Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"The language of Shakespeare"

I have been involved lately in a series of communications with someone who can't seem to put a coherent sentence together let alone spell it correctly.

Her thoughts just come tumbling out, which, in and of itself, is not necessarily a BAD thing. But when you find yourself reading along and suddenly coming to a screeching halt with the thought  "What the hell are you talking about?" well, maybe it's time to go back to the beginning and read it over to yourself.

There's always the possibility that she's been doing just that and it makes perfect sense to HER, which opens up a another subject which, if I follow my normal thought processes, usually ends up with me coming to the conclusion that she's psychotic, bi-polar and probably drunk. I just KNOW her fingers are shaking as she types because she has read the first two, maybe three words of something, decided it isn't complimentary towards her and then goes up like Mt. St. Helen, having NO CLUE what was actually said. "I'm upset because..." translates to "I hate you because you're fat and stupid and I was bored and decided to kill time be insulting you" instead of "I'm upset because Uncle Bob called my son a girl." Sometimes I think she has a guilty conscience and lives in fear someone will actually call her on some of the things she's done. Lord knows, I'd LIKE to...but that won't accomplish anything at the present time.

Somewhere, in one of these tirades, she made a derogatory comment about my grammar...and the fact that I actually USE it. I'd go back and find it but that means I would have to wade through five or six of these epistles and I don't think I'm quite up to that. I ignored it when I responded but managed to use the word sycophant which, if I'm perfectly honest about it, wasn't exactly ignoring it. For what it's worth, I didn't call HER a sycophant, not that she'll make that distinction. For some reason, she tends to reduce me to new levels of profanity and, for a natural born potty mouth like myself, that takes some doing. Also, phrases like "you arrogant, self-absorbed lunatic" seem to spring unbidden from my keyboard, sort of like Athena emerging fully formed from the forehead of Zeus...but not as esthetically pleasing.

I admit, I have a SERIOUS problem with people who misspell and ramble on incoherently and put words in the wrong place and then complain that the people who make comments are snotty asshats who just want to show them up when we all know fully well what they're saying.

Not always. Ever tried to have any kind of logical debate with someone on the opposing team when they're writing arguments like "yesh, well, so yhou isn't just readidnz stuffs and itz not that." Say WHAT? In the first place, spell check, while not what it could be, WOULD have cleaned up most of that. I'm not sure I DO know what that means and I'm damn sure I have no idea what "THAT" is let alone why "itz" not that. I spent enough time with people who debate over the internet like that to know, believe me. Instead of allowing one to sort out the point that some conflicted gay Westboro Baptist is trying to make because maybe (not likely, but maybe) they have something to offer, one gets a warning from the dreaded "MODERATOR" who says, basically, "you're a jerk, we're a family friendly board and you aren't allowed to use good grammar here because your nose isn't far enough up out butts to tolerate something like that and, oh, by the way, we're closing your account because someone said you don't like me."

HOLY CRAP! It just dawned on me. The Mouse board is moderated by my sister-in-law! Damn, why didn't I see it before???   But again, I digress...

I try to be tolerant, I really do. I don't point out typos, unless they're funny. I've made more than one myself and we've all run spell check to discover, sometimes after the letter has been sent, that we typed "if" instead of "is" and no one caught it. THIS type of event I am perfectly willing to see as "I knew what you meant." without pointing it out.

In an effort to appear a rational, sentient human being when my sister-in-law wrote me an anguished "We're Orphan's now!" I refrained from commenting on her changing the word orphan to a proper noun and making it a possessive, because my first impulse was to ask: "you're an orphan's what?" but instead tried to address the issue.  The issue being that the Oliver Twist image is unbecoming to a woman in her 50s with married children.  Okay, I didn't phrase it quite that way, I asked her how old she was and made reference to "Food, Glorious Food" along with suggesting she expand her movie repertoire.

My parents sacrificed to send me to college. One of the things I learned there was that using a capital letter separates a common noun from a proper noun (and that words like "orphan" are not proper nouns unless one's name happens to be "Orphan"), putting an "s" at the end of a noun makes it a plural (as in more than one orphan), and putting an apostrophe before that same "s" turns it into a possessive (as in "Hey! That's Orphan's car!). No, wait, that was high school. No...sixth grade. Never mind. College was where I gained the confidence to use words of more than two syllables in everyday conversation. However, people like my sister-in-law and most of the idiots who attempt political debate on Disney boards seem to think that using proper spelling and grammar is an option exercised by the undesirables and meant only to show superiority and if people were really nice they would "dumb it down" for everyone.

Why would you want to go down if you're not on an escalator heading for the parking lot? Why not up?  Why didn't my SIL just look up the word schadenfreude instead of insulting me for using it? I'd didn't make it up and I'm hardly the first person to ever use it...I'm hardly the first person who didn't claim German as their native language to use it for God's sake! I look things up all the time...I'm almost 60 and I still can't remember whether or not there's an "e" at the end of Shakespeare. There is. I just looked it up.

Eliza Doolittle spoke better English sitting on the curb in Covent Garden than most Americans do today and, not only that, they're defensive about it. But that's another day.

No comments:

Post a Comment