Grammar Nazi

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Aug 202010

When I’ve got all the bookkeeping-type work caught up, I go see if the office manager needs help with any of hers. She frequently does. In addition to general office administration, she makes updates to the website, authors the church’s monthly newsletter, writes the weekly Sunday bulletin, and a host of other tasks.

The second week I was there she asked if I would mind looking over the Sunday bulletin, just so there would be a second set of eyes checking it for typos and errors.

Ten minutes later, I returned it with several little red marks—a couple of typos, a grammatical error or two, and one paragraph that I simply thought was worded awkwardly and offered a suggestion for improvement.

“I was an English major my first trip through college,” I cautioned her. “Never give me something to proofread unless you actually want it, you know, proofed.”

She was delighted. It’s not like she has a lot of mistakes, she just needed someone else to give it a once-over, and the associate pastor is frequently too busy to do it before it has to be printed. Now I’m proofing the bulletin practically every week.

It’s nice having a job that lets you use more than one skillset.

My Inner English Geek Is Appalled

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Mar 202010

I’ve seen this ad a few times, it’s for some toilet bowl cleaner or other. (I’m sure the marketing guys would just flop over dead to hear that I honestly don’t remember what brand.)

Among its other virtues, the ad proclaims that it cleans “invisible stains.”

Every time, I find myself thinking, “If it’s invisible, it’s not a stain. Visibility is part of the definition of a stain.”

Yes, I’m sure it’s cleaning things that are not visible. But those things are not stains.