Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's Time To Have A Frank Talk About Your Periods

Yes, I sometimes live fast and loose with my punctuation and grammar rules... and my typographical errors and complete lack of proofreading beyond the occasional cursory spell-check...

And when I say "fast", I mean... you know... a skosh above walking speed.

For instance, I get so tired of making decisions about what words should begin with a capital letter in the title of my posts, I usually just slap a capital letter on every word. "Here's a special treat for you, "the"... today you become a man."

Sinny-hoo, I'm sure many more learned folks have lots of facts and whatnot to back it up, but I think technology is playing all kinds of hell with grammar and et-cettery. I'm not just talking about the crazy texting language that involves no punctuation or capitalization ever, either...

Today I sent an e-mail to another teacher in the building who was kind enough to let me borrow a student out of his class so she could make up a required test (required for the building, not for my class) during our Seminar time. I'd sent the request via e-mail, asking if I could get her out of class, and he e-mailed back he would just send her down at 12:40, and went on to ask if that was okay.

I started typing my reply as follows:

"That's great. Thanks!"

In my eyes it looked so very sarcastic. So I tried:

"That's great! Thanks!"

And now it looked entirely too over-the-top happy and grateful and that dog that used to hop around Spike or whatever that bigger dog's name was in that Looney Toons cartoon.

So I went back to the first version. But it still struck me as being so very sarcastic... or at the very least, spoken in a monotone with no sincerity whatsoever.

So I tried:

"That's great... Thanks!"

I still didn't like it. It still seemed insincere. In the end, I went with this:

"That's great! Thanks! (And now a discussion of the first exclamation point, as I went back and forth on it. See, it seems dumb to put one there, but when I put a period or ellipsis, it looked like sarcasm. It was very trying. Suggestions?)"

I'm sure Ryan just rolled his eyes and moved on with life (all I know for sure is he didn't hit "Reply" and actually suggest anything...).

My point is, I personally now live in a world where I'm well aware how people can take the simplest e-mail and make a big deal out of it. Also, you might have a clue why I sometimes don't get as much done on my plan time as I should.

I have another example that I'll spare you the pain of experiencing, but the short version is I got a text that said, "I have a little bit of bad news," while I was away from my phone (another boring long story about how my phone doesn't hold a charge and the charger is in the bedroom). I seriously spent hours trying to parse out that message to tell me what sort of bad news counted as "a little bit" when I found the text way past acceptable text-sending hours.

Maybe we need to switch to video messaging.

Just sayin'.

P.S.: What's up with this spell-check not recognizing "skosh". It's a word! Look it up at!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I know what you mean! :-)