||[Nov. 18th, 2006|07:57 am]
The Smallest Things are the Most Annoying
my friend Rh is a fucking grammar nazi. |
twice a year at school we have to write reports. besides grades and attributes (behaviour, organisation etc) we also have to write a comment about the kid. could be on their progress, a more detailed comment about their behaviour, their personality... whatever.
because it's a legal document and it goes home to parents, there's a lot of hooo ha about correct spelling and style yada yada.
well. i've been working with Rh for two years now, so that's 4 sets of reports. She is a very, very good friend and i love her dearly, but MY GOD SHE IS A FUCKING BITCH when it comes to reports. she has a reputation around the school (and this is in a staff of 100 teachers) for being a grammar nazi. and it's now to the point where no one asks her to proof read their comments.
i had to laugh (on the inside) when she told me that. honestly, she goes thru your comments WITH A RED PEN as if she is MARKING YOUR WORK. She even totally destroyed good copies that i had of reports (way back at the middle of last year, before i realised what a grammar biAtch she is), just to put in a fucking comma here or a FUCKING SEMI-COLON. GODDAMN.
(in her grammar world, it's: John is a good student; however, blahdy blah blah") WHAT THE????? correct from like, 50 YEARS ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! does not HAVE to be there.
so we stayed late at work on thursday. she came into my office and offered to proof read. i was like, "ONLY CHECK SPELLING!!!"
anyway. it eventuated in quite a heated discussion about the presence of Commas in a direct address.
as in, "Good luck, John."
you see, i write "Good luck John."
in my world, BOTH are correct. it actually got quite full on and i told her that i'm going to do it without commas and she can go and feel perfect and fabulous for doing it with commas.
immediately jumped on the net with jed when i got home to discover that O MY GOD there really SHOULD be commas there as it IS a direct address.
BUT as there is NO AMBIGUITY in the term, "Good luck John" unlike "Eat John" vs "Eat, John" i feel justified in NOT sifting through 125 report comments and adding the fucking commas.
ordinarily, i would go to somebody to tell them they were right if we had had such a discussion... but because Rh can be such a fucking pushy nazi about it... i am SO NOT GOING THERE.
i also got the wizzbang grammar literacy teacher at school, Ants, to go through it and we also had a conversation about the presence of this comma. She said that TRADITIONALLY the comma is there, but with modern writing it is much less likely to appear. she also agreed with the Ambiguity thing. there is no way you can get two different meanings from the statement, "Congratulations John".
anyway, IF ants had of told me it was glaringly wrong and i should change it, i would have because she wasn't a fucking nazi!!!
i also had other people go thru my comments and i was MORE THAN HAPPY with the advice and stuff they gave. some people also questioned the comma thing, but they were like- "you can change it if you want. but you don't have to. i've seen it without commas there, but i would put a comma there." which is totally how it should be when you're ADULTS. you shouldn't MARK your peers' work!
/end rant. BUT it's still at the back of my mind.