Thursday, December 1, 2011

Spotless Minds

I am not a perfectionist. There is definitely a point when I am more than happy to give up even if I haven’t achieved my desired outcome:

If the pasta recipe requires capers but unscrewing the jar causes me to shvitz, screw the capers.

I’m content if I do most of the dishes.

I am fine with a lumpily-made bed.

Unfortunately, I want to be perfect. Or at least I want everyone else to think I’m perfect. I cringe at the thought of others witnessing my mistakes. That’s why it’s so painful to look at photos of myself from the 80s when I was into heavy blue eyeliner and acid washed jeans.

Consequently, every time I discover that I have made an error, I want to pull an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind procedure on anyone who has witnessed it so we can all start over with an unblemished image of me.

That means that I would like to erase all of your memories right now.

I just learned that it’s incorrect to write or say with regards to and in regards to—with the s. The correct form is singular: with regard to and in regard to.

I am sure my past blog posts repeatedly contain this error. And since I write a, you know, grammar blog, it’s extra embarrassing that I have repeatedly committed a grammar error. But since I am not a perfectionist, I am too lazy to go back and correct it.

So if these guys show up at your door

you'll know why.


Shelly said...

In regard to the word shvitz, I am in love. I want to say it continously now. I feel like I found a $20 bill I didn't know I had. Shvitz shvitz shvitz!

Jeffrey Beesler said...

In regard to this, some rules were meant to be broken.

Jaya J said...

I'm guilty of that mistake too :p

Otter said...

The one thing you can be assured of is that I will never catch any of your minor grammar mistakes. You're the expert. If you create a new word or punctuation, who am I to argue?

Liz said...

Well then I, too, have been saying it wrong!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Wow! "You're terrible, you are. You blurt!" See if I evah take anymore writing tips from you.

Nah. I jest.
Now that you mention it, I think I'm guilty of that one too. (Who knew?!)

Well, hell, I'll be the first to admit it: I get kinda sloppy sometimes. My words are usually chosen very carefully, because the difference between the right word and the wrong word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. (That was totally ripped off from Mark Twain. I'm sure you knew.) But my punctuation can get pretty disgusting sometimes.

However, let me pass along to you some good advice I got years ago from Horacio the Pig, which has served me well in learning to overlook my errors:

"The artist's mistakes are half of his art."
~ Horacio The Pig

I take that to mean that we never could have arrived at our present state without making the mistakes we've made along the way. Therefore our mistakes are an actual PART of the PROCESS. And as part of the process of learning and creating, our corrected mistakes should be embraced rather than denied or apologized for.

And I'm pretty sure I'm interpreting Horacio the Pig correctly seeing as how Horacio the Pig... is ME!

What I'm trying to say is: You are forgiven, my child. Now go and sin no more.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Dylan Fitzgerald said...

You haven't made an error. You have revised your knowledge and will journey forth even MORE enlightened.

Also, in regard to fabulous use of Yiddish words, your blog makes me plotz :)

Shannon said...

Ha. I JUST wrote a post about wanting to be perfect. And don't worry, I still think of you as my grammar hero. For realz.

Crystal Pistol said...

I usually just write regarding and cut out all the other words. I can't stand a lumpy bed. I'd rather see it unmade than lumpy.

Shutterbug said...

With regard to your lumpily made bed, there are some days I don't even make my bed! What's the point? It's going to get messed up anyway.

Jo-Ann said...

You know what?
If a scientist retracts a conclusion that he or she made earlier based on some later work demonstrating their own earlier work to have been flawed, and they admit to this publically, (eg, at a conference), then the standard response is for the audience to give them a standing ovation.
Saying "I was wrong" is a difficult thing to do, and such honesty needs to be applauded. Well done!

DWei said...

Great, now I need to go through my blog and see how many times I've made that error...

Anonymous said...

I'm very much the same. I want to do better and be close to if not perfect. But overall, a consistent "pretty darn good" works for me.

James Garcia Jr said...

*stares at his captain and awaits further commands*
Puh-leaze, I wish I had a Missed Periods App for my iPhone! Thank God for editors because I couldn't be trusted to know all of the rules!
All this time I thought you were perfect. I guess you'll have to settle for being near-perfect. ;)
Have a great week.


Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

I'm sure I never even thought of it before today. Thank you for pointing out another ignorance.

Theresa Milstein said...

I don't think I've used with regard to or in regard to that often. But now I'll be sure to delete that extraneous s.

I'll see that movie one of these days.

Deniz Bevan said...

I'm with you! I'm such a copy editor at heart that I'm mortified if someone discovers that I've made a mistake.

The Sisterhood said...

Very pertinent info, MP. I just wrote a letter to an editor saying "with regards to." Good thing I didn't send it yet!!