Originally Published October 7, 2010.
I am not a writer by education, as I’m sure proof of such is in abundance around here.
In fact, the classes I despised more than any other were those of the English variety, mainly due to the title of this blog: they were too subjective – especially in the grading.
And he made it absolutely clear that he despised our class.
(I think it might have been the pencil throwing that clued me in. Oh yeah – that, and all the times he screamed in rage, “I hate this class!!!”)
And so, since we were apparently such despicable human beings, he swore to us that he would not give a single one of us an A, whether we were one of the troublemakers or not.
And he proved to be a good promise keeper.
The semester after I took his class, I Clepped out of the rest of my English Experience.
And sometime in the break before that next semester, he decided to pull out all of his hair, except for a dozen or so long, black and white streaked tufts, leaving him looking like Poe after The Raven got ahold of him.
But, despite my hatred for diagramming and hanging participles and subjective grading, there ARE certain grammar pet peeves that I most definitely have.
And number one on that list is the inappropriate use of quotation marks.
I learned around the age of six what it meant if you put something in quotes – I remember quite vividly an apparently-not-friend of mine telling me “of course you are my …. “friend”!”, while making the ever-famous air quotes with her index and middle fingers.
That day, I figured out that the quote motion was really more like crossing your fingers behind your back, except that you use it when you want to be a bit more cruel obvious.
But alas, apparently not everyone had this traumatic friend experience to teach them that quotes meant “not really”, because people use quotes in the oddest ways, such as this one I spotted at a gas station a while back:
So…is that gum or is it not??
But hey – a hastily handwritten gas station sign can be overlooked. I’m sure no one copychecked that sign, or really even thought too much about it.
But the one I saw last week…wow.
If you don’t even have smart use of punctuation, can I really count on you to have Smart Lipo???
“Of COURSE I’m a “real” doctor!!!”
At any rate, I bet that sign made my Poe-ish English professor pull out one more tuft of his hair.
…not that I’m still bitter about my grade or anything.
p.s. – the reason I thought about this post was spotting this sign at the grocery store last week…
Which, for the record, might actually be considered a correct use of quotation marks, seeing as how there was no cheese to “try”.
p.p.s. – If you love unnecessary quotation marks as much as I do, check out the “blog” of “unnecessary quotes” – it keeps me entertained for hours.
p.p.p.s. – I miss you all and am looking forward to being back next week! I wish I could say that we’ve done all sorts of fascinatingly bloggable things this week, but that’d be a lie. And I have a rule against lying in post-scripts. But interesting or not, I’ll be back Monday!