The Grammar Belle

Spiffing y'all up, one typo at a time

WSWH: A Fish Tale

Hey, y’all. I’m back! I have truly missed griping about grammar, spelling, and punctuation for all y’all, and I hope y’all can forgive my lengthy absence.

It’s coming up on Independence Day here in the U.S. (Here’s a belated “Happy Canada Day” for all my readers up there!) What are your favorite 4th of July activities? If you’ve read even a few of my posts, you know I love me some baseball. And fishing. And those two summertime holiday-weekend favorites are just what I need for today’s “When Spellcheck Won’t Help” lesson.

Have you ever gone fishing? I grew up with a mama and a ma maw who both loved to fish. We mostly went for crappie, bream, and catfish—all good eatin’ kinds, as my mama would say. As a little girl, I learned early on what a fish does when you get it out of the water: It flops around, sometimes pretty wildly. It thrashes and flips and moves in a crazy help-me-I-can’t-breathe-out-here kind of way.

You know that, right? Believe it or not, that knowledge is key to today’s lesson.

This, my sweet readers, is a flounder:


I’ve never actually been fishing for flounder before. But, I know what a flounder does when it’s out of the water. It flounders. It thrashes and flops around. And THAT is what it means when you say that someone or something is “floundering.”

Somebody alert The Dallas Morning News, please:

Perhaps the editor had gone fishin’ that day . . .

Perhaps the editor had gone fishin’ that day . . .

I reckon the Houston Astros are not, in fact, floundering. If they were, perhaps they’d distract the opposing teams enough to get some base hits and build a record better than 30–53.

What they ARE doing during their rotten debut season in the American League is foundering. That’s one of those words that folks use, well, never. And they probably mean to use it more often than not. What does it mean to “founder”?

Founder: to become disabled, to go lame, to give way or collapse, to sink, to come to grief

The Houston Astros of 2013 are, indeed, foundering. I do sincerely hope Reid Ryan can help them out down there, because total domination by two Texas teams is something I’d love. (Go, Rangers!)

Have a safe and fun-filled 4th of July weekend, y’all,

I couldn’t mention the Ryan family without sharing my favorite Nolan Ryan memory. (For those of you who aren’t into baseball, Nolan is Reid’s father and the greatest Texas baseball player ever.)

We mean it when we say, "Don't mess with Texas."

We mean it when we say “Don’t mess with Texas.”

9 comments on “WSWH: A Fish Tale

  1. fransiweinstein
    July 2, 2013

    One of the greatest pitchers in the game

  2. addude13
    July 2, 2013

    The Astros are rebuilding but they have a ton of good young talent in the low minors. They should be relevant again in 2016. (2015 if everything goes right.)

    And I’m not sure it’s completely wrong to compare the worst defensive team in baseball with a flopping fish. 😉

  3. amyangel5
    July 2, 2013

    I guess Barry Horn doesn´t know much about horses, because “founder” is often applied to them when they go lame; it would have been easier for him to make the connection to the Astros.

  4. outlawmama
    July 3, 2013

    You blew my mind with this one. Totally.

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