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Posts Tagged ‘Grammar’

Dear FedEx and Bright Cellars:

Thank you for working together to offer me new challenges to overcome. I feel so empowered now that I’ve successfully passed numerous levels of gameplay and defeated the final boss in an epic showdown.

Level One: The Cancellation

To pass this level, I finally had to cancel my Bright Cellars subscription FOR REAL THIS TIME. I live one mile from a Total Wine & More. I resisted your offers of free bottles and credits. I accepted ONE LAST SHIPMENT to use my various credits.

Level Two: Shipment Attempt 1

This one was tricky. My package was returned to Bright Cellars because the FedEx driver said no one was home Sunday. I was home. No one even rang the doorbell. I realize now that the cheat code to win this level was that I needed to sit on the stairs outside my front door all day. Still, somehow I forged on to the next level.

Level Three: Shipment Attempt 2

This was a tough level because I had three villains to defeat.

  1. Bright Cellars had to change the address to the leasing office.
  2. FedEx had to make sure to put “leasing office” on the shipping info.
  3. The (nasty) manager of the leasing office had to be notified that a package was on the way.

Level Four: Shipment Attempt 3

Another difficult level. FedEx, you were wily, and required numerous maneuvers.

  1. I had to call and convince you to hold the package at the FedEx facility in Norcross so I could pick it up. You told me to call the facility after 5.
  2. I called the facility after 5. I was put on hold three times. Finally, an unpleasant woman said she could not hold the package for pickup unless FedEx customer service (yes, her same company) told her to hold it. That I needed to call customer service, and have them call her.
  3. I called FedEx customer service again. I made Geordie write a note in the shipment file, and call the facility witch.

CUT SCENE:
Late evening phone call from the FedEx facility in Norcross to explain that the reason my package wasn’t delivered was because the leasing office hag wouldn’t sign for it.

Level Five: The Pickup

“If no one answer keep trying until they do.”

This level required me to call all the extensions. Twice.

Level Six: The Final Showdown

The final boss was a lovely man who — at first glance — just seemed like a beleaguered employee. But this level required an ID and signature on a digital pad that would not accept signatures. Still, I persevered.

I will now treat myself to what’s in the box.

It had better be THE BEST WINE I’ve ever tasted to be worth this difficult adulting game.

In sum: I never want to play this game again.

I hate you both,
Beth

 

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Dear Industrious Signmakers*:

While I appreciate your enthusiasm, we need to talk about execution. Have you read my earlier posts on the subject (here and here, for example)? I’ll assume you have not.

For two of you, I will allow that maybe the impending arrival of Hurricane Dorian and the subsequent Coastal Georgia mandatory evacuation scared you so much that you couldn’t concentrate.

Perhaps I should say “evaculation” so you understand me.

What’s an “inconveniece?” Your sibling’s daughter is a nun?

And you are close as in proximal to evaculation evacuation?

If so, I’d like you to meet another signmaker who is right there with you.

There’s a third one of you who has no excuse because he/she is nowhere near the hurricane. And this is a semi-permanent sign. And he/she works at a university.

Are the staff deficient in some way? Or is it just the proofing skills that are?

Sigh.

I know you likely are in a hurry, but just take a hot second to review your work.

Yours in appreciation,
Beth

 

* Thanks to Aimee for sharing these while she ignored the governor’s mandate.

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Dear Friends,

Back in my day (someone get me my walker), we cruised around Stone Mountain Park after school.

Now the Dunkin’ Donuts is the hangout.

According to Dominic, the crowd is hit or miss.

Last Friday featured quite a crowd, though. When I went to get him and Gideon, I decided I needed an iced coffee.

Inside, I practically needed a machete to hack through the hormones in the air.

As soon as I got back in the car, I got hit with this:

Dominic: At least the thots we liked last year were cute. These are obnoxious and covered in acne. These seventh and eighth graders are awful. Gideon is more mature than any of them.

Gideon, an eighth grader: I really am. It’s true.

Dominic: He can take a hit too.

Me: Wait. What?

Apparently they went to a nearby park before DD to play football.

And that’s why they didn’t want me to pick them up too soon. And ignored my texts.

Dominic: I saw your question mark. Mama, we was out with the boys.

(Gideon informed me it’s supposed to be written this way: “We was out wit da bois.” Shudder.)

During said football game, Dominic had a run-in with a tree.

He saw it as an occasion to go into full drama mode.

I do have to tell you all that he’s been mostly great since he started ninth grade. More from Friday:

Dominic: There are three girls who said they caught feelings for me.

Me: Do you like any of them?

Dominic: Naw. I gotta get me those As.

(Not with that grammar you don’t. But I digress.)

It’s true that the notifications I’ve been getting from Campus Parent have not made my blood pressure spike.

And I made him laugh this week too. We were trying to edge into traffic, and I wanted to slide in front of a particular car.

Me: I’m going to slip in here because Drake isn’t paying attention.

Dominic: [Looks up from his phone to see my reference.]

Me: [Pulling in front and waving] Thanks, KeKe!

Dominic: [Looks at me in shock and actually chuckles.]

Me: You’re impressed I knew that aren’t you?

Dominic: Yes, because you listen to this [referencing The Pixies coming out of the speaker]!

Me: Listen: They were a seminal act of the late ’80s.

Dominic: [Exaggerated eye roll]

So, friends, I’m hoping we’ve turned a corner. (Don’t tell me it won’t last. Let me have my delusions.)

Cautiously optimistic,
Beth

 

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Dear Sons of Mine:

It’s been very weird for me for you to have phones and, with them, social media accounts. You know I gave you phones only because you had good grades and are fairly responsible (and because you not having phones was starting to be a pain for me).

The weirdest conversation so far was this one with you, Gideon, not too long ago:

You: Today is Glenn’s birthday.
Me: Glenn who?
You: Glenn, your boss.
Me: Wait … what? How do you know?
You: We are friends on Facebook.
Me: !!!

But strange conversations are now de rigueur. Behold (this convo comes after your father talked about your baseball team going from “last to first”):

And here is this soon-to-be classic from you, Dominic (you never text me unless you want something):

My head nearly exploded. Please, please pay attention in language arts class and USE PUNCTUATION (or you’ll never again get what you want from me, a grammarian who is a stickler for proper punctuation).

You both make me crazy. And also, I love you.
Mama

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Dear Content Providers*:

To avoid annoying people who care about the English language (i.e., me), please learn how to use apostrophes, when to use “I” and when to use “me,” and what spelling of the word you need for your sentence.

Auntie Beth is here to help. Again.

 

1. Apostrophes

As I have explained before, apostrophes have two uses: to show possession (of things or people, but not by demons) and to show that a letter is missing (sometimes forming contractions).

What the older-looking Faddel (above) should have written is:

“19 years old, financially stable, in shape, family’s healthy.”

That would mean his family is healthy. Instead, he has pluralized “family” and rendered the sentence nonsensical.

To pluralize, you DO NOT use an apostrophe. Ever. (Please stop making me have to explain this.) Perhaps Tybee Island lifeguards are spending all their time training for beach emergencies and not worrying about punctuation, but I believe in clarity.

2. I vs. me

Here it is, one more time with feeling: Use “I” when you are referring to the subject of the sentence, “me” when you are referring to the object. The linguistics scholar above should have known better. She shouldn’t feel too awful though; even Lady Gaga gets it wrong:

3. Homonyms

Homonyms are words that sound alike but are spelled differently.

Trump is not the only one who has trouble with this if my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds are any indication. Please consider carefully which version of the word you need. I don’t want to have to keep going over this.

Thank you so much.

You’re (not “your”) a peach!
Beth

*By this I mean anyone who maintains a social media account, prepares signs, writes to someone else, etc.

Should be “teachers.”

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Dear loyal readers,

If you have been with me here for a while, you know that grammar and punctuation often are topics for posts. Many moons ago, I wrote a few posts about words I hate. I also wrote the antithesis post. Two, actually.

But I have a new list with a theme.

Always an anglophile, I’ve become even more obsessed with all things England after my recent trip. As you all know.

[Before you get your knickers in a twist (explanation below) about this obsession, just know that my fixations come and go, roughly lasting two weeks to a month (memory refreshers here, here and here). Bear with me; it’s almost over. Also, I’ve been bingeing “Game of Thrones.” Cut me some slack.]

Hence: British words I love (in alphabetical order, because I’m proper like that)

  • ace and, sometimes, aces (adjectives): excellent

Use it in a sentence, please: “That’s ace!” Trish said when her telephonophobic friend finally called her back instead of texting.

  • barmy and barking (adjectives): mad, crazy

Use it in a sentence, please: Eddie thought his wife had gone barmy for going out every weekend.

  • bollocks and bollocking (nouns): nonsense, verbal trash; trashing, telling off

Use it in a sentence, please: Si spent way too much time talking bollocks. Meanwhile, Clair gave Karl a royal bollocking for sleeping during the set. (In his defense, he did have to get up at 6 a.m.)

  • candyfloss (noun): cotton candy

Use it in a sentence, please: Her late grandmother’s hair was blue and spun into an orb like candyfloss at the circus.

  • caravan (noun): RV

Use it in a sentence, please: Hannah is contemplating a caravan rental for the music festival.

  • car park (noun): parking lot/garage

Use it in a sentence, please: Terry didn’t like to go to new places because he worried about finding adequate car parks.

  • cheeky (adjective): impertinent

Use it in a sentence, please: Gideon is becoming quite the cheeky monkey.

  • chuffed (adjective): pleased

Use it in a sentence, please: Hazel was chuffed to little mint balls.

  • dodgy (adjective): sketchy

Use it in a sentence, please: She fled to the ladies room to avoid the dodgy fellow at the bar.

  • faff (verb and noun): to waste time (v) or a time-waster (n)

Use it in a sentence, please: Dominic felt that any interaction with his family was a bit of a faff.

  • gutted (adjective): really upset

Use it in a sentence, please: Beth was gutted about what that asshole Ramsay Bolton did to Theon Greyjoy.

  • hoover (verb): vacuum

Use it in a sentence, please: She accidentally hoovered up the slip of paper on which she wrote an important email address.

  • jacket potato (noun): baked potato

Use it in a sentence, please: Do I really need to?

  • kit (noun): clothing

Use it in a sentence, please: “Come on then, get your kit off,” she had her hero say to the heroine in the sex book she was writing.

  • knackered (adjective): exhausted

Use it in a sentence, please: Cris was knackered Sunday morning after staying out so late the night before.

  • knickers (noun): panties (yes, I love this word too)

Use it in a sentence, please: I already did (see above). (Knickers in a twist = panties in a bunch)

  • pinched and nicked (verbs): stole

Use it in a sentence, please: René pinched some candy from the jar on Beth’s desk.

  • rogering (noun): sex

Use it in a sentence, please: Once the heroine had gotten her kit off, the hero gave her a good rogering.

  • rubbish (should be a noun, but Brits use it as an adjective): worthless

Use it in a sentence, please: I’m rubbish at this Twitter malarkey.

  • skip (noun): dumpster

Use it in a sentence, please: The teenager’s mother got so angry at him that she threw all his Xbox games in the skip.

  • shambolic (adjective): very disorganized, confused

Use it in a sentence, please: The shambolic mess of a woman straggled home after a night out way past her bedtime.

  • shirty (adjective): bad-tempered or aggressive

Use it in a sentence, please: Barry reminded his old girlfriend that the night of the first Tommy Stinson experience was also the night she got into a scrap at the front of the stage because some girl got shirty with her.

  • the tits (adjective): fantastic

Use it in a sentence, please: That shit is the tits.

  • wee (should be a verb, but Brits use it as a noun): pee

Use it in a sentence, please: I went for a wee,” the crazy American shouted to everyone within earshot at the club.

I have heard or read all of these in just the past month. I’ve used some of them. It’s made conversations more interesting.

(British friends, if I have got it all to cock, please make sure I’m sorted. I promise I won’t throw a wobbly.)

 

Side note: This was in the British aisle of my local international market. Pretty sure it should have been Marmite. (I was looking for mushy peas. No, they’re not gross. Shut up.)

Cheerio!
Beth

 

 

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Dear Facebook Friends:

I’m putting you on notice: I will no longer cringe silently and restrain myself from correcting you when you misuse the word “I.” I will now note the correction in the comments to your post.

It’s public shaming, I know, but you have to learn. I don’t know how you missed this in school, but I’m going to help you.

Use “I” when you are the subject of the sentence. Use “me” when you are the object.

Examples:
Correct sentence: Eddie and I went to Tennessee.
Incorrect sentence: This is a photo of Eddie and I in Johnson City.
(Test: Take out “Eddie and.” It sounds stupid, right?)
Correct sentence: Eddie told Linda and me to stop playing Candy Crush.
Incorrect sentence: Eddie told Linda and I to stop playing Candy Crush right now and he means it, by golly!
(Test: Take out “Linda and.” More stupidity.)

This may be painful for some of you. I promise it is for your own good.

You’ve been warned.
Sincerely,
Me

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