Archive | Humor

Usage Note on “Re-Accommodate”

By now you have all heard about the United Airlines fiasco involving the violent removal of a ticketed passenger. I won’t rehash the whole story here (although I did get a first person account from my colleague John Klaassen who was seated right in front of the removed passenger; see the guy in the orange shirt here).

After videos of the incident went viral, the CEO of United released a statement claiming that passenger had been “re-accommodated.” This neologism has been widely mocked—especially since video footage of the incident had already been seen by half the world by the time the CEO released his statement. It was as if he was saying, “Don’t you believe your lying eyes. We merely re-accommodated him.” After two days, it’s pretty clear that nobody is buying this glaring euphemism.

But as “re-accommodate” is poised to become the word of the year, I thought it might be useful to make one usage note. Technically speaking, this passenger’s removal would not have been a re-accommodation even if the man had decided to deplane voluntarily and without incident. Why?

While the Urban Dictionary has already updated its lexicon, The American Heritage Dictionary (AHD) still does not have an entry for re-accommodate. However, AHD does have entries for “re-” and for “accommodate.” Entry 3.b under “accommodate” says that the word means “to provide for; supply with something needed.” The prefix “re-“ denotes “again” or “anew.”

Since the accommodation in question is airline passage from Chicago to Louisville, the United CEO’s term re-accommodate would mean to provide passage from Chicago to Louisville again. But this is precisely what did not happen. One cannot re-accommodate unless they have first accommodated, which United of course did not do.

Bottom Line: The CEO’s euphemism would have been inaccurate no matter how the passenger had been deplaned. And I have a hunch that because this incident has become so notorious, the CEO’s intended meaning for this term is likely not going to be the one that makes it into AHD. The meaning reflected in the tweet below is mostly likely the one that will stick.

Top 10 YouTubes of 2016

It’s time for my annual posting of the Top 10 YouTube Videos of the Year (see last year’s list here). This ranking is totally unscientific. Only one person was polled to compile this list—yours truly. This year’s slate of videos is mainly humorous, with some other odds and ends thrown in. If you think I’ve left something out, let me know. I’ll think about adding it to the “Honorable Mention” category at the bottom.

1. Brothers convince sister of zombie apocalypse

It’s another one of those coming-out-of-anesthesia videos. And I think it’s my favorite of all time.

2. Millennial International

Millennial International is a sponsor-based program designed to help Millennials live the lives they portray on Instagram. I hope you’ll consider sponsoring one of them.

3. Bad Lip-Reading: The Empire Strikes Back

4. How To Spot Suspicious Halloween Candy

5. Milk Commercial Tribute to “Sixteen Candles”

Okay, GenX’ers. Don’t miss the couple playing the parents at the end.

6. Man punches kangaroo in race to rescue dog

7. Trump and Clinton Perform “Time of My Life” Duet

8. Best Political Ad of the Year

9. On Identity and Bathroom Laws

10. Free Speech Zone

This one hurts too much to laugh.


HONORABLE MENTIONS:

“Dancing in the Street” Silent Music Video

Friends Awakens

Sad Affleck

P. S. I liked Batman v. Superman, and I liked Affleck. The criticism seemed a little bandwagony to me.

Eugene Peterson and Bono talk about the Psalms

A Showstopper at the Lincoln Memorial

Backflip over speeding Formula E car

“The Shot” in Slow Motion

The 2016 NCAA men’s basketball championship was a game for the ages.

A Two-Party System

This video hails from a 1996 episode of “The Simpsons.” Nevertheless, it was very 2016, so I included it here.

The man who sings funny “O Holy Night” revealed!

Many of you will be familiar with the hilarious internet meme that comes around every Christmas involving a truly horrid rendition of “O Holy Night.” I have posted the song on this site in the past. If somehow you haven’t managed to hear it yet, here’s your chance:


For years, this piece of Christmas candy has floated around the internet without attribution or provenance. Nobody knew where it came from, although there were some pretenders who took credit for it. Continue Reading →

Top 10 YouTubes of 2015

It’s time for my annual posting of the Top 10 YouTube Videos of the Year (see last year’s list here). This ranking is totally unscientific. Only one person was polled to compile this list—yours truly. This year’s slate of videos is mainly humorous, with a dash of overrepresentation from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you think I’ve left something out, let me know. I’ll think about adding it to the “Honorable Mention” category at the bottom. Continue Reading →

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Christian Mingle Inspector

This humor of this video only works if you have some familiarity with evangelical subculture. If that’s you, enjoy. From the YouTube description:

Christian Mingle, the popular Christian dating website, employs standup comedian John Crist to approve or reject applicants to their website. Note: This video is a joke.

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My ranking of gloriously awesomer Xtian album covers

Relevant magazine recently published “The Definitive Ranking of Insanely Awesome Christian Album Covers.” And while this is a respectable list, I am not yet ready to say it is the “definitive ranking”—not by a long shot. Relevant may not have done its due diligence on this one. I’m a bit of a connoisseur myself when it comes to such things, so I offer my own top ten ranking of gloriously awesomer Christian album covers. Continue Reading →

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