Olli’s Saturday School – Deppenapostroph

Your use of you’re is only surpassed by their way of using the apostrophes they’re going to find there. Or something.

Jeez, that impromptu sentence had so much room for mistakes that would’ve bitten me in the ass.

There’s sorts of spelling or grammar mistakes that are more than just a pet peeve for some people, especially the ones that I hinted at.

I’m not beyond making them, and I am always annoyed at myself. I guess that my spelling is influenced a lot by how what I type sounds in my head, and what seems to be the most common spelling of what I hear.
I know the differences between to, two and too. Or once and ones.
Or the various things I used in the first sentence.
I will still occasionally mistype them and I won’t always catch them.
I’m ok with that. I’m ok with it slipping into mails and chats and instant messaging. It happens. But sometimes it riles me up. When it’s stuff that should be checked before sending/publishing anyway. Or when the person making the mistake is also being VERY stupid contentwise. Or when the spelling mistake totally changes the content of what is being said in a very obvious and or dumb way. Or when I don’t like the person making the mistake, I’m only human after all. ;-)

Back to apostrophes. You might have spotted the word in the title of this post.

Deppenapostroph literally translates to  moron’s apostrophe. Yes, we Germans are all about subtlety and politeness. You might know the term as greengrocer’s apostrophe.

In German, plural and genitives are kinda tricky. Some words get -en at the end, some get an -s, some words get an -e and the word is even changed further.

For genitives we usually just add an to the end of the name or noun.  Sometimes an -es NO apostrophe.

So Oliver’s hair translates to German is Olivers Haare

The dog’s bone is der Knochen des Hundes or des Hundes Knochen

For plural genitive things can get weird. the dogs’ bone  is der Hunde Knochen.

Now what if we have a word that natively ends with an s? 

What’s the English singular genitive of octopus? The octopus’ arm? the octopuses arm?
Confusing here and there. That’s a situation an apostrophe might be acceptable in German genitives: Des Oktopus’ Arm.

English being widespread in Germany and the use of anglicisms being very common has lead people to abuse apostrophes in plural, genitive or genitive plural forms. They put them sometimes before, sometimes after the s at the end of a word when there’s in fact NEVER an apostrophe there.

We usually do use apostrophes for some contractions, though. Is there = gibt es can be contracted to gibt’s. There’s other expressions that applies to, but please don’t use it in anything official.

Finally two specific pet peeves of mine: People of a certain region in Germany tend to mispell the noun Haken or the verb abhaken.
They turn it into Hacken or hacken.
A Haken is a hook of sorts. Or a checkmark.
Abhaken can be ticking off items, or putting something (mentally) aside, letting a matter rest.

The noun Hacken is the plural of either of these

A heel, or a pickaxe or a similar too.
The verb abhacken means to chop something off.

So yes, that really grinds my gears.

Second pet peeve:

Someone I know kept using the word threat instead of thread in a Forum we both frequented. A German Forum, back then the software it was built on wasn’t fully translated, so it even said thread everywhere, it had become a common word. Occasionally the word threat was even more fitting, but that wasn’t the point. I don’t usually mind if people make spelling mistakes, but it got on my nerves after a while. So I gently (really) educated him on the matter, pointed out the change in meaning between thread and threat to hopefully act as sort of a mnemonic.
The reply I got was: “Yeah thanks. I don’t care, people know what I mean.”

He was the type to also chop things off instead of putting matters to rest.

Conclusion: I don’t mind if people make mistakes. I don’t even always correct them, because it’s usually not the point of anything. But I like language too much to not be affected if they just say things like “I don’t care” or “It doesn’t matter”.

This blog post is in 2D for your convenience

I like going to the movies. I like the experience of meeting with friends, going into the theater and watching a new movie on the big screen. Okay, I do get annoyed at the occasional inconsiderate people playing around on cellphones, sometimes even taking calls ((seriously, you just paid 20 bucks for the movie, dump the phone!)) having conversations during the movie, etc…

What kind of annoys me is the compulsion every producer seems to have with 3D. To the point where I get annoyed when I see movie posters or trailers that proudly display



How is it that this feature is so important, that it has to dominate so much of the advertisment? Sure, it’s an impressive technological feat, but in the end, it’s a gimmick. Especially the way it’s used in movies, as I’m told.
It doesn’t make a bad movie good, it doesn’t make a good movie better, it doesn’t further plot, characters or anything else but everyone is onto the Dimension-Train.

Sure, with action movies and that stuff it can be more immersive, more overwhelming, but does anyone actually need that?

When 3D started to go mainstream with James Cameron’s Avatar ((Thanks for nothing, James.)) I was still hoping it was a gimmick, a short-lived fad. But every movie theater and their moms started to upgrade their equipment, and it was rather popular. From what I heard, up to today Avatar is still the one movie that did 3D best.

So, good job, everyone else who made 3D movies since 2009. Way to make the best of 5 years.

I saw Avatar in good old regular 2D. Liked it well enough and didn’t miss ANYTHING.

But hey, people want to produce and watch movies in 3D? Guess what, that’s actually fine by me. I’ll just go watch the 2D version with my friends.

Let me just check the schedule of the local cinema. Oh. OH. Aw. Big surprise, all showings of the new movie out this week are in 3D. On three different screens of the 7-screen cinema. Maybe next week? No. Maybe in two weeks? Maybe.

My real issue with the whole 3D crap is that I don’t get to choose. I have to either watch in in 3D or make it a pain in the ass for my friends to schedule actually seeing a movie with me. Or wait for the bluray and watch it on my tv.

Jeez, man! You might think. Cram a sock in it, and go watch the movie in 3D if you want to see it this bad.

Ok. I’ll do it, and I’ll even stop complaining, if you promise me to go watch the next movie you see the way watching a 3D movie feels for me. No complaining allowed.

  1. I have to wear glasses. So you put on glasses, too. Even if you don’t actually have to. Even if you wear contact lenses, because those aren’t an option for me. I
  2. If the movie is 3D, you’re good. Get your 3D glasses. If not, wear a slightly bigger set of glasses over your first pair. There has to be something in it, empty frames don’t count.
  3. Now the fun part. Tape one of your eyes shut. Or wear an eyepatch ((I feel ashamed to admit, that I typed ipatch the firet time)). Due to my eyesight, most of the time I have slight depth perception troubles that are even multiplied when trying to see a 3D movie. It currently doesn’t work at all on me. ((Used to be better with a different set of glasses, but those were so thick and heavy it wasn’t worth the bother))
  4. Watch the movie. Hope you enjoy it. Do not take the glasses off, even if it is a full lenght triple feature of all the Lord of the Rings special editions.
  5. On the way out, open your wallet. Grab at least half of what you paid for the movie and throw it in the nearest trash can.

And THAT is why I’m so pissed off that it’s nigh impossible to even find a 2D showing of a new action movie in the first three weeks.


So…any good movies out recently? ;-)

GISHWHES – How not to be a jerk

This post was kind of triggered by me reading comments.

Ye be warned!

Some inappropriate language will appear in this post and things linked in it. ((Ye be warned again.))

In case you don’t know, GISHWHES is a global internet scavenger hunt in which people are asked to do weird stuff to get points towards a slim chance of winning a grand prize. Apparently ((I didn’t even realize it)) it is at least partially for charity. Good job.

Like this:

That is a pretty harmless one for everyone involved.

Another one was:

Get a previously published Sci-Fi author to write an original story (140 words max) about Misha, the Queen of England and an Elopus

Apparently that prompted a great many people to suddenly lose all common decency and swamp a hoard of authors, some of them high-profile, with tweets, mails, facebook messages and who-knows-what, in some cases perhaps politely asking for, demanding or attempting to guilt-trip them into writing said story.

A lot have – understandably – denied the request, some have been insulted and harassed for that. Boo.

Some of the authors  got seriously upset about that alone and expressed their annoyance in the form of tweets and blogs. I read some of those.

I love this one. I do not love the one that is linked in there as much, I don’t agree with part of it, but I do understand it. The comments ((Never read the comments.  Never. Uhm, I will read and if I deem necessary or polite react to those on mine)) on that was what drove me over the edge and made me write this blog post.

Not-so-dear GISHERS

– who thought it was a good idea to contact authors that are quite high profile, obviously leading rather busy lives and/or not even remotely acquainted with you unless they have previously expressed the wish to help
– who were impolite, demanding, rude, threatening, harassing or anything along those lines in your requests or reactions to denial
– who actually found out a secret mail adress used by that particular writer for very specific purposes and thought it was a good idea to use that one

Fuck. You. ((Ye were warned.))

I do not agree that asking a professional for a favor is demeaning or devaluing their work or anything. But a favor is a personal thing, so unless you know/have a bilateral connection to that professional, think about what you’re doing.

Again: Think about who you ask. And how  you ask.


So? Do YOU donate/help EVERY SINGLE charity that approaches you? No? Tought so.
Wait, you do? Good for you. How many of them approach you? Ah, I see. Well, how would you react if what feels like every single charity in your country approaches you within the course of one week? Thought so.
Does it help if they’re rude? Demanding? Try to guild trip you?
I guessed.

Dear affronted, annoyed and swamped authors who might read that:

I am truly sorry. And ashamed. Please do not blame the community or the initiators for what happened here. I am pretty sure that is not the way it was intended. And no, I do not think the NASAspam item is the same thing, but I do see the problems it might create.

Please consider that what those people are doing, and the way they are doing it, is against the spirit and against the actual rules of the event. You don’t blame YouTube for the content of the comment section, do you? ((Okay, I admit, it is easier to avoid than a gazillion unsolicited mails within a week))

Behavior during the Hunt – You are not permitted to physically, emotionally or psychologically hurt or attack yourself, another GISHER or anyone outside The Hunt

Granted, there is a command about forsaking decency, but I think that is all about embarrassing yourself in a way not harmful to anyone else.

Again, I am so sorry and I actually felt bad for a bit for even taking part in what I still think is a good idea at the core.

Back to you jerks, who will probably never read this:

What the hell were you thinking? No, wait. I don’t want to know. But I want you to read the following section and learn from it. It’s a good thing to keep in mind even outside of scavenger hunts.

My first thought when reading that particular item was: Huh. That is hard, how can I help do this without bothering anyone while still having a chance at success? Luckily I got to know a load of people on twitter in the past two years, some of them in a circle ((or maybe oval)) of mostly indie/selfpublished writers.

So I took mental inventory.

It went a little like this: “Oh, that book I recently read is SciFi. I’ve talked a bit to the writer these past weeks. Seems like a fun person that I might ask nicely.”

So I formulated my request .

Subject line: Weird question. Maybe.

Actual Message:
Hi :-)

Have you ever heard of GISHWHES? Basically it’s a very weird internet scavenger hunt with a list of 180 or so items teams have to get pictures or video of.
www.gishwhes.com is the website. And there is in fact one item you might be able to help my team with, if you have the time and want to.
Trouble is, starting now, we have little more than 6 days left.
Item in question:
“Get a previously published Sci-Fi author to write an original story (140 words max) about Misha, the Queen of England and an Elopus.”
We’d need a picture of that story, legible and it is not allowed to be something that has been shared somewhere before.
If you don’t have time, don’t want to or whatever, that’s fine.
If you do, I’d be eternally grateful and treat you to all the cheese you want if you ever come here. Or something. :-)
Olli the weird German ;-D


That’s how easy it is to be nice. I was lucky enough to get a positive reply within a rather short time, and a story, But that doesn’t actually matter.

The point is: If you need to achieve something and you can’t do it without being an obnoxious asshole, then back the fuck off.
To paraphrase someone I am connected to via twitter:

Who will bleed, die or go to jail if it doesn’t work? Noone? So it’s not that important.

I don’t know if the people who behaved in that special way, leaving annoyed, frustrated or even scared authors in their destructive wake, giving the GISHWHES and the whole community a bad name were stupid, inconsiderate or just purposely being jerks.

Thanks for nothing, assbags.