My Mom: The Grammar Police

Grammar PoliceSo yesterday I was skimming through my Google Reader when I saw an article on NPR called A Man, A Plan And A Sharpie: ‘The Great Typo Hunt.’ I was intrigued.

The article profiles Jeff Deck who, inspired by a “no tresspassing” sign, decided to enlist his friend to trek around the country with him and correct typos along the way. Now they have a book.

I can relate (minus the having a book part) because it drives me crazy when I see major grammatical or typographical errors out in the world. Most notably, I recall a “Congradulations!” poster in Hawaii. My friend and I then debated for way too long the correct spelling of congratulations. I also hate when quotation marks are used unnecessarily on menus and signs. And I can’t stand when people write “loose” when they mean “lose.” Sorry, it’s just a pet peeve.

However, more than remind myself of… myself, the story reminded me of my mom. Not that she traveled the country as a vigilante grammar enforcer. Hardly. But she could be quite the typo watchdog. I know that were my mom alive now and I was writing this blog (not sure how that would work but follow me here), I would get frequent emails from her detailing my mistakes. I know this because I worked on two blogs prior to this one, and I got more than a few friendly correction emails. Of course, they were always written in the nicest way possible. These emails usually consisted of, “Hi Cookie, Loved your post about _______! Just wanted to let you know you wrote ______ when I think you meant _______. Xoxo, Mom.”

In fact, pointing out typos was what got my mom a job. Back when I was in high school a friend of mine’s mom worked at the local animal hospital where we brought my dog. The story goes that when my mom went in one day, Judy asked her if she would like to take a survey. My mom agreed, but halfway through she started to laugh. She pointed out that where they had probably meant to write, “Would you like a free shirt?” they had actually written “Would you like a free shit?”. Judy then suggested my mom apply for a position in the office.

If you needed to know where a comma went or how to spell a word, my mom was your woman. This blog would surely be better written if my mom was here to keep me in check. Fortunately, Carley has taken on this task and kindly points out my mistakes which are far too numerous. I very much appreciate it.

And yes, I’ve read over this post a few times now to make sure I haven’t made any errors, but I’m still nervous. Do feel free to comment if you spot something amiss!

(On a side note, WordPress has gone and changed my theme for some reason, so if things look a little different, that’s why. I don’t get it and I don’t like it, but it’s a free website so I’ll take it.)

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7 responses to “My Mom: The Grammar Police

  1. Glad you appreciate my detailed eye…and I only hope I can be as kind as your mom was when I catch your errors! xoxo

  2. So funny! Your mom and I used to go to see foreign films once in a while when we lived in NY. Sometimes the subtitles were not exactly on the mark. I remember one line should have been translated “take a dip in the pool”, but they wrote “take a dip in the poop”. Well, this film was not a comedy, but there were your Mom and I cracking up. We were the only ones laughing, but to tell you the truth, I don’t know if it’s because no one else caught the mistake, or it could be that we were the only ones in the theater!

  3. I miss your mom helping me with the crossword puzzles, we would always laugh and say I would do better if I could spell.

  4. I can’t believe I never knew that story about the survey!

  5. I remember that day…I had just received the survey from the administrative assistant when your mother arrived at the clinic. She was the first person I ask to complete the survey. She took the survery and began to answer the questions when I heard her chuckle. I thought there must have been a funny question; for I had not read the survey. She completed the survey…then said, “I hope you don’t mind, but there is an error and I want to tell you before you give the survey to someone else.” …You probably meant to say, Would you like a free shirt, not would you like a free shit. We both started laughing and wondered if anyone else would have caught the typo error. I returned the survey to the administrative assistant and she was thankful that Robin caught the error.
    I recommended Robin for the office position and was thrilled when she accepted the position and become part of the WRAH family. She definitely had her share of proof reading and much more. (she enjoyed proof reading much more than her trips to Walmart!)

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