I realize I’m not the world’s greatest speller nor am I perfect when it comes to grammar, but I do know quite a bit. I’m like Ted on How I Met Your Mother, always correcting his friends to the point of driving them crazy. (The episode that best explains this is Spoiler Alert. Hilarious.) My tendency to correct people got worse after living with a self-proclaimed grammar Nazi who taught me the difference between lay and lie. Now I can’t enjoy Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars without screaming at the stereo but I know I am better for it.*
About two years ago when Jess was visiting, she kept saying “further” and I kept correcting her to “farther.” It got to the point that she was so irritated she said them both in sequence and then glared at me, daring me to correct her. I bit my tongue as I’m sure she would have gouged out my eyes if I hadn’t. Well, a few weeks ago our parents were visiting Jess and they went out to the putt-putt course. At one point after Jess hit her ball, Mom said, “Could you hit that any further?” Jess replied, “Farther.” Victory is mine.
Now I’m doing it to Mom. Last night (and a few times before that) she asked for some Kleenex. I told her I didn’t have any, but I had some Puffs. “Isn’t Kleenex a generic name by now?” she asked. “Nope,” I replied. “It’s still a brand.” Fred and I have had this talk many times as it frustrates him, too, when people use the incorrect word. (I suspect that it irritates me more than him, though.) “I’m going to Google that,” someone may say when really he’s using a different search engine all together. Like Kindle does not equate all e-readers, Google does not equate all search engines and Kleenex does not equate all facial tissues. Maybe if I correct Mom enough to the point of her wanting to write me out of the will, she will stop asking for the brand when she means the generic. I may be out of the family but the world will better for it.
*If you don’t know, he should be singing, “If I lie here, if I just lie here, would you lie with me”. If you need an explanation why, then go take an English class.