Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Orts and Blurb (Grammar Edition)

Well, what do you know. I've been so busy meeting a killer deadline (and un-laboring on Labor Day, and eating pupusas) that I've arrived at Friday without accumulating enough orts to make a whole post. So this week let's talk about grammar! Yay!

1. I acknowledge that I cannot throw a baseball reliably enough to not hit my own feet with it (yes, I have done this). I cannot broil a steak that doesn't require extensive chewing. There are so, so many things that I do so, so poorly. However, I spell like a boss, and now I understand why all those people who could throw baseballs laughed as they saw the ball bounce off my toe. This seat WABILS? Hahahahaha!

2. If I were not at the end of the week (see: killer deadline) I could maybe flesh out an entire post about punctuation inflation. Has anyone else noticed that the marvelously efficient single dot used to end sentences (also known as the period) is quickly being replaced by the exclamation point? In the olden days, whippersnappers, exclamation points were reserved for true exclamations. (Dang! I burned my hand. I should have used a potholder.) The exclamation point, though, has become the go-to punctuation for any sentence that isn't a question, with the number of EPs indicating the passion in the statement. (Dang!!!!! I burned my hand!!! I should have used a potholder!) I have resisted this trend by ruthlessly slashing the multiple exclamation points that come past my desk in the course of a day. (Really? The barbecue you are inviting students to attend will have DELICIOUS FOOD!!!!!!!!!?) I'm only human, though, and my resistance is being eroded to the place where I use this punctuation myself! And than I slap myself on the forehead. Ouch! That hurts.

3. I'm sure you already know this, but you've seen the instructions on how to comfort a grammar nerd, right? Just say "There, their, they're."

4. I will read almost any book, as long as it's well-written and not about vampires. Romance novels? Detective stories? Biographies? Bring 'em all on. The key phrase there, though, is "as long as it's well-written." Last week I opened a book on my e-reader to an opening sentence that was something along the lines of "The girls always had loved shoes, because they were shallow." I wish I could quote the sentence exactly, with its ambiguous meaning (The shoes were shallow? Or the girls?) but I was so incensed by this opening sentence that I deleted the book from my reader. Poof. It was gone. And in spite of this deletion being the modern equivalent of book-burning, I can't believe my grammar purist friends wouldn't approve.

5. Finally, another snooty picture taken because it made me laugh:

One day I'll let you watch me try to throw a baseball, and you all may laugh at me.


  1. I loved this post. After reading this I was doing an online transaction and thought of you. The site was very fond of exclamation points. "Enter your address below!" "Hit continue to place your order now!" You would have loved it. ;)

  2. Sadly you can't edit with a red pen while you read through the web. Always makes me feel a bit better. :)