Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Most Interesting Man in the World

Last weekend, we were at a bar listening to music and this man and his lady friend asked if they could join our table. Within five minutes, the man shared the following facts about himself:

He is a professional tennis player.
He has the best serve.
He is a professional skateboarder.
He’s really good at pool.
He worked as a stockbroker on Wall Street and made millions.
He makes $20,000 a month at his new job.
He purchased a $100 t-shirt earlier that day.
He wears mostly Gucci.
He’s moving into a new, expensive apartment complex.

I was just thinking how lucky I was to have met the most interesting man in the world when he started to say things that called his integrity into question. 

He told me that he was six feet tall. The thing is that I was there. I could see him. He was standing inches from me. And unless I unwittingly experienced a growth spurt myself, he was at most 5’10”.

He also said to me, “I speak four languages perfect.” 

Well, maybe he does, but English certainly isn’t one of them. 

If he spoke perfect English, he would have said, “I speak four languages perfectly.”

He used an adjective when he should have used an adverb.  Adjectives modify nouns and pronouns; adverbs modify verbs. (Adverbs modify other things too, but it’s a long story and I’m still recovering from the bar.) 

Because he was describing the verb speak, not the noun languages, he should have used an adverb.

And if I know anything about the most interesting man in the world it’s this: he doesn’t always modify his verbs, but when he does, he uses adverbs.


Shelly said...

Lying, exaggerating,and barging in on an evening are perhaps forgivable offenses, but improperly modifying verbs is one of the unpardonable sins.

I hope you talked circles around his short little self.

Andrew Leon said...

See! Adverbs do have their place! I don't know why so many people hate on the adverbs.

[I do have a couple of exceptions that I will allow when people are speaking: "good" and "right."
Because so many people say it incorrectly, it sounds weird to me when someone says, "I'm doing well," even if it is correct. The same with "I did it right," because no one says it correctly. Except in my head, I am always correcting that one, but I don't ever say anything about it.]

anthony stemke said...

That guy is also a cookbook writer and most of his recipes instruct one to include 1 onion, chopped fine. Oy, but stay ignorant my friend.

the late phoenix said...

I am 6 feet tall. that is all.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Unless you asked him WHICH languages he spoke "perfect," he might have been telling you the truth. Maybe English wasn't one of them! :)

DiscConnected said...

When I run into people like that, I always wonder why they are working so hard to impress me?

Of course, if he had all that cabbage, why is he hanging in the same bar you were?

And was he actually wearing any Gucci?

People amuse me....


susie said...

Also, he was the tannest mannest. I mean the man that was most tan. Or who. I follow three grammar experts, and I worry a lot about words. In the present day. Oh! A prepositional phrase is not a sentence. I will depart, and take a pill. :-)

Jono said...

Did he use flowery adjectives to describe his manliness? That could have been hilarious!

The Sisterhood said...

Oh, that was too funny! Was he drinking a Dos Equis? His lady friend must be a saint. A perfectly perfect saint.

Theresa Milstein said...

Ha! I love your last line!

I tried to teach the difference between adjectives and adverbs to two fifth graders with special needs. Not an easy task. I couldn't accomplish it easily.

Lorena said...

Long live the adverb!