Watch Out! It’s The -Ly Police!

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I am not a master grammarian. I’ve never claimed to be. I make mistakes just like the next guy. Incomplete sentences? I love ‘em. But I do have a pet peeve.

-Ly.

My husband calls me “The -Ly Police.” (Grammatically incorrect but his point is understood.)

When the weather man says, “Dress warm,” I shout, “-LY!”

When the Kashi ad says, “Eat positive,” I shout, “-LY!”

When the news anchor says, “traffic is moving smooth and steady,” I shout, “-LY and -ILY!”

It’s annoying. I know.

I mean it.

Really, really annoying. (Oh. You were agreeing with my husband and I was…..oh, never mind.)

Remember when we were kids? – “Ain’t ain’t in the dictionary so ain’t ain’t a word!”

Well, guess what? Ain’t is in the dictionary. As well as a plethora of other grammatical mishaps.

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The evolution of language is an interesting thing. And I’d love to think that there’s rhyme or reason to the decisions made. But after some cursory research, my humble opinion is, “No.” There is no rhyme or reason. None. Nada. There ain’t even  a  consensus.

What is it?

Laziness that becomes a pervasive bugaboo. Teens that twist us into thinking that their distinct vernacular is where it’s at. (Ending with a preposition. Yep. Now acceptable in some circles.) 

 And pretty soon, we’re all speaking that way. It’s impactful. It causes alot of controversy. It effects us all. And it makes me nauseous. But it’s a moot point. (Ahhh, I kill myself.) 

One thing I do know is that avoiding regrettable grammar is impossible.

So let this be a warning to all you media people out there. If the traffic reporter on the radio tells me to “Drive safe” or the weatherman wants me to “dress warm,” I’m going to be shouting “-LY!”

With every fiber of my being.

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Filed under Soapbox

Sometimes You Just Have To Stop And Look At The Ducks

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“Mommy! Look at the ducks!”

My 3-year-old was tugging on my hand. We were at Walt Disney World. My mom and dad were racing ahead to catch the boat to Hollywood Studios which was just pulling up to the dock. I was torn. I wanted to keep up with my parents but I wanted to honor my daughter’s thrill at seeing the ducks.

Waving wildly at my daughter and I, my parents won. I tugged gently on my daughter’s hand and said, “Honey, we can look later. The boat is here now. We have to catch up with Noni and Papa.”  I urged her forward.

She stopped. She let go of my hand. She stamped her little foot and said, “But I just wanted to show you the ducks!”

My daughter won. I waved at my parents to go ahead without us. (They begrudgingly waited.) And I stopped to look at the ducks.

It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of Disney World and the sense of urgency to see and do everything. The same is true for the grocery store. Or for writing that next blog post. Or the sense of urgency to get that mountain of laundry folded. (Okay. I admit. I’ve never felt that particular sense of urgency but I’ve heard that some of you out there have.)  When I can’t fall asleep at night I try to figure out how many days you would need to “see and do everything” at Disney World and I fall asleep before I can come up with a worthy number. Disney World is full of things to do and see. It’s the greatest marketing ploy around, creating so much to do you just have to come back. And real life is the same way. There will always be another load of laundry to fold.

And so, when everyone is in a rush to catch the next bus, someone in our family will invariably say, “Hey! Look at the ducks!” Or, while navigating through the Christmas crowds at the mall my husband will grab my hand and say, “Look! I see some ducks.” It’s our cue to slow down. Savor. Enjoy each moment.

It’s a lesson we’ve carried beyond Walt Disney World.

It’s a lesson that bears repeating.

Whether you are at Walt Disney World or the mall or buried in laundry, remember, you can’t possibly see and do everything. Take a moment or two. Slow down. Breath. People watch. Ask your child a silly question while she still wants to talk to you. Hold your child’s hand a little tighter before he’s a teenager and rushing off to the football game without you.

Time will fly by fast enough.

No need to hurry it along.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Uncategorized

It Finally Happened…

hellfroze

14 Comments

January 3, 2014 · 10:56 pm

Uh-Oh. Jane’s On Her Soapbox. Again.

We are a reactionary society.

And we have a very short attention span.

And we love ice cream. But I digress.

I have a love/hate relationship with the media. It’s where I get all my news. So, I am both dependent on media and love it for providing me with my news fix. It’s also where I get all my news. So, I am both dependent on media and hate it for distorting the facts.

But media is so sassy. Media says, “We only print what you want to read. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.”

Someone ought to put Media in a time out.

Sassy thing.

First it was Paula Deen and now it’s Duck Dynasty Phil.

Now, please, don’t get me wrong. Racism is wrong. Homophobia is just plain stupid. But the last time I checked, we still have free speech in this country. If celebrities have bone-headed opinions, let ‘em have ‘em. They can say what they want. And then we, in turn, can stop buying their product if what they’ve said bothers us so much.

What annoys me to heaven and back is the way Media jumps on one phrase, taken out of context, and twists it into something that could be taken offensively. And then, gives us a huge teaser headline, tells 1/3 of the story and says, “the end.”

I’m left saying, “Whaaaaat?”

And so I research. And  I read 4 other articles about the same topic, only to discover that what Paula Deen allegedly did was years and years ago and what Duck Dynasty Phil said referred to his far-right, religious faith. Really? Was anyone truly surprised that he doesn’t feel homosexuals should marry?

Yes. Celebrities should be role models. But we can’t count on that. Just ask Charles Barkley.

And the media should tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Period. Give us the facts. All of the facts and let us decide if we agree, disagree or can agree to disagree.

It’s that simple.

(Yes, I was cryptic when discussing what Duck Dynasty Phil said. I find his comments irrelevant and ridiculous. But if you’re so inclined, you can educate yourself here and here and here.)

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Filed under Soapbox

Quick! Someone Alert Shel Silverstein!

I found it!

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Filed under Because It Amuses

Elf On The Shelf. Or The Lamp Shade. Or Wherever Else You Put Your Stupid Elf.

(This is a repeat performance post. But it still applies. Because I still hate that stupid elf.)

I have a friend. A dear friend who has an Elf On The Shelf. And an addiction to Facebook. During this time of year, I find that combination to be deadly.

To my ego.

Every other day she has a post of the clever places they find their Elf every morning. Along with clever little tag lines.

Example #1 – Hiding in a lamp, with just his little hat peeking out. “Should we tell him his hat is giving him away? Or just leave him in the dark?”

Example #2 – In a large empty jar with lid tightly closed. “Oops. Looks like Elf has found himself in a pickle.”

Example #3 – Hiding deep inside the Christmas tree. “Can’t see the Elf for the tree.”

I could go on. But I won’t. It depresses me too much.

Quite honestly, I had never heard of Elf On The Shelf until we moved to this subdivision. My rudimentary research discovers that his concept is old. But his commercial phenomenon is recent. Apparently, the Elf is a spy for Santa Claus. He sneaks away every night once the family is tucked in, files his report with Santa and then returns by daylight, always in a new spot and typically up to some mischief of his own.

Oh. Yeah. Like I need one more Christmas chore to add to my list.

So, like any sane mother, I reject this holiday hobgoblin. My days are chock full of cookie baking, present wrapping, mantel dressing and shopping, cooking and a little more shopping. Who has time for 25 days of elfin mischief to create?

A lot of moms, apparently.

So many, that now, my children have been exposed to the little guy. And they want to know how Santa knows if they’re naughty or nice.

Santa peeks in on you himself. You boys are two of his favorites.

Cue eye rolls and exasperated sighs.

“Mom. Really? Because Nick’s Elf left him candy canes. Santa doesn’t leave us candy canes after he checks up on us.”

He saves that for Christmas Day. He knows about your last dentist appointment.

“If the leprechauns can visit us how come we don’t have an elf visit?”

I repeat the “Santa’s favorite” response. To no avail.

“Well, Sydney’s Elf bakes her cupcakes and cleans up her room.”

Hey! I bake you cupcakes and clean up your room.

“It’s not the same, Mom!”

Nope.

It’s not.

Stupid Elf.

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Filed under Holiday

Awwww, Google! You Remembered!

I clicked on Google to google something, of course. I’m an old Googler from way back. One of my favorite pastimes. My kids say my epitaph is going to read, “Let’s Google it!”

But I digress….

So, I click on Google and what do I see?

This….

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So cute! Cakes and cupcakes. Sparklers and candles. I just adore the Google pictures each day. It’s my second favorite pastime, besides actual Googling, of course. I hover over the picture and discover something new and an hour is lost learning about C. V. Raman or Maria Callas or the invention of soap. (Here I go. Digressing again. Must be my age. Wink, wink.)

Today, I see the cakes and the candle and wonder, “Who else shares my birthday today?”

I hover the mouse over the picture and low and behold it says:

Happy Birthday, Jane!

My heart skips a beat. Google remembered!

I’m so touched. And honored. And awestruck.

And then, I realize (fairly quickly, because I’m not that egocentric) that the image will only be seen by me.

But that’s okay.

Google remembered my birthday.

That’s enough for me.

5 Comments

Filed under Holiday, Uncategorized