As you know, I am running for President of the United States next year, my hope being that I can be safely ensconced in some deep underground bunker just in time for December 21st 2012, just in case the doom-mongers are right. Clearly, once in power, I will have to retroactively revoke the law that states non-US citizens cannot become President … hold on … that won’t work, will it …… bollocks. And I just had my first batch of bumper stickers printed.
Okay, for the sake of argument, let’s assume I am President. Scratch that, let’s say President of the World. One of my laws would be to fine anyone found to be wasting words, both written and spoken. I would place words on a par with water, and punish those using them needlessly.
I would be exempt. I’d have to be. Most of what I say is garbage.
I would make this law retrospective, thus instantly relegating JK Rowling from one of the richest women in the world to one of the most indebted. In fact, any writer placing the words “Harry” and “Potter” in the same sentence would be heavily fined, if not shot. That would also apply to “Lindsay” and “Lohan”.
Americans, I fear, would be hardest hit by this law. No one would be allowed to say such things as “Get off of my lawn”. There is no reason to stick an “of” in there. “Get off my lawn” is perfectly adequate to convey your meaning, especially if you’re wielding a .44 Magnum. I don’t know how the “of” sneaked in there in the first place. Possibly because so many people don’t know the difference between “off” and “of”.
Is it “Get off my lawn” or “Get of my lawn”? What the hell, I’ll cover myself and stick ‘em both in. That’ll be $100.
Same goes for “outside of”. It’s outside of the house. No, it’s outside your house. How is that confusing? Explain the necessity for the “of”? You can’t? That’s $100.
Visit with? “I’m going to visit with you later in the year.” But what if you don’t want to go visiting with me? What if you’re perfectly happy to stay at home and not go anywhere? What if you don’t like the people I’m visiting? You won’t want to come with me. See the confusion? So much easier (and cheaper) to just say “I’m going to visit you”.
But the very worst … the most ridiculous expression of all …
Hello, I need to purchase something from your company. Can you tell me where you’re located?
I’m based out of New York.
Can’t you be more specific? America’s a big place.
I’m based out of New York.
Yes, you just said. Where are you if you’re not in New York?
I am in New York.
You just said your base is out of New York. So where are you?
In New York.
Your base is out of New York and in New York? You have a lot of offices, then?
No, just the one.
New York. I’m based out of New York.
Okay, I don’t mind a little guessing game … are you in Florida?
No. Jeez, I’m based out of New York.
Are you even in America? If you’re not in New York, you could be anywhere. What continent are you on?
Under my law, that company owner would be instantly bankrupted by fines. Such a shame when all he had to say was, “I am based in New York”. In New York, not out of.
I hope I can count on your vote in 2012. Thank you.