Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Lost 'D'

I like wandering the streets in the night. The cool darkness and empty streets induces a certain kind of joy. It's a pleasant break from all the seething crowds and unholy car horns. Unfortunately, there is a phenomenon I increasingly observe that turns my mild joy into a seething rage.

What I refer to is the common practice of shops placing placards on their doors, one side of which reads "Open" and the other reads "Close". Close? CLOSE? I look around, hunting for the lost 'D'. Perhaps it fell down. Perhaps it is just a bit darker than the other letters. But no, sign after sign stubbornly continues to read "Close".

I ask myself if a hundred shopkeepers could be wrong. Am I the mistaken one in all this? In my shaken faith, I turn to what my Grade 4 grammar teacher taught me:

"Is the shop open? No it is not."
"Is the shop closed? Yes it is." "

"Is the shop close? Dear Parent, your son is incapable of learning English. Please go burn in Hell."

And this small thorn in my side will continue to prick away at my conscience for hours and hours. "Do something", says Inner EssDee, "Roam around with black markers and 'D' stickers!"

I know, in this increasingly "vher ru" and "omg mai english sux lol im so proud" world of texts and SMS, it's become rather difficult to become a campaigner for lost 'D's. Yet, Inner EssDee refuses this as a rationale for doing nothing.

So, I am left with no resort, but to turn to what a wise 6-year old once prayed for on August 28, 1992: I pray for the strength to change what I can, the inability to accept what I can't and the incapacity to tell the difference.

Thus, I hereby resolve to roam the streets from here on with a general air of haughtiness as I inform offenders of their grievous transgressions.

Inner Me says that I will lead an interesting life.


lakesidey said...

"Is the shop close?"

(SD - oops sorry S with missing D - breaks into a foul-mouthed rant and cusses me out like Captain Haddock on steroids. Or maybe Captain Planet on asteroids.)

"Okay, that means it is far away, I take it?"

(Walks away leaving an apoplectic S muttering incoherently)

~ LS (definitely no D!)

P.S. Kidding aside, I so agree with you, pal! Grammar fails are nothing short of frustrating. Especially when you are (re)teaching high school stuff to a bunch of teens and 'tweens' who have been seeing these wrong usages as "accepted" all their lives and hence find it blasphemous when told they are not grammatically pristine ("What is good name?", anyone?)

Terry Pratchett evidently also has issues with such folks - see "Guards, Guards" for a dissertation on cruelty to the common comma and "Going Postal" for a hilarious take on the misue's of apostrophe's.

Ess Dee said...

Oh Lakey, I read blasphemous English all the time. The Internet is a grammar graveyard. What to do, what to do?

divya said...

haha,ess! i just chanced upon your blog and i ended up reading a good number of your posts :D
well done with the lost D's campaign. our people really need you out there.and if i hadto say, i think guntur needs you the most :P