Thursday, April 26, 2007

I wonder

I wonder what the cashier at the shop down the street thinks when I lumber up with a basketful of disparate items like chlorine bleach and pine nuts.

I wonder how the hell this blog has any female readers.

I wonder what it's like to be a student in my intro-level English class.

I wonder how religious folks will compensate if it turns out that there is indeed human-level intelligence on other planets. Will Christians have to rehash that ancient debate about whether entire peoples count as "unsaved"? Will they start funding evangelical missions to those worlds?

I wonder whether Richard Gere will humbly submit to India's arrest order after that recent osculation incident.

I wonder how many people realize that, when a sentence begins with "I wonder," the proper punctuation at the end is a period and not a question mark (JK Rowling, take note).

I wonder what it would feel like to fall into a lava pit, or to be attacked by a great white shark. OK, scratch that-- I don't wonder.

I wonder when we'll snap out of it and realize that all this conspiracy theory bullshit is leading nowhere.

I wonder why Kevin Koehler scratched out my blog's name on his FAQ page but kept the link to my blog active. Pick one or the other, bud.

[UPDATE: I now know why the link is scratched out: on Koehler's site, all "traveled" links are scratched out. My mistake.]

I wonder how large of a suitcase could be made with my skin.



Anonymous said...

I wonder, why would one care enough about a mere tiny dot to fuss about it publicly? :-)

Kevin Kim said...

Because the "that's what editors are for" attitude among those who couldn't care less about language is an unpleasant analogue to the "that's what janitors are for" attitude of people who litter.

Thus spake the language Nazi.


PS: You're using emoticons just to piss me off, aren't you?

Anonymous said...

That's CSS for "You have already visited Kevin's site so you don't have to go there again."


In response to one of your wonderings: because sometimes I like the way you think, and sometimes I don't. It has nothing to do with whether I'm male or female. I ignore the parts that offend me.

Jason said...

I wonder if Dick Cheney makes that face while humping Mrs. Cheney.

I wonder how much space in my apartment all the shits I've taken so far in my life would take up if I lumped it up all together in the corner.

I wonder what my 7 month-old dreams about.

I wonder if there's anyone out there who actually wipes side-to-side.

Anonymous said...

It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose!

In regards to one of your wonderings: because I almost always like the way you think, and for those other times, it's not that I don't like how you think, it's that you've exceeded my comprehension level.

The great equalizer though is we all poop. I come for the poop humor, and stay for the stimulating conversations/interactions/observations/yes/

Namaste, my friend!

hardyandtiny said...

You don't have any spinal problems. Your back is bright as day. You fuggin fuck.

Anonymous said...

I use emoticons all the time. Pissing you off is just a bonus. :-)

Guess I was too subtle. I was trying to come up with a sentence beginning with "I wonder" that would correctly end with a question mark, to point out that it could be done and therefore not ALL sentences beginning with "I wonder" need end with a period. Oh well.

Kevin Kim said...


No, no-- I caught your meaning, which is why I responded with a joke.

Regarding the sentence you wrote: stylistically speaking, I think that you'd need to use a colon and not a comma after "wonder."


1. I wonder, what is he thinking? (awkward)

2. I wonder: what is he thinking? (correct, but still stilted)

3. I wonder what he's thinking. (best of all!)

I'd say you're cheating by using punctuation to separate the main and subordinate clauses, instead of using a relative pronoun. This is, grammatically speaking, a slightly different animal. My point referred to people who write things like:

I wonder what he's thinking?

But I'll grant you your point because I didn't use precise, contractual language to make my original complaint clear. In future, I'll be sure to note my objections more exactly, though I have a feeling you'll find some way around those, too, for such is the nature of the habitual contrarian.



Anonymous said...

Ah, a fellow pedant.

I will grant you that the the "I wonder, what. . . ?" construction is at least mildly controversial, but I believe most usage mavens now allow for commas to join two independent clauses if/when they are short, as in this case.

I prefer to think of my self as "creative" or "imaginative" rather than "contrary". Back in high school English, when we were assigned grammatical exercses involving correcting sentences, I used to entertain myself coming up with scenarios that would instead make the posed incorrect sentence be correct. Try it sometime when you're trapped and bored; it's at least mildly entertaining.

And just for you--no emoticon this time.

Kevin Kim said...

Dammit. Now I'm pissed off because there's nothing to be pissed off about.