I'll gladly admit it. I am a spelling and grammar nerd. It drives me crazy when I see words spelled incorrectly, grammar mistakes or murder of the English language being committed. That being said, I never claimed to be a punctuation or usage diva, but some things just jump out at me. On Saturday, we were at Ham's Orchard, a great place in the Texas countryside where you can buy peaches and all kinds of jams and jellies. Sure enough, I was waiting in line to pay, when I noticed a shiny gold label that said "Chocolate Sheath Cake." Last time I checked, a sheath was something a size 4 person would wear to a cocktail party. Of course, these girls wouldn't be consuming chocolate sheath cake on a regular basis, now would they?
When we lived in the suburbs of Denver years ago, there was a supermarket chain called King Soopers. I would drive a few extra miles so I wouldn't have to shop there. In our town, we have Fantastik Hair and De'lectable De'signs. There's also an oil change place called Kwik Kar. I know they are trying to be cute and eye-catching, but in my mind, I'm hearing fingernails on a blackboard.
Then there's the matter of servers in restaurants. They take your order efficiently, but let's say you ask for your salad dressing on the side. Invariably, they say with a smile, "No problem." Of course it's no problem. Putting salad dressing on the side is part of their job. This drives my husband crazy, too. It's become kind of a game. As soon as the server gets out of earshot, we explode in laughter.
One final thing - and I know I'm most likely in the minority here, but I was taught that "crispy" wasn't actually a word. "Crisp" was the correct form. So when I see menu items for "crispy shrimp" or "crispy french fries, I tend to wince. I guess it has come to mean something fried. We still refer to fresh vegetables or starched linen as crisp, don't we?
So that's it - the rant of a 74-year-old grammar nerd. Feel free to share the things that drive you crazy.
I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.