Poor little apostrophe. He knows his place, and more importantly, he knows when he’s not in it. Some, or all, will say that it isn’t really too important, and that as long as you get the gist of what is meant, then the grammatical semantics of the written word can probably fall by the wayside. However, if the boat of proper grammar truly is sinking, then I would rather let the weight of a million neglected semi-colons and brackets pull me down to the dreary depths of the abyss, than abandon ship and take refuge upon the misplaced and miserable apostrophe that hangs lifeless between the O and the S in the word: photo’s, or cling to safety upon the second f in the word of.
In an unusually pedantic mood, I decided to…
Actually, let me start again.
In a usually pedantic mood, I decided to wander around my bar today and point out all of the things that contained grammatical and/or spelling errors; which, as it turns out, was just about everything. It started to annoy me to think about how little people care. This is a place of customer-orientated business, and yet there is no concern towards the writing when sending out confirmation emails with typos, displaying menus with grammatical mistakes, or writing up specials with misspelled words. It’s a direct representation of the company itself, and while nine out of ten people around here don’t seem to notice or care, what’s the harm in ensuring that you please ten out of ten people?
After about half an hour of me grumbling about this, a couple of my co-workers asked me why I wasn’t an English teacher, which at first I didn’t read into too much, simply quipping that with them around, I basically was an english teacher; however, something moderately annoying then occurred to me.
For too long have I borne sad witness to the folly of a coffee maker brewing a cup of tea. This isn’t some slap-dash, hasty, get it done fast kind of job; this is an art form. It takes time, precision, and patience. So don’t screw it up.
Start off with a decent brand. My favourite is Twinning’s. Loose leaf is good if you have the time and the inclination, but a bag can be equally delightful. I’m awfully partial to a spot of Lapsang Souchong, but for this example, I’ll give the instructions applicable to a bag of simple, traditional, breakfast tea. Continue reading
After I wrote a joke on my Twitter involving the word ‘aeroplane‘, I received a response from one of my followers, politely informing me that it was in fact correctly spelled ‘airplane‘. Obviously I was very cordial in then informing them that ‘airplane‘ was the Americanised spelling of the word, and they conceded that “there is an exception if you are British.”, although frankly, that should certainly be the other way around!
Anyway, I bring this up not to have a go at someone misguidedly trying to correct my spelling, but rather at what it made me think about afterwards. I hate to admit it, especially since most of my followers are American, but there is and has always been in Britain, this ever-present stereotype that Americans are stupid; just as American television suggests that Americans hold a stereotype that British people are pompous wimps with bad teeth; it’s fine, those with an opinion that actually matter are usually smart enough to understand the fallacy in negative stereotypes.