Tuesday, June 3, 2008

You Give Grammar a Bad Name

Like many, I have quite a few pet peeves. One of my biggest pet peeves however, is when people can't get our language correct. Feel free to call me The Grammar Police.

Now if English is your second or third language, I'll cut you some slack. However if you were born and raised speaking The English, and you graduated from high school that has certified teachers with all their teeth, aren't married to their siblings and don't respond to the name "Billy Bob", you have no excuse.

The thing that drives me the most crazy is when people can't get even the simple stuff right. It's not "She did that two?" it's "She did that too?"
Others that drive me batty are the differences between "your" and "you're" or "there" and "their" or "where" and "wear" etc.
I don't expect everyone to be great writers but you should know the basics about the English language, right?

Sometimes, there are people that are SO out of touch it makes me physically cringe.

I once had an employee that would type "our" instead of "or" Yes. This is true. Please take a moment to cringe. Let it all soak in. I understand.

Then there was this one time at band camp where I dated a guy named Dave. Wait. "Dated" is way too serious of a term for what we were. I was communicating with a guy named Dave.
And it wasn't at band camp. I have just always wanted to say that.

Dave and I met online. (My favorite place to meet the best of the best men. But that's a post for another time.) And this guy was no exception. His sentences, if you could call them that, in his emails or instant messages would often be so confusing and make absolutely NO sense that I had zero hope to figure out what this poor sap was trying to say. So I would have no choice but to send back a simple, "Huh?"

Sadly I haven't kept any of his emails so I don't have concrete examples for you. Because I'm so dedicated to this blog, I was tempted to get back in touch with him just so I could give my readers a taste of this madness he called "written communication". But then I thought about it for more than two minutes and decided I don't like you guys THAT much. Sorry.

Anyway, because I couldn't keep this marvel to myself (I'm anything but selfish), I would forward these grammatical wonders to my girlfriend Shelly. She too was impressed with his sheer lack of anything close to remedial writing skills. It both amazed and terrified us at the same time.

Unfortunately, Dave and I didn't work out but his legacy lives on.

To this day, if one of us messes up an email, that person gets called "Dave". And it's not a compliment.

Example from just the other day:

Shelly: You Dave’d it! “when you are D are just going”
Becky:Wow! My Dave made absolutely no sense.


Shelly: Yeah, typically not a work though.
Becky: typically not AT work? Dave?
Shelly: Hi! Dave here. I’m back.


Shelly: Thing of how socially inept they are.
Becky: Dave!
Shelly: Crap! I thought he took the week off.

The morale of this story is that if Ben ever threatens not to do his English homework, I'll recite to him this little tale and proceed to tell him he never wants his name to be synonymous with a negative verb or noun. Depending on the sentence.


Shannon said...

Um. Morale?

That was on purpose, right? To make your point? Thought so.


Becky said...

Nice catch!!!

Now we'll never know if I did that on purpose or if I did a "Dave".


Becky said...

p.s. do you know how many times I proof-read this post? 1,432 to be exact!

the mama bird diaries said...

My in-laws constantly misuse "good" and "well." My husband insists they are being conversational. It's not conversational, it's just wrong.