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.

I’ll wait…

Hum-de-dum-dum…

Take your time…

No rush…

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.

Next, please…

“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.’

“OR…

“‘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’.

32 comments:

L.T. Elliot said...

My future success is assured! Everything I ever needed to know, is right here on this blog. =]

Kristina P. said...

Have I told you lately, that I love you? (I hope you channeled Rod Stewart with that.)

Oh, and Christian Bale Mancrush coworker, Charlie, asked me and my coworker last week how to use a semi-colon. We told him that you used it just like an apostrophe. We are awesome.

Also, I think that I have semi-colons even though I would rather have perky punctuation periods.

Hel said...

My questions to you - that obviously didn't get to you telepathically over the great ocean divide - is: "How many long run-on sentences used to describe the cuteness of a two year old does it take before you start spitting at your computer?"

and do you care if I don't use any punction at all

KC Mom said...

I'll remember this when I'm caught with my nylons down around my ankles...
;:
My question is...........................................................................can I have your autograph?

The Crash Test Dummy said...

hee hee hee hee

You kill me! You really do. So happy to know what to call it and how to punctuate it when I make my ward pee their pants and I get zapped, while they're zipping.

(inside joke--have to read today's post to get that)

Lara said...

Amazing! I have learned so much more than punctualizing my sentences from this post. You are a miracle worker, regardless of what Anna thinks.

And Amber's story at Outback reminds me of the time I was on a date with Mr. Bowtie-Wearing Stuffiness and the waitress tripped and fell right next to our table and sour cream went flying. All over me and him and a few other people. I laughed my head off, but my date made the restaurant pay for our dinner and his dry-cleaning bill. What a jerk.

M-Cat said...

Again, my dear.....you did not disappoint! Thanks for the lesson and the laugh. And while I'm no family member can I begin to invoke Dad's sayings? I LOVE all of them!

Kazzy said...

Lara---LOL! I would have laughed until I couldn't breathe!

DeNae, I feel now like I could actually submit something for publication. Thank you for your cyber-tutoring!

Sarah said...

u do make me LOL!

Jessica said...

Now I'm going to be all nervous about my posts...what about those?...(ellipses) and those...(parentheses)? I may be needing more grammatical help and guidance.

Jami said...

Oh DeNai, I love you. I think the more I know you the more I will love you.

The Garden of Egan said...

Wow DaNae! I'm not sure if I can stop laughing long enough to post a long post cause I'm sure my puncatanation is pretty bad and needs more work and stuff!
Wow, you said swear words and everything on your post. You are so freaking awesome. I don't type mine I say them out loud....lots.
I hope Anny Onomous doens't get mad and rant some more.
I really love when you post cause I know it's gonna be a good day. I hope that the Pulizter people learn more from you.

Homer and Queen said...

Glad you are back! I was trying to get my thoughts through to you, but they were all over the place and who knows where they ended up! I do love my ...'s. That is where my evil thoughts slip in!!!

Motherboard said...

u r 2 kewl 4 words.

i ♥ u


75253. (that was from Moxie)

wendy said...

Oh Man ---I am laughing --LAUGHING!! What a great post. Anna Nonymouse (not my friend) I was splitting a gut over your comments about HER (especially after my first "bout" with that fine lily white friend) LOVE It!!

You are too damn funny for your own good (whoops, there goes my CTR ring)

also ---I am splitting a gut over your comment on my blog about mistaking a Ricks college Co-Ed for a Moose. FU--NNN-Y!!!!
YOU ARE A GEM.

Lyn said...

That made my day.

That Girl said...

"ferinstance" - still laughing!

Sher said...

Ha! You kill me! And I've always known you to be a super genius~

Love you!

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

Wow, no longer will I dither over my blog. I don't have to give up my CTR ring do I?

One item you forgot to discuss is the use of the exclamation point. So many to use, so little time.

Debbie / Cranberry Fries said...

Love the telepathic questions. Such lively guests on this post. Ha.

AS Amber said...

DeNae. DeNae. DeNae. DEENae. Sister. Sister. SisTER. Sis. Sis. Sissy. Hey. Hey. Hey you. Hey you. Hey YOU. HEYYOOOOOOU. DeNAE. NeDAE.

(You) WHAT?????

Hi.

Eeeeeeeee-heeeee-heeeeee-heeeeee.

AS Amber said...

OH! I have another question:

What's the proper way to un-numb a numb toe? Do I nudge it? Do I tickle it? Do I squeeze it?

Or do I take it between my thumb and forefinger and pinch it so hard it develops cancer?

Please get back to me as soon as you can walk to your computer.

DeNae said...

Oh, yes, you are sooooo funny, little sister.

My toe is still semi-numb, like how it feels when you step on a piece of tape and you keep thinking it will fall off on its own and it never does.

And if that weren't enough, that evil pinch from your diabolical bag o' tricks DID give me toe cancer. I'm pretty sure it's spreading, you brat. Think they give chemo to a toe? I swear, if my toe goes bald...well, actually, that might be kinda nice.

MommyJ said...

Oh dear me, you are so funny. Love the comments from your Dad.

Teri said...

I seriously just about peed my pants laughing. Thanks for the fantastic gut laugh. Did you know, a good belly laugh is supposed to keep you healthy for three months......I should be good for at least a year! :)

Terresa said...

You are so funny, swear words and all (my New Yrs resolution was to swear less...and I'm still working on it, too).

We need to do a blogger's luncheon sometime, Vegas style. How about it?

So here's my question (Note, please ignore the bad punctialization)
...Wanna organize it? Lmk!!

Gloria (The Mamafamilias) said...

This is seriously one of the funniest things I've ever read. My daughter, who's in a Singles Branch (and that's a story in itself), was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, and this post was like a verbal happy pill for her. Thanks.

P.S. I always thought a colon was the large intestine and a semi-colon was the small intestine.

P.P.S. I'm with Garden of Egan - I say mine out loud, too, and thanks to your father, I now have some new ones to say out loud.

InkMom said...

Yaknow, I just today discovered that my children diabolically conspire to enforce parental semi-colons in our house. Yes, my naivete knows no bounds -- up until this morning as I frantically tried to complete my, um, master task list before church, I was pretty sure it was all accidental. But no. Intentional.

And horrible.

Gloria (The Mamafamilias) said...

P.P.P.S Thanks for the mail on my blog, and you're right - it ain't Vegas. It's NC. (Except, I don't live in the pretty part of the state - I live clear on the other side, the side with the hurricanes and what not.)

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Since your CTR ring was revoked and all, I was wondering if you could send it to me because (as you already know) I'm kind of righteous enough to wear two or three of them and get away with it.

Love, Steph
alias: Anna Nymous

p.s. I loved the image of Amber doing a hurkie when you called on her. Hilarious.

Terresa said...

Ok, I emailed you but maybe it went to your *spam* box? Anyhow, I can't make it that day (Primary Prez qtrly activity shtuff), so I'll catch you next time. Lmk when you have another bloggers luncheon, I'll be there with bells on!!

Julie Holt said...

Toe chemo! Ha ha ha ha ha! Sounds like my kind of heaven!