Tuesday, November 3, 2009

the panda says NO!

Have you ever read Eats, Shoots, and Leaves?

If you have, did you find it hilarious and wildly entertaining?

If the answer to either of those questions is no, you might not enjoy this post. Just a warning.

So, I just logged onto Facebook and, upon surveying the new and significantly creepier "Live News Feed", saw that a friend had joined a group called "Real Men Don't Lie To, Cheat On, or Abuse Woman." I imagined someone making this statement in a very adamant caveman-like voice and giggled...and then realized I was laughing at group for domestic abuse.

But seriously. This wouldn't necessarily be a group I'd join anyway, but if nothing else, I would refuse to join it because of the yucky grammar mistake. Grammar snob? I guess. Yup.

On a sidewalk in East Lansing, there's a silver electrical box that sports some very irritating graffiti. "Working hard or hadly working?" it asks. Now, author of this message: Were you perhaps going for a Boston accent? Fail. Pick a dialect! Either put an "r" into "hardly", or take the "r" out of "hard." I'm sorry, but you cannot have both. Watch out, electrical box. Someday my Sharpie and I will get you.

Last week, my resident mentor put up some cheery Halloween signs in our hallway. Nice glittery exclamations of "BOO!" and "HAPPY HALLOWEEN!" dotted our walls. And then there was one that said, "Quiditch anyone?" Mmm. Oh dear. I felt very disgruntled. I got out a marker and squeezed an extra "d" in there, and went back later to add the appropriate comma. "Quidditch, anyone?" Much better.

If I was a superhero, I bet my superpower (unfortunately, sadly, but truthfully) would have something to do with grammar. I felt like I was righting some massive injustice in the world with that Sharpie and my grammar knowledge.

But seriously, as I was writing this, I thought to myself, "Congratulations. You are CRAZY. Please just stop caring about this stuff! Please?" Without doubt, getting upset over the misspelling of Quidditch and being angry at electrical boxes points to some level of eccentricity. It's taken me a while to realize that I care about grammar in disgusting excess, and anger over misplaced commas just isn't prime conversation for most people. In an attempt at pleasantry, I'm learning to refrain from grumbling when I notice mistakes on fliers, menus, and street signs. And I just realized that there's a good chance that me correcting that sign made my RA feel bad. Eeeek.

But even if I learn to control my words with this one, I'll absolutely still be a stickler at heart. It's important sometimes, I swear! Life or death, even. I'll leave you with the example from the back cover of Eats, Shoots, and Leaves. (Which you should pick up, by the way, if you can at all relate to my grammar-snobbery.)

A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.

"Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly-punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

"I'm a panda," he says at the door. "Look it up."

The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.

"Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots, and leaves."


  1. ROFL! I just happened upon your blog from the friendly "Next Blog" button on the Blogger navigation bar... I will admit, I am a bit scared to comment for my grammar when I comment quickly isn't always perfect. But, alas, I enjoyed the post. All hail the Sharpie!

  2. I bet if I looked really hard, I could find a grammar mistake in your post. Side-note: My most common grammer mistake? Misspelling grammar.