Thursday, April 16, 2009

Is You IQ Above 98?

That is the question designed to lure you to an online test-your-intelligence application on Facebook. Unfortunately the creators of the thing would have to answer "NO", seeing as they can barely even speak. The correct phrasing, of course, is not "YOU IQ", but "YOUR IQ". Oh the sweet irony.

Perhaps they're targeting people who say things like "Is you gonna eat that?" and "I aint no criminal". In which case, I would recommend putting [sic] after the question. Sadly, they can't be all that stupid because, after you take the test (and get results sent to your cellphone), the app surreptitiously charges you $10/month until you cancel. And that is really

Another choice example of the dumbing-down of the world was on my radio yesterday. Here follows the commercial (give or take):

WOMAN VO: Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
MALE VO: Flashlight...five dollars.
WOMAN VO: Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
MALE VO: Eye glasses...forty dollars.

And that's where I stopped listening. (The eye glasses may have cost more but I care not) What the heck?! Wherefore does not mean where, people! It means why. As in "why are you Romeo, because if you weren't Romeo, you wouldn't be part of this ridiculous ongoing Capulet-Montague clash and we could live happily ever after". Poor Shakespeare would be turning in his grave, as would any other English speaker who ever studied Romeo and Juliet at school. Which, presumably the copywriter (and intended audience) of this spot did, otherwise s/he wouldn't have written it!

And yes, it's a Mastercard ad. Not an SNL sketch, in which case the misinterpretation could be said to be deliberate. I'm glad I don't have a Mastercard. After hearing that, I'd be compelled to give it back. However, I have decided that the spot could still work, with a little rewrite...

WOMAN VO: Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
MALE VO: Paperback copy of Romeo and Juliet...eight dollars
WOMAN VO: Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
MALE VO: Vocal training...two hundred dollars
WOMAN VO: Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
MALE VO: Wondering what you really learned at school...priceless.
For a quality education, there's anywhere but here. For everything else, there's Mastercard.

And as I searched online for a photo to go with this post, I discovered this Google AD which says it all:

American IQ test
Get your IQ in few minute´s
try our proffesional IQ test now.

Gawd 'elp us!


  1. Grammar, spelling and punctuation are in a constant state of flux, changing down through the centuries. The unfortunate and meteoric rise in the use of e-mail and text messaging is changing language for the worse, much more rapidly than ever before.

    When asked to do one of the ubiquitous Facebook memes of "25 things" about me, I took a perverse pleasure in doing the list - yet never beginning a sentence with the word "I" nor ending a sentence with a preposition.

    Don't get me started on the gaps in the current educational system's literature studies.

  2. Scary isn't it Gid?
    I heard that radio commercial at 5 a.m. a few days back and I wanted to kill something afterward. Needless to say I loved your rendition. haha.

    I am really appalled at how stupid... wait, I'm being too nice. What I mean to say is, how idiotic people are becoming. Education is really slipping even beyond literature and vocabulary. (Believe me. I'm in my final year of High School.) High School Seniors still don't understand what a compound sentence is. 0.o Much less Shakespeare or classic literature like "The Iliad." (One of my personal favorite books.)
    Even more scary: In World History two years back (Sophomore year), a girl asked the History teacher "What is the difference between Spain and Maine?" I jest you not. A week later the girl behind her stated proudly, "I learned how to make a sandwich this weekend!!" The easiest thing to make aside from a bowl of cereal and you just learned how to put things between two pieces of bread!? OH MY GOD, IT'S REVOLUTIONARY!!!! *shakes head* Now think about this... These are the people who are going to be running the country, or at least voting, in a few years time. o.0

  3. Apparently you're not the only one on a grammar rant today:

  4. The other day, I administered an IQ test to my house plant. It scored 114. The surprise came when I realized it was a marijuana plant, I expected the results to be much lower.
    Evolution or inhalation? LOL JK.

    The Magicians Owl

  5. "I expected the results to be much lower."
    Hahahaha! Magician's Owl, you make me laugh.

  6. i heard that commercial on the radio today and I thought the same thing

  7. Holy God. I just heard that Mastercard ad for the first time while on hold and had to Google it to, you know, luxuriate in my wrath. I expected to find at least three or four infuriated bloggers to choose from: Instead I find ONE. Sigh.

    Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't be nicer to just give up and start throwing "its" and "it's" and "to" and "too" around however the hell I want to like everyone else does. Surely these people lead happier lives than the rest of us. Think about it: Drastically reduced stress levels; all the paint chips you can eat; an increased dating pool, now that cousins are no longer off-limits ... yeah. I think they're onto something.