Thursday, July 23, 2009

Just Put A (Red) Pencil In My Eye

Statue of Limitations

OK, I’ve had it.  You know the newspapers that publish the names of the “Johns” in prostitution cases, with the idea of shaming them into some sort of decent behavior if not outright morality?  I’m going to start a variation of that, except I know it won’t do any good.  I know.  In fact, in a few years, people who still read at all will wonder what in the world I’m talking about.

Lots of people don’t read anymore.

Lots of people think they read, but they are so distracted and in such a hurry that they miss key words and thus the whole point of what they read.

Lots of people don’t listen, either.  See above for some of the reasons.

Because people* don’t read, don’t comprehend, and don’t listen, they (can’t bring myself to name them) come up with the following uttered or written words:

Isn’t there a statue of limitations? [Uh, no.]

He likes to be on the spotlight. [Must be damn hot after awhile.]

We worked feverously on the project.

He died of smoke insulation.

We need to prevent people to dogfight.

I did it on accident.  [What?  Sat on the spotlight?]

You have a beautiful rhododendrum!

There was a whift of smoke. [This one is not connected with the victim of smoke insulation.]

My mother makes an excellent tomato aspect.

What was you wanting[Where do I begin?]

Here’s one Tara had from a student recently: It was necessary to take gastric measures.  [Don’t think that’ll help.]

*All but two statements or questions came from the mouths or pens of college graduates, some with advanced degrees. 

I didn’t start writing down these little gems until a few years ago, after a cocktail party at an artist friend’s house in Mexico.  One of her quasi-boyfriends was an aged Hell’s Angel wannabe, and he sat rather glumly apart from the other people who were gathered on Janice’s veranda, drinking and talking about her art.  Boyfriend just drank quietly for awhile, and then he seemed to catch a word or two of conversation and roused himself long enough to address everyone: “I had an easel under the porch once, but the dogs ran it off.”  

If you recognize yourself here, at least you recognize yourself.  That’s a good thing.  And if you have your own favorites to add to the list, let me know!   I’ll be waiting with baited breath.  [Eeew].


  1. Defiantly is definitely not the word you mean, I tell my students. This usually doesn't work, so I tell them there's no A in definitely.

    But the best is still a typo from a resume from a woman who apparently worked as a sign language interrupter. For the rest of the week after that one arrived, I would leap between talking co-workers and say, "Look! I'm a sign language interrupter!"

  2. Oh, and I hate a bad "from" bounce like in my comment. *sigh* Froms just shouldn't hang out so close. How about "a typo on a resume from a woman..." So much better.

  3. Har! I had to put my head down on the desk to laugh over the sign language interrupter.

  4. Oh my goodness...those are hilarious, Sharon. All pretty cringe-worthy, although I squirm a bit and wonder if I've ever been guilty of such verbal or written atrocities. At least I can thank my lucky stars that I'm not a sign language interrupter. :-)

    But I must admit that I kind of like "whift" of smoke. A nice combination of whiff and waft...

  5. As several of my students would comment, that was a very cleaver post, Sharon. Defiantly vary cleaver indeed. Their is no doubt.

  6. Your pretty cleaver yourself, Phoebe.

  7. Well, I did once drop a cleaver on my cat...she needed eight stitches and still loves me. I guess that does make me "a" cleaver.

  8. I once named that sort of large sharp cooking implement Eldridge...