I recently bought and devoured Lynne Truss's “Eats, Shoots and Leaves.” I feel as though a whole facet of myself, shamefully hidden away until now, has finally been validated and is free to flounce out of the proverbial closet... or goose-step as the case may be. I am a grammar/spelling/punctuation nazi. But for the sake of political correctness, I think I'll go with Lynne Truss's word for it from here on out. I am a stickler, and proud of it!
I have only recently discovered the world of on-line forums and message boards, and it has been eye-opening to say the least. In most cases, I have to turn off my grammar radar and silence my inner stickler in order to look past the glaring errors in some of the postings and actually read the content. It’s rather taxing, however. I log off with my fingers twitching with the effort it took not to send spelling and grammar corrections to everyone who botched up who’s and whose; your and you’re; there, their, and they’re; then and than; affect and effect; ad nauseum. The facial tick usually goes away after an hour or so, but the mental scarring may never fully heal, to say nothing of the psychological trauma of witnessing so many acts of violence against the written word. It’s a warzone out there and we need some medics in the worst way. I have a good mind to post the prescriptive portions of Miss Truss’s book on every on-line forum in existence in hopes of at least staunching the blood flow. But I digress.
I was particularly struck by her mention of finding a decades old note penciled in the margins of a book that she was using for research. Decades old. That’s older than the internet itself. A little scrawled note still persists while I can’t find an interesting essay that was posted in an on-line forum just last week, because it has evaporated into the intangible realm of 1’s and 0’s known as the internet, never to be seen again. I don’t know whether to find that amusing or depressing. It makes me yearn wistfully for the days of card catalogues, bookplates, and long handwritten letters. I wondered if anyone else was similarly moved by Miss Truss’s passing mention of that marginal note.
Thanks for reading my ramblings. I don’t know what the discussion boundaries are for this forum, so if I’ve overstepped them (or simply bored anyone), my apologies.
P.S. I am conscious of the fact that I am now among fellow sticklers. If there are any mistakes in the above missive, please don’t skewer me too viciously. And if I ever post again, it won't be this long. I promise.