Insert Chassis Albuquerque: Grammatical Flexbility

21 April 2017

Grammatical Flexbility


When she said, "Hello, how are you?" I literally thought she'd meant how  I was. So I told her, everything…
It had begun grammatically, a disagreement over spelling the word "realise" (or "realize" as some spell it). Someone reacted to something I'd written, emphatically pointing out the word "realise" was spelt incorrectly. In fact, what they said was: "Seriously? Mispelt twice?"
Of course they'd misspelt "mispelt" but I resisted the temptation to make any judgement against this asshole - perhaps he was from the 3rd world where economising on spelling was as common as budgeting ones diet.
Of course, his observation was incorrect in itself as the word "realise" can be spelt either way and I'd taken the time to point out that originally it was borrowed from the French "réaliser" (meaning to "make real"), the British spelt it with an "s," and Americans with a "z" and, geographically - as Britain was closer to France - they should have the first option on how to spell shit.
Of course, talent is always something that people will try to criticize and belittle - I'm of course referring to my ability to teleport. I'd always wanted to be able to teleport and I'd realised that I could if, well, I'd prefer not to say and you probably wouldn't understand the science anyway but a while later, I was walking toward work - picture this: I have a group of tattoos walking toward me. This looks bad. For one, it's the same guy from the grammatical dispute earlier and he's brought his friends, keen readers, too. Secondly, one has a pool cue and I think: "Oh man, looks these guys want to beat me the fuck up using that pool cue!"
Mentally I took up a defensive position and, almost immediately, was able to foster a very negative environment and figure I should better say something, anything, before they get the jump on me - why should these badly home-tattooed fuckers get the better of me? So I yelled at the group of tattoos, "Hey! Hey, you goddamn Nazis fuckers!" I say to this one with the cue. "Motherfucker! You looking to get a new tattoo on your face?"
"Look, just go easy and this will all be over in a few minutes," he says and not the reaction I'd hoped for. "You gotta see our point of view, people need to treat words with respect."
"Really? I think the English language should be treated with a bit more grammatical flexibility - for instance we have some small ground in common, I find it grammatically distressing when people are unable to distinguish between a dash and a hyphen (I also feel very strongly if people misuse the word ZERO when relaying a phone number and substitute it with the letter `O' but I don't go around beating people up with a pool cue. I hope you realise that?" I said with obvious emphasis on the word.
"Maybe you should," one of the tattoos said. I took a look around, there were four of them, plus the pool cue, that made five - one guy, three girls and a pool cue, nimble and agile, ready for action. Of course there were plenty of other words crossing the American-English divide they could've taken exception to.
Pool Cue said: "So, you think you some kind of genius, genius?" The other tattoos sniggered.
"I've found a voice that that allows me to write very comfortably and with a lot of grammatical agility," I said defensively."
"Is that `defensive' or `defencive'?" Pool Cue said; again the group sniggered and I said: "I don't think that's a proper word - `defensive' is so universally, in all English languages?" I phrased it as a question to buy time, studious I knew they'd ponder this and there was an uneasy silence until one of them looked it up on their phone.
"Nah, he's right, it is defensive."
"Well, I'm glad we could clear that up!" I said and made as if to leave but one of them, a small woman, stuck her foot out and I tripped, stumbling forward; her wig sat skew from the effort and she straightened it a little while regarding me. Clearly this wasn't over and if I wasn't so massively insecure I'd do something about it. In 20, 30 years, yes, we all knew they'd be nothing, their entire lives would be a dead-end, a cul-de-sac where all that happened was cars pulled up to turn around and leave disappointed by the semi-circular barrage of sameness (of course, I’d been wrong before, so in hindsight I grant this may one day have proved to be untrue).
Now, I'm aiming for over 800 words here so I'd better write something else. I addressed the group: "You, and I mean this sincerely, are people that have spent more time out in the sun than is advisable. I'm a teacher so I know what I'm talking about."
"A teacher of what?" Pool Cue wondered.
"I don't see how that's relevant," I said as they circled round me with ignorant disdain.
Then I threw up.
I didn't stop until they'd all taken off, disgusted, and let's face it, most people are.
I throw up, all the time. People say it’s harmful, but it’s just something I like to do. Someone reading this is bound to be offended, that I'm making fun of people who suffer from Bulimia or some such thing. Well, you can’t please everyone all the time – so I throw up on you, too..