Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Grammar


Abby says:
I have always been a stickler for proper spelling and grammar. I cringe when I read things that are misspelled or hear someone badgering the English language. This summer, I am taking a publishing editing class -- or so I thought. Little did I know it would include lots of details about spelling and grammar. Of course -- because that is what some book editors do. They red-line manuscripts to ensure proper spelling and style.

While I may be a writer, I write a lot of advertising copy. That means slang terms and style are much more loosy goosy than when writing a magazine article or a book manuscript.

Yikes, while reading our class assignments this week I realized I may have some poor grammar going, using my slangy terminology and such. I will never again go home to "lay on my couch" -- because that implies I might be "laying an egg", which of course, is not the case. If I tell my dog, Maggie to "lay down" -- no wonder she completely ignores me! She has no interest in "laying an egg" either. Now, I'm a bit paranoid. What happened to me? I guess I'll be paying better attention.

My past visions of grammar classes take me back in time to grade school. Catholic nuns walking around in long, black habits with stern looks -- and rulers -- making us spell incredibly difficult words. My classmates and I just hoped we did not get slapped.

My professor this time around seems much, much nicer, and there are luckily no rulers involved.

Sheri says:
I am so confused by all of this. I don't just have a slight crush on the English language -- I am hopelessly, stupidly in love with words, definitions and proper usage.

I am the nerd that should have pocket protectors stapled to my forehead. I would (almost) rather receive a box of sharpened red pencils than a new car.

By the way, I do not tell my dog to "lay down." I tell her to "lie down."

But here's the kicker. I am a dinosaur. Ok, I text. I use some shorthand in emails and notes. I know the difference between proper correspondence and a reply to a teenager. But do they?

And if I don't understand something or question its usage, I look it up. Years ago, that involved opening the dictionary or (gasp!) going to the library. I have it a lot easier these days. So does everyone. I still bother to look it up.

Abby says:
I look it up too. Problem is, grammar usage is tough to look up! With Microsoft grammar check, half the time it's incorrect...

PS: When Sheri and I worked together in a past life, she "red-lined" everything (whether it needed to be or not!).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The King of Pop

Abby says:
I could not let today pass without writing something about Michael Jackson. I told myself I was not going to get caught up in it, but here I am. I set my VCR when I left home and have had CNN running non-stop at the office, glued to watching the throngs of fans and media vultures as the Jackson family makes their way from the cemetery to Staples Center for the big tribute.

I loved his music. It shaped much of my childhood, then my young adulthood. I remember when the "Off the Wall" album (yes, "album" -- I'm old!) came out. Then "Thriller". Then "Bad". They were all great. We'd play them over and over, dancing until the wee hours of the night. The dance clubs played them until we thought we'd drop. I used all his music when I taught my aerobics classes back in the 80's. I still continue to play some of my old favorites when I teach my Spin class.

There was nothing better than songs by the King of Pop.

What a sad and tragic ending to what seemed to be the tormented life of a gifted and talented person.

Sheri says:
I must admit to getting a little tired of the media attention since Michael's death. Come on! It's not like he was a head of state or anything. And so much of his adult life has been filled with creepy accusations and innuendos.

But a funny thing happened while I watched glimpses of the endless coverage -- I was shocked at how present he had been in so many parts of my life.

One of my first 45s was of The Jackson Five.I loved so much of his music and like Abby, it's almost been a soundtrack to my life.So of course, I watched the funeral. And I was touched once again by his music and his legacy. If you had asked me two weeks ago if I was a Michael Jackson fan, I probably would've shrugged and said, "He's ok. I like some of his music." Turns out, I'm a much bigger fan than I thought.

Abby says:
Me too. Not only did I watch the live telecast of the service, while I worked, I watched it on Larry King all night long. I did not realize how many people he touched all over the world.