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Monday, September 30, 2013

Grounded

I'll say it right from the start. I am not one of those people you'd tend to accuse of being a stickler for one-hundred percent correct grammar and word choice. I freely admit to willfully stretching the rules when it comes to things like writing in my blog, or posting on social media. For example, I know that words like of, to, and the are not supposed to be capitalized in my blog titles, but I do it anyway. It's one of the signatures that make the blog mine. Like many others who write, I break the rules of what makes a sentence, sometimes making sentences that are incomplete. And I am just too stinking lazy, I guess, to start a whole new paragraph every time I quote a different person in a conversation. 

In other words, I know the rules. Heck, I was an English major. But not a grammarian, more on the literature side of the fence. I feel that I use enough of the rules properly to make me able to write clearly. I also feel that if I followed all of the rules of writing all of the time, nobody would read this blog. Why? Because writing that way would bore me to death and I would soon lose interest. On the other hand, though, if I wrote news stories, I would follow the rules to the best of my abilities. When it comes to disseminating important information, writing correctly is usually more important than writing with a certain flair.

What is this all leading up to? First, I have noticed that a lot of news stories are, sadly, very poorly written. Or at least they're never edited or proofread. Before Fox News outlets became legendary for their politically-skewed reporting, I had quit watching our local outlet. I saw a developing news story that made me realize that either they were unprofessional, or they were trying to "dumb it down" for their viewers. If they think I am too stupid to watch their news, they can - oh, well, never mind. Seriously, though, I have spent my whole life watching news stories that might say something like, "AZ Bank was robbed at 3:00 p.m. The suspect/robber/perpetrator fled on foot. We have a still from the bank's surveillance camera on the screen...etc." Here's how our local news affiliate reported the story. "AB Bank was robbed at three today. The guy ran out, but we have his picture from the bank's cameras. If you see the guy, call 911." The guy? I don't think this means that I am being an elitist. I just thought it was very poor reporting. Shouldn't someone who makes their living this way be able to sound professional and not have a stick up their backside? Oh, well.

Trent and I were talking about something earlier today that drives me nuts. Again, it's just one of those silly bugaboos that we all have. Yours might be that I capitalize the word and when it appears in my blog title. But I have noticed recently that very few people seem to know the difference between the floor and the ground. The floor (rhymes with indoor, sorta-kinda) is inside, and the ground (where plants can be found) is outside. Easy-peasy. It is becoming a close second after their/there/they're and your/you're and threw/through, and such. I told Trent about a program I had seen a few years ago about an argument ending up with someone getting stabbed to death in the middle of a street. There was a voice recording of a person who dialed 911 for help. She told the operator that she was outside and saw the fight, and that the victim was "lying on the floor." When I said this, Trent picked up the ball and ran with it. "So they carried him inside a house so that they could lay him down on the floor?" "My thoughts exactly!" I exclaimed.

And I have to admit that if I ever am mistaken for a criminal by the local police force, you'll probably be hearing a news story about me getting shot in the behind with a taser gun or something. They will burst in through the front door and yell, "Put your hands on the back of your head, and get down on the ground!" I will start to walk calmly to the outside door in order to comply with their request for me to get face-down in the dirt where all those who qualify as criminal scum belong. The taser will hit my behind, and after I quit peeing my pants and otherwise losing control of my body, I will be tackled by half a dozen cops in riot gear, and hauled off in handcuffs and peed pants for resisting arrest. All because I know the difference between the floor and the ground. Maybe I need to lighten up before I get grounded...