Grammar Nerd

I submitted a semi-formal complaint today at the grocery store.

…..regarding grammar…

You see, they’ve been redoing posters in this store recently.

One of my favorite posters was replaced by a somewhat lame poster, right where I can’t miss seeing it as I enter the store.

That was already an annoyance.

Now, add onto it that this semi-lame poster also incorrectly uses the word (the adjective, in fact) “everyday” in place of the correct, two-word, adverbial version “every day”.

That blew it up for me… I wanted to vandalize like that little comic-type drawing is of the old lady spray-painting a correction on some sign, and being carted away for it by the police.

I could practically picture the whole thing.

And so I considered doing what I had done on a sign at my high school once, and just taping a piece of paper over the sign, displaying the correct wording on my added piece.

(Yes, I actually measured the sign letters on this new sign at school that read “PULL UP SLOW”, and hand-wrote “LY” in a similar red block script, taped all over the paper to seal it from rain, and then taped it deftly and thoroughly to the edge of the sign, in line perfectly with “SLOW”, but totally sticking off the edge of the sign, due to how the words were placed….

Not long afterward, the sign disappeared altogether…….. eventually to be replaced by a new sign that read “PULL UP SLOWLY”….. success.)

But the sign was so big, and I worried at being accosted by police or being given a ticket for it, despite my noble intentions…

So, I casually brought it up in conversation with employees here and there, and they mentioned that they would say something about it to management…

And then I waited…

And, months later now, I walked in today and saw this blasted sign, alongside a new sign that listed the store hours, underneath a bit that reads “Open Everyday”…

That was it.

I went straight to the help desk, and calmly asked if I could make a small, likely pretty odd complaint.

Of course, was the response.

‘It’s about the posters outside,’ I said, and three heads and three pairs of eyes suddenly popped straight at me, aghast.

I assured them that it wasn’t anything bad about them, and then carefully explained what was wrong, that I, admittedly, am a teacher and am accustomed to correcting this sort of thing all the time, and that I didn’t mean to freak anyone out, because I know it is a small thing, but I want them to have the accurate version.

And so, as I explained why “everyday” was wrong and “every day” was right for the two signs, the guys who was the initial person to talk to me wrote a note to give to those in charge of all the signage, and he even showed it to me, so I could verify that he’d gotten it right.

He had.

And I was relieved.

They even said that they hoped I still would come to the store (I had told them that it made me not want to come back, it was driving me so nuts now), which I found to be sweet.

Whether they saw me as crazy or not – the guy did say that I needn’t explain myself, not in the least, so that’s hopeful that at least he didn’t find me to be crazy – they were still kind, and still wished me well.

I then did my shopping with a great sense of relief – at last – in my body, having finally done something that truly could handle that “everyday” situation (which, unfortunately, is becoming a sort of everyday event, now that no one seems to learn grammar and spelling anymore).

Post-a-day 2019

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A letter from my past self

The following is the transcription of a letter I found this week.  (Yes, it was in one of the boxes of papers and folders and such.)  I wish I had found it months ago, when I’d first returned from Japan.  However, it still did me loads of good when I read it the other day.  While I missed out on some bits it mentions, I actually did a really good job of fulfilling most of the tasks prescribed in it… a version of them, anyway.

Anyway, it is a letter I wrote to myself when I was still on my college campus, about to leave to study abroad in Germany and Austria.  As per standards of our school’s study abroad program, we all had to write our future selves a letter, which would be mailed to us upon our return from our study abroad programs.  I fully acknowledge that mine is full of grammatical errors, but that was part of why I was going abroad anyway – to improve my language skills.  Also, the whole letter is written in cursive, because I do that.  The third sentence actually caused me to tear up, and the fourth had me crying.  It’s amazing how right I was, and I really didn’t know that I ever would be in the current situation in which I find myself.

……………………

10. April 2012
Dienstag

Hannah Leigh, chèrie,

Ich weiss nicht, was muss ich dir sagen.  Ich kenne dich nicht, weil du so viel gechanged hast.  Welcome home – may it still feel that way to you.  You are forever welcome here, so remember that – you might need it some day.  Okay, here’s what I want you to do:

1) Go record it.  Get on your computer, write up any questions
you would love for others to ask, & then record yourself
answering them.  Then you can do what you want with
it all, but you will have that satisfaction, that completeness,
wholeness of having shared what you needed, desired, wanted
to share.

2) Talk to people.  Make a quick list of what specifically you already
have wanted to share with whom.  Call each person & set up when
& where you will share what you have to share.  Share with them.

3) Talk to Opa.  No matter where he is, go visit him & talk with
him completely in German.

4) Find someone local with whom you can be open, close, & frank, & speak
only German (or completely German) together with ease.

5) Remember that it’s all right not to “know” who you are.  Knowing
makes no difference, anyway, so no good reason to bother with it.
Look yourself in the mirror & see all that has passed, & be open to
all that will come.

6) You are woman & you create the universe with your being.  Your
power is endless, & it is selfless love that feels it.  Love your
mother & your Mother.  Love your self wholly, & your next
step will become available and visible to you.

7) Be at peace.  Even if it was &/or is hard, it is all relative.
Take it for the beneficial experience that it is, & enjoy every
bit you have gotten & will get from it all.

8) Now & every time you see that it just might possibly help,
take a deep breath & close your eyes, letting your thoughts
run around & then calm naturally as you breathe deeply.

I love you & I wish you all the best.  I am here with you always, though I will now be transformed from the time I wrote this letter.  My understanding & my love have only increased & expanded, I promise.  You are wonderful.  You are beautiful.  You are mine.

I love you.  Love me, too.
❤ Peace       Hannah Leigh

 

P.S. Pretend I pressed a flower in here to give you a wholesome smile & kiss.  🙂 oxox

…………………………………………………..

Post-a-day 2018

Tying up dirty boys with grammar

Changing laundry from the washing machine to the dryer (It’s a machine, I know!!!!!!!*), I saw a towel on the floor between the two machines.  It was originally intended for the load of red shades earlier today, but the load was too large for comfort, so I pulled out the towel.  I left it on the floor, because a towel load needed to be done today or tomorrow anyway, so why bother bringing it back upstairs just to bring it back down only hours later?  But that isn’t the point.

The point is (sort of) that I saw the towel sitting there, and I had an almost-urge to pick it up and put it in the dryer with the laundry I was transferring.  Not that I wanted to put it in with the clean laundry, but that, usually, whenever something is on the floor there, it is because it has fallen in the transfer between the two machines.  So, I simultaneously wanted not to touch the towel, to put it in the dryer, and to move it to the dirty towels upstairs (since I wasn’t doing the final two loads tonight, but doing them tomorrow).  And, for a good moment, I was worried that I would pursue the final of the three, and accidentally fulfill the second in my tiredness and in the middle of routine muscle movements, and then wish for the first.

I managed to let go of having to deal with the towel now, and I left it on the floor, for fear of the second result.

As I thought about that possible second result, I was practically distraught at how it would ruin the fact that I had already put the load of clothes on to wash.  By putting one single towel in the dryer, I thought, an entire load of laundry would be considered dirty.  Now, why doesn’t that work the other way around?  Why does one piece of clean laundry not make a load of dirty laundry clean, when mixed together?  The dirty still win out.  And how come a whole load of clean laundry can’t overpower the one dirty article?  The clean just can’t overcome.

And then – now, this is the point of this all – I wondered about what is life is like this, if anything.  Almost immediately, I thought about gender pronouns (and particularly in Spanish and French, because I learned those first).  It’s just like guys and girls.  A group full of guys, the dirty clothes, is (let’s use French) ils.  Add one girl, the clean clothing, and it stays ils.  A group full of girls is elles.  Add one boy, and it becomes ils.

So, no matter what, if there are any boys, it is ils, dirty.  The only way to keep it elles is to have only girls – no boys allowed.

And how odd that the boys are the dirty laundry and the girls are the clean… so like life, and I hadn’t even intended it to be so.**

Anyway, isn’t all of that fun?!  Towels to grammar to life comparisons – I do lead an extraordinarily interesting life, huh?  😛

 

 

*Japan doesn’t exactly do dryers.  People are expected to hang clothes outside, because every has a stay-at-home wife, you see… not.  Everyone used to have a stay-at-home wife, but the lifestyle hasn’t changed.  It just takes days and days to do laundry as a solo-liver, because weather can decide to soak your clean clothes while you’re off at work, or hide the sun from them, or be too humid for them to dry at all until they start to smell of mildew…  I just hung mine all indoors, because I’d heard too many stories from my brother’s issues.  Plus, supposedly people steal women’s underwear from the drying clothes in Japan.  I didn’t need to deal with any of that nonsense.  So, I set my air conditioner to a daytime setting to keep the apartment mildew-free, which also helped dry my clothes!

** I once wrote a poem about how boys are dirty.  I didn’t exactly believe any of it, but I knew that people thought boys were dirty and smelly, and I rolled with the idea.

Post-a-day 2017

There is and there aren’t…

My pet peeve lately has been the incorrect use of the phrase “There is…”.  I don’t know what it is about this particular phrase, but it currently feels as though the whole of the English-speaking USA got together and decided to stop using the phrase “There are…”, as though they wanted to drive me even more insane right now.

I usually am not so picky on any particular phrase or wording with people’s speech.  Usually, I correct it automatically in my head, and I’m okay with everything.  Certainly, I always wish the grammar were better than it is, however, I typically am able to accept the grammar as it comes from any given individual.  I guess that this one is just really getting to me, because no one seems to be able to use the correct words, but I have spent most of my life experiencing people using the correct words regularly.  It’s as though everyone suddenly forgot while I was gone for a year.

Weird.

 

Post-a-day 2017

Mass: exercise for the brain(?)

I critique the priests’ sermons at Mass.  I don’t mean to do it.  It just happens automatically for me.  Just like how I automatically correct anything I read, people with whom I talk, and even the conversations I overhear, I critique the sermons at church.

Grammar is one thing, of course, and it is always being tracked in my mind.  I regularly use a certain phrasing or structure that I know to be incorrect, but that I know is, essentially, necessary for understanding for the listener or reader.  (I also know that errors show up on here all the time, but that’s mostly due to either the previously mentioned reason or the simple fact that I am writing on my phone, as I lie in bed, ready to go to sleep… Not the best time or means for correct writing, I know, but I’m lazy, so it’s often the situation I have.)  For the sermons, however, my brain decided years ago to treat them like essays.  I analyze their quality in terms of how they connect with the readings, how they connect with the audience (congregation), and how they create an inspiring message and clear means for doing good in the world.

It takes a true writer to come up with a sermon that would earn an A from me.  Most of the time, unfortunately, sermons earn somewhere around a low C.  Occasionally, there are bonus points awarded for specific tidbits within the sermon, but the sermons as a whole are not so great right now.  (This was actually one of my main reasons a decade ago for why women ought to be allowed to give sermons at Mass, even if they couldn’t be priests – not everyone is good at writing and giving speeches.)

This isn’t to say that I actually award points as I am sitting in Mass.  Certainly, I do not do that.  My brain is just in a sort of passive automatic critique mode, coming up with ideas for betterment in the sermon each time it hits a rough bit.  I do take care to focus on the actual sermon, especially since I know myself to do this critiquing so automatically.  It’s kind of like background noice, really, and so I only end up fully focusing on it when the sermon is really terrible.  (Fortunately, that isn’t too often.)

Post-a-day 2017

Today’s “ugh”

You know when people seem to ignore the question you ask, and instead answer a different one, one they assume you meant?  And you know how you asked that question on purpose, because you wanted an answer to that question, not some other question?  Yeah, I kind of want to punch people when they do this to me.

My mom and my best friend are the only ones who have a real shot at guessing whether and where I am going with an idea and questions I am asking about something, and they don’t even get it right all of the time.  And they know this, so, if they think I might be leading somewhere specific with my question, they ask if I am doing that, and still answer my question.  Other people don’t do that.  And it makes me kind of want to punch them for it.  Kind of…

Also, I can’t stand when people seem to be incapable of being straight about something.  I ask a question, because I am seeking the answer to that question (see aforementioned explanation).  Avoiding the answer or making up bull when the true answer is of actual importance is just plane crazy, and yet people like to do it a lot of the time, it seems.  Ugh!

Also, when highly educated people misuse basic points of grammar, I have a sort of desire to throw a drink in their faces (the bad-grammar users), and rush away, disgusted.  It’s dramatic, sure, but it’s a feeling that shows up somewhat often, nonetheless.

Anyway, I’ll go to sleep, now.  I’ve had an annoying time with these few thoughts today (in addition to what felt like a million others), so I guess I just wanted to get them off my chest, in a sense…

Post-a-day 2017

Nerd Jobs to the Rescue

So, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with myself come August, when my current job’s contract will be complete, and I will need to have a different job.  In brief, I have gone back and forth from calm serenity and trust in the universe and God to utter disaster, self-doubt, and depression.

Today, I happened to look into copy-editing, as a book I recently was given (I’ve only listened to the first bit so far) made it sound rather exciting.  The article I found was quite nerdy and helpful, but I eventually moved thoughts elsewhere, and forgot about the copy-editing.

Later on, as I was thinking about what I had done at work for the day, – slept two hours, done some research on the computer, played on Facebook a bit (truly only a bit today), chatted with a couple coworkers (while they were around, anyway), sat on the floor while listening to music, used the bathroom several times, and looked up grammar and punctuation rules – I chuckled at the last one on the list.

“I just spent an hour looking up punctuation, because I wanted to.  Can I just find a job that lets me do that kind of thing all the time?”

And then it struck me: Duh!  Copy-editing.

I already love editing people’s e-mails and papers and letters and websites and such.  That was part of what the article said as an early step to becoming a copy-editor, and I already do it…. and just for fun!

As my mom said when I mentioned copy-editing to her this evening (morning for her), it sounds terribly boring.  Really, I agree with her completely on how it sounds.  And yet, as I just mentioned on here, I already do it, and I do it for free and for fun. <– Yes.  See that?  I meant it, and still do mean it.  I do the editing for fun right now, and there’s an actual paying opportunity for doing just that, so I think it would be well worth my time and effort to take strides in the official copy-editor direction.  😀

Post-a-day 2017