Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Snicker, snicker

To my husband and my children, I'm the biggest nerd who ever walked the earth. They say this because when I read a book, I sometimes take down notes and often have a dictionary and Google on standby for cross-referencing. My impulse is to deny this, but I will admit that there is a modicum of truth to their opinion.

Recently, I realized that modicum is a serious understatement. This blog entry is also further proof of my error in diction.

My friend J uploaded some pictures of her trip to Morocco in facebook and, referring to a particular photograph of a beautiful door with a brass knocker, I asked her what was behind the door. I was hyperventilating over the image of dim, musty catacombs of precious books. In response to my question, J tagged me in a photograph with the door opening to a normal-looking interior with small black-and-white jester tiles. This conversation ensued:

Me: Darn, these people have no imagination. But I love the floor. It will make me dizzy in real life, but they're great in photographs.

Me: I just realized that my previous comment has 3 grammatical errors. Kahiya. For all facebookdom to see...
J: Pwede naman i-delete...
J: 3?
"Darn, these people have no imagination." The subject is ambiguous. By "these people", I meant the Moroccan architects, lest the owners think I was referring to them. I should have been more specific.

"But I love the floor" is a subordinate clause, not a sentence.

"It will make me dizzy in real life, but they're great in photographs." The two clauses in the sentence have the same subject, which is the floor, replaced by the pronouns it and they. The mistake is in consistency--- shifting from singular to plural.

I know I've hopelessly embarrassed myself by answering the question J asked in jest. And, for their sakes, I hope that is not snickering I hear coming from the room where my husband and children are...

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1 comment:

CNSacris said...

Highly amusing entry. :)

And believe me. I'm a co-nerd. I'm actually spending 3 years studying just that. Grammar and all its glory.

Your sentences were composed like they would be in a regular conversation. And spoken words are ephemeral so you can basically compose what you like the way you like it.

Written discourse is different though. However, with a setting as informal as Facebook, writing it like you say it is hardly a cause for alarm.

Unless, of course, you're a nerd. Like me. I understand is all I'm saying.

You would so like my friends at my office. Not only do people burst our in different languages (one girl actually speaks 9), but you'd be surprised at the excitement a subordinate clause makes or how vowel sounds can be reproduced using a small compressor and plastic tubing. You'd fit right in!

I miss you!