Friday, April 20, 2012

QuickPeeves- some silly, some serious

Since I am incapable of writing a quick takes post without a theme (except that is the whole point!)- here it are some things that drive me batty!

1.  blatant grammar errors from professional writers- its versus it's, your versus you're, etc, etc- come on- it's not that difficult! I ask my children to be aware; my ESL students are learning the differences as well. So, writers for pay- please don't depend on spell-check.

I love the above cartoon because it uses the word 'grammar,' but it peeves me that it combines it with 'nazi.' I know what the artist is getting at, but it is still just wrong to equate a person who cares about standard language usage to a killing squad of World War II. It belittles the pain that so many went through as well. That being said, I blog for free, so be kind to me when I let typos slip by!

2. police cars that don't signal lane changes- if I don't signal, the police has every right to stop and cite me. So why do they very rarely signal? Is there a reason for this? Perhaps they don't want people to know where they are going? It seems dangerous to me.

3. really soupy fried eggs when I order them "over medium"- I like fried eggs that have the yolk half-cooked, not soupy and definitely not solid. Any tips on how to order? or maybe I should just fry my own.

4. steep budget cuts to the community college systems while upper administrators get raises and bonuses- My gauge of the importance of a job- What if the job was not performed for a month or two? What would happen? By my gauge, trash collectors and doctors have important jobs while administrators I have never seen and who have never been in a classroom are less important.

5. people that make assumptions about me based on my family size. Simcha Fisher wrote a quite cool post about birth control versus contraception and I Use NFP will be launching soon- bookmark it!

6. disabled orphans in Ukraine and Bulgaria and other places being sent to adult mental institutions when they are five or so because they are not getting adopted. Reese's Rainbow is a special ministry to help parents give some of these children a forever family.

 7. kids with electronic devices in church- It had to happen one day. Last weekend, we were travelling for an anniversary party. The vow renewal was at a Byzantine church. There was an eight or nine year old boy playing a game on an IPad the entire time. He was sitting three pews up with grandparent-types. I felt sick to my stomach as the grandmother was making profound bows during the service and her grandson was playing a game in full view of so many people.
Having children respectful and engaged in the Liturgy can be difficult, but it starts with  being in church every Sunday (with a 'this is what our family does on Sundays' no nonsense attitude) and demanding a level of respect for God and those around oneself. Being able to sit for an hour out of respect for others is an important skill that all our children need to work on even if we are not raising them to be church-goers. The grandmother took the easy way out and allowed him to be placated by a video game. 
Yes, children cry and make scenes and even throw up during Mass, but there seemed to be no standards at all for the boy to live up to. It was sad, but it was also frustrating trying to engage my five year old and two year old in the Divine Liturgy while they could see a blinking screen not too far ahead. Perhaps the grandmother thought that her bows would inspire the boy to put away the game and focus on the Liturgy, but it was not going to happen. Sometimes, we need a loved one to just eliminate the distraction before we can hear the beauty of the real world. The Divine Liturgy is a time for everyone to slow down and take a break from all the random cacophony around us. I think the boy hasn't had a break in a long time. 


  1. 1: I agree oh so much. I'm a grammar nazi at heart.

    4: My mother-in-law used to teach English at the community college level so I can relate.

    6: Yes! I want to see Brett find a forever family.

    7: Tim Hawkins, a Christian comedian, has that in part of his routine.

  2. Thanks for the link to Reese's Rainbow. My husband and I are open to adoption (probably in a few years); I've already sent him the link.

  3. Are you talkin' to me? I'm terrible when I type. It's not that I don't know the grammar rules; it's that my fingers apparently don't. Or my subconscious brain secretly is trying to make me out to be a country bumpkin. And it's funny because when I proofread I try to catch them but sometimes I'm looking at content that I forget to check for it.

    My apologies if I've peeved you.

  4. Deltaflute- My grammar peeve is mostly directed towards professional writers who should know better and try to make an effort- I haven't noticed you making gross errors!

    but it is easy (cue English teacher voice)
    it's = it is
    its - possessive like my, her, our, etc
    you're = you are
    your - possessive
    they're = they are
    their - possessive

    I think people get mixed up because one can make a possessive with a proper name like 'Jane's shoes'- so they say 'it's color is green' WRONG

  5. 0. I love having themed Quick Takes, but lately have run out of themes. They ARE fun, though!
    1. Grammar errors jump out at me when I'm reading, and I know how irksome it is.
    2. Or when they put on their lights to speed. Seriously.

  6. #7: I totally agree, there is nothing more annoying than people messing with their electronic devices in church! It's probably even more annoying than crying babies!

  7. #7 I think to many parents are afraid to assert themselves. For whatever reason, so many almost seem afraid to enforce rules and manners. I know this isn't politically correct, but a lot of kids would do a u-turn in behavior if their parents spanked.

  8. #4 - I am an administrative staff member at a large public university. Contrary to public opinion, we run a fairly lean operation. Most administrative staff are missed when they leave. That said, most of us have taken significant pay and benefits cuts over the last 3 years. I hope things improve where you are.

    #7 - Playing on a game system during the liturgy? Ouch. I feel bad enough about small toys or books to distract the 1 and 3 year old (the 7 and 8 year old are old enough to follow along and participate) and the random, loud misbehavior from any of my boys. Sitting in the front row means everyone sees and comments on what my children do. (I feel worse when someone tells me later that I should be taking my kids out of church more quickly.)

  9. madcow- what peeves me about admin is mostly my college district of 3 mid-sized colleges needing a full admin staff (lots of vice prezs, a president, etc) for each college and then a chancellor (with her staff) to oversee the other administrations? The support staff are the ones suffering from budget cuts- not the upper, upper people- who "must be compensated well so we can attract the best."

  10. #1 - Agreed, someday I'll have a stroke and when they do the autopsy, they'll find it was caused be one final fit over the word "mom's" when they meant "moms."

    #2 - I once (hand to God) saw a police car a few cars back at a red light. The officer turned on their lights & sirens so they passed the cars in front of them, ran the light, and (I am not making this up)pulled into a Dunkin Donuts parking lot & parked. I felt very safe & protected, I'll tell you what.

    #4 - AMEN! There's a high school nearby which has - ready? - seven vice principals. SEVEN. And they each make twice as much as I made when I was teaching. Oh, and the school has only about 1,000 students. Talk about useless. It seems to me that if you have seven people all doing the same job, then six and a half of them aren't working anywhere near hard enough.

    #s 5&6 - Agreed :-).

    #7 - SERIOUSLY? God protect us from that kind of nonsense. I can't even imagine. I don't know, if I saw that at our church, I'm pretty sure I would've said something. If not, it would only have been because Adam held me back. There is a child in our life, whose mother is very dear to us, but who never goes anywhere without their DS. Whether we're at the park, out to dinner, or sitting around a dining room table, this child is on their DS - or their iPod - and it's enough to make me livid. These children are being taught that the elsewhere and the other trump the here & now, that games are more important than people, and that they never need to focus on something which isn't immediately engaging.


    But I love the theme of your 7QT!

  11. #1 - I was an ESL teacher once, miss it sometimes. Now I teach the faith instead, using correct grammar:)
    #7 - wow, that would take extraordinary self control on my part not to say something

  12. The behaviour of the children really caught my attention when I first visited my local Eastern Rite parish. An hour and half, mostly standing up, no complaining? Impressive.

    1. Hmmmm... you should visit my parish someday. We have an average attendance of about 50. Around 20 of those are children 10 and under. With the exception on one family (not mine!) whose children are always perfectly behaved in church, it can get pretty wild in there, what with the constant stream of mothers carrying noisy toddlers in and out of the church, squabbling siblings, etc. Still, as imperfect as it is, it is wonderful to see all those children, week after week, growing in the faith.

  13. I like how you show concern for the boy using his iPad-- yes he needs a break! I think it's easier for the Grandma-- but she got the "luxury" of growing up with very little electronic intrusion in her childhood. I'm scared for this generation of youth!!

  14. Restless Pilgrim and Elizabeth-

    my #7 isn't about perfect Church behavior or even decent behavior (because my children aren't perfect! We are working on it)- many times parents have to take out their kids, etc, etc but I think this boy is being set up for failure in that he will not be physically able to concentrate.

  15. Yes, yes, yes on #1. And thank you for the shout on to my blog and the new site! You are too kind! :)

  16. It's sad that so many people don't know grammar nowadays, then cover up for it by sniping at people who do. My mom used to mark up reports sent through her for checking, but everyone made fun of her for correcting their grammar. *sheesh*

    Have you ever read "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves"? (Yes, I know titles should be underlined.) It's grammar, made funny. I think it's going to be our grammar text next year, along with a whole lot of those mis-written sentences to correct each day. I absolutely detested them in English class, but now I realize how much I learned from those exercises.


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