What’s in a Word?

Do you ever lay in bed at night, trying to sleep, and suddenly, your mind decides to reach into its dark, hidden stash of almost-forgotten memories to slap you in the face with the most random shit?  I have to believe this happens to other people (it’s what keeps me sane, so don’t pop that balloon, for all our sake).

And by the way, what the hell is up with these nighttime reveries anyway??  It’s your one time to relax and not think. You’re laying there, feeling the hardships of the day seeping out of your overburdened consciousness, and you’re grateful for the quiet … glad to be away from the noise of it all.  Suddenly, your brain is like, NO! You will NOT sleep … you will instead fixate on that irritating commercial jingle you heard in third grade as it plays over and over in your head. Or how about that stupid thing you did at work five years ago? You know what I’m talking about. In the conference room in front of everyone too. That was fun, huh? Or, why does a round pizza come in a square box? Answer that one, smart guy.  Why is it that if someone yells “duck” they are helping you, but if they yell “chicken” they are mocking you? Have they ever even MET a chicken? Those things will tear you up. Tear. You. Up.  Or the old tried and true, are there birds who are afraid of heights? Poor birds.

So. Yeah.

Anyway, I bring all of this up to let you in on the crap question-of-the-night my brain decided to throw at me last night. Perhaps you’ll relate. Perhaps you’ll have an answer. Perhaps you will be kind enough to soothingly touch my arm (figuratively speaking, of course, since we are on the internet and as far as I know, we can’t actually reach out and touch someone … yet) and say, encouragingly, why, no, Wendy, you are not crazy. Not crazy at all. It will all be all right.

Is the plural of a computer mouse, mouse(s) or mice?  The crux of the problem, the answer to which I unwillingly contemplated for hours, is this: grammatically, saying computer mouses just isn’t right and the grammar-fanatic in me fights back against such misuse. But … saying computer mice … well, in a word, drives me flipping insane. It sounds neither right nor logical … just stupid.

Me at Best Buy: “Excuse me clearly overworked sales clerk, but do you have any computer mice?”  I feel as though such a request would be met with disdain if not outright confusion. Oh, of course they would know what I meant, but wonder in awe at my attempt at being “hip.” (On a side note, do we still say hip?)

It took me longer than it should have (4 hours 32 minutes) to figure out an answer to this late-night grammar puzzle. But solve it, I did. Aren’t you proud?

Simply put, I will never ever be in a situation where I have to use the plural of computer mouses  mice  mouses  mice  mouses … aaarrrgghhh!

Grammar Police:  Heroes or Villains?

They are all over the social media sites.  They are hated and feared, but we all have to giggle at them.  Maybe you know one.  Maybe you are one.

The Grammar Police.

This is a very unique group of people who can take anyone’s heartfelt sentiment and reduce it to rubble with their inability to resist correcting misspellings and grammar.

Here’s an example of how the Grammar Police can ruin nearly anything they read:

Poster: I am thrilled to announce the birth of my sweet baby boy, Paul.  After years of trying and much heartbreak, we have a little miracle of our own.  I finally feel at peace with the tragedy that has struck so often in the past when I look at his perfect little face.  We weren’t sure he would make it through the delivery, and it was touch and go for me for a while, too.  An emergency C-Section saved both of our lives, but the surgeon accidentally dropped his watch into the incision and had to go back in to get it. The hospital lost electricity and the surgery was done without anesthesia by candlelight. We are so pleased that Paul is not only cute, but healthy, to.

Grammar Police: *too

Poster:  Really?  Your heartless.

Grammar Police: *you’re

I am anti-Grammar Police, personally.  The poster has clearly gotten their point across and has anxiously hit the “post” button, awaiting the outpouring of support or debate the update will bring.  Instead, an entire segment of the social media population fixates on one thing: the unfortunate use of “there” instead of “their.”  Or “to” instead of “too.”

I admit, any error in grammar or spelling jumps out of the impassioned sentences and slaps my brain like the thought of Elmer Fudd in the shower; impossible to ignore no matter how hard I try.  I am stronger than my urges, however, and will overlook the errors in the spirit of solidarity with the poster.  Inside, however, I am correcting with the best of them … I just choose to keep this obnoxious behavior to myself instead of posting it out there in public for all to see.

What I can’t ignore are people who abbreviate words in their postings for no reason whatsoever.  I’m sure you’ve seen these, too:

Poster:  U no I like u, rite?  Wut u doin’ l8ter?

Me:  What the hell are you saying? I know you’re trying to communicate … but come on! Work with me here!

I wonder what these people do with all the extra time they have saved by not typing out complete words.  My eyes wander across these posts, filling in the blanks, but the time they saved posting is time I waste translating.  I could have used those precious seconds to do so much with my day.

I think my favorite are the pseudo-intellectuals who attempt to drop big words into their posts, and use them incorrectly or spell them horribly.

Poster:  I just finished a grate autobiography today.  I understand Lincoln’s Emaciation Declaration much more, now.  People are so dumb; everyone should edukate themselves like I do.

Grammar Police:  Where do I start …

My own personal fear is auto-correct when I use voice-activated typing or texting.  If I don’t proofread my post before sending, I end up with something that reads:

Me: I read the cantaloupe yesterday.  I don’t knife why pickles hate digging that; I looped it.

Grammar Police:  I think I just had a stroke.

Grammar Police are either the unsung heroes of the internet, correcting their little world one word at a time, or they are the villains, wrecking dreams and sentiment with just a few keystrokes.  There is no in between; Grammar Police are all or nothing when it comes to their obsession.

If you are a member of the Grammar Police Force, knock it off.  We ALL see the errors, but we just don’t care; we read through the mistakes to the underlying message.  If you have been a victim of an overzealous Grammar Cop, keep on posting and know you are not alone.

As for the visual of Elmer Fudd in the shower?  You’re welcome.

Grammar Police…On Patrol

I’m thinking my special place in Hell might not be so readily available…or special…after all. Instead, I just may find myself dumped in some remote dungeon in a far off corner of that swinging hotbed of afterlife whimsy. I mean, I bet even Satan doesn’t want Grammar Nazis cluttering up the place, even — or perhaps, especially — if they are of the “sarcastic asshole” variety. Can you imagine being annoying enough to piss off the Devil and have him just wash his hands of you? My mother claims that if anyone has that innate ability, it would indeed be me.

Southern Grammar

While West Virginia isn’t technically “The South”—not at all in the same league as say Mississippi or Alabama—and while I wasn’t raised there, only spent summers in the state visiting grandparents, I somehow managed to absorb some local colloquialisms that my daughter constantly makes fun of me for because they sound so ridiculously Southern. I blame my parents (who are from West Virginia) completely for imprinting them on me. Just so you know that right up front.

Recently I was mad at one of my cats — again. This is not a rare occurrence. If any of you own cats, you’re bound to grit your teeth at something they’ve done on a nearly daily basis. Such is the nature of our fuzzy felines and I do love them even during these trying moments. I think.  Anyway, I was pissed at something one of my cats did and was on the verge of inflicting physical violence. Of course, I can’t swing my cat by the tail or anything like that so I decided to vent my anger through a steady stream of obscenities. One of the things I said in my blinding tirade was, “She makes me so mad I could just SPIT.” I must’ve said it with more vehemence than I realized and put an extra emphasis on the word ‘spit’ because my daughter practically broke down in hysterics. She said I sounded like a southern Moriarty. If any of you watch the excellent new Sherlock series on BBC you’d know just how ridiculous of a concept that is.

Mr. Bean

A couple days ago I had the unfortunate displeasure of conversing with an idiot rep from my abysmal satellite internet provider Wildblue. It was one of these conversations that just kept going round and round without making any headway in resolving my issue. Sometimes I think those calls are psychological experiments on patience and I’m the test subject because no one can be that bad at their job, can they? Exasperated, I hung up the phone and said (I’m sure in a frustrated tone), “Well, she doesn’t have the sense God gave a stump.” I guess my Southern accent (which, again, I shouldn’t even have since I’m not from the South) must have come out in my rage because there was my good ol’ daughter yet again in a fit of laughter at my odd choice of words. “Thanks, I’ll be here all week,” I sneered back at her.

I’m glad she can find my livid outbursts so amusing. One of her all-time favorite Wendy-isms is when I say “Piss or get off the pot” to confused drivers in front of me trying to decide if they want to turn, park, or keep on going. That one puts her in tears as she tries to control her laughter. These are all phrases that she apparently never hears anyone else say, which I find hard to believe. And I guarantee if she spent some time in my parents’ old stomping ground, she’d find that my creative use of words is a lot more common. Unfortunately she hasn’t had the pleasure of West Virginia summers.   So for now, I’m happy to entertain my ever-so-Yankee daughter with my anger induced stand-up routine, much to her delight.