traffic analysis

Thursday, July 9, 2009



A production assistant I used to work with in my days in film from the mid-90s to the early aughts used to say the phrase "Thanks God". When we would grind and wrap a day's shoot as scheduled she would say "Thanks God". When difficult and excruciatingly physical scenes would be shot with nary an accident, again, "Thanks God". When emotionally draining scenes would be over in less than 10 takes, "Thanks God". When fair weather prevailed throughout the week, "Thanks God".

At one point I couldn't take it anymore and asked her: "Close kayo ni God?" (Are you buddies with God?) I told her then that the appropriate thing to say is "Thank God" which simply says that we (everyone within earshot including herself) should be grateful to God. Because if she insists on saying "Thanks God" she should put a comma after 'thanks' but that would imply that she is the only one grateful and worse that she and God are more like equals, as in friends. And if that were the case, I told her, I'd rather she keep quiet lest the rest of the staff and crew and cast on our set get jealous with that special relationship of theirs. The reverence is lost for the Great One Up There.

Now I don't know her personal relationship with God. That is theirs alone. I will respect that. But I believe every time God's name is invoked and causes even the mildest irritation on some people -- I think the Great One Up There would mind. I avoided her from thereon lest God shows his sense of humor and strikes her with a lightning rod.

Which brings me to the latest ad for Vaseline Shampoo on local TV wherein the other great one, Vilma Santos, the one with the legendary English gaffes ("It's not my fault anymore, it's your fault anymore!"), extolls Vaseline's almost magical powers to 'resurrect' even the most dead of dead hairs. Thanks to Mother Nature's ingredients of course.

At the end of the ad, a female bit player says: "Thanks, Ate Vi" and Vilma says: "Thanks Vaseline. Thanks Nature". Vaseline and Nature are not people so it should've been "Thank Vaseline. Thank Nature".

I know, I know... it's all about recall. The creative people in that ad agency know their grammar. But imagine a whole new generation saying "Thanks God" or upon winning an acting award, "Thanks Oscars". Or maybe even "Thanks You".

On FB: "Thanks, MJ for the memories" is correct because the thanking is being directly said to MJ. In the same light, "Thank MJ for the memories" is also correct because it invites everyone to thank MJ for the memories including the person who uttered the phrase.

Anyway, thanks God it's Grammar Thursday.


  1. thanks God for this article :-) - felina

  2. Salamats sa Dios? I like this.

  3. I had a Basque friend who was a chef, and he could never tell the difference between "most " and "almost." Each time I'd thank him for yet another superb meal, he'd burst into an enormous smile and passionately exclaim, "You're almost welcome!"

    So, Martini, when are you going to tackle the misuse and abuse of apostrophe mark's?

  4. Martini, when are you going to tackle misused and abused apostrophe's?


  5. @Megaton re: Amigo de Vasco, maybe YOU didn't tip him enough, kaya, you're 'almost' welcome.

    Yes, how prophetic you are, I am intending to blog about 'em apostrophe's maybe in this' blogs' future post's.

    "Norman Thayer, thoundth like i'm lithping" -- Henry Fonda in 'On Golden Pond'