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Baby, We Were Born to Run-On
August 9th, 2009 by Christina

I was so busted this weekend. october_27_054

I went to a delightful gathering of a few of my writer pals at the Jersey shore, which was great fun. We all seem to agree that the English language is increasingly abused and disrespected, that journalism is the new blacksmithing, and that anyone who thinks it’s ok to use a lower-case I to refer to one’s self probably has a personality disorder–because there is no other satisfactory explanation.

The five of us literary ladies were strolling along the beach, ranting about how hard life has become for we who still respect the rules of grammar, spelling and punctuation. (Also, we tried to pretend that we were down at the shore or down by the shore, rather than just down the shore, which is the vexing phrase people on the East Coast use when they visit New Jersey beach towns.)

I chimed in with my horror stories about the many incoherent online-dating profiles I’ve faced, and my friends agreed that poorly-written profiles are unacceptable. (Turns out we’re not the only ones who feel this way. Check it out: Do the Typos in Your Profile Spell Disaster?)

Later, during cocktail hour at Gwen’s house, my four very-married friends wanted to read my one very-unmarried online dating profile. So I brought it up on Gwen’s laptop–which was nestled on the table between the Chex mix and the guacamole– and the girls gathered ‘round.

I fear I shall never forget what happened next.

“You forgot an apostrophe,” said Jen casually.
“Ha ha–nice try, Jen. Good one. You’re funny,” I responded.
“You really did,” she repeated drily.

That’s when I turned into an over-tired four-year-old.

“No WAY! I did not! I did NOT!” I shouted.

“Um, yep–you did. See?”

And that’s when I realized that she was right. The word “let’s” was staring back at me on the screen, naked and un-apostrophized. I felt like a sham.

“I can’t believe I did that! I cannot believe I did that! How could I do that? How? I mean, I am so fanatical about not making those kinds of errors and look–I made one. I made one!”

The girls helped me over to a chair, forced a glass of wine into my fist, and pretended that we all make typos sometimes, that it’s not a big deal, and that of course they know I don’t really think you write “let’s” without the apostrophe. Silly me.

Now I can’t decide if I should fix the mistake in my profile, or leave it there and wait, fairy-tale-style, for my Prince Charming to come along and correct it.

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3 Responses  
Jen Singer writes:
August 10th, 2009 at 7:22 am

But what “Jen” didn’t tell you was that she actually had this in her bio on her web site for all to see for a good number of weeks:

“She lives in northern New Jersey with her husband and two tween sons who leave various rolling objects on the floor of her mini-van for her to discover whenever she hits the breaks.”

So really, a forgotten apostrophe isn’t a disaster, just a sign that you’re human and busy. Also, that you can probably spell “brakes.”

Come to think of it: Is mini-van hyphenated?

Don’t sweat it!
Jen

P.S. It will always be “down the shore” to this Jersey Girl.

Jennifer Fink writes:
August 10th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

This is hilarious — and I loved the link to the article about typos and online ads.

Jenny

Logie writes:
August 11th, 2009 at 6:41 am

“Christina’s Apostrophe”… sounds like a book to me… certainly could be applied to all those dates… seems like something set in the late 1700s… your heroine will wear bloomers…

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