Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Standard English Usage Nazis

I enjoy hearing the English language spoken properly and seeing it written correctly as much as does the next person. I am not, however, the world's finest typist, which leads to occasional typographical errors on my part.

A person on another site was highly critical of my writing. I admit that I can write quite informally here. Often I type after having put ointment in my eyes, and I don't type by touch all that well, which can lead to typographical errors. I'm careless when leaving other messages at other sites for the same reasons. blurry eyes combined with poor touch-typing skills lend themselves to typographical errors..

The person in question was commenting about my writing here, though, and was criticizing my sentence structure and  use of vocabulary, among other things. I wonder what the person would think if he or she knew that I received the highest possibles scores on both the writing portion of the SAT and on the same section of the MCAT. I didn't bother telling the person. Such knowledge would only further solidify in the person's mind that the youth of the world are going down the tubes at a more rapid rate than he or she previously had considered possible. I did mention being in medical school. I'm sure the person hopes never to be under my care in a medical setting. He or she probably thinks I would mis-write something on a prescription pad  and inadvertently kill him or her.

My detractor would actually be in a much more problematic mental state  if she were taken to an emergency room where my father was on duty. He knows  emergency medicine and trauma care quite thoroughly, and he can even spell, but his handwriting is so atrocious that it takes someone skilled in translating hieroglyphics to be able to understand his prescriptions. I can understand them because I've been reading his writing since i was two years old, but not all pharmacists and pharmacy techs are so well-versed in reading the writings of those who scrawl in the manner of three-year-olds.

A recent advancement that has helped the patients my father sees in the E.R is the use of email and fax machines to send many prescriptions of non-controlled substances. My father can type reasonably well, especially considering how poorly he prints and writes. Level I and Level II controlled substances, however, must have hard copies of prescriptions delivered to pharmacies by patients, Some hospitals prit the presciptions out on computers after doctors have typed the information into the computers. in some instances, however, the computers are not avaiable or are not operating, in which case my fdad has to write out the rescription old-style. in such a case, my father can expect to receive a phone call from the pharmacy clarifying his prescription. This is better than killing the patient with incorrect prescriptions or dosages, but it results in a tremendous loss of time for my father.

i'm digressing, however. a lady on a message board I seldom visit believes my writing style is unbelievable substandard. I could either cry about it or admit that I';m human and make typograhical errors on occasion, but conclude that the person who made the criticism of me is probably even stupider than I am. Either way, life goes on.


  1. If it makes you feel better, someone left me a comment recently that my blog is "crap" and wasted her time. Everybody's a critic!

  2. Why do such people bother reading? If I think something is "crap," I can usually tell before reading all the way through it. I therefore avoid wasting my time, and then don't have to leave an obnoxious note for the author.

    Yep, everyone's a critic. It's such an easy thing to be.

    1. The person was upset because I dared to ask if Brielle Caisse's father was okay with her stepfather "marrying" her. The comment was rude, so it pissed me off... and I let her know as much.

      The Internet has had a sad effect on civility.

  3. The relative anonymity of Internet interactions allows people to behave in a less civil manner than they would toward a person standing before them, or even receiving a letter signed by them or on the othert end of a telephone receiver. what is the worst thing about it, in my opinion, is that i suspect the lack of civility is slowly transferring to face-to-face interactions. politeness as we once knew it may be going the way of TV antennae on top of roofs and horse-and-bayonet warfare.

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  5. The tennis stars learn the proper way to learn to play tennis. After that they are allowed to break all the rules and play the way that they like. Writing is just like fashion, really. People decide this is in now and this is out now. Here is an actual example. There was a hit movie musical called The King and I (1956).

    The king (Yul Brynner) won an Academy award for it. He learned the word etcetera. (etc.) In the movie he would end many sentences with etc., etc., etc. Now in writing it was extremely popular. Now people are not supposed to use it. Many famous writers make up their own rules of writing.

    An analogy. One summer the most popular song on the radio was MMMBop by Hanson. Now it is regarded like the worst song ever. It is never played. They made fun of this on Saturday Night Live. Have you ever heard it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHozn0YXAeE