Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Didn't Do It

The other day, a friend told me that he feels bad complaining to me because I never complain. 

And that’s not the first time I’ve heard that complaint from a friend.

Of course, I do complain sometimes, but I have to admit that I am one of those annoyingly optimistic people. I tend to believe that everything works out, that everything happens for a reason, that we are lucky because other people have it worse, blah blah blah. Basically, I’m like the least satisfying person to vent to because I am always trying to make you see the silver lining or help you fix the situation when all you really want to do is bitch.

Because of my annoying optimism, I tend to believe that everyone’s problems are solvable. When someone tells me about a problem they are having, my immediate reaction is to want to try to fix it. You hate your job; let me search all night and find you a new one. You’re unsatisfied with your weight; I’ll wake up extra early and go running with you. You are having a fight with your boyfriend; let’s all three sit down and talk about it. You’re having problems in the bedroom; let’s have a threesome and I’ll give you feedback. 

I KNOW that’s not healthy behavior; I know it’s called co-dependence. 

This desire to fix everyone’s problems should make it hard for me to use sic. We use sic when we include quoted material in our writing and the quoted material contains grammar, spelling or punctuation errors. The sic basically tells the reader that the error is not ours; it’s the other person’s. 

If I were to include the following quote from my student’s essay in my own writing, this is how I would use sic:

“I use [sic] to have to wear my sisters [sic] hammy [sic] downs.”

Here’s another example using an email: 

“i [sic] am in your english [sic] class on monday [sic]. I am attaching the HW [sic] due tomorrow. Hopefully you can except [sic] it this way,[sic] if not i [sic] will also bring in a hard copy.”

You’d think I’d want to just fix their errors for them instead of calling them out. But I don’t. Grammar is where I draw the line. I want to shame my students into using proper grammar.

That’s healthier behavior, right?


the late phoenix said...

I paused to reflect on the threesome...

why am I humming Shaggy's "It Wasn't Me"?

Jenny, I've been feeling sic(k) lately, I have no friends, and I tend to see the tin lining in everything...

Mark said...

I'm pretty sure that's healthy behaviour. I actually had no idea about the correct usage of [SIC]. I'm still not totally sure on it, but I get the basic idea of it. I personally would feel compelled to just fix the error. I'm quite like you in that I like to solve other peoples problems for them and they rarely find me complaining about anything to them. I just hate complaining though because more often than not I know the solution and I feel either I should just do the solution, or not complain about it. If I'm doing nothing to correct the situation, I have no right to complain about it.

At least, that's how I see it.

DiscConnected said...

Now that you mention it, I AM having problems in the bedroom...

Several years after I read the book "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff," it started to sink in (meaning I actually stopped worrying about the small stuff).

And it really is all small stuff!

And I agree with you-things have a way of working out!


Shelly said...

Sic is just sick!

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm sick over how many times you needed to use sic.

Jemi Fraser said...

I've never considered using 'sic' before! Nice! And yes ... much healthier :P

Hart Johnson said...

*giggles* I'm annoyingly optimistic and offer a bunch of answers, to, but strangely, I've never offered to have a threesome with any of my friends... I am TOTALLY with you on shaming people into proper grammar... I mean not on a Facebook status or something (unless of course they say something really obnoxious)--but FB doesn't allow corrections... it is typo-prone. But other places... yeah, totally with you.

Maria said...

I live with a problem solver and I am sometimes ready to smack her one.

I come home from work complaining about my problematic secretary. My partner immediately tries to help me problem solve. This irritates me 1) because I KNOW what I need to do to solve the problem and 2) because I just want her to nod and smile sweetly.

But, when I tell her that her slobbiness is making me depressed, she doesn't go into problem solving mode at all. She nods and smiles.

There is a time and a place, missy. A time and a place.

Yolanda Renee said...

Sounds to me like you're a great teacher.

Co-dependent, yeah, me too!

ordinary malaysian said...

Right, everything turns out well in the end. But (sic) not because of any reason or rhyme or season if you would. There is no season or reason or rhyme for something or anything to happen or not to happen. It happens or not happens because life is a flux and a flow and not a hole. Though, true indeed, many people feel like they are living in a hole. Now, as for threesome - is that a reason or rhyme or season?

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Hey, JENNY ~
What happened to the comment I left? (It was third from the top.)

I just now returned here to see if you had answered the [sic] question I posed and instead of finding an answer, I find my entire comment (and question) missing.

What gives?

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Genskie said...

Definitely healthy.
Help them fix their own mistakes not the other way around.

I've learned something again.

James Garcia Jr. said...

Hey, Jenny! How are you doing?
I DO hate my day-job. Can you just get a million of your closest friends and fans to buy a copy of my e-book, so I can pen my two-weeks notice? *grins*


P.S.: Notice I didn't say anything about that "threesome" comment? I get points for that, right? What? *snaps fingers* Damn!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I have the same problems when my friends vent to me. I want to help! Of course, a few friends have been patient enough with me to help me learn how to just be a good listener when they want to vent.
And thank you SO MUCH for actually telling us was "[sic]" means. I see it all the time but I always just skimmed over it, unsure of why it was there. Now I know! :) Thanks!

Jono said...

I agree with Jim about not mentioning the threesome.