December 2nd, 2010



Today we went Christmas shopping! ...sort of. It was online Christmas shopping, and only at one website. I have Celeste this year, and she wants something relating to her future profession: English teacher. So she found Cafe Press and said that for Christmas she wants somebody to go there, search "English," and get her one of the grammar-related t-shirts.

So we went browsing through them to see which ones we liked best. It's kind of hard for us, though, because even though most of the grammar-correcty ones are pretty gentle, we've seen people get extremely vehement over the incorrect use of your/you're or there/their/they're. On Twitter, someone retweeted somebody else saying something about realizing they're going to have to kill their children because they won't be taught how to use there/their/they're properly. Their own hypothetical children! It's enough to make us want to write something in which we use the wrong homophone every single time. The brilliance of it is that while the reader would be seething about the incorrect usage the entire time, the fact that every single one of them is wrong would mean that the writer does, in fact, know the correct usage.

That reminds me, one of the shirts (or was it a mug?) said, "Don't verb nouns." I'm not sure what to make of it, because maybe they're trying to be amusingly ironic. But we've also seen people getting upset about using nouns as verbs... But surely the person who submitted that idea knew the irony, right? In that case, I think it's awesome.

And despite all the grammar correcting memorabilia, we didn't see one about the proper usage of "... and I" versus "... and me." I guess it's not fair of us to want to torment people in the homophone arena when we have a grammar peeve of our own... Hmm... So of course we want to justify it! For example, if someone used the wrong homophone, there's a strong possibility it was just a typo and we're pretty sure most people who make those mistakes do, in fact, know the difference. On the other hand, "... and I," when used as the object of a sentence, is just plain wrong, and probably came about as the result of "correcting" people incorrectly.

But in a complete change of subject, we were in the middle of working today, trying to figure out how to word a sentence properly, when Athena suddenly saw the picture on our calendar and said, "Look at the fur on its flippers!" (The picture is a baby seal.) Sometimes, we are very easily distracted.

As another example, I was typing up that last anecdote, and I accidentally typed "picture of our calendar" instead of "picture on our calendar," which prompted a short discussion about why we would need a picture of our calendar.

Today I'm thankful for furry flippers, having time to do some reading today (we decided we need to start doing that more often, reading), the yummy coffee cake we had last night (even if it was a little intense), having leftover coffee cake, and not being kicked out of the Disney trivia game.