Course language

Excerpt from a recent conversation with a colleague:

“Did you miss me?”
“Oh, were you gone?”

If I could properly harness the power of such indifference a little bit further up the management ladder, I wouldn’t need to show up for work. Incidentally, the above discussion took place a short while ago, just after I’d returned from Stellenbosch, where I’d been attending a course.

Yup, another one. I reckon my brain must have filled up ages ago, so anything I learn now will simply push out the old knowledge to make way for the new. Frankly, I don’t think it’s worth the risk – I might suddenly forget how to read, or how to tie my shoelaces, or how to wipe my own arse+. I therefore figured I owed it to my employers to absorb as little as possible, in order to preserve the knowledge I do have and left the serious business of learning to the more eager minds filling the lecture hall.

My eyes did unglaze briefly near the end of the course, when one of the presenters fired up PowerPoint and began to abuse one defenseless apostrophe after another with gleeful abandon. It give’s me cold shiver’s when I think of the horror’s the poor thing’s had to endure.

Fear Factor for punctuation, if you will.

+ in which case, I’d be perfect for government service

– – – – – – – – – –
In other news, Parenthesis is running a short fiction competition. The prize is a R250 EB or Kalahari voucher. Not too shabby eh, Nige?

Go on – enter. You know you want to.


23 thoughts on “Course language

  1. Don’t worry about forgetting to wipe your own arse. When you get to a certain age you can pay to have people like me to do it for you. What a happy thought. Oh god, i think i just threw up in my mouth… excuse me a sec…


  2. In other news, Parenthesis is running a short fiction competition. The prize is a R250 EB or Kalahari voucher. Not too shabby eh, Nige?


    Perhaps you should mention that you’re the resident judge and doomsayer in this matter, eh? Will ensure that people mind their p’s and q’s. And pay more attention to their punctuation, spelling and grammer as well it would seem … :p



  3. There is NOTHING I hate more than people who don’t use punctuation correctly. Oh wait…people who can’t spell. People who can’t spell combined with bad punctuation-users! *shudder*


  4. dinahmow: My favourite greengrocer has a sign advertising “avocados” and “mielies”. Vegetable irony always cracks me up.

    A judge, Kyk? I think forgottenmachine should win. I don’t mind coming second.


  5. granny wrangler: Cool. So as long as I can put up with someone with vomit breath, I’ll be fine.

    dinahmow: Engineer. Close enough.

    forgottenmachine: Justice in the world? Man, where have you been?

    parenthesis: Okay. Everybody? See above.

    nicky: Nothing? Wow. You mean to say that James Blunt holds no terrors for you?

    ‘zilla: We shall see, bumblebee.

    peas: Are you saying I have BO?


  6. began to abuse one defenseless apostrophe after another with gleeful abandon
    Thank you. Suddenly my Monday looks brighter because I cannot stop laughing.


  7. parenthesis: I gethered as much.

    terri: You and me boaff.

    angel: That’s interesting. I wasn’t aware they were actually teaching spelling in school these days.

    jam: :mrgreen: In that case, it’s good to know the course wasn’t a total loss.


  8. Harnessing the power of indifference to my absence with my manager has also been a fruitless pursuit, one of the pitfalls of working for a small company. Sigh. I have to resign myself to pulling the odd sickie.

    As for punctuation/spelling errors: I carry a permanent marker with me to alter misspelt signage, menus etc wherever I encounter them.


  9. Kyk, I wouldn’t say I LOVE James, but then again, I wouldn’t say no to him either! Come on…if someone’s singing “you’re beaaaaautiful”…that’s an almost-guaranteed pantie-dropping line!


  10. Punctuation and spelling mistakes- I am guilty of making those all the time. In the process I probablly piss off every spelling/punctuation nazi on the planet. We all have our problems… hehe.
    Fear factor for punctuation… that is genius!


  11. my sister’s friend’s investments (I have one sister and she has one friend.)
    my sisters’ friends’ investments (I have many sisters and they have many friends.)
    my sisters’ friend’s investments (I have many sisters and they have one friend.)
    my sister’s friends’ investments (I have one sister and she has many friends.)


  12. Ant: A permanent marker? Brilliant! Excuse me while I just add something to my shopping list.

    nicky: Ah, so that explains his popularity with gynaecologists.

    chitty: You should be okay. The South African division of the Grammar Police is desperately short of personnel at the moment.

    anne: Good. I can take the rest of the day off.

    urk: Do you think your sister would mind if I touched one of her friends for a loan?


  13. Apparently the more sophisticated a language becomes, the simpler it gets so, for example, English is considered sophisticated whereas Dutch is considered primitive. In case you’re wondering, a Dutch colleague was telling me this. So, by abandoning the apostrophe altogether, as advocated by some, we would be make the English language even more sophisticated.

    That would be welcomed by the apostrophe, don’t you think?


  14. er… valentines day.. a brilliant marketing ploy to get fools to spend their money on meaningless cards and trinkets… you gotta love marketers… hello kyk!!! look who’s back and in grad year!!! hehe.. i missed you!!!


  15. Loving your work, strangely enough it is the first tie I have visited after constantly seeing your comments on thers blogs. I will definitely be back.



  16. alan: I think it’s headed in the other direction. The distressing tendency is to expand use of the apostrophe to areas where it’s really not necessary. Could this mean that English is reverting to a more primitive form?

    shorty: I missed you, too. Grad school, huh? Impressive :mrgreen:

    philippy: Excellent. By the way, if this was “work”, I wouldn’t be doing it for free.


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