Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Proofreading for Retarded Monkeys

My boss made me take a Proofreading course offered by HR. I find this humorous, as I routinely find multiple errors in almost every written thing he produces, but I forget to add a motherfucking comma just once, and I am the antichrist. I'm sorry -- the retarded antichrist.

Luckily for me, this course is on South Campus, near the football stadium, and it's fairly close to my house. Plus, it's from 1-4, ensuring that once I catch the bus back to Central Campus, there will be about six minutes left in the work day. So I get a free hour.

Amazingly, this course is offered in two sessions.

The first day was beyond painful. People there represented offices from all over campus, including the President's Office, the Law School, and the Development Office.

And they were... oh my gosh, you wouldn't believe how stupid these people were. We (and by "we," I mean "everyone except me") had a ten-minute debate over the placement of apostrophes, and I wanted to jump out of the window:

"But I don't understand. You said that the car belonged to Kevin, so it should be Kevins's car, right?"

I did learn some things, however. I learned that the University follows the grammatical rules put forth by the Chicago Manual of Style, which is nice because it's the guide used by most historians. I also learned that the final comma has returned when listing a multitude of items, which pretty much made the entire course worth the headaches.

For the past few years, the following sentence would be correct:

"I am going to the store to buy apples, bananas and oranges."

This always pissed me off to no end - bananas and oranges are NOT ONE UNIT. Luckily, my rage found salvation while sitting in this course. While the above is considered acceptable, the preferred sentence is below:

"I am going to the store to buy apples, bananas, and oranges."


Oh, and did you know that "MA" no longer needs periods, but "Ph.D." still does? FACT.

And... that's about all that I learned. I did get to finish worksheet after worksheet listing the plurals of fifty different words, finding the typos in form letters, and use a piece of paper to read only one line of a paragraph at a time.

So it was an amazing use of my time, is what I'm saying.


lem said...

Only if his name is Kevins. I do not support the final comma, unless it is needed because you use "and" multiple times in the sentence. The Panda does not like superfluous commas and people in the US throw commas around like there's no tomorrow.

Waayers said...

Oh wow, congratulations on surviving that course. I think I would've slapped everyone silly.

Heather said...

lem - You don't support the final comma? Okay, we are in a fight.

waayers - Thanks! I don't think that I escaped unharmed, though. I have nightmares.

lem said...

I tend to support British grammar rules. I thought you would too. Very disappointing.

Heather said...

lem - I am not aware of British grammar rules. Perhaps I should learn...