Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Man of My Dreams

If I were not married to Husband (or to Tom Hanks, long recognized as The Only Man For Whom I Would Leave Husband), I would be stalking Jeff Rubin.

Who is Jeff Rubin, you might ask? He's this guy.

The folks at my office refer to me (lovingly, I'm sure) as the Grammar Nazi. And if my fascination with grammar drives them to make politically incorrect comparisons of me to Hitler, my obsession with punctuation is downright Blackshirt-ish. Misplaced apostrophes literally (yes, I mean that) make my pulse race.

One of my co-workers is the sweetest guy in the world. He has met exactly one person he didn't like (he's kept track) and would give you the tongues out of his shoes if you asked for them. But he is befuddled by apostrophes. He disclosed this disability in his initial job interview and I laughed it off.

"Oh, apostrophes are easy!" I trilled. "In a month you'll be wondering why you ever struggled with them."

The first few news releases he sent my way for edit looked as if they had been randomly sprinkled using an apostrophe shaker. About half of the plurals were indicated with the evil mark. I smiled and inserted the maverick curlicues back into the possessives and contractions where they belonged.

"Remember that plurals never use apostrophes, no matter what you see on all those wood 'Smith's' and 'Anderson's' signs on RVs," I told him gently.

That was seven years ago.

Now, as I edit his copy, I no longer make little caret marks and discreet arrows to indicate the misplaced apostrophes. My red pen slashes and I whimper and the word WHYYYY???? has been known to be used if I'm having a bad day.

It's a small thing, I always realize after my blood pressure returns to normal, and certainly doesn't overbalance his diligence and skills in other areas.

But I dream then, for just a moment, of a world in which "it's" is never possessive and names like Jones and Stevens are not allowed to exist.

Jeff Rubin, give me a call.

1 comment:

  1. Sara,

    You might get a kick out of this video.

    Just watched as a friend was making a comment similar to yours about the proper use of words.