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Let’s eat Grandma! In which we learn why punctuation is important and how can serve more than one purpose.

Hello, dear reader.

Oh, no!  You didn’t think “dear reader” was my signature, did you?  

Good.  One point for you, dear reader.  

Today I had a customer phone in an order for a personalized frame.  At the top it was to read, “Happy Birthday”.  And in the interest of protecting the customer’s right to punctuate as she pleases, her words will be completely unedited.

Me:  And what would you like the bottom to say?

Customer:  i love you daddy

Me:  Do you want all first letters capitalized?  Or just the “i” and the “d”?

Customer: all first letters i guess

Most Wonderful Shop Girl In the World: And would you like a comma after “you”?

Grammatically Ignorant Customer: no because then she would be signing it and its not from daddy

Me:  Oookay.  OR you could be addressing the person to whom you’re speaking.  It’s called an appositive.  It renames the pronoun you just used with a slightly clearer proper noun.  Any other punctuation?  Do you want an exclamation point after “Happy Birthday”?

Customer:  no i think thats good

Me: It’s a good thing you can’t see me roll my eyes at you through the phone.

Customer #2

Me: Okay, so on the paperweight you want, “I carry your heart in my heart    Mom”?  Do you want a period at the end of that sentence? Say yes. The correct answer is, “yes”!

Customer:  No. But can I add “love” here?

Most Wonderful Shop Girl In the World:  Sure.  Do you want a comma between “love” and “Mom”?

Customer: Should I have one there?

Most Wonderful Shop Girl In the World:  Grammatically, yes, unless you want it to be a command–Love Mom!–in which case I would suggest an exclamation point.

Customer: Let’s put a comma here.

Me: Okay, sounds great!  If that’s really what you want to do.  Personally, if I was buying a gooshy paperweight for my grown son to put on his desk at the office, I would go with the command form.

And just for fun (if you’re still reading and also think being grammatically correct is fun), here’s an old story…

Customer #1:  Should it be “Directors’ Award,” “Director’s Award,” or “Directors Award”?

Boss Lady: Umm.

Customer #2: I think there should definitely be an apostrophe.

Customer #1:  But which spot? (to Boss Lady) What do you think?

Boss Lady:  Hey, Most Wonderful Shop Girl In the World, you taught English. Aw, man, there’s another of those pesky appositives.

Me:  Well, is it one director or a group of directors giving the award?

Customer #1: One.

Me:  Is it an award that belongs to him or is he, as the director, responsible for awarding it?

Customer: I guess it’s his award.

Me: Okay, so you want an apostrophe before the “s.”

Customer:  But what if you’re wrong?

Me:  Well, none of the three of you could figure it out, so your odds are good nobody will even notice.

In other news, I’m trying to improve my posture.

For real.

Stop laughing at me.


3 responses »

  1. But grandma is so tasty!! I used to teach esol from the book “The panda eats, shoots, and leaves” which had hilarious pictures to go with all the grammatical errors. You should have a copy next to the cash register… 🙂


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