Thursday, April 3, 2008

Persnickety

Isn't it funny how the stuff you learn in grade school sticks with you?

When I was a kid, my parents made great sacrifices to ensure all their children went to Catholic schools. Let me tell you, those nuns didn't mess around when it came to the basics. We memorized multiplication tables, state capitals, the Gettysburg Address. (I still know that one by heart, complete with punctuation.)

Proper letter writing was high on their list. Business letters had a salutation that was followed by a colon. For personal correspondence, you followed it with a comma. My brain is full of minutia.

I know times have changed and I am all for living in a more relaxed society. Goodness knows that I don't want to go back to the days of full slips, girdles and untold other "foundation garments".

But, I do find myself cringing when email comes across my desk with no salutation or regard for upper and lower case. Now, I don't mind when it's a note from a friend, but I think business correspondence, even email, should have at least some regard for proper form, particularly when it's early on in that relationship.

Maybe I shouldn't be so fussy. Is it crazy to worry that a person who can't be bothered with punctuation will be able to write an error-free pattern? Or that someone who doesn't run spellcheck will be a reliable test knitter? After all, they are different skill sets, aren't they? Arent' they?

I suppose you are wondering what brought this all on. Well, Monday was opening day at Wrigley Field. A statue of Ernie Banks was unveiled. Ernie Banks is a member of The Baseball Hall of Fame who played his entire career with the Cubs. He's a legend around these parts.

The statue is beautiful.













The caption of the base is another story.


In case you can't tell from the photo, it reads: "LETS PLAY TWO". The apostrophe in "Let's" is missing. Can you imagine? I'm not privy to all the details, but you have to figure that this sculpture has been in the works for months, probably years. I'm dumbfounded to think that in all that time no one took bothered to make sure every single detail was correct before it was engraved in granite.

Given the press that this has received in the past few days, I'm just glad it wasn't me. Yikes!

5 comments:

Suna said...

Oh, my. The ladies in my office are as appalled as you are!

I had a coworker at another job who decided there was a Law of Conservation of Apostrophes: there are only so many in the world, and whenever someone puts an extra one (the dreaded it's that is not intended as a contraction, for instance), another apostrophe disappears. This must have been what happened to the poor statue.

Anonymous said...

Oh Beth -- I haven't thought about full slips or girdles in years ...

LaurenS

Celandine said...

Hi! I found your blog after finding year-old-accounts of your heavenly warehouse sale... I love your colorways, and am almost a neighbor (I live near Kalamazoo, Michigan, so Chicago is our Big City to Visit) so I thought I'd say hi. Thanks for sharing your stories on your blog. Happy Knitting!

Helen said...

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you've misplaced the apostrophe in the second 'Aren't they?' Or was that a joke? If it was, sorry. But I couldn't agree with you more, and another one I have problems with is receiving business letters from complete strangers which start 'Dear Helen.' When I check out my online grocery shopping, the supermarket does that; it drives me nuts.

I think Suna may have solved the mystery though.

Anonymous said...

it may be a trick of the light, but i see an apostrophe there. have i lost my mind?