I am not a writer by education, as I’m sure proof of such is in abundance around here.

In fact, the classes I despised more than any other were those of the English variety, mainly due to the title of this blog: they were too subjective – especially in the grading.

Especially my first experience with a College English professor… he looked just like Edgar Allen Poe,Poe
except maybe a bit more psychotic and depressed.

And he made it absolutely clear that he despised our class.

(I think it might have been the pencil throwing that clued me in. Oh yeah – that, and all the times he screamed in rage, “I hate this class!!!”)

And so, since we were apparently such despicable human beings, he swore to us that he would not give a single one of us an A, whether we were one of the troublemakers or not.

And he proved to be a good promise keeper.

The semester after I took his class, I Clepped out of the rest of my English Experience.

And sometime in the break before that next semester, he decided to pull out all of his hair, except for a dozen or so long, black and white streaked tufts, leaving him looking like Poe after The Raven got ahold of him.

But, despite my hatred for diagramming and hanging participles and subjective grading, there ARE certain grammar pet peeves that I most definitely have.

And number one on that list is the inappropriate use of quotation marks.

I learned around the age of six what it meant if you put something in quotes – I remember quite vividly an apparently-not-friend of mine telling me “of course you are my …. “friend”!”, while making the ever-famous air quotes with her index and middle fingers.


That day, I figured out that the quote motion was really more like crossing your fingers behind your back, except that you use it when you want to be a bit more cruel obvious.

But alas, apparently not everyone had this traumatic friend experience to teach them that quotes meant “not really”, because people use quotes in the oddest ways, such as this one I spotted at a gas station a while back:


So…is that gum or is it not??

But hey – a hastily handwritten gas station sign can be overlooked. I’m sure no one copychecked that sign, or really even thought too much about it.

But the one I saw last week…wow.


If you don’t even have smart use of punctuation, can I really count on you to have Smart Lipo???

And, all of a sudden, I have an image of being in the surgical prep room getting ready for my Lipo, and Doctor Joey coming in…quotefingers

“Of COURSE I’m a “real” doctor!!!”

At any rate, I bet that sign made my Poe-ish English professor pull out one more tuft of his hair.

…not that I’m still bitter about my grade or anything.

18 thoughts on ““Grammar”

  1. I agree. Unnecessary quotation marks and subjective English grades are big pet peeves of mine too, and I liked English for the most part.

    Sounds like your English prof was a seriously disturbed person.

  2. lol! – I love the "real" plastic surgeon – I wonder that someone with the intelligence to get through medical training doesn't have the intelligence to at least have a proper proof-reader.
    [And I can also totally picture Joey (aka Drake Ramoray) claiming to be a "real" doctor!]

  3. I "most definitely" "share" your "peeve" of "misused" "quotation marks". There's a whole website out there devoted to unnecessary quotes (that might even be the name of the website – unnecessaryquotes.com), but it's not so heartfelt. :P Thanks for giving me a good laugh.

  4. this makes me laugh! my daugher has been studying punctuation and we were talking about quotation marks and i told her then please never do the quotation mark sign with your hands when talking to someone. please. it makes me crazy!

  5. Haha, I LOVE that episode of friends, especially the end where Joey is "sorry". So funny.

    I probably use quotes WAY too much. How do you do the line crossing through words thing? Well, maybe you should tell me, I'll use it was too much like my … I use WAY too much as well. I can't think of another good way to indicate a pause in thought. I need a grammar for blogging class. Haha :)

  6. I saw a sign on a restaurant yesterday that said

    "Delicious" Food Served Since 1986

    It wasn't a new sign either. I'm surprised it's still in business!

  7. Grammar is a huge pet peeve of mine. My mom used to be leery of sending me cards when I was in college. She was convinced that I was marking them up with a red pen. I never did that…not with a pen anyway.

  8. I am always paranoid about my poor grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. I grew up in California where I was an AP English student (by default) because it was my first language. In my high school English class (before I took AP courses) we spent one semester on learning about what a sentence, paragraph, adjective, noun, etc. were. Basically I haven't taken a valuable English course since 8th grade.

    When I did take AP English I had my neighbor (an English teacher) proof read my papers that would bleed red with mistakes. How I ever did well in a college English course is a miracle. It's also a miracle that I am able to write a comprehensible blog ;).

  9. I HATED English classes! I did everything I could to take as few as possible. And of course, Mama Hen was an English major. Could we be anymore different???

  10. I love this post. Any good Poe reference adds points in my book. The fact that you included that your faux Poe professor may have been attacked by the raven as an allusion to the poem; pretty much makes my life.

  11. totally agree! that's hilarious.
    brandon's grandmother always puts our names in quotation marks on the front of cards (birthday, etc…)
    Dear "April". is it to me? is it not to me? i'm so confused.

  12. Oh those are great… I LOVE to find grammatical errors on public signs – they make for great laughs and conversation pieces DESPITE the nervous tics they give me from grinding on my nerves! Maybe we need a public signage grammatical error scavenger hunt…?

  13. Ha ha ha, that's hilarious! My personal pet peeve is when people mess up their infinitives; "I'm going to try AND get that right." Instead of, "I'm going to try TO get that right".

    Grrrrrr + infinity-ives :)

  14. Those signs are hilarious, guess the Lypo doctor doesn't have a proofreader!
    My grammar pet peeves are when people misuse they're, there, & their, as well as to, two, & too!

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