Welcome to "Ask Mr. Darts Language Person," the only column of its kind in the world, including England, dedicated to proper grammatorical usage in connection with the sport of darts. Special thanks are due to columnist Dave Barry of the Miami Herald, from whom I blatantly ripped off this idea. Barry is recognized as one of the leading language experts of our time. Recently he won the "World Wrestling Grammar Federation Smackdown" after taking out William Safire with a well-placed knee to his gerunds.
The point of this column is simple: even if you can't throw a dart, if you understand the language of darts -- if you know what to say and what not to say -- you will be able to impress people. As we all know, darts people need all the help they can get when it comes to impressing people. Therefore, I am here to take your darts language questions and, hence, to play whatever small role I can to help ensure that when darts finally does become an Olympic sport, and ten-time world champion Phil Taylor is interviewed on television by Donna deVarona, he doesn't chase her around the set and try to show her his gerunds.
So, let's start today's column with a darts punctuation question:
|Q:||My name is Gayle Farmer and I am the editor of the Professional Darts Corporation's (PDC) electronic magazine. I am, never, quite, sure, when, to, use, commas.|
|A:||You should use a comma whenever you feel the need to pause in a sentence. EXAMPLE: "So me and my mate was down at the pub hoistin' a few jars and throwin' some arrows and my mate's bird was chalkin' and that's when I noticed that, by crikey, she's got a butt the size of Cheltenham."|
|If you need to pause longer -- like when you want to emphasize how INCREDIBLY long something took to happen -- simply use more commas. EXAMPLE: Paul Lim patiently sipped his beer while Howie Dirks,,,,,,,,,, attempted again and again and again and again to close the double one."
|Q:||Is Gayle a man's name or a woman's name?|
|A:||Technically, it is a kind of wind.
|Q:||Dayton Strawbridge here. From Chicago. Don't know nutin' 'bout that place in Ohio. But check this: it's a MAN's name. Dayton's a TOUGH man's name. Doubt that and I pop ya in da nose wit a ketchup bottle!"|
|A:||Is there a question in there somewhere, Dayton?
|Q:||Yea. Some of us be talkin' the other night 'bout distractions, ya know, after we gots thrown out da bar. One of my boys says: "Like I was tellin' ya, bro', as I approached da line, a distraction caught my eye." So, noticin' that somethin' jus' didn't sound right, I says: "Yo!!! That there sentence ain't grammatorically correct." Can ya backs me up?|
|A:||You are absolutely correct, Dayton. What you have there is an example of using the fractile pentameter tense when following a first person combustion impregnator. The sentence should be re-written as follows: "As I approached the line, a distraction with hellacious hooters caught my eye, so I forfeited the game and poured a Budweiser down her shirt. I think that's why they booted us from the joint."
|Q:||My name is Tommy Stewart. My buddies tell me I have the gift of gab. I'm thinking I might like to become a famous darts commentator like that nice British fellow, Sid Waddell. So, what I need to know is: when's it dart and when's it darts, when's it triple and when's it treble and when's it hockey and when's it oche?|
|A:||Thanks for writing, Tommy. I'm sure many others have the same questions but are afraid to ask them because they don't want people to look at them funny, like they're some kind of pork chop or somethin'. I'm pleased to know that this doesn't bother you. Let me help.
|Q:||Speaking of Ollie Croft, what can the letters of his name be rearranged to spell?|
|A:||"Relic of Lot"
|Q:||What's the significance of this anagram, mysteriously buried deep inside Ollie Croft's name?|
|A:||Lot was the guy from Book of Genesis who was admonished by the angels, who were sent by God to destroy the five cities in the valley of Jordan, to leave the city of Sodom with his wife and daughters, and not look back. But his wife did look back. The angels turned her into a pillar of salt.
|Q:||And the significance is WHAT?|
|A:||Who said it was significant?
|Q:||You did! YOU brought it up. WHY am I reading this crap?|
|A:||Well, it isn't significant. It's stupid. I'm just flagrantly padding this column to reach the requisite number of words.
|Q:||Oh. Okay. Are we at the point yet where you customarily take a poke at PDC Tournament Director, Tommy Cox?|
|A:||Actually, we are at that point. But Tommy gets a break this week because he's finally got around to scheduling a tournament in Vegas this summer. It's called the Royal Really Big Honkin' $100,000 Dynamic Desert Classic. I'll be there. I like tea and crumpets.
|Q:||Hi there, Big Boy. This is Tiffany. Remember me?|
|A:||Uh. I thought I told you not to write me here?
|Q:||Hey! Dave Reese here. Remember ME? I took you out a while back at the Chesney shoot in Philadelphia. I also whipped you in Charlotte. And Richmond. Har. Har. You suck. Anyway, my friends call me "Woody." Can you tell me when it is appropriate for the announcer to use my nickname at a darts tournament?|
|A:||Woody. Woody. Woody! What are you trying to do, lure me into to saying something that could cause me to insult the four members of the female persuasion who still read my stuff? I'm sorry, but I have to respectfully decline to answer your question.
I write a clean, non-sexist, politically correct column here.
Besides, it's just about time for the Man Show. They have trampolines!
From the Field,