Let me just begin this message by stating: I'm well aware that my middle age years are about to become glaringly obvious. Also that some of my more...fanatical tendencies...will be blatantly on display. Oh, and not too many folks out there will sympathize, probably. That's all fine and dandy--I'm not gonna let it stop me from exercising my basic human right to embark upon an RoD. (Rant of the Day...yep, that's a thing...or at least it is now...feel free to have your own...you're welcome...) So, here goes:
I feel I must preface this by making it abundantly clear that I do love my child, and I think he's generally a delightful person. This being said, there are times when he reeeeaaalllly annoys me. (While I'm absolutely certain there's no possible way I EVER irritate him...hahahahaha!) Just as, you know, a random example, when he sends me a text message such as the following:
Now, he's right in his assumption that I understood perfectly well what he was trying to convey...and I suppose I can overlook the abbreviations...and lower case letters (notice that mine is correct, of course) but would it kill him to actually take the extra, oh, approximately 10 seconds to send a complete sentence? As for the complete omission of that modest, frequently overlooked and undervalued little device known as an apostrophe? Do. NOT. Get. Me. Started. I mean really, there's a fine line between the admirable goals of brevity and succinctness...and the not-so-esteemed quality of...laziness. One guess as to which side of the spectrum the teenager squarely falls on? (And by the way, it's a so-called Smart Phone, right? So don't give me any lame excuses about auto-correct. Um...you're the one with the higher intellect in this equation (allegedly), so teach the little computer the right way to do it...then it'll know better...DUH!)
And the thing is, he knows darn well it makes me nuts...yet he persists in doing it anyway...such as today's exchange:
I know I'm not the only old fogey to worry that texting is ruining this generation's ability to spell and punctuate correctly. However, while this was going on, Riley chimed in to share that his Language Arts class recently read an article from Scholastic Magazine about how kids who know how to use the common messaging acronyms perform better on vocabulary tests. Oh-kay...so the shorthand language he routinely employs to communicate electronically might actually be good for something, apparently. Fine. I still find the rest of it...kind of appalling.
I may have inadvertently stumbled upon a way to win this battle, though. When he returned home, Derek sought me out, with a sly grin on his face. "Riley told me you were mad about my texts," he said, without demonstrating even a shred of remorse. I gave him a scathing Mom Glare and retorted, "You just do that to provoke me, don't you?" "No," he protested mildly, "that's how I always text!" Thinking out loud, I countered with, "How about if I start ignoring your messages, unless you use apostrophes?" Unperturbed, he continued, smirking, "Then I'll just assume it's okay to stay at my friend's house."
"You'll be in trouble..." I started to contradict him, when suddenly the Brilliant Plan popped into my head. "I've got it: I'll start charging you a dollar for every time you leave out an apostrophe! What do you think about that?" I knew instantly that I'd struck gold--his mouth dropped open and he spun on his heel to leave the room indignantly, throwing back over his shoulder, "No! Mom, that's a terrible idea!" I called after his retreating back, "Well, would it make you do it the right way?" "Yes!" he growled defiantly...before firmly closing his door behind him with an unmistakably conversation-ending click.
Sooooo...I anticipate that the George Washingtons will just start piling up in the Coffee Fund...pretty much the minute I initiate...let's call it the "Apostrophe Tax". Mwah hah hah! Score one for the (well-caffeinated) Grammar Fiend...I mean "Mom"!