Don’t be stupid (thanks)

June 24th, 2007 · 47 comments

Dan in Miami Beach — who by the way knows a thing or two about roommate drama — bring us this sign from a clothing store in the gay mecca of Wilton Manors, Florida. Says Dan: “Sometimes, gay men are a little bitchy with each other.” (Again, something he knows a bit about.)

Don't be stupid you can not try on the underwear! Thank you BALL

(And seriously, sweetheart, don’t even start with the whole “but that’s not exactly passive-aggressive” stuff.)

related: Ladies, if you happen to have forgotten your undies…

FILED UNDER: attire · Florida · hygiene · more aggressive than passive · pleasantries as afterthought · retail hell · spelling and grammar police

47 responses so far ↓

  • #1   eh

    typical asshole miami attitude

    Jun 24, 2007 at 6:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   BoggyWoggy

    “can not” should be one word…ha, ha! I found something to bitch about!

    Jun 24, 2007 at 6:36 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   Sharona

    I would totally write an “or” in after “stupid” when Ball wasn’t looking.

    Jun 24, 2007 at 8:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   rrpa

    Especially not that pair pictured on the right. Yikes!

    Jun 24, 2007 at 10:19 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   Hopefulgirl

    the passive aggressive part is in the fact that they wrote a note at all.

    Jun 24, 2007 at 10:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   Shannon

    Boggy Woggy, can not is two words, not one. Can’t is the contraction. Sorry to burst your bubble :P

    Jun 24, 2007 at 10:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Andrew L.

    Shannon: Get a dictionary.

    Jun 24, 2007 at 12:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   shannon's stupid

    Boggy Woggy and Andrew are right. You are wrong. Cannot is one word. Please pray for the youth (or elderly, whichever the case may be) of our country. Our education system has clearly failed many.

    Sorry to burst YOUR bubble … and who cares that can’t is the contraction? Just throwing in some extra useless information for us?

    Jun 24, 2007 at 1:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   umm... you're all wrong

    From AskOxford, FAQ for Oxford dictionaries:

    “Both cannot and can not are acceptable spellings, but the first is much more usual. You would use can not when the ‘not’ forms part of another construction such as ‘not only’.”

    Jun 24, 2007 at 1:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   ALA

    Well done, Umm!

    Jun 24, 2007 at 6:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Me

      you guys all realize that posting comments here criticizing others grammar, is Passive Aggressive?
      You did? not.

      Dec 11, 2007 at 11:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   Idman

    Actually, if I were thinking of buying the pair of underwear pictured on the right (is that underwear? a g-string? a New Age banana hammock?) I might be a little intimidated. It would be helpful to try it on and get some assistance from a qualified underwear consultant to make sure I was putting everything in the uh, right places.

    But that’s just me.


    Jun 25, 2007 at 7:11 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Isuck

      a jock strap

      Mar 20, 2009 at 3:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   kait

    Maybe it’s because of the Miami thing or maybe it’s because of the gay thing, but I hear this note being read by Hank Azaria’s character from “The Bridcage.”

    Jun 25, 2007 at 7:18 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   John T

    I’m pretty sure Hank Azaria would have pronounced it “can not” rather than “cannot”.

    Jun 25, 2007 at 8:16 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Shannon

    No reason to call me stupid, cannot is indeed a word and I made a mistake I was correcting tongue in cheek anyway, hence the smiley. I was nasty to no one. I was bored and I posted. And here is some straight up aggressiveness for you. GO FUCK YOURSELF.

    Jun 25, 2007 at 8:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   BoggyWoggy

    OH, Shannon,
    I had a little respect for you, as you were being semi-civil in your comments to me…but, now, seeing your nasty language, all of that has changed. By the way, I don’t have a bubble to burst. However, there is this little bump on my right butt-cheek…but, you CANNOT touch it. Hee, hee!

    Jun 25, 2007 at 8:38 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   Shannon

    I don’t think I’d want to touch that bubble! :) And you weren’t the one who called me stupid anyway!. I wasn’t being uncivil to you at all.

    Jun 25, 2007 at 8:49 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   shannon is indeed stupid

    @ummm you’re all wrong:

    how is everyone wrong? shannon was wrong by pointing out that cannot was improper. cannot is proper and can not is improper in this case. it goes without saying that can and not are two different words. not is not being used constructively in this example so you are the one that is wrong to not only suggest that everyone is wrong, but to suggest can not would be proper in this instance.

    i would suggest you use can not every chance you get. don’t ever use cannot. stick by your story. and you will make yourself look ignorant and uneducated.

    and shannon, you were being uncivil with your snide remark about bursting bubbles. and you did not make a mistake – you are stupid and now vulgar. you made a mistake? more stupidity there.

    kiddies … stay in school. and use can not in all of your writing. you will go far.

    Jun 25, 2007 at 12:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   Sharona

    “Can not” is not only used constructively but also for emphasis, which I’m sure was Ball’s intention. Try saying it out loud.

    Go on.

    Just clear your throat and declare, “You can NOT try on the underwear!”

    If that doesn’t convince you that it’s correct English, it might at least remind you that this is a humor site. Jeez.

    Jun 25, 2007 at 1:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   the sos

    new site:

    Jun 25, 2007 at 1:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   are people really that ignorant?

    when you use cannot it is always emphasizing not. just when is the word cannot not emphasizing the not? Never! Can not is simply not preferred nor is it proper. And the accent is on the 2nd syllable for emphasis.

    Use can not, you dim wit. you are only making yourself look ignorant and uneducated. Please, use can not in all of your writing.

    Jun 25, 2007 at 2:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   cannot is correct

    dipshits … use can not. emphasize your ‘not’ – rally for the non-preferred usage. look dumb. use it in all your writing when you emphasize not. my my you are all so brilliant. maybe when you graduate from high school and college you will change your mind. but i highly doubt it.

    Jun 25, 2007 at 3:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #22   Shannon

    Ummmm if you read my second comment I said I made a mistake. Why don’t you write a few more comments saying the same thing?

    Jun 25, 2007 at 3:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #23   Dean

    Ask the English Teacher:

    Grammar police vs. the thong emporium is pretty humorous, Sharona!

    Jun 25, 2007 at 3:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #24   eh

    LMAO i love this site! and for the comments:

    team “cannot”!

    Jun 25, 2007 at 3:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #25   Sharona

    Oh, I don’t know, Dean. I am now convinced that berating customers for asking to try on the banana hammocks requires the most formal usage possible.

    Jun 25, 2007 at 4:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #26   BoggyWoggy

    Would you believe I’m a teacher? In this situation, “cannot” is the proper form. Now, I’d like to move onto a more interesting word usage: alot

    In my classroom, recently, I held a funeral for “alot.” I came dressed in black with a veil over my face. I wrote the word on a cardboard tombstone and had my students all gather around for the “ashes-to-ashes, dust-to-dust” routine. It was hilarious! However, even after all of that work, “alot” continued to resurrect intself into my students’ writing…
    Now, let’s have a good online argument!

    Jun 25, 2007 at 4:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #27   Katherine

    I would have spat on alot’s grave.

    Jun 25, 2007 at 11:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #28   Amanda

    On the Internet, everyone is in the Grammar Police!

    Jun 26, 2007 at 9:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #29   joebec


    Jun 26, 2007 at 1:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #30   Amber

    Boggy Woggy: You’re my hero!
    I hate “alot” a lot.

    Thank you

    Jun 26, 2007 at 4:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #31   Garr

    Seriously, it’s all semantics and dialectal. We speak and write an entirely different English than the actual English do. Toward v. Towards is a big one. The Americans leave off the trailing ‘s’, but the Brits love it. Now it has become colloquial in the U.S. to say towards instead of toward. It’s the same as irregardless. Irregardless is a double negative. BIG NO-NO in English, yeah? Well, irregardless is written as an accepted form due to colloquial and popular use.

    My point is this: language is a living concept and it is in a constant state of flux because it adapts with society. I normally harp on these things myself, but you eventually have to step back and realize that they’re both correct depending on your contextual learning, understanding and usage.


    Jun 27, 2007 at 4:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #31.1   Joey's Stinky Foot

      colloquial = lazy & ignorant.
      “Oh, it’s just too much to say it this way, so let’s make up an incorrect way to say it and make it official.”
      I will NEVER accept “irregardless.” Nor will I accept “conversate.” It’s just plain wrong. End of story.

      Jun 10, 2008 at 12:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #32   BoggyWoggy

    My last name ends with an “s.” When people want to write the possessive of my name, they’ll often write, “Bogg’s.” Ugh. As a teacher, here is a grammatically correct sentence: “Ms. Boggs’ class will be going on a field trip to the Marine Science Center. ”

    I want language to live and breathe and adapt. However, some knowledge of the basics is important, in order for us to really communicate well.

    Jun 27, 2007 at 5:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #33   Erin

    @ Boggy:
    Chicago Manual of Style, 14th Edition, 6.24-30 says:
    The general rule for the possessive of nouns covers most proper nouns, including most names ending in sibilants (but see exceptions in 6.26-27 and alternatives in 6.30). Kansas’s; Burns’s poems; Marx’s theories; Dickens’s novels….For names ending in silent s, z, or x the possessive, unlike the plural, can generally be formed in the usual way without suggesting an incorrect pronunciation: Margaux’s bouquet; Descartes’s works.

    Traditional exceptions to the general rule for forming the possessive are the names Jesus and Moses: in Jesus’ name; Moses’ leadership…”How to form the possessive of polysyllabic personal names ending with the sound of s or z,” says CMS, “probably occasions more dissension among writes and editors than any other orthographic matter open to disagreement.”

    However, AP Style is one that does allow for the formation you describe (“Ms. Boggs’ cat”). Just thought you should know the way you’re teaching your kids isn’t the only way, or really even the most popular way according the the most commonly used style guides.

    @ Garr:
    Sociolinguists everywhere cheer for you. “Language is any utterance that conveys meaning between the speaker and the recipient.”

    Jun 28, 2007 at 6:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #34   BoggyWoggy

    Oh, I’m not teaching my students this stuff. They are still mastering being able to spell their names with a capital letter at the beginning, followed by lowercase letters. After that, we’ll work on see that there are lines on paper. Har, har, har!

    Jun 28, 2007 at 7:39 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #35   underindecision

    my favorite part of this blog is the passive aggressive comments that follow each post.

    Jun 28, 2007 at 11:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #36   Spruce Moose

    Actually, in this case “cannot” and “can not” are both incorrect. It should be “may not.”
    “Can” refers to ability, “may” refers to permission.
    All this on just a high school education and one year of college!

    Jul 3, 2007 at 7:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #37   RaggDolly121

    oh my god, spruce moose, who cares about grammer when it’s just a note?!

    anyway, That picture in the corner is GROSS!!!!!!! ugh, I’d hate to work there…

    Jul 3, 2007 at 9:05 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #37.1   PandoraWombat bang

      I don’t think spruce moose cares so much about grammer; I think he is more concerned with grammar.

      (Oooooh. That was fairly passive-aggressive of me, wasn’t it?) ;)

      Aug 2, 2008 at 11:13 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #38   It's the principle!

    Team Spruce Mouse all the way!

    Jul 5, 2007 at 9:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #39   Smarter than you

    Wow. I thought this site was for _making_fun_ of people who write passive-aggressive notes, not a site for writing passive-aggressive notes. What a bunch of berks.

    Jul 6, 2007 at 2:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #40   jello

    Spruce Moose is right.

    ‘Can’t’ is short for ‘cannot’, not ‘can not’. And since using ‘can’t’ in the original message would have properly conveyed the message that BALL meant to convey, then ‘cannot’ should’ve been used, not ‘can not’. I hope I explained that well. It was kind of dificult to put in words.

    P.S. Shannon sucks

    Aug 12, 2007 at 3:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #41   Anonymous

    i like bell’s wording, it leaves it up in the air for interpretation. Because it is two words it can be viewed as A) having the ability to not try them on or B) not being allowed to try them on.

    I would ask anyway and state that I can not try them on, but i also can try them on :P

    Aug 27, 2007 at 11:53 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #42   jelly

    Oh my…I haven’t heard people use “conversate’ yet…that would drive me crazy!

    Jul 6, 2008 at 7:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #43   Wabut

    who says you can’t try them on? That’s BS! Just try them on, and don’t tell anyone. LOL

    Jul 23, 2008 at 3:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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