September 16, 2012

The Power of Grammar

As I plan my upcoming wedding, I am constantly surprised to find that poor grammar is rampant. I typically  pride myself on my ability to manipulate words and use the English language to effectively communicate my thoughts, and I sometimes find it difficult to understand why others struggle with that concept. To me, the proper use of grammar is vital in communication in any scenario (read: there is a difference between "let's eat Grandpa" and "Let's eat, Grandpa." Grammar saves lives, people!), but it seems that not everyone shares that opinion. 

When I am meeting with any professional, especially one with far more experience in a field than I have, I expect a certain level of competence. To me, being able to communicate well is nearly as important as the final product or overall service a person provides. For this reason, when someone begins speaking, and in doing so, sounds like an elementary school student who has not completed one single grammar lesson, I start to get nervous. I worry that without the basic ability to speak well, the professional in question may not be able to produce high-quality results. 

As an example, I was looking into different options for flower arrangements recently. When I expressed to a particular florist that I like simple elegance, she responded with, "I seen something you might like." At that moment, I was almost certain I would not be ordering flowers from this florist. While I understand that the use of proper grammar probably has little to do with her ability to create lovely floral arrangements, I simply could not look past the poor grammar. In my opinion, poor grammar is distracting. I have trouble ignoring it, frankly.

Maybe I'm just a snob for proper grammar, and I definitely appreciate someone who is well-read enough to understand my literary jokes, but I struggle to take someone seriously who is speaking to me without a hint of grammatical intelligence. 

I also flinch when commercials air with lines like "less calories" or "less miles." Companies spend millions of dollars on advertisements. Why, then, does it seem that they are so resistant to hiring an editor?

The same is true about the use of punctuation, by the way. As I demonstrated in the example above, a comma placement can make all the difference. 

Come on, people, get it together. Use grammar well. 

September 14, 2012

'She's Country'

It's true. I'm a hopeless country fan. There's just something about a good southern gentleman in cowboy boots and a great southern drawl that I've always loved.

For years, I resisted country music. I avoided it at every turn. I went through a short punk rock phase, followed by rap and hip hop, both of which came after I finally started to accept that NSYNC wasn't going to be doing a reunion tour any time soon. Of course, that's a reality I'm still not sure I'm fully prepared for.

Last night, all of my dreams were realized. We went to see Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan in concert, and let me tell you, it very well could be the second best concert I've ever seen. The best concert, of course, was NSYNC back in '01. Yeah, I'm still holding on to that one.

The scene outside the venue was everything I imagined, and then some. Plaid shirts, ripped jeans, pick-up trucks, cowboy hats, fake accents, and bad beer surrounded us. I was the opposite of a country girl as I made my way to our seats in my flats, skinny jeans, and an embellished top. Poor outfit choice aside, I couldn't help but sing along to the songs that played from the stage before the performers took over.

Once Luke Bryan hit the stage, my feet were ready for some dancing, and I very happily swayed and sang along with each song. Jason Aldean brought more of the same, and I even caught my hard rock-loving fiance tapping a foot.

All in all, if you ever have a chance to see these two in concert, TAKE IT! My ears are still ringing a little, and I can think of few other times in my life in which I have been quite this tired (after all, today was a work day!), but it was very well worth it.

Of course, if you get the chance to see NSYNC, take that too.

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