to mention my recent realization that "The First Noel" can be sung quite convincingly to the tune of "The Star-Spangled Banner". Enjoy!
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:08 AM on December 6, 2010


Advent is so wonderful and nice, and the readings are so soothing and hopeful. It is a shame it has been so swept under the rug even by observant Christians.
posted by jgirl at 9:09 AM on December 6, 2010


my theory that "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is the greatest song about date rape ever written.

Have Some Madeira, M'Dear has both date rape and zeugmas, so no.

Anything is better with zeugmas.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:17 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


LEON!
posted by clavdivs at 9:30 AM on December 6, 2010


Ah, thanks for reminding me of the only likable, nay, sublime thing about this most hellish time of year.

Not quite the only-there's also SLAYER CHRISTMAS LIGHTORAMA.
posted by generalist at 10:16 AM on December 6, 2010


I promise to henceforth use only "the stars are right" instead.

Aw, hell, I was doing that anyway.
posted by Zed at 10:24 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


No. If you are going to celebrate the holiday, you light the lights first on Christmas Eve, and then take them down on Jan. 6th, which is Epiphany. Those are the 12 days of Christmas. Period.

Yeah, but if you're going to celebrate the Holiday Season, you've got a lot more ground to cover. Hannukkah, Kwanza, Eid, Saturnalia, Festivus, Black Friday...
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:50 PM on December 6, 2010


> This copy editor (who hates the Newspeak construction "copyeditor")

> Newspeak? It's the onward march of language, like "baseball" for earlier "base ball" or "blog" for "weblog" for "web log." We all have our peeves, but if I were you I wouldn't plant my flag on this hill.


But it's not like those examples! Every other editor at a given publication ('cept perhaps, depending on your style guide, the editor-in-chief) normally has a space or spaces in his or her title. Managing editor. Style editor. Dining editor. Senior editor. Contributing editor. Online editor. No one's going around calling anyone "managingeditor"—or at least, they'd better not call me that.

"Copy editor" fits the pattern, and is so much more dignified than the run-together slop that is "copyeditor," which looks like the name of some kind of robot or insect.
posted by limeonaire at 6:25 PM on December 6, 2010


A robot stick insect!
posted by h00py at 9:20 PM on December 6, 2010


That's just a knitting needle, dear.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:43 PM on December 6, 2010


bloody acid
posted by h00py at 10:17 PM on December 6, 2010


sonika: "DAMN YOU, FIXEDGEAR. That song is like herpes. It never really goes away and once in your brain there is little you can do to prevent future outbreaks."

I dunno, Earl the Christmas Squirrel drives most of my family nuts.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:37 AM on December 7, 2010


> Every other editor at a given publication ('cept perhaps, depending on your style guide, the editor-in-chief) normally has a space or spaces in his or her title. Managing editor. Style editor. Dining editor. Senior editor. Contributing editor. Online editor. No one's going around calling anyone "managingeditor"—or at least, they'd better not call me that.

Yes, but those are all pronounced as two words, with two primary accents. Copy()editor is now usually pronounced as a single word, with only a secondary accent on the -ed- and no break between the halves. If you hew to the older pronunciation, by all means hew to the older spelling with my blessing, but there's no sense getting all verklempt about whether it has a space or not. Save your angst for apostrophes.
posted by languagehat at 10:11 AM on December 7, 2010


'taint a problem as I see it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:47 AM on December 8, 2010


You're more flexible than I am, then.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:51 AM on December 8, 2010


Try using a handheld mirror. You know, to view your taint.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:41 AM on December 8, 2010


You know, limeonaire sorta has a point there. When you remove the space, you create a compound with a different stress assignment (say "It was a hot dog." vs. "It was a hotdog."). When you're talking about titles, the fused compound is slightly pejorative sounding because of this difference. It's subtle, but I think that's the think that is sticking in your craw about it.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:53 AM on December 8, 2010


Or, what languagehat said.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:54 AM on December 8, 2010


Taint: A problem, as I see it. (Without a mirror.)

What now?
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:26 PM on December 9, 2010


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