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Dog Bites 

Thank You ... Thank You Very Much; Yet More Gratitude; Love Your Server. Is It Gucci?; Greek Grammar Debate Rages On

Wednesday, May 17 2000
Thank You ... Thank You Very Much
It is doubtless a horrible comment on our personality that when, in 11th grade, our best friend wanted to hang out and discuss the details of her perfect imaginary wedding (first dance "Up Where We Belong," teal charmeuse for the bridesmaids, chocolate cake), Dog Bites would instead secretly plan the perfect acceptance speech. The dresses were definitely better in our private fantasyland, and we didn't have to share the attention with anyone else.

Of course, the one thing that remained hazy in our daydreams was what award, exactly, we were going to be accepting. For quite a while it was Best Documentary at the Oscars (oh, God, why are we telling anyone this?) but then we went to a college that didn't have a film program and then -- well, as if anyone cares anyway.

The point is that we have finally, finally won something: We would like to thank all our loyal readers for voting us Best Newspaper Column in San Francisco. Even though the runner-up was the Night Cabby, we are deeply touched; it's good to know the usual lack of actual news in this space hasn't been held against us. Also, we would like to take this opportunity to note that the fact the votes were tallied by Editorial Coordinator Jeff Jones, under our direct supervision, in all probability had nothing to do with our victory.

The glare of the spotlight feels wonderful, as we always suspected it would, and we can put this on our résumé, and our mom and dad are really proud, and maybe someone will even buy us a drink to celebrate. ("Let's have drinks to celebrate," we can hear ourselves saying, and our friends will all be like, "Hey, we're buying!" See, it's going to our head already.)

We'd like to thank our editor, John Mecklin, and our colleagues here at SF Weekly, and anyone we've ever called in a state of near-hysteria over the column, our career, or our numerous character defects. Oh, and everybody at our publicist's office. And Narciso Rodriguez, for making us this wonderful, wonderful gown. You're beautiful! We love you! Oh, we're so happy! We have crushed the Night Cabby! We have crushed him!

Yet More Gratitude
Dog Bites would also like to thank Steve Mockus, an assistant editor at Chronicle Books, for sending us a copy of this is Blythe, a completely text-free book of -- well, how can we describe this? -- photographs of a doll. "Thought you might enjoy this one," writes Mr. Mockus.

We're touched, really, though we think "enjoy" might be too strong a word.

Love Your Server. Is It Gucci?
Fashion magazines -- and is it just us, or are fashion magazines kind of, well, over? -- have fixated recently on the phenomenon of young Silicon Valley millionaires. We're sure there are any number of reasons for this, though the obvious one is that a trend piece told in the first person is a staple of this generally dimwitted publishing genre, and in this case, an editor could hardly ask for a story more tailor-made for the approach. Still, the May Elle feature on single -- and, we need hardly add, male, though in fact there are plenty of eligible women with stock options of their own -- Internet economy millionaires is almost the last straw.

Greeting the dot-commers with a charmingly girlish squeal of, "Rich guys!," Elle sent a reporter way out west to San Francisco to investigate the situation -- by going on dates with a bunch of callow e-business executives. "Oh, God, Deanna, marry one of them, please," writer Deanna Kizis reports her mother telling her before she left New York. Sadly, it turned out that dot-com guys are sloppy dressers, obsessed with their work, and remarkably self-absorbed.

Dog Bites, who does occasionally leave the apartment, was less than stunned by this revelation. Of course, last month's Bazaar article on Silicon Valley gold diggers covered much of the same ground, heaping scorn upon the heads of those who don't dress well but could presumably afford to do so, and offending a number of our acquaintances. "I don't know why they care, or why they're giving it so much attention," grumbled one dot-commer. "It's not like they're saying anything new."

The worlds of fashion and the Internet economy appear, at first, antithetical, and in fact the dot-commers seem pretty freaked out by their discovery of a weird, airless sphere in which a person's human worth is largely determined by his or her ownership of the latest products. (Well, we can see where this would be frightening for them.) "Who cares who designed your shoes?" they cry -- or, in the words of this week's Industry Standard cover, "Fashionistas Go Home."

"Who cares who made your imaging application platform?" retort the fashionistas. But neither group is fooling us: The mutual repulsion, we believe, is actually a sublimated sort of Hepburn/ Tracy attraction thing. Greek Grammar Debate Rages On
We've never pretended to be grammarians, so we are pleased to have other people carry on the dispute over our usage of "hoi polloi" without us. Theresa Allen writes, "While I don't wish to slight Mr. Muzzy's interpretation of the use of 'hoi,' I do wish to let you know that your use of the article is correct. He may wish to consult Herbert Weir Smyth's Greek Grammar, paragraph 1118 et sequentia, 'The Generic Article.' Also, Liddell & Scott's Greek Lexicon cites 'hoi polloi,' in the definition for the adjective, 'polus, polle, polu,' and defines it as 'the majority' (as opposed to 'hoi oligoi' which means 'the few,' and perhaps, in the right context, 'the minority'). Pat yourself on the back! I would say, for whatever my opinion happens to be worth, that your classical acumen has quite the 'gloss'!"

Meanwhile, no less an authority than Dog Bites' own father consulted the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins -- "Who knew such a book could be the source of so much enjoyment!" remarks Dog Bites' mother, who has never actually said she wishes she hadn't given him the volume for Christmas -- and found the following: "Purists shudder at the sight of the hoi polloi in print, pointing out that it is equivalent to "the the many". However, theirs is probably a futile struggle. Even such conscientious writers as John Dryden refer to the hoi polloi and in British university slang that is the common designation for students who graduate without honours."
We trust that settles the question.

Tip Dog Bites -- especially if you're disgruntled. Phone 536-8139; fax 777-1839; e-mail

About The Author

Laurel Wellman


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