Friday, September 25, 2009
Getting It Write
You know, as a crazy-famous writer (and let me be clear, I am fuh-REAKING famous. I know this because someone in my Institute class told me yesterday that she reads my blog all the time and she’s not even on the pay-off list!) I am constantly bombarded with questions about grammar, spelling, and whadyacallit, those dots and squiggles? Oh yeah, punctualization.
And I am nothing if not generous with my brillianacity and knowledgeness. I mean, I realize that some of you out there are limited to your book deals and regular contributions to “The New Yorker” and Pulitzers and stuff, and frankly, it just breaks my heart. Where do inexperienced writers like you go for help with finishing your sentences at the proper place and not run on and on until finally you’ve changed verb tenses and you’re saying something different at the end than you were at the beginning I want you to know I’m there for you. Seriously, where?
Here. You come here.
I know! Does my philanthropy know no bounds? And do I really know what the heck “philanthropy” even means? And do I care that my computer has already put so many red and green wavy lines all over this essay I’m thinking of hanging my stocking and spiking the wassail?
No. I. Do. Not.
So, go ahead. Ask your questions.
You know, telepathically.
Think hard, with your eyes scrunched up and your little fists pounding on your head.
Take your time…
Chest-NUTS roasting on an…
Oh! Wait! We have one…
“Hi, DeNae, Crash here. Long-time reader, first-time telepathic question asker. So, what I would like to know is: What is the proper term for what happens when you holler ‘A-loooooo-HA!’ to a congregation of sleepy BYU professors and other assorted Utah Mormons from the pulpit. Because I intend to do this next Sunday and I want to be able to blog about it properly when it happens.”
Well, Crash, there are several terms that come to mind, but I’m pretty sure the phrase you’re looking for is “Startled Piddling Induced Excommunication.”
And here’s another question! See, I told you that skull-thumping thing would work!
“Hey, DeNae! It’s me, Motherboard! Could you please tell me the difference between a colon and a semi-colon? Also, do you totally love me and hope I start feeling better soon and that everyone will in the meantime just leave me the heck alone?”
Two excellent questions, MB. And the answer to the second one is, yes. I really do.
As for your first question, “semi-colon” is used when you’ve started something but you can’t quite finish on account of you just got situated with your nylons down around your ankles and you’re reading the ingredients off the shampoo bottle for a little distraction and suddenly from the other side of the door there’s this noise that sounds a lot like what used to be your grandmother’s crystal bud vase connecting with the two-dollar plastic sword your kid won at the school carnival.
You get to use a “colon” when that kid is finally shipped off to college or the state-run correctional facility of your choice.
“hi denae i bet u cant gess how old i am huh lol pdq eieio n e way i want 2 no why i cant seem 2 find a job cuz i fill out aps n stuf but no 1 ever calls or texts or n e thing & im 1 dering is it b/cuz im like 2 cool 4 them or wot”
No, dear. It’s because you’re an idiot.
Please, someone who was born before 1995, ask a question. Seriously, ask me the time.
“I have a question, DeNae.”
Great. Who are you?
“It’s me, Anna. Anna Nymous. You know, from your comments page?”
Oh, yes. Hello Anna. Long time, no rant about my using cuss words on my personal blog. Been translated yet? How’s Enoch holding up?
“Ha ha. Always the card. Anyway, my question has to do with sentence structure. Which is the proper way to say the following?
“‘You are the most hypocritical, potty mouthed, evil example of someone whose CTR ring should be ripped from her filthy-word typing fingers whose work I have ever had the misfortune of reading.’
“‘You are the most hypocritical, potty mouthed, evil example of someone whose CTR ring should be ripped from her filthy-word typing fingers whose work I have ever had the misfortune of reading I hope you get hemorrhoids and then a huge zit and then you are dragged to the infernal pit by the hounds of aitch-ee-double-hockey-sticks I hate you I hate you I hate you.’”
Either way works, Anna. And first chance you get, please, just go into the light.
OK, it looks like we have time for one more question.
“Oh! Me! Pick me! Me! Me! Me! Me! Meeeee!!”
Anyone have a question?
“I do! Me! Over here! The one hopping and jumping and holding my one arm up with my other arm in the vain hope that somehow it will make the first arm appear even longer and higher than all the other arms!”
Anyone at all…
“DeNae! DeNae! de-NAE! deeeeeNAAAY! denaedenaedenaedenae…”
Oh, for hell’s sake (sorry, Anna), yes, Amber? Did you want to ask something?
“Woot! Woot! Cheer kick! Hurkie! Round off back handspring TOTALLY stick the landing!!”
Little sister, blog readers don’t have very long attention spans…
“Right! OK. So. Here’s the question: When you are a server at a popular steakhouse like, as a hypothetical ferinstance, the “Outback” in Orem, and on your last day of training you accidentally and not on purpose slip on some water and spill a tray full of drinks all over your customers and yourself and your trainer and people who weren’t even in the place but somehow suddenly were drenched in Diet Coke, and on top of it all you land on one knee and it gets this big fat honkin’ bruise and you’re trying not to bawl and you’d be fine if everyone would just stop asking if you’re OK, what phrase made famous by our dear and recently departed father is most likely to make you feel better fastest?
a) Shit and two’s eight.
b) Hell’s bells and great small fish.
c) Well doesn’t that just frost your gizzard.
d) All of the above, with a double portion of “A” cuz your knee reeeeally hurts.”
Obviously, it’s A through D, over and over again until ol’ Anna up there has an apoplectic fit and goes to that great mouthwash vat in the sky.
And it looks like that’s gonna wrap it up for today’s class on how to be a fabulous writer. Next time, we’ll look at prepositions, and how far you can go with them before you have to get married.
Until then, mind your p’s and q’s. And if you’re in Crash’s ward next week, either stay alert or wear your Depends.
I’m just sayin’.
Posted by DeNae Handy at 10:08 PM