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Fun Gifts for English Lovers: Check out my Zazzle Store!

Yes, you read that right – I now have a Zazzle Store, and it is open for business! In fact, I have two. 😉 If you’re looking for fun gifts for English lovers, now’s your chance! Check out Words to Write By for products related to author quotes and writing, and if you like rebus puzzles and fun Christmas cards, look no further than Holiday Cards & More!

Fun Gifts for English Lovers

Words to Write By

You know the author quote images that I post here? Well, now you can buy them on various products. 😀 I’ve posted a mix below to give you an idea of the types of products I’ve made, but be sure to look through the store. Different quotes may appear on multiple products, and mugs, magnets, etc. come in different styles and sizes.

1. Magnets

 

2. Mugs and Cup Warmers

 

3. Coasters
4. Keepsake Boxes
5. Notebooks

 

6. Wall Art & Decor

 

7. Accessories

 

Holiday Cards & More!

Did you ever get those puzzles where you were given a drawing or some words together that made a pun or a literal representation of something that you had to guess? Like a knight in armor making the “shhh!” gesture to indicate “Silent Night” or “blind mice” written 3 times to indicate the nursery rhyme “3 Blind Mice”?

Well, those are rebus puzzles. I’ve always loved them, and, recently, I’ve started trying to make my own. Specifically, I started making punny Christmas cards.

Here are a few examples:

8. Rebus Puzzle Holiday Cards

 

Thanks for looking! If you liked what you saw or wanted to see some other quotes or ideas in products, let me know – maybe, I can do something about that. 😉

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Brandon Sanderson Unholy Hours of the Morning Quote

Brandon Sanderson Unholy Hours of the Morning Quote

Muahahahahahaha!

Honestly, I have paid many authors this compliment. More than I should have, actually. And I have to say that the “unholy hours of the morning” part of this Brandon Sanderson quote is painfully accurate. At a certain time of night, the body begins to punish you for still being awake (But… I must… finish…).

As for the rest of the quote, while it might be interesting to debate whether authors are “terrible people who delight in the suffering of others,” the obvious humor takes the joy out of that conversation. I’d much rather discuss the final idea:

“Plus, we get a kickback from the caffeine industry.”

Now, isn’t that a fun concept to play with?

Granted, I’m a bit tired (see: loopy); however, part of my brain is formulating a sales pitch for the marketing department of a coffee company. I’m sure there’s some grassroots coffee company owner who’d love to partner with an author with a page-turner to sell.

Especially coffee shops in books stores, right?

Would you buy coffee or tea that promoted your favorite author? Or authors? J.K. Rowling recommends this tea for late-night Harry Potter binges. Stephen King dares you to try this coffee when finishing his latest horror novel at 3 am.

This feels like the sort of thing ThinkGeek would promote – the bibliophile’s Christmas coffee  gift box with a flavor matched to each book.

Ok. I was being silly before, but now, I’m starting to seriously think this could happen. Maybe, it already exists! Hold on. Let me Google it.

Phew. I didn’t see it – yet (although the Mr. Coffee blog does have an article about book genres that go better with a cuppa coffee).  But all in all, I guess, the last part of the quote is sadly fiction.

But if you get a coffee-book marketing thing going, don’t forget that you owe me a percentage! (or at least a tip on how to get one, too…)

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Different Types of Disney Movie Insults

different types of Disney insultsLooking for some kid-friendly insults for your YA or children’s book? Watch some Disney movies. Seriously, while we don’t think of kids movies as being full of insults, when you pay attention, you realize that there are a lot. Enough, in fact, that I can break them down into different types of Disney movie insults.

How Disney Characters Insult Each Other

After reading through Disney quote after Disney quote, I noticed that there are two basic of types of insults: witty and simple. Then, I thought, no, the two types are specific and generic. Finally, I ended up with 2 types (witty v. simple) with 2 subtypes (specific and generic).

Witty Disney Movie Insults

Most witty disney movie insults fall under banter and come from characters who are joking or are fairly calm. They involve the use of $2 words, long phrases, and even figurative language. Some of them are so subtle that I’m sure that they go right over kids heads. Others are blatant enough that ambitious children probably have them memorized (or at least giggle madly).

Context-specific

These witty insults only work in the context of the movie (or something very similar).

  • “Some all-powerful Genie. Can’t even bring people back from the dead. I don’t know, Abu. He probably can’t even get us out of this cave.” — Aladdin from Aladdin
  • “For a clown fish, he’s not that funny.” — Bruce from Finding Nemo
  • “Ah, Eric, I think you swallowed a bit too much seawater.” — Grimsby from The Little Mermaid (They’d have to at least have been swimming in a sea for this to make sense.)
  • “Gaston, you are positively primeval.” — Belle from Beauty and the Beast
  • “You pompous, paraffin-headed peabrain!” — Cogsworth from Beauty and the Beast (It’s name calling, but it also uses “big words,” alliteration, and an allusion to Lumiere’s former state.)
  • “En garde, you, you overgrown pocket watch!” — Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast (references Cogworth’s former state)
  • “Oh, how quaint – even the rabble.” — Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty

Generic

While a step above the average “stupid-head,” these aren’t specific to the story. They can re-used.

  • “We mustn’t lurk in doorways. It’s rude. One might question your upbringing.” — Ursula from The Little Mermaid
  • “Teenagers. They think they know everything. You give them an inch – they swim all over you.” — Sebastian from The Little Mermaid (Granted, the swimming is story-specific, but otherwise, not so much.)
  • “Well, as slippery as your mind is, as the King’s brother, you should’ve been first in line.” — Zazu from The Lion King (“the King’s brother” is specific, but the actual insult is not.)
  • “I’d rather be smart than be an actor.” Pinocchio from Pinocchio
  • “Oh, they’re hopeless. A disgrace to the forces of evil.” — Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty
  • “The only girl who’d love him is his mother.” — Yao from Mulan
  • “I know. It’s called ‘a cruel irony.’ Like my dependence on you.” — Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove
  • “This is Yzma, the Emperor’s advisor. Living proof that dinosaurs once roamed the Earth.” — Kuzco from The Emperor’s New Groove
  • “I’m very sorry, Gaston, but… but I just don’t deserve you.” — Belle from Beauty and the Beast
  • “You can be replaced, you know.” — Napoleon from Aristocats
Simple Disney Insults

These disparaging remarks are basically examples of name-calling. Usually 1 insulting word at a time since the characters tend to be much more upset than with the others (for the most part). And you might notice some overlap between movies and characters.

Context-Specific

There aren’t as many examples of context-specific name-calling, but it does happen.

  • “Hey, look! Banana Beak is scared.” — Simba from The Lion King
  • “Flounder, don’t be such a guppy.” — Ariel from The Little Mermaid
  • “You are a worthless street rat. You were born a street rat, you will die a street rat, and only your fleas will mourn you.” — Prince Achmed from Aladdin (It’s long-winded but mostly repeated name-calling.)

Generic

The generic ones have the most overlap. In fact, the near-identical nature of some of the lines is what made me start paying attention to Disney insults in the first place.

  • “I’m surrounded by amateurs.” — Sebastian from The Little Mermaid
  • “I’m surrounded by idiots.” — Scar from The Lion King
  • “Why you, you unreasonable, pompous, blustering old windbag!” — King Stefan from Sleeping Beauty
  • “Take a look at that, you pompous windbag!” — The King from Cinderella
  • “She’s a demon! She’s a monster!” — Sebastian from The Little Mermaid
  • “She’s an old witch!” — Grumpy from Snow White
  • “That witch. That devil woman.” — Perdita from 101 Dalmatians
  • “Stupid-head.” — Stitch from Lilo and Stitch
  • “You idiot!” — Jasper from 101 Dalmatians
  • “You idiots! You fools! You imbeciles!” — Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians
  • “You idiots!” — Razoul from Aladdin
  • “You little fool!” — Jafar from Aladdin
  • “You clumsy little fool!” — Lady Tremaine from Cinderella
  • “Fools! Idiots! Imbeciles!” — Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty

Notice the pattern? I almost focused the article on how many characters got called stupid (or a synonym). Not the best example for kids, but what insult would be?

Thoughts? Ready to inadvertently pay attention to all the insults in Disney movies now that I brought it to your attention? (Sry?)

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Up With Which I Will Not Put: Not a Winston Churchill Quote

Nope. “This is just the sort of nonsense up with which I will not put,” is not a Winston Churchill quote according to quote investigator. We have been mislead yet again by the internet (well, it actually started with newspapers and such).

On the other hand, it’s an excellent example of why I’m not a big fan of trying to make English conform to Latin rules (AKA avoid ending with a preposition). It really shows how horribly awkward sentences can get when you try to use a common phrase (“put up with”) without ending with a preposition.

Sooo awkard…

What I like best about this quote, however, is how it shows the humor long associated with this debate. And, really, read the quote investigator article for quite a few variations on the story, its set up, and how newspaper men apparently didn’t get it (because they ruined the punchline).

All that aside, it might also remind you of some traditional blonde jokes and various other forms of a tongue-in-cheek protest of this Latin rule.

The older form (including the “up with which I will not put” story) goes like this:
  1. A job or work context is given, and within that, someone (usually in management) sends out a message that ends with a preposition.
  2. A reply to that statement mocks its lack of grammatical correctness.
  3. The original speaker replies to the insult with a sentence that deliberately avoids using the preposition at the end and results in an overly elaborate and, therefore, humorous response (Oh, the irony!).

This is the format of the Winston Churchill story (which is apparently false), several versions set in the military, and more.

The new form varies in the aggressiveness of the response:
  1. A person asks a stranger a question that ends in a preposition (usually something along the lines of “Where are you from?”).
  2. Instead of answering the question directly, the stranger scornfully scoffs at the use of a preposition at the end of the sentence.
  3. The original person re-asks the question and uses direct address with an insult (usually a curse word) to keep the preposition from being at the end of the sentence (“Where are you from, b*%$?”).

Did you realize what that means?

There are actually traditional forms of jokes about this preposition rule. Multiple ones!

Now, that’s funny.

Of course, so is “up with which I will not put.” Even if Winston Churchill didn’t say it.