Thursday, May 04, 2006

What we have here is ...

I cannot abide people who can't communicate properly.

I don't expect everyone (or anyone) to be an orator or poet but everyone should be able and willing to make themselves easily understood in writing and upon speaking.

People with no comprehension of grammar or of punctuation or with speech patterns so bizarre as to only be understood by one's neighbours drive me mad. Likewise folks who hesitate to speak up or, just the opposite, talk too much and so don't so much converse with you as lecture you. Drives me nuts.

Now, before someone snarkily points out my above incomplete sentence: nobody's perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. I'm not talking about random misspellings, grammar slips, typos, or things done for effect. I mean people who can't write (or speak) their own language - to the point where one has to read, and re-read (or mull over in ones head) to figure out what they mean.

So what brought this wee rant on? Three things:


1) I rang about an advert for goats for sale: "Hello, may I speak with WT Smith? I'm calling about her ad in the Farm Paper."

Me: "Hello?"
As Yet Unidentified Female Creature: "Zis 'bout thuh goats?" (now, at this juncture I must attempt to explain the pronunciation of 'goats' in some South Carolina communities. Say: 'guh-OWH-tdz')
Me: (brightly) "Yes!"
AYUFC: "Theys sold"
Me: "Oh, well, thank you"
AYUFC: "uh-huh"

Nice. Her mother clearly taught her the essentials of not only elegant speech but graciousness as well.


2) I recently went to pick up an animal from someone and I'm following her about as she ostensibly searches for some accoutrements for said animal.

Ms-Sorry-She-Missed-Woodstock: "... and so I built the barn, I used to milk out there in the rain and I am so glad that I don't have to do that any more, and I have these doors, see these doors? I open them, see? and it creates a breezeway where, ya know, breezes can come through ... I think that this is his [accoutrement] but I'm not sure ... so you have goats? what sort of goats do you have? I just love the [goat breed] and ... is this his [accoutrement]? ..."

Me: "Yes! I love the [goat breed] as well. I was a member of the [local goat club] back when it first start--"

Woodstock:"... you should really think about getting [goat breed] ... I get this feed specially ground that's ... now where'd he go?"

Me: "yes, I used to have the [goat breed], I showed them for years and--"

Woodstock:" ... he's right there, whew, I thought he'd run away ... I'd definitely try the [ goat breed]. I'm in a local goat club the [local goat club] and we could really help you. You could even show ..."

Me: (through clenched teeth) "I had [goat breed] and I used to show them I was in the [local goat club]!"

Woodstock: "... ah! here's the [accoutrement]! What goat club? Was that up north or something? You had dairy goats? What breed?"

And then I loaded my animal and his [accoutrements] and kicked up a plume of gravel leaving.


And the biggest cupcake of the batch (alternate title: 'you can't effectively communicate if you run'):

3) I'm sitting here at the computer, babies are in bed for their naps, the Whisky Tango Jogging Chick From Hell has come and gone (and come and gone), all is peaceful.

Then I hear a chainsaw in the woods.

Our house is right on the gravel road, sort of in the upper right hand corner of the property if you were looking straight down on it and facing north (house faces north as well). The upper left hand corner is our unused pasture (long story, mostly involving my sloth busy-ness) . The rest of the property is woods. It's roughly 75% in timber.

Now, it's only 6 acres and we have folks behind us and beside us so you can hear dogs barking and chainsaws pretty well. But this sounded like it was right by the goat's feedlot. I'm not yet sure of the efficacy of Turkish when it comes to chainsaw wielding humans, so he may or may not be an indicator.

We've had the power company in the right of way cleaning and cutting wood, and I've been retrieving it as I can, and others might be doing the same on their property ... but, man, that saw sounded close. So I jumped in the truck and drove down the cut. I only went about halfway - just past the goats - since it scares me to go too far from the house even if all the babes are safely asleep in their beds and the house and yard are full of big dogs. The land climbs upward toward the barn and I can see the house clearly from there.

Right at the property line about a hundred yards away is a bloke in overalls and boots and nothing else (except a chainsaw). He turned abruptly away when I stopped and walked off. As I got out of the truck I could hear him sawing something in the trees. I stood there a moment, debating trying to speak with him when I look down at the closest stack of logs - which were a hundred yards onto my property. It had been sawed into stove-lengths.

Bloody hell. I looked around. All the stacks had been cut up.

The guy is standing on his property behind some trees. I can hear the saw idling. I made a decision and went striding down there. As I get close, I can see him walking quickly away through the trees. I called, loudly: "Excuse me!" but he hunched his shoulders and kept walking. I walked forward, he walked away; forward, away.

This grown man was running from me.

As my father loves to quote: "only the guilty flee where no man persueth"

So I drove back to my house, checked on my babes, grabbed some gloves, and came back and took every stick of wood, sawed and otherwise that was on my property close to the line. Which was all of it.

See, his failure to communicate effectively (!) cost him some effort and gas and netted me some pre-cut firewood.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 10:50 am   4 comments


At 9:03 am, Blogger Michele said...

Good for you!! I am not familiar with the intricacies of property lines and felled trees but I damn well think you were right to run him off your property and away from your rightful wood.

Geez, I feel like Ma Ingalls.

At 9:05 am, Blogger Michele said...

and ditto on the grammar. I respect local colloquialisms and expressions but why the total lack of basic grammer? Do these people not have televisions? Can't they model their speech after what they hear EVERYONE else saying in the rest of the world?

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At 3:53 pm, Blogger HomeFireBlue said...

Take, for example, the ironic advert above.

Wouldn't it be a teensy bit more convincing if these idiots wrote this with, oh, say, some punctuation? Do they actually believe that we're gonna leap at the chance to be brain surgeons in less THEN two weeks?

SAD! This is sad! (Amusing, but sad.)



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