Friday, October 1, 2010

In Which I Try To Ignore It

In my post on Wednesday I mentioned that I wouldn't be a good game show host because I'd likely blurt out the answers to the questions before the contestant had a chance to. I honestly don't have a "know-it-all" complex. I've never felt the need to be the first one to raise their hand in class when the teacher asks a question, and I've never been the one who thinks their life is over when they get a 99 on a test. 

I just have this bad habit where I feel the overwhelming urge to correct people when they are wrong. Because of this rogue personality streak, I often come off as a know-it-all, but it isn't like that, I swear.

Before I switched departments in early September, I had a cubicle neighbor at work who, upon getting a new call on their line, would ask the following question: "To whom am I speaking to?" She would say this on every single call she received. Despite the occasional mistake here or there in the posts I write, I take grammar very seriously. Even if I was on a call myself, her automatic greeting would sift through and feel like grains of sand in my mind. It wasn't as bad as the cubicle neighbor I had a few months ago, but it definitely set me on edge after a while. 

Despite how much this grated on my nerves, not once did I tell her that adding the word "to" at the end of the question was unnecessary, or that saying it at the beginning of the question was unneeded if you're going to be using at the end. Either way, there was one too many "to"'s in her statement, and it was fucking me up. I'd hear it and it'd distract me from whatever I was doing. I'm lucky that she only worked part time, otherwise I'd never get any shit done.

It's not just her syntax that bothered me. This damned personality flaw picks up on moments where words are pronounced incorrectly, and if this woman was given a penny for each time she pronounced a word wrong, well, she'd have some significant extra cash flow to explain on her taxes. If I started a list of words she pronounced incorrectly, we'd be here all night. Instead, I'll share with you her favorite mispronounced word. 


Not penalize. Not penalization. Penalizeration. Unfortunately for me, a good part of the job she has deals with explaining how fees were assessed (in other words, a penalty), so she said this word quite often. Combine the poor oral grammar with making up words for words that already exist with my need for order in the world, and you've got one volatile cubicle. The base to the acid of the situation was that I switched departments. My cubicle neighbor now only mispronounces the department name. 

I think I can deal with that.

Have a good weekend everyone.


Natalie said...

How do you deal with people who had a random R after words that end in the long A sound?

Ex - Idea is made into (eye-De-er)

No offense but everyone I've met from the Mills location does this and it grates on every nerve I have.

Faye said...

Ugh. My ex's entire family transposed the 'i' sound for 'e' sound.
"Hand me a pin, quick."
"What? I don't have a pin handy, would tweezers work?"
*looks at me like I have sprouted a second head*
"A pin, a PIN. I need to write this down."
"...are you trying to say PEN?"
*throws something at me*

Yeah. Every single day. Every single 'i' and 'e'. I'm glad you switched departments. I feel for you!

Cecelia Winesap said...

If you had called her on it, she's probably one of those people who would argue with you on why they're right and you're not.

The Bear Monk said...

Holy shit I hate that...I especially hate people who say "warter" instead of water or "warsher" instead of washer. It absolutely and unequivocally drives me up the damn wall. I just want to pull out a spoon and gauge out their damn eyes. All the while screaming "There's only one R in water you moron!"

Now that I'm thinking about that particular urge...maybe I should go talk to someone about my violent tendencies?

cbs111 said...

I am a grammar and spelling nazi! It drives me crazy to read or listen to someone with issues in those areas. I think it makes them sound uneducated no matter how intelligent they are.

Jen said...

I know just what you mean. I used to work with a woman who said "supposably" instead of "supposedly." But my biggest pet peeve is when people use "I" when they should be using "me." It's like people remember from grammar lessons that they should always say "so-and-so and I" so they use it even when they shouldn't.

Leigh said...

My biggest peeve: my boss uses the following phrases: on tomorrow, on next week, on yesterday.

Just so you realize how terrible this is: I am a teacher which makes my boss a principal.

Coco said...

Am I the only person who thought of word "penile" and then giggled when you posted her made up word? really?

I think a Penile-izeration sounds VERY painful. Talk to you doctor if it lasts more than 4 hours.

Jennifer said...

That would drive me absolutely bonkers. I can definitely sympathize, because I don't consider myself a know-it-all, but mistakes like that drive me crazy.

Of course, I'm not the type to correct people, either... Unless I can make it into a joke where you point out to a dear friend how dumb they sounded. Otherwise, I let people make the mistakes.

Then again, if I had to hear it everyday, I would have definitely had to correct her already.

Jasmine said...

That's my problem, I always have to correct people. I was walking through the mall one day and I overheard this girl talking to her friend on the phone. She was asking her a grammar question for a job application. When she repeated back what her friend told her (the WRONG answer), I walked up to her and told her what the correct answer was. She was some 16 year old girl and she was probably like WTF is this random ass person coming up to me for? I just couldn't let her look like an idiot on her application. I don't know what I'd do if I had a cubicle neighbor who said penalizeration. I'd probably say penalization as loud as I could whenever I had to say it, hoping they would hear. Or punch her.

JessieE said...

i have to respond to Jen. People around here where I live say things like "Bob & I's ..." instead of "Bob's and my ..." just because I think they learned about using I instead of me and think it sounds classier. Drives me up the F-ing WALL!

Deidra said...

I have a friend that frequently says things happen for "no opposite reason". We tell him to say "absolute", or to leave the word out altogether...I've tried, other people have tried, but there is no stopping him on this matter.

lessonsinlifeandlight said...

The "penalizeration" actually made me LOL at my desk. If I get busted for reading blogs at work, I'm going to penalizerate YOU.

lessonsinlifeandlight said...

Oh, and P.S. My most hated word is "irregardless". AAAAAAHHHHH!!! It's fucking redundant!

Melissa said...

My most hated word is irregardless too. Mostly because the people that are saying it are trying to sound smart.

And confession time. I have a bad habit of ending certain sentences with at. Like "Do you know where Tom is at?"

Opto-Mom said...

I hate it when people don't know the difference between too, to, and two. Or there, their, and they're.

Check out this post for crazy things my grandfather used to say:

At least my grandfather was old, so he had an excuse for mis-pronouncing stuff, LOL.

lacochran's evil twin said...

Penalizeration: the study of lizard penises.

That's what Wiki says.

Writer Ninja said...

You should have told her that there should be a great “penalizeration” for those who murder the English language.

Badass Geek said...

Natalie: Part of that is the Maine accent. I guess I don't notice that.

Faye: Random substitutions of vowels is wrong.

Cecelia Winesap: You are probably right.

The Bear Monk: Perhaps switching to decaf, maybe?

Cbs111: It really, really does.

Jen: Grammar fights back!

Leigh: Oh dear Lord.

Coco: That does sound painful.

Jennifer: There are sometimes when I just can't let a mistake go uncorrected.

Jasmine: I'm going to go with punch.

JessieE: I can imagine!

Deidra: That would drive me batshit.

LessonsInLifeandLight: Irregardless is horrible. The worst thing? My spellcheck doesn't ask me to correct it.

Melissa: I think we all have done that from time to time.

Opto-Mom: Age does allow certain forgiveness, yes.

Lacochran's Evil Twin: Good to know.

Writer Ninja: Ha! I should.

Pulp Bettie said...

One of my clients is a principal who consistently pronounces library without the first 'r'.
It's just wrong on so many levels...

Anonymous said...

Okay. I guess now's a good time. Can someone tell me whether it's correct to say "different than"?

WebSavvyMom said...

-->A coworker in a department meeting used this word at least nine times before I stopped counting and started looking around to see if anyone else noticed: DrownDing. They did.

Nej said... posts and comments must drive you absolutely bat shit crazy then, eh???????

cahanbury said...

Thank you for drawing attention to this. I have to say, I completely judge an entire company on the idiocy of their staff and/or typo-laden print materials.

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