I have a problem.

It's more like a sickness, if you get right down to it. I have some strain of OCD. I would like nothing more than to assure you, gentle reader (do people read this blog?), that it is not a severe strain but I am not so certain. I suppose I do not suffer from "full blown OCD" in the classical sense. You are not likely to find me straightening pictures in a hotel lobby. I'm not prone to fits of alphabetizing and color-sorting sugar packets at the local IHOP (my daughter is in charge of those.) However I do get a feeling of ants crawling across my brain when I see language bastardized in any way.

This affliction of mine (and do not think for a minute it is anything less) has caused a number of awkward situations to arise in both my personal and professional life. When I see a misspelling, typo, or grammatical faux pas, I am physically unable to keep quiet about it. I find myself squirming in high level management meetings, growling in movie theatres, and verbally red-lining the people closest to me. Whether it is socially acceptable or not to do so, I must point out the error(s) to anyone who will listen to me. As you might imagine, more often than not this "service" goes unappreciated. I would go so far as to say it is probably downright irritating to others. Nevertheless, even knowing this, I cannot sit comfortably in my own skin if I can't correct the mistake or at the very least grouse about it.

I had some time to reflect on this as I drove to work this morning, following a Scion with a backwards kanji 'AI' sticker on the back. Seeing it made my skin crawl. It occupied my mind the whole way to work and it collected lint in the spin-dry cycle of my mind throughout the day. I know it's neurotic, but I thought perhaps by sharing my irrational state of mind with the world I might know some relief. Now that I'm done, all I feel is ridiculous. :)

1 comment:

Nathaniel Burns said...

So des.

New word for me:
Grouse (to complain).

I can empathize with your freakish compulsion to identify, at minimum, in your own head, the most correct language usage, and then to provide resources to support your claim if the dolts don't follow, ad nauseum.

My thoughts on contributing factors include but are not limited to:

-Your father and his obsession with (however misguided at times), pointing out the "Bastardization of the English language"

-You're extensive use of computers and the incessant spell checkers that don't recognize the polyglot in your writing.

-You're smarter than the average bear, bro.