Thursday, March 08, 2012

Three words--double bag it.

Wow, maybe litigation isn't for me. Being in court has not caused me to think this, but rather it's my horrible listening skills.

I remember doing additional listening skill exercises as a child with my mom because my standardized test scores showed it was the lowest area (but I'm sure they were still totally awesome scores because I can think whatever I want). But she had gotten these supplemental materials to help me because that's what good mommys do, and one evening we were working on them. She read a short passage and I had to write down answers involving a particular story about a new roller coaster ride and the name of it was "Blue Prince" but somehow I ended up writing something about "blueprints" in an answer. And I've really always had this sort of problem.

Well, fast-forward to twenty years later and I'm here I am trying to log into a bar's wireless network (I left my phone at home but was determined to go out and have BBQ and some beers in Davis because it is SEVENTY DEGREES IN BOSTON TODAY and I just turned in a giant ass-pounder of a research project. Like, the kind where I think my eyes are bleeding by the end. So I know it's nothing new for me to randomly day-drink, but just tryin' to fill in the details). ANYWAY. I pop into a bar because it has giant open windows and I need to check my email to make sure my professor hasn't emailed me to be all WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS.

And so the following conversation ensued:

"Do you have wireless?"

"Yes! The guest network is 'giraffe36' and if that doesn't work, the private network is 'giraffebeer36.'

Time passes. None of the passwords work.

I turned my laptop around to show the bartender, in case there needed to be caps or numbers spelled out or I possibly fucked up the spelling of 'giraffe.'

"Like this?"

"Well, yeah, but 'draft.' So, 'draftbeer36.' We have 36 beers on draft."

AH YES. BECAUSE SEE, THAT ACTUALLY MAKES SENSE. But "giraffe" was totally a logical thing to assume. Yes.

I mean, nothing takes you down twenty pegs faster than something like that. Especially when you're then all, "HAHAHA, uh yeah, I was wondering...I mean, I thought 'giraffe36' was cute and all...I'M A LITTLE DEAF."

But what I desperately wanted to say was, "I ACTUALLY DID NOT GO TO A SPECIAL SCHOOL."



Friend L said...

I don't know if this is helpful, but I think sometimes good listening is a matter of timing. If you force yourself to slow down before deciding you've "heard" something (i.e., force yourself to pause for a beat after the person finishes speaking), then you process the information better. Then again, I'm slow.

Ellen Aim said...

Yeah but the problem is I don't think there's a reason to think there's anything wrong with what I've heard, you know? Lots of time passed in this case, sad to say!

Anonymous said...

None = no one = singular

Ellen Aim said...

It is actually being used here, as is often (usually) the case, as "not one." Not one of the passwords worked.

Veloute said...

I laughed. It's like we're related.

Ellen Aim said...

Who am I to question their password??

Anonymous said...


None can be either "no one" or "not one."

In either case, it is singular, not plural.

And Ellenaim's sentence is in the present tense, not the past tense (i.e., "work" not "worked" - nice try, however!)


Incorrect: "Time passes. None of the passwords WORK."

Correct: "Time passes. None of the passwords WORKS."

Also: "But WAS I desperately wanted to say was..."



Veloute said...

Also, anonymous:

Anonymous said...

I concede; you both is correct.

The next time my prof calls me out, I'll just say, "Nuh uh! Forgets all about that stupid, old Oxford English Dictionary! You just needs to go check or Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty tips, where they both says that none are wrong but both is right!"


Ellen Aim said...

"It is sometimes held that none can only take a singular verb, never a plural verb: none of them is coming tonight rather than none of them are coming tonight. There is little justification, historical or grammatical, for this view. None is descended from Old English nān meaning ‘not one’ and has been used for around a thousand years with both a singular and a plural verb, depending on the context and the emphasis needed."

David. I think the flaw would have been more easily pointed out in simply noting that the tenses of the two sentences might not match, rather than getting hung up on the use of "none."

In any case, I have no intention of changing anything. IT'S A FREAKING BLOG. Specifically, it is my blog in which I get to rant and rave and try to keep my friends and family up to date with what I'm doing. By its very nature, it is not going to always be grammatically correct. Call it artistic license or laziness, I don't really care. (I will fix the typo, since those annoy me.) And that sort of inconsistency is what makes it my blog.

If you have anything substantive to contribute, by all means. Nit-picking over grammatical inconsistencies in my blog is no doubt very easy (hopefully there are some even here), and I'm sure you could come up with a considerable list. But quite frankly, doing it is...well, it comes off pretty dickish. So please, feel free to move along.