I had my birthday, and my friends left me long wonderful messages both on my Facebook wall and in private.
And I noticed something. After sooo many of the messages, there would be another typed below it quickly.
*meant “their” not there
*my autocorrect is awful, sorry
*forgive my spelling
I make money by putting words in pleasing and correct order, and I think it might make some people self conscious. Like if you were trying to describe the precise type of ant infestation in your yard to an exterminator. You know you should be able to tell him you’ve got at least one mid-sized Allegheny mound and their formic acid deposits are really doing a number on your birches. Instead you say, “Brown! Brown ants, small kinda, and they’ve got a hill-thingy! They made an anthill! Do they eat plants?” and you feel dumb.
Because you picture the exterminator crossing his arms, scowling at you from under the brim of his “Vicky’s Vermin Valkyrie” cap and you can tell he’s thinking, “How disrespectful. She didn’t even make the effort to type that ant into Google.”
How comforting would it be for him to nod in complete comprehension, without even having to look at the anthill, and say, “Brown ants are bad. We’ll kill them and they won’t come back.” Because he knows what you’re saying!
And I know what you’re saying. All those people who are purple with rage over the misuse of “there;” they know what you’re saying. They are only mad because they’re the type of people who can’t stand it when Shirley from Human Resources prints the office picnic flier on Goldenrod yellow when the picnic committee which they themselves chair and are the only other member of specifically agreed on Canary yellow. (Exception…English teachers. Seeing 700 of the same mistake per year is enough to make anyone have a brittle and spiteful heart).
English is a ridiculous language. It’s Greek and Latin-ish French smushed against Anglo-Saxon rolled in Germanic, all buttered up and spread with hundreds of years worth of idioms. Remember, “ghoti” spells “fish” if you so wish it to, using proper English rules?
“Rough cough with that asthma. Hope you’ll still make it to the island on Wednesday!”
“Rog cog with that as-tha-ma. Hope you’ll still make it to the izzland on Wed-nez-day!.”
Seriously, that is just messed up. Cruel even. To expect anyone to remember forty different language rules and then know when to randomly dismiss them. Weird. ( i before e except after…ha ha just kidding. Sucker!)
The only reason I can put words and letters together with relative accuracy is cuz I do it all day and was born with the random cross of synapses it takes to have a sticky brain for words. (My brain is Teflon with numbers. Seriously. I never learned long division.) And despite that, half the time I send off 1200 of my oh so professional words riddled with errors. (I have never nailed down how to keep the same tense throughout a piece. “I went, I had gone” is there a difference there? I don’t know. I don’t care). That’s why editors are.
Oh! And despite a lifetime of writing and continued gentle admonishment of auto-correct, the following words I cannot and will not ever be able to spell. I am 37 and I openly refuse to learn, just as they refuse to adhere to common language rules. (I end up spelling them extra weird every time because I remember there is a trick to them but not what it is.) :
embarrassment (embarssment, embarssement)
solider, sergeant, colonel, lieutenant (soildier, sargent, coloÖÖÖnial, leutinant)
fiery (firey, firy)
labyrinth (Jareth kiss me).
In conclusion: “R U gonna B ther?”
Yes I am, friend. I will be their.