Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Feeling Grammatically Superior

It happened again yesterday. There I was, minding my own business, waiting in line at Chipotle and envisioning the monstrous burrito I would soon be stuffing into my mouth, when I heard a phrase most foul.

“Yeah,” said a skinny teenage girl talking to a guy I can only assume was her boyfriend. I deduced this based on the way his hands were placed on her backside. “I’m doing good. You?”

“Good,” the boyfriend replied patting her . . . heinie.

I cringed and clenched my jaw. I didn’t give a lick about the public display of affection because I work in a high school and have seen far, far worse. But to my ears, this offense was inexcusable. Under my breath, so soft that I was sure they would not hear me because I’m a big chicken and hate uncomfortable encounters, I muttered, “Well.”

What I wanted to do was turn around, tap them on the shoulder an give them a ten (ok, twenty) minute English lesson on proper use of the words ‘good’ and ‘well’. I was fairly sure there were lingering grammar handouts from last year in my car which would be most beneficial. Or, I could grab a Chipotle napkin and write out some simple examples like:

1. Burritos are good.
2. I am feeling well.
3. Patting your girlfriend on the tooshie can feel good.
4. The boyfriend would not be doing well if the girls’ father saw him touching her.

Instead of embarrassing them, I tried to ignore the many grammar errors ensconced in their conversation and concentrated on whether I should add guacamole to my burrito for an extra ninety-nine cents.

I suppose putting up with the improper grammar of others is a burden English teachers and writers shoulder. At least it didn’t ruin my appetite.

And I did get guacamole. On the side.

Beth's Grammar - 1
Teenager's Grammar - 0

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