Friday, December 1, 2006

People are so blithe…

I received an email tonight that I use “compound singular nouns incorrectly.” I am extremely sensitive and that hurt me deeply. It is just a fucking blog where I enjoy sharing my tales. I am not a technical writer nor do I aspire as such. Maybe I am making a mountain out of a molehill as the person who wrote it means a lot to me. I kept thinking though why write such things unless it bothered them and not me? I will try not to let such daggers of the written word bother me too much.

On a more humorous note, George showed up tonight and gave me some heartfelt laughs.

“You never drink,” George told me of my recent escapades. “I knew when you got drunk the other night that something was wrong.”

“Oh well,” I replied. “We all bowl a gutter ball sometimes.”

George burst out laughing.

“I love you man,” George then told me.

“George, how much have you had to drink?” I asked. “You never tell me you love me unless you are drunk.”

“Only a twelve pack,” He replied.

“Dear god!” I responded. “A twelve pack would have put me in the bed.”

“I usually can drink a case before that happens,” George replied.

I burst out laughing and gave the fool a hug.


Annabel said...

Don't let what that person said bother you. I happen think your grammar is on the exceptional side and we all make general mistakes in writing because most of us simply write and post without much thought to editing. I think that person just needs to quit being nitpicky and should be more sensitive about telling you something like that. Sometimes I go back and read some of previous posts and find stupid glaring mistakes and I think that others probably think I'm such an idiot... but it's no big deal. Just keep writing the way you do and don't give what that person said a second thought. They might have thought they were being helpful and simply didn't realize that it's really a cut down to criticize someone's grammar like that. There are plenty of other blogs out there with some mayjur speling, and grammer problums.

austere said...

a compound WHAT?
In my opinion, that at most merits a "oh. well"

fiwa said...

What Austere said. I'd have to go look that up to see what it even means. Brush it off. Your writing is conversational, and it's interesting. Keep on doing what you're doing, because you do it well.

Di said...

“compound singular nouns incorrectly.”

I would need that explained to me and I'm a professional writer! LOL

To your critic: It's called "style".. ever heard of ee cummings?

Jones said...

Andrew, don't let the words of an insensitive person get to you. Your writing is a pleasure to read. Some people like to criticize others to make themselves feel more important. I always appreciate the tone in which you describe your "motley group of friends", it comes across without a hint of condescention. I appreciate that and am enormously impressed by you.

SimplyTim said...


Like others, my first reaction was: "what the fook is a compound singular noun."

Hooked as I can be on details at times I googled and came to:

There are several advantages to that page:

1. It is a sure cure for insomnia.
2. It will serve as a much needed enema for the truly anal people of the world.
3. It will remind you why people nodded off in school when it was being taught.
4. It will help catch a few mistakes which most of us make if we want to catch those mistakes.

One of the paragraphs in that site states:

i. Compound subjects with And
A compound subject consisting of two nouns joined by the word and usually takes a plural verb. In the following examples, the compound subjects consist of various combinations of singular and plural nouns joined by the word and. In all of the examples, the compound subject with and takes a plural verb.
e.g. Red and white are my favorite colors.
One egg and one lemon are required to make the cake.
One teacher and twenty students are present.
Roses and tulips are blooming in the garden.

I'm still scratching my head because I would have used IS for the one egg and one lemon...

Oh, well, I'm going to take a nap but first I'm going to think about semi-permeable membranes.

Claudia said...

I didn't know it was a grammatical rule, but I think they mean the use of "I and Mom" instead of "Mom and I" (as an example). If the person who e-mailed you can't get past that to enjoy the other 99.999999% of beautifully written and emotionally charged words on the screen, then Bleh to them.

PipeTobacco said...


Please let me first state for your other readers that I *WAS NOT* the person who wrote that letter about your grammar to you.

My own personal opinion is that on blog writing, grammar takes a distinctly fourth or fifth spot in importance after a) being a spot to report feelings and ideas, b) being a place to express creativity, c) being a place to journal one's daily activities. While generally readable grammar is important, you already definetely have that beyond most other writers. So, in terms of grammar, I do not think you should nor should you consider changing.

That said, however, since the writer was someone you are friends with (I believe that is what you said), let us look at what he/she suggested with a different idea. Yes, it does hurt to have one's writing and/or grammar questioned... I have mine questioned often, and I am definetly one to occasionally crucify a sentence or two. It hurts like hell to read that from someone. However, in my own instances (and I suspect in your case here as well), the person MEANS well. I suspect that he/she is simply pointing out a minor error that struck him/her as oft putting to the flow of your work.

In many circles (English teachers and professors, for example), to critique a work of another is meant to be a sign of help and a sign of respect... that person cares enough to want to help you to express yourself and your ideas as well as possible. My own baby brother is one to do such things. He will without even thinking, begin to critique writing for inconsistencies in grammar.

So, sir, in a nutshell, my message is... your writing is wonderful, your writing is actually AMAZING. I would suggest letting the hurt slide off you if possible, because I doubt the letter sender INTENDED it to hurt. If he/she is a friend, he/she most likely simply wanted to help you become even better than your already pretty damn good self.


Proxima said...

I am the "jerk" in question. I have personally apologized to Andrew.
Thank you Pipe Tobacco for understanding my true intent.
Andrew is an awesome writer. My intention was meant with the sincerest respect and friendship. Unfortuantely, I am as dumb as a brick when it comes to social graces.
I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!
-P in a puddle of tears

SKQBDOO said...

Hi Andrew, Not that my opinion counts but I tend to agree with Pipe. If this is someone you care about and vice versa, more than likely they had no intention of hurting your feelings. Sometimes we all say things that we think are appropriate at the time only to realize later we should have kept our mouth shut or at least phrased it a different way, thus the term "open mouth, insert foot"

abbagirl74 said...

Well, I just got home from work and MY goodness!! Let's change the subject, shall we? All I will say is, how was your day? Have you gone to your mom and dad's for that great southern food the cook creates every day? I need an update please. Lovya!

m said...

Me,myself and I think you, yourself and you are Super Cool!!

I like your blog because of your writing. Even though I like language and words and I even own a couple of old grammar books, I haven't a clue about the rules.

I write what sounds good to me. I read what is interesting to me. I think we all agree your blog and the way you write it is interesting.

Holly said...

My good friend who lives across the courtyard from me… has been trying to teach me that most people that hurt my feelings, have no intention of doing that. With this in mind, it allows me to let others off the hook and move past my hurt. Im still working on this issue in my life but the main thing I have started to do is to try and not make assumptions about what others may be feeling or thinking. This is all new to me and I even had to practice this at work today when I was most cranky :)

I love this blog and read it several times a day and… it would be a great loss for me if it went away. In some ways, it feels like we have a small community here. My spelling and grammar are so bad… I hardly even know what a noun or verb is :)

However, with that being said, perhaps we need to give Proxima a break. She is our friend and neighbor; she has a good heart and she is remorseful. We all need forgiveness and mercy when we do things we regret.

Summer said...

I'm sure she didn't mean to hurt your feelings, but, it did hurt just the same. I understand how you feel. I do wonder about people that feel the need to correct others though. After they correct someone do they feel better?

How are you this Saturday morning?

Cheryl said...

Great George story. Two beers would have me feeling tipsy. Just wanted to say a hello to you before I head out to work. Have a great day.

Rebecca said...

What a wonderful post! I had no idea what a compound singular noun was, but this post made me look it up. I learned something new today.
I'm sorry your feelings got hurt Andrew, but if every cloud has a silver lining, this cloud helped me learn something new today. Have a wonderful weekend. And I think your writing is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I have been quietly reading your blog for about 6 months or so, and I just wanted you to know I think it's great and I look forward to it everyday.

celerman said...

Anyone read Joyce's Ulyses? English grammar and creative writing have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Correct grammar is for letters of application, and if I'm honest, a blog of application letters would not get me coming back.

Summer said...

Are you feeling bad again?

sista smiff said...


I've had another blogger "correct" my sentence form before. Piss on them.

I had lost you for several months and I'm so glad I found you again.

austere said...


greglo said...

yes indeed.... Hello!

... lots of love and best thoughts...


Vans said...


Your writing is amazing! It's interesting to say the least. What was said, was not meant to hurt you. Take it with a grain of salt. Pipe is absolutely 100% correct!

By the way...Where are you? I hope everything is ok! Please let us know...we miss you!


2 The World U R 1 Person, 2 1 Person U R The World said...

Just putting in my two cents of worry and concern. I hope that you're doing ok. If you are having a rough patch, I hope it ends soon. You're in my thoughts and prayers.


M said...

Come back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean!!

That is my standard shout out when one of my favorite bloggers stops posting for awhile.

I hope you are having a wonderful time in the real world (-:

I miss you in the blogger world! I hope the grammar issue does not have anything to do with your lack of posts. It's all good. Most of us don't know any better and don't care.

SimplyTim said...


I got to thinking of the title of this post: "People are so blithe..."

That got me wondering about the definition of "blithe" so I looked it up on line Merriam-Webster dictionary. Here's their description:

1 : of a happy lighthearted character or disposition
2 : lacking due thought or consideration

Hmmmm, I resemble that. Maybe most (all?) of us own a piece of it?

Just a thought

PipeTobacco said...


I think you are beginning to worry a lot of folks here... all friends of yours. Please write something, even just a brief note.

If you are upset at Proxima, I urge you to not be. She did not mean to rile you so. She is a good, kind-hearted person.

Regardless of your mood (be it happy or sad) or your grammar (be it fully the King's English or rough and tumble slang) or your sobriety (be it stone sober or inebriated) all of us here are your friends and we have concern for you and feel nourished by your writings. And I think if push came to shove, you too would also agree you are nourished by our collective interactions.


austere said...


di said...

I'm worried, too. Don't make me phone young man! You know how that can concern you sometimes, so I hesitate to do so.

P.S. I'm mailing out the holiday cards this week :)

Kristen said...

OK Andrew, please just a quick post.

I have called twice and left messages, but if this is something that bothers you, I won't do it again. But you have to let me know your preference.

You have more control than you realize. Grab on and use it!

latibug said...

Am I going to have to sing again?

Where oh Where oh Where is Andrew?

Come on let us hear from you!!!


Proxima said...

Please post something Andrew, anything. A sentence, a word or a punctuation mark. Pig latin works too. I miss you terrrribly!

This is YOUR blog and many people care about you drunk, depressed or otherwise, it doesn't matter.

We love you!

Don't take your writing and beautiful spirit from us. We need to hear from you. We need to know your ok.

I could never forgive myself if nothing superceeded this post. Let us move on. How can we make you feel better?

-P pleadingly

eSadElBlOg said...

I hope you are OK.
It is not so long ago since I came across your blog but I am already fond of it. Sometimes is a bit hard to understand everything but this is because I am from Spain and my English is not good, still I enjoy every word. Thanks for sharing your time with us!!!
And please let us know you are fine! we all miss you!

greglo said...

Hello to all of Andrew's friends and readers.
I was thinking that some of us are in touch with Andrew on the phone. Maybe those of you who do could let him know how we appreciate him, miss him and are with him in whichever difficult things he could be experiencing right now. Also, if one of us gets in touch with him, could you ask his permission to post a comment here to let us know how he's doing and if we can help in anyway?
Good day to you all,

Kristen said...

I called last night and left three messages reading posts from all of you to him expressing your love and concern. When I tried the forth time, the answering machine was full. It is still full as I write, so no one has erased the machine.

Those who wish could pray for peace and serenity for him in whatever way works for you. I will be visioning him surrounded by the White Light of Peace.

Group prayer is very helpful, so please join in your own special way.

becky said...

You are in my prayers. May you find your way back to peace and equilibrium.

SimplyTim said...

To All,

An image comes to mind that we are all waiting in the emergency room for Andrew to show up because we've heard that he has been hurt. We all want to help and we all want to know that he is well.

I'm new to this group, and while we're waiting I'd like to say that this is what I have pieced together about him: Andrew is talented - gifted I would say, and can also be extremely sensitive; but he is also a survivor and very durable. He has seen things and experienced things which most haven't and he has shown that he can dig down deep and 'git going when he needs to and when he's ready to.

That's what I want to say.

Berryvox said...

:( I wouldn't be disturbed if it weren't for Kristen's comment. Let's hope it's just an extended unannounced vacation. :-)

Kristen said...

Andrew's answering machine memory is still full.

Continue to send (and post) your prayers and well-wishes and thoughts of peace.

Kristen said...

P.S. If it turns out to be an extended vacation, best wishes, prayers and peace are welcome for any traveller.

Vans said...

Ok Andrew,

I'm not one to worry about a lot things, but you've pretty much got me in a panic! We're all hoping that you're doing well, and it would be nice to hear from you to ease our minds. We care about you very much, and we miss you like hell!

Kristen said...

Please do not panic. Panic creates more panic, and no one needs any more of that.

Transfer that energy to loving, calming thoughts to surround Andrew. Calm creates calm.

PipeTobacco said...


Well, I too am worried. I suspect one of the following may have happened. Following each hypothetical, I offer my opinions.

1. Andrew may have gotten upset enough at something to have decided to leave and live in his car for a spell. (My opinion of the likelihood of this is low to moderate, because if this were the case, Andrew typically would still find a way to blog through his car or the library).

2. Andrew may have gone on a trip unexpectedly with someone he enjoys. (My opinion of the likelihood of this is low because he would still typically have left even a brief note that this was going to occur).

3. Andrew may simply just not want to talk or write. (My opinion of the likelihood of this is also low, but it is not in keeping with his gracious personality)

4. Andrew may have been drinking a bit and his father found out and used his drinking to send him to a mental health facility. (I unfortunately think this option is of moderate likelihood, because of past writings in which Andrew discusses his father's opinions).

5. Andrew may have gotten hurt somehow. ( I also think this is a low possibility).

6. Andrew may have lost connection to the Internet (I also think this is low probability).

7. Andrew may have decided to go on an extended "bender" with Sherman and even perhaps on a road-trip of sorts. (Low to moderate likelihood for this one).

So, overall, the most prominant idea I can come up with is that Andrew may have been forced into a facility by his father. All the other options seem less likely. If that is the case, I am very disappointed.

Perhaps there are other scenerios that others can think of that I have overlooked? If so, post them and perhaps we can figure out what is the most likely thing going on.

If nothing else, it will help us hold steady as we await news and the return of our friend.


Kristen said...

The correct answer was so much better than anything we thought of. He was taking care of himself, even though he knew the process would not be fun at all.

What a lot of courage!

We salute you, Andrew!