Monday, March 29, 2010

In Which I Whine, Complain and Generally Am Unpleasant. Yes. Again.

OK, so I know (I know) that I have had very little positive to say lately.  About anything.  Chalk this up to winter sunlessness and the perpetual case of flu that I seem to have  acquired this year.  You can also add stress about money, work, children, spouse, er... everything.  And also living in a place I am rapidly coming to hate with a passion usually borne only by serial killers and religious extremists.

Or you can just be honest and declare me a real pain in the ass.  I am completely and totally aware that lately I have been a bit of, shall we say, a downer.  And I totally and completely intend to cease and desist (well, I intend it).

Except for this small excursion to a little place I like to call "WTF do they teach in school these days??"

We are now on our third (third) assistant who is not capable of forming the past tense of the word "to bind".  In English.  I mean, ok fine, if we were asking them to do it in flippin' Lithuanian or something... but English for Pete's sake.  Their first language!  These are high school graduates.  Actually they're freshman college students. 

Honestly.  Bind, bound, bound.  Not hugely difficult.  If you are in third grade.  But this is the third or fourth young person who has said to me, "The customer wants this... uh... you know... uh... binded?"  BINDED?  Really??

OK, fine.  That's not really past tense it's.... what... future perfect?  Or something.  But my point is a native speaker of English, by the age of 19, should really be able to compose the following sentence without having to think so terribly hard about it:   "The prints for the new Taco Bell should be bound."  Not "The prints for the new housing at the army base should be binded." (See this link for associated rant on the excessive building of Taco Bells and army housing.)

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So what should we discuss tomorrow?  I vote for something about daisies.  Or maybe fluffy kittens.  Yes.  Definitely fluffy kittens.  Playing with daisies.  And cupcakes.

 

EDIT: And, yes.  There is a split infinitive in my post title.  What’s it to ya?  Huh?

EDIT v.2: OK, MaryNanna has declared my infinitives unsplit.  Whew.  I am so glad.  I have no idea why I can’t keep it straight in my head what exactly a split infinitive is, but at least I did not create one.  Good thing I don’t rant about grammar all the--  oh.  Right.

9 comments:

  1. I'm bound to enjoy your take on daisies, fluffy kittens and cupcakes.

    ;-)
    Cheers,
    AJ

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  2. Pollen, claws and calories. Don't go there. Or if you do, don't say I didn't warn you...

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  3. Mmm, cupcakes...

    My word verification is "parded", which is naturally the past tense of "to pard" right?

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  4. The daisies grewed!
    The fluffy kittens shedded their fur!
    I have ate five cupcakes!

    How do you like those verbages?

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  5. Pet peeve of mine too!! I spend a lot of time making sure my 4 and 7 year olds use the correct tense! :)

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  6. wow - it just goes to show how fast the language is changing - clearly those people had never had to use the past tense or participle of bind before. That really surprises me.

    What makes me curious is how many new words they know that we are now too old (at our tender ages) to have been exposed to. I remember when I was overseas teaching in Eastern Europe and the English language had moved on by the time I had come back. Several times I had to ask my sister what the words she was using meant!

    ps
    You'll no doubt be pleased to learn you didn't split an infinitive in your title. You put an adverb between a subject and its complement - which is perfectly acceptable

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  7. Oh good. I seem to have some sort of "split infinitive" mental block, whereby I can not for the life of me figure out what one is. I get dangling participles and all sorts of other things mixed up with it. I'm not sure why, but that one always confuses me to no end.

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