To Correct or Not Too? (the battle between grammar and shear evil)

If the above title makes you queasy and quite frankly a little nauseous, pat yourself on the back, because it should. There are blatant grammar mistakes infused into the title to purposely illustrate the foul visual odor that most grammarians can detect within a five mile radius. And it’s stinking up the place, figuratively speaking.

Now, please don’t start going through my blogs with a fine-tooth comb, pointing out all of my grammar mistakes. I am first and foremost human, despite what you may have heard. I’m bound to make mistakes. I usually realize that they’re there after the fact, and don’t feel like going through the hassle of finding the edit button. On other occasions, I know that they’re there, and quite frankly my dear Charlotte, I don’t give a flying rat’s- GEEZ, give me a blog space and my G-rated language takes an unexpected turn. Stick around, apparently I’m playing it fast and loose. (Jokes, jokes… I have the most mild language out of anyone I know, especially on here.)

For the vast majority of you on the blogosphere- you get it. You know that you shouldn’t start a sentence with the word and, and you don’t end a sentence with a preposition. You know how to properly differentiate among there, their, and they’re, and know how to properly use to, two, and too. Sometimes for the sake of emphasis in a post, or to evoke a sensation or emotion from the reader, you bend the rules a little, because it makes for a better read. It is not those of you to whom I am referring. I am referring to the people who don’t recognize their grammar errors. Ever. Spelling, punctuation, pronunciation, you name it- these people are equal opportunity butchers.

I may have slightly deviated from my main argument because my soap box, being the sneaky little vixen that it is, presented itself to me as an irresistible new platform in the form of a blog. Rant and rave on, my friend. But, I assure you the soapbox is back in its corner. For now.

The real reason for my bringing to light this topic is to pose a question to the masses: is it ever not appropriate to correct someone’s language or spelling? I’m not referring to a meet and greet with a president of the United States during which you scold him for talks of “nucular missiles,” but for more common situations with, say, your boss.

Here is the scenario with which I was faced earlier today: I am a student of occupational therapy, and was on a clinical fieldwork assignment today at an elementary school where the COTA (Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant) was my supervisor. She fills out the grading sheet and evaluation at the end of our fieldwork rotation, which happens to have been today. During one particular session, I was working on handwriting skills with a little boy on her caseload. The child was to copy the words the therapist had written at the top of his page. I noticed the word macaroni was misspelled macoroni.

For the sake of the child, and not to mention, my own neurosis, I so badly wanted to fix it and teach the student the correct spelling, but my filter prevented me from doing so. I feared that my supervisor would feel threatened, or as though I was trying to undermine her. What I truly worried would happen is that her discontent would reflect in my evaluation. I’ll say it now to get it out of the way. No, that’s not how it should be, but I know none of you are naïve enough to think otherwise. Personal vendettas cloud the eyes of justice every day. I know I’m simply filling the shoes of Captain Obvious for a minute, but just in case you lived isolated in a bubble with some false sense of an altruistic society, I’m glad I could bring you down a couple notches.

You’re welcome.

Freakin’ soap box, get back in your corner!

I left from that school today feeling defeated; as though I did a disservice to that little learner. But the truth of the matter is- there are definitive moments in which our purest-intentioned attempts at grammar rehabilitation are considered abrasive, unsolicited and harshly unwelcomed.

My question to you is this: how do you cope with a boss or person in a position of leadership who consistently abuses the “English” (American) language? Or perhaps what’s worse- when you’re in the company of close friends, and one of the girls in your inner circle continually slaughters the pronunciation of her words with no remorse?

If you’re anything like me, then every fiber in your being wants to correct everyone, everywhere, every time.

I’m just looking for educated, well-formed opinions here. In order to keep the peace, do we let the art of proper grammar die with us, and risk improper slang becoming the new standard? Or do we embrace the repercussions of momentarily remediating poor linguistic decisions, and risk suffering at the hands of the [grammatically inferior] powers that be?

Annnnnnnd GO!

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19 Reasons Why I Didn’t Sleep Last Night

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYeah, the title’s not too compelling, but judging by the topic, do you think the rest of the blog is going to be any better? But, in case for some bizarre masochistic reason you continue reading, here is a brief glimpse into my futile attempt at sleeping last night:

12:00 Woke up because I accidentally wore my socks to bed.  Heck no. *Shudder*

12:30 I’m convinced there was an owl under my house with repetitive interrogatives (please someone get this pun).

1:00 I was too hot (the heated blanket, flannel sheet, comforter and duvet were just a tad overkill.) Turned the heated blanket off.

1:30 I was too cold.  Turned the heated blanket back on.

2:00 I wanted to tear the skin off of my wrist where Pumpkin had scratched me (see Monday’s post) because it itched incessantly.  I’m convinced, after seeing a special on tv, that I now have ringworm.

2:30 Kicked Maisy out of my bedroom because she sat at the window and chittered to the leaves on the ground. They are not freaking birds.  CEASE.AND.DESIST!

3:00 Maisy wanted back in my bedroom (she’s learned that if she projects her voice under the door, she can increase her volume exponentially and expedite her human’s response time.)

3:30 Wide awake, listening to the sound of the bathroom clock ticking.  It quickly became a metronome for the songs in my head.

3:45 Woke up to Sasha’s bathtub vocal trills.  Not that I can blame her. I sound better when I sing in the shower too.

4:00 What does the fox say? Nothing, he just sounds like a woman dying in the field behind my house, complete with blood-curdling screams.   I vaguely recall opening the window at one point to scream SHUT UP!!! but that’s kind of a blur.  I’ll ask the neighbors if they heard anything weird last night.  Then I’ll blame the ones who live on the other side of me.

4:15 Paralyzing foot cramp, complete with tripping over a cat and hitting my funny bone on a doorknob, which isn’t all that noteworthy because I do this sort of thing during the day when I CAN see where I’m going.

4:30 Plastic bag crinkling. Maisy is emptying the contents of a plastic bag so she can carry it around (I have yet to psychoanalyze that one).

4:45 A cat spring-boarding from my face alerts me to the start of NASCAR kitty hour and to the fact that I forgot to shut the bedroom door after putting Maisy’s plastic bag under the kitchen sink

5:00 Um, sir, unless you drive a military grade TANK, your car should not be loud enough to wake me up as you drive by.  And if, by chance, you do drive a tank… then by all means, carry on my friend, carpe the freakin diem…

5:30 First alarm goes off. Reset to 6:15 (I am adeptly skilled at this).

5:45 Drifting off to sleep… Finally…

6:00 Sub coordinator calls me asking if I can teach today.  Nope. Pediatric clinical fieldwork day. So essentially, I’m doing the same thing, just not getting paid for it.

6:05 Start falling back asleep

6:15 Second alarm goes off.  Got up, scowled at the clock, then the cats.  Then the car wouldn’t start in the artic temperature… which meant… no time for coffee… *insert Gollum reference here*

Now if you’ll excuse me, there are some sleeping animals that need to be tampered with…

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Today’s the day I start blogging…

pumpkin roll

If you’d like to read a little more about me, you can stop by my profile page. I’ve got plenty to say.  But tonight’s post is all about one of my cats.  If “cat lady” didn’t come with all the connotations of mental instability, I would gladly accept the title.  But being of sound mind (debatable to some), I’ll stick with cat lady in training.  Cat young lady.  Young cat lady. Oh whatever.  I have 3 cats. All rescues.  Hashtag I’m a sucker for animals in need.  (For the LOVE of all things holy – WHAT is a hashtag?) Never mind, it’s more fun to use it incorrectly and watch people get bent out of shape.  Regardless, tonight’s blog revolves around my four-year-old Maine Coon kitty named Pumpkin.  Unbeknownst to me, when I took Pumpkin into my loving home as a kitten, I had no idea he was a long haired cat.  There are surprises with a long haired cat that I never encountered with the others.  This is where tonight’s episode begins.  And, may I add, if you have a weak stomach, this post isn’t for you.

It was about 10:45pm, and after a long day of OT classes, and another three hours of fieldwork, I was exhausted.  I got home, threw leftovers in the convection oven for a few minutes, then plopped on the couch.  Pumpkin comes sacheting into the living room looking slightly mortified. He had just been in the litter box- my house is not that big; you can hear everything.  Works to my disadvantage when I need to use the little girl’s room when the boyfriend is over.   Anyway, back to Pumpkin.  I’m about to bite down on a french fry, when suddenly, and without warning, he throws his foot over his head and starts going to town on his “nether” region. It was horrifying. It did not stop.  I just could not eat with that in my peripheral vision, so I went over to survey the situation and politely suggest an alternate self-colonic location for him. It was then that I observed a piece of poop stuck in his fur. In all fairness, I did warn you.  So, doing my “mommy” duties, I got a paper towel, and pulled. Along with the turd came about 5 more inches of fur-like grossness. What goes in… must come out… After a legit mini-vomit, there was still a poop situation with which to contend. I ran and grabbed a scissors- I wanted to give Pumpkin ample time to sharpen his back claws and practice his capoeira. The fight that ensued will be re-enacted in a sequel of the next exorcist movie. Bloodied up, and probably needing a stitch or two, I lulled my cat into a sense of false security, then wrapped his Maine Coon butt up so fast he didn’t know what hit him. It wasn’t enough. He began writhing about, so I flipped him on his back with only his nasty bum sticking out of the hell burrito. I literally straddled him, supporting my weight but pinning him at his sides with my inner legs. I had 5 seconds to chop at some butt fur before his back foot, claws in full extension, emerged from the end of the Hannibal Lector roll-up like a zombie’s hand emerges from the earth. He somehow was able to roundhouse swing that freaking kitty leg 360 degrees and sink those razor claws into my forearm… again. Distracted momentarily by my new flesh wounds, I failed to realize Houdini had thrashed his way out of the towel wrap and into a corner of the bathroom. He flattened himself as low as he could go, and proceeded to give me the glare of death that every cat owner has experienced in his or her lifetime. At that moment, he was Gollum, trying to protect “his precious.”  Sensing my demise eminent, I hid the scissors. Last ditch effort: warm, wet paper towels. Then, my life sunk to an even lower level of low as I asked him, “can I at least wipe you off?” To which he silently responded with a facial gesture suggesting something along the lines of  ”#!$@ you..”  He didn’t seem thrilled about the warm paper towels, but it beat the other alternatives of the night.  I probably wouldn’t have had to have been so thorough, but apparently as a cat there’s something so irresistible about sleeping with your butthole just inches from your humans face.   After all that, I somehow don’t feel like eating.

The good news is- I found my lost Band-Aids.  Maybe some day I’ll find my dignity…

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