Watch yer gramma

Posted: June 20, 2010 in humor, Life, writing

I don’t know why but it tickles the hell out of me when someone gets all ornery and persnickety about something and then fires off all cannons, like so:

Well did another day of hoop jumping.
I know for a fact that Rogers are stupid, have no COMMON cents!
This is no lie. Common cents is not a fact in there line of work.

“Rogers” refers to our local internet/cable/wireless company.  It’s big and it therefore often becomes the righteous target of many customers.  I recently had my own troubles with the company, involving several hours of phone conversation with someone who was desperately trying to help me.   In looking online for comparable stories, I stumbled upon the story belonging to the above-quoted gentleman.

As frustrated as I was, the above outburst of irony made me bust out in a massive grin.  The pinball game of his rage is flashing “tilt”.

You can’t vent your rightful wrath on someone if you don’t at least take the time to make sure you’re being coherent.  I know this, from a few times when I found myself attempting to verbally smite someone with my anger, only to fumble my words.   The resulting chorus of giggles left me undone.

Also, the irony of his second sentence left me howling.   Rogers doesn’t barter in cents.  They do it in dollars, thankyouverymuch.  Lots and lots of dollars.   And there’s nothing a damned bit common about their greed.  Those of us who cheerfully buy their services are complicit in their larcenous billing schemes.   So I guess our ugly customer’s last sentence is technically correct.   Common cents truly is not a factor in their line of work.  (One has to take a deep breath and make the grand leap that he meant “their” and not “there” – unless one is otherwise willing to twist one’s brain into contortions, in order to glean some sense of meaning.)

Oh, and the subject of his rant is singular, not plural.  “Rogers” is the company name, and it’s one company, not two.   Therefore,  “Rogers is (a) stupid (company)” would be better.  Best bet though is: “the people who answer phones at Rogers are stupid”.  Though I would respectfully disagree.  You can’t call someone stupid when you yourself write something at least as visually stupid as you purport your subject to be.

Credibility’s trousers are puddling around his ankles, having lost the belt of thought.

Anyone familiar with the Microsoft Outlook email program at their workplace might be familiar with a feature that allows you to claw back a message sent in error.  Sometimes, it’s done because it went to the wrong group, or because it contains errant information.   Or because it was too emotional, or contained grammatical errors.

Here’s the thing though:  the recipient has the choice of ignoring the clawback request until after he’s read the original message.   The evil sadists in our organization (raising hand) often will opt to read the hapless sender’s original email first.  Just because it’s fun.

It’s always better to proof-read one’s email/post first.   Spell-check utilities are great to use too but, let’s face it – a spell-checker wouldn’t have picked up a damned thing in that quote at the top, would it?  Every misplaced ironic word is spelt correctly.

(Don’t worry, I checked:  “spelt” and “spelled” are both correct, and can be used interchangeably.  That one bugged me for quite a while, until I finally took the time to research it.)

(You’re welcome.)

Simple errors can be forgiven, usually.  Certainly here on WordPress, I don’t go looking for errors.  God knows I’ve made enough of them myself.  I’m a forgiving guy.  Usually.   Except when corporations, newspapers and incensed letter-writers don’t take the time to proof-read their stuff.   If you’re trying to make a hard point, you’ve GOT to take the time to make sure you don’t distract from that point with the hilarious misuse of words.

And now, my reply to him:

“You might want to jump through a few more hoops, junior.  Rogers are not stupid.  The company is uncaring and hapless maybe.   The cents they gather are entirely for themselves, and so therefore aren’t common.   So perhaps you’re right, there.   I’m having trouble parsing how currency equates to a line of work though.  (Your last sentence).  Did you mean to say “their line of work”?  I hope so.  Otherwise I’ll be up all night trying to decipher your meaning.”

No doubt he’ll get all angry at me.   I hope so.  I’d love to read what he has to say this time.

*waiting with breathless grinning anticipation*

Oh wait – this little sketch kind of makes things a bit clearer:


He responded:

Royu ewtri , yhte shldn’tou etl peaepl ohw t’nca lleps no eth ten.
Ylno fi yeht aveh a dferunstnading of eht ngelshi langage.
Nda era wide awake.

If you don’t feel like trying to figure it out, the gist of it is:  “you shouldn’t be critical of a person for whom English is not their first language.  Or wasn’t wide awake at the time.”

Uh huh.  Looking for the sympathy factor.

My response:

“That’s cute. It doesn’t matter if English is a first or eightieth language. In fact, none of this matters to me at all, really.  Just stating the facts, dude – if you don’t want to get laughed at, make sure you’re making sense (not cents).

Don’t call anyone “stupid” if you’re not using the right words – it’s way too ironic and people (not just me) are going to just laugh.”

  1. MousE says:

    I hate email. It’s far too easy to hit send without taking a break to let things settle and see if what you are saying is brief, courteous, and to the point.

    And it’s far too easy for people to ignore it, I’ve found. We don’t really have manners around email, and we should. As it is, It’s the equivalent of barspeak. Just blurt something out and hope no one remembers in the morning. Except they do. They have the records.

    I found this out when, years after leaving a job where I had to write daily show reports, I ran into the new guy doing my old job, who said, “I’m having great fun reading your old show reports. ‘The ceiling fell in again today an hour before the client arrived. Fixed it just before they arrived. Can we please have a contractor come in and fix it properly?'”

    And that was the nice stuff.

    I shudder to think.

    Wait. You were tallking about Rogers, weren’t you.


    • You know, when I’m really angry about something and decide to write an email, I *always* let it sit overnight in my draft folder. About half the time I end up not sending it. The times when I do send it, I do so knowing there will be consequences and so I’m set up and ready to face them. Someone might not like me. That’s cool, if I determine that I don’t care (most of the time). Sometimes though, I’ve found that I’ve misinterpreted something, and so that extra night of thought allows me to clear out the cobwebs.

      Also, that extra night of waiting and re-reading the draft allows me some time to make some thoughts a little clearer. And often that makes the note a bit more potent. You can clarify things a bit better, avoid generalizations and become a bit more specific about your grievance. You can fool people into thinking you’re an articulate hard-ass person. *grin*

      No, you had it right, MousE: the post wasn’t about Rogers at all. :) (That’s another blog)


  2. suzrocks says:

    This gave me a chuckle… and I’m guilty of such behavior from time to time myself. But it brought back a memory that was just utterly hilarious and downright wrong. I had a friend who lived quite the life, I’ll put it that way… anyway, she was emailing me from her work place a rather personal message (foolish indeed) and it was the details of a one night stand and her health concerns due to a little nasty discovery that morning… well, she accidentally sent it to a business partner with the same first name as I instead of me. She was panic stricken and by the time she attempted to claw it back, it was too little too late… she got in a world of shit for the email, like almost fired…etc… I think there’s a lesson to be learned in there somewhere, actually two lessons… LOL


    • Wow. She sounds like a wildly interesting person to know. Wildly interesting people tend to give just a passing nod to social convention. *grin* That’s what makes them so much fun.

      And this is a *hilarious* story, Suz. :D


  3. carmenlezeth says:

    You’re sooooooo cracking me up! I had no idea how much of a GRAMMAR-GURU you were! I’m learning so much about my Wolfie today…. Hmmm… this one may not be a good thing though — I’m not good at grammar or spelling and such. So…’ll just have to make it up to me in other ways! ;)



    • Gammar-guru, huh? *laughing* Well I guess that’s better than grammar-nazi. (Or maybe that’s a more polite way of putting it anyway).

      Honestly, I try not to be that on my blogs. Life’s too short to sweat the small stuff like a spelling or grammar error – and I really have no interest in doing so. Like I said – in my rush to make a point I often omit words or get them wrong. Once (recently) I even made the dreaded “to/too/two” mistake. It was in a comment on someone else’s blog and I recall feeling a tiny bit horrified. *grin*

      Having said all that – I would be only too willing to help you make it up to you in other ways. *smiling* How soon can you get here? :)


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