Pencil Sharpeners

funnyflyby's picture

Okay, random thought process I had today:
If I sharpen a lot of pencils, aren't I a pencil sharpener?
But then how can you distinguish to people what you mean by 'pencil sharpener'?
You could call non-human ones 'mechanical pencil sharpeners' but as people talk about 'mechanical pencils' that could be confusing. A sharpener for mechanical pencils?
There are manual pencil sharpeners. But couldn't the manual pencil sharpener be the person just as easily as the device?
↑ Proof that I think about random things.

I honestly do feel bad for Shneer sometimes. I witnessed this conversation:

Irk: Are you gay?
Shneer: No, actually. Despite what you may have heard.
Irk: Does your mom know?
Shneer: What the fuck?
Irk: Does she?
Shneer: My mother died when I was eight.
Irk: Did she know?

People. Shneer almost cried. About the mom thing, I mean.
And you know what's weird? The majority of the grade either thinks that Shneer and I are a couple or that Shneer is gay. And what's funny is that the same people spread both rumors.
And Shneer is asked, 'Are you gay?' at least once a day.
And I never am. It's so funny. If these people are going by stereotypes, it's true that Shneer's a little metrosexual but I'm much closer to being a stereotypical lesbian than Shneer is to being a stereotypical gay guy. I have a haircut that's actually been referred to as a 'lesbian hairdo', not much fashion sense, I've never worn makeup outside of theatre. And the Chief Homophobe was actually present and listening during one of my gender rants to Gennifer.
I mean, there are a lot of stereotypes I don't fit at all. But I do fit more than Shneer, who has quite a few.
Today at lunch Clueless, Gennifer, Shneer, and I were talking and some worker said, 'Move on, ladies. Oh, and gentleman.' C commented, 'Shneer's a lady. Flyby's the gentleman.'
We all laughed, including Shneer.
Y'know, something kinda emotional did happen tonight, but I don't want to journal it. Idaknow why.


centerfielder08's picture

That's a good question about

That's a good question about the pencil sharpener thing. I think of those sorts of things too.
My latest question...why is it correct to say "a unicorn"...English rules say before a word that starts with a vowel it should be "an" but I don't think its grammatically correct to say "an unicorn"????

I'm so sorry about all the stuff with Shneer :/

oh, well, as always, I'm always here if you need to talk about anything. Anything at all.

swimmerguy's picture


Sorry, just answered the same question... I should read all the comments before responding! :P

And I just wanted to say, metrosexuals are awesome. That is all.

No one escapes from life alive

Dracofangxxx's picture

Ah, no, it depends on the sound made

If it was unn-i-corn, it would be "an"
But since it's pronounced like "Yew" you only do "a"

like you wouldn't say "I have an yellow banana" you say "I have a yellow banana"


elph's picture

A footnote...

Quite correct, Dracofangxxx.

But, have you noticed that "an" is increasingly being heard if only a slight aspiration separates the indefinite article from a following vowel?

an historical event rather than a historical event

It's not yet universal, but it's headed in that direction! Of course, the British have been doing this a lot longer :)

MacAvity's picture

Ooh, yeah...

Poor Shneer. He sounds like a really great guy, too.

I'm not sure about the pencil sharpener thing, though it seems to me unlikely that anyone would spend enough time sharpening pencils to be able to be defined as a pencil sharpener.... To Eli's unicorn question, though, I do know the answer: It's all in the pronunciation. 'A unicorn' is pronounced 'a yunicorn,' and so the initial sound is consonantal - this very sound is the difference in pronunciation between 'union' and 'onion.' Conversely, a word beginning with a silent consonant, as 'hour' or 'honor,' is pronounced with a vowel as its first sound and so takes an 'an' - an hour, an honor, a unicorn, a union, an onion.

centerfielder08's picture

<3 Thank you so much,

<3 Thank you so much, MacAvity!!!