Monday, July 13, 2009

It's funny when I do it ('cuz I'm edumacated!)

I posted a question in the Help Forum with this title:  Shocking grammatical atrocities or compelling creations . . . opinions wanted

And then this was my question:

Not sure if I need kudos or forgiveness for the etymological feats of engineering in my most recent post: "Another Tool on the Radio."

My own question got me thinking, and here's the foofaraw: I've posted numerous times on my general annoyance and irritation with all the people out in the world who can't punctuate, write, or even think clearly. I call them names (imbecile, idiot, phonetically-challenged, et cetera), give them nicknames (Dimwit, Them Are), and for the most part make total asses out of them. Dimwit "expecially" aggravates me to the point of madness, particularly for what seems to be an intentional botching of the ellipsis, but also partly because she makes so much more money* than I do.

*I haven't mentioned that before, but trust me . . . it hasn't gone unnoticed by my blood pressure. Someone that says she "writes a certain way for impact" (ahem, that is to say: is too stupid to remember pre-existing grammatical rules so just makes things up as she goes dumbly along) makes money hand over fist, and I'm sitting on my stupid, pointless, At Least I Know The Right Way To Punctuate throne of underpaidness.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.

But then I go and type things like anti-PCness and uber-facetious-izing (and, yes, underpaidness), and a gal's gotta wonder: am I a hypocrite? Or can I pull it off? Or should the question be: Am I allowed to pull it off?

I'm thinking of a line from the movie Serendipity. My movie memorizing talent is coming up short because I can only think of the punchline, not the entire quote, but at any rate John Cusack says something about the "serendiposity or serendipatiousness" of a situation. Oh hell, I've completely screwed it up, but the point is this: he completely makes up two words and it's awesome. If Them Are said that, well . . . I don't need to go into that, do I? If she ever said serendiposity it would probably result in an entire post ranting and raving about her stupidity (not to mention her audacity)(she's not allowed to make up words if she can't even use the current words in our language appropriately).

So what the poo? John Cusack gets to spout scandalous pseudo-words and comes off a grammatical genius, whereas I . . .

Come off how exactly?

As far as John Cusack is concerned, I think the reason he can pull serendipatiousness off so brilliantly is because no amount of word concocting/butchering can hide the fact that John Cusack is an intelligent man. It's the way he speaks, the way he looks (kinda nerdy in a lovable way). So, following the train of thought toward it's intelligent conclusion: any slaughtering on his part is obviously intentional, not ignorance. As a character in a movie or as himself (uh, not that I've ever spoken to him. I guess I just mean as he is in all of his movies) . . . there's a certain amount of (what must simply be) John Cusackness that never goes away and (presumably) can't be removed. Grammatical mutilations to John Cusack are simply comedic devices.

With Them Are, nothing is obvious or intentional except the ignorance.

So where do I fall on this continuum? By the very air I breathe, I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that I land on the intelligent side with John Cusack.* Wouldn't it be cool to be buddies with him?

*I do not presume to think I am as smart as I assume John Cusack is. Obviously, since I've never met the man, I have no real idea of how intelligent he is (or isn't). But I'd guess he's right at the top of the list. Who cares? I'm trying to make a point here.

Don't think I've forgotten or missed the fact that he has tools available to him I do not. Does that put me to a disadvantage? He gets to say things like serendipatiousness with eyebrows raised and impish grin that demonstrate to the viewer his awareness of grammar distortions. I, on the other hand, only have punctuation and parenthetical comments to show when I'm kidding, taking advantage of artistic license, playing around, or attempting (without regard to success or failure) an etymological feat of engineering. Hence the hyphens: uber-facetious-izing; the footnotes: *I love artistic license (re: Britishily); and the zillion other examples you could pull out of my blog since its inception.

But sometimes I throw in a faux word or make grammar gumbo without calling attention to it. What then?! Is my intentional misuse obvious, or (this is appalling) is it not obvious that I'm kidding, joking, playing, being silly, whatever? Usually I'm doing it to be funny, but sometimes I make up words because even my wealth of vocabulary is unable to come up with the most perfectest word. Ya know?

Because--ahem--it's funny when I do it.

This is a phrase I say to my husband when I'm being particularly cheeky. He, of course, never thinks it's funny when I tickle him, poke him, tease him, or pull out random hairs when he's not paying attention. It sounds terrible when I list them all together like that, but you know. The typical cutesy and not-so-cutesy stuff any couple would do, all in the name of fun. As for whether or not it's actually funny, usually he walks both sides by grumbling about the act while still laughing at my remark.
So do I sound like an idiot (or a hypocrite who is also an idiot), or is it "all good"? Is it funny when I do it? Am I allowed to make fun of the real dummies like Them Are and Dimwit because I am a member of The Club of Edumacated Folks?*

*This question is posed to anyone who wishes to express an opinion, with the exception of Blogger spell check. Since it just had an apoplexy going through this post, I'm pretty sure that's my answer from the spell check perspective. Everyone's a critic, eh?

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