A fun article in today’s media talks about a woman and “my years as an English teacher have left me with anti-social nitpicking disorder”……
“Every little misused apostrophe, dangling participle, “may” instead of “might,” “less” instead of “fewer,” “flout” instead of “flaunt” flames out at me and I have to douse the fire.
That was my job, of course, for 27 years. Early on, I had practised smiling affably when, over drinks at a party, a new acquaintance learning that I taught English would simper: “Well now, I guess I’ll have to watch my grammar.”
I thought at the time this was a social blunder on a par with asking an orthopedic surgeon you’ve just met for his opinions on that nagging pain in your ischial tuberosities, but it turns out the woman was right. With me you do have to watch it…..”I would have expected this urge to defend the language to dwindle with my retirement. I once laughed at the establishment of the Apostrophe Protection Association; now I am thinking of registering.”
Not quite sure why but this story reminds me of elementary school classmate Shelley who when asked by the teacher “does anyone know what is a metaphor?”, enthusiastically was waving her hand and answered to the guffaws of everyone “a place to put cows in!” (meadowfor/metaphor) Listen students, listen!…..(kids CAN be so cruel)….
A scan of the headlines can leave one quickly to conclude much of our world could be described to be out in left or right field. As individuals do we need to have our bases covered? How might we turn cynicism energy into something more positive?
Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes, into
Your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Good morning. -unknown