Recently, with little provocation and equally little vigor it was brought to my attention that I am a wimp.
"You're a wimp," my husband said and naturally I was offended but only a little bit because I knew, deep down, that as much as I wanted to disagree with him, he was right.
The wimpiness in question came about as we were driving home from Americus recently and I was looking at Facebook on my telephone. "Oh, how fun," I said aloud as I started to read postings from individuals who were reminiscing about Clem the Clown, the Blue Angels, watching Paul Eames coach baseball, the Big Oak on Jefferson Street and dozens of other memories. Someone had started a post inviting people from Albany to write about growing up here.
"You know you're from Albany, Georgia, if..." the post starts. Only thing is, the posting actually said "You know your from Albany, Georgia, if..." See the difference?
"Say something," my husband poked as I pointed out the misuse of the word your, which should have been you're, short for you are -- you know you're from Albany. But I couldn't do it, couldn't point it out, couldn't say anything, despite the fact that my head hurt every time I saw it. I didn't want to appear snarky which, by the way, I have decided is one of my top five favorite words.
"Wouldn't that be snarky?" I asked and he said it wouldn't and that if I had any gumption at all I would just point out that they used the wrong grammar but I still wouldn't do it so he called me a wimp. Again.
I must make something perfectly clear: I am not a grammar expert. I make, have made and will continue to make horrible grammar mistakes. I am quite confident that my run- on sentences and misplaced modifiers have made English teachers' heads explode and for that I am not proud. And as for my punctuation, let's just say that I have heard that it has been openly discussed that I should be officially diagnosed with comma diarrhea. Not common diarrhea -- comma diarrhea. That's just not nice.
That aside, when I see a blatant, very public grammar mistake it drives me crazy. Once, we were eating in a restaurant and the waiters and waitresses were all wearing these really cute t-shirts. "I love your t-shirts," I even commented to our waitress. Then she turned around.
On the back, it read in big, bold letters: "Good eating at it's best."
It jumped out at me like a blaring, neon light flashing off and on -- it's. Didn't they catch it? Didn't they see? You don't need an apostrophe. That apostrophe means it is. Good eating at it is best? It's a common mistake, I know -- but didn't someone check the t-shirt? Next time, check the t-shirt!
It's a curse. I often think my life would be much calmer if I didn't pick up on things like that. I wish a sign that reads "We Bye Used Cars" didn't make me feel like I have to throw up. I wish the man on television holding up the picket sign that says "You are all morans" didn't give me a permanent twitch for the rest of the day. I wish I could go back to that restaurant with a permanent marker and fix those t-shirts. I wish the person who started the Facebook post would change your to you're. There. I said it.
Now that's what I call gumption at it's best.
I just threw up a little.
Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.