Monday, June 25, 2012

Why I Will Die Friendless

A fellow English teacher/friend just started dating a new guy. In her new relationship haze of bliss, she’s been giddily showing me all of his text messages. Judging from the text messages, he seems like a pretty nice guy with a decent sense of humor. I’m super happy for her. BUT … there was one thing I was concerned about.

So I asked, “How do you feel about the fact that he uses U instead of you?” 

(She is an English teacher!)

And she said, “Jenny, it’s a text message. Even I do that. Just not when I text you.”

Oh my god! I am such a pedantic nightmare!

To solidify how obnoxious I am, a couple of days later I was texting with a friend:

Me: You going to see the Galaxy?

(Galaxy, the Los Angeles soccer team)

Friend: I wish you know how I feel about potential space exploration. 

(Friend making a pun about the word galaxy)

Friend: There should have been a comma after I wish. But yes I am going to the game. 

Me: Technically, there should have been a semicolon. Have fun at the game. 

Friend: You can’t even let grammar shit slip on a Saturday!


Rachael said...


the late phoenix said...

primo pic there, i can relate. i'm sorry if ;;;;;; my email to U made you pensive or worried ;;;;;;;; sorry, are we still friends? :)

Shelly said...

I think most of my friends do not like texting me because not only do I spell everything correctly and in complete form, I text in complete sentences and paragraphs.

What would Shakespeare have done if he had the capability to text?

Mark said...

Actually you made me smile. I hate it when people use "u" and I would never do it myself. There are plenty of people like us out there, you won't die alone :)

E.J. Wesley said...

So you're a hopeless grammarian, which is sort of like being a hopeless romantic, but less annoying. :) No bad thing!

Shannon said...

I totally knew it should have been a semicolon!

I feel SMART.

Rachel said...

I get it. I stopped dating this one guy a few years ago - on account of his inability to spell. His text messages were infuriating.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I've never broken up with someone because of grammar, but I have laughed out loud at texts that were supposed to be very sweet and emotional. Ah well! :)

Felt Family said...

I spell out and punctuate everything when I text, too. And I still have a flip phone!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...


Friend: I wish you know I how I feel about potential space exploration. ... [There should have been a comma after I wish. But yes I am going to the game.]

Me: Technically, there should have been a semicolon. Have fun at the game.

Yes, of course you are right that a semicolon would have been correct, where a comma would have been wrong. (Also, yes, of course you are right that you will die friendless.)

However, I would like to point out that a period would have worked as well as a semicolon.

In your recent blog bit titled Save The Sundae, you quote Kurt Vonnegut as having said: “Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.”

In a way, I kinda-sorta agree with Vonnegut (even though I thought ‘Slaughterhouse Five’ was shit). 1 semicolon = ½ a period. And so I say: “Why use half of something when you can use the whole thing?” Or, as it says in the book ‘Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche’: Real Men drive “massive, hulking, gas-guzzling Chryslers. ... How are you ever going to lose a state trooper in a Honda?”

In other words, my “real man” advice to your friend would have been this: Technically, there should have been a period after “I wish”.

I will confess that I do occasionally use a semicolon. But much more often than not, I opt for the period, as I would hate for anyone to think I had been mentally conditioned by some liberal professor at ‘Brainwashing U.’ (And EVERY college is ‘Brainwashing You’.)

~ D-FensDogg
‘Loyal American Underground’

Jaya J said...

Lol. You know my spelling is hopeless these days. Spellcheck has done that to me.

Glynis said...

Bwah, I loved this post!

Terra Shield said...

Ha ha... I'm one of those people who text in full sentences, though I'm not too sure about punctuation.

Dylan Fitzgerald said...

First of all, a guy who uses "u" instead of "you" is highly suspect. Second of all, grammar never sleeps (not even on Saturdays). Did Batman ever cast his eyes skyward and say, "Pssh... bat signal. It's Saturday." NO! So when the grammar signal lights up the sky in a vast, illuminated semicolon... you'll always be there.

anthony stemke said...

I spotted a missed perio after I wish. Right?

Jono said...

I think you are at the mercy of a genetic aberration.

Kelly Polark said...

Many, including me, don't punctuate properly in texts. Sometimes even on Twitter due to lack of room. I'm okay w/ that. As long as they use your and their properly still.
On Facebook though one should try and use better grammar as not to look like an imbecile.

MartyrMom said...

Oh ha ha!
I don't know if my grand girl will be an English major or not but she is sure a stickler on proper words when texting. For instance... I use to write k for ok. She would write back LMNOP. Now instead of k I just write lmnop ...,. She is so cute!!

Anonymous said...

Ha! Friends like you would drive me insane! I was an English major and I am the first to point out grammatical/ spelling errors but I am also the first to make a mistake. I just use the excuse "I'm an English major its not the lack of knowledge that gets me its the lack of care."

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Oh my word. As I was reading your friend's self-correction, my instant thought was: "No. Semi-colon."

We're soul mates.

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

Hilarious! Love it. You'll never survive this age of cryptic texts and twitter posts. You might need to hire people to read them to you so you don't see all the grammar errs.

Theresa Milstein said...

I feel your pain. I'm afraid to leave comments here! You could compile my comments to make worksheets for your students to correct.

Al Penwasser said...

What about a period after "I wish" followed by a new sentence, designated by "You" with a capital "Y"?
Oh, yeah.
I do it, too.

Al Penwasser said...

Incidentally, I thought a "semicolon" resulted in patients with a bad HMO.

James Garcia Jr. said...

I luv U no matter how or when U correct me, & I'm sure U will not die friendless. ;)
UR buddy from Central Cali,


I was just messing around, my captain. This won't count against my final grade, will it? *curses under his breath*

Talli Roland said...

Haha! I hate using text abbreviations etc even in texts, but I also hate how finicky my phone keyboard is. Tough call.

Sara said...

LOL. I *love* this because I would absolutely never use "u" either! Hooray! I'm not alone!! I text in full words and sentences and I'm willing to go down with the ship over it.

I definitely read it wrong the first time. I thought your friend meant to say that he wished you KNEW how he felt about space exploration. LOL. (As in, he was joking that he harbored a deep hatred and was therefore appalled you'd suggest it.)

Lynda R Young said...

I hope people don't judge my writing on the texts I send... or the comments I leave on blogs... Eek!!!!!

Polar Bear Periodical said...

that's funny. it's true, though, I totally have to spell out "you" and put proper punctuation in my texts. otherwise, I could get misunderstood. I don't want to be misunderstood ever.