Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'm a lover, not a hater (or a fighter), but there should be a test for adulthood to make sure that people who write things like this are never let near small children or dangerous chemicals or email. English majors jump out of buildings over less than this email, which was forwarded to me today:

This particular story just made me laugh. Every time I think about it, the vision of that poor cat just amuses me. Hope the story leaves a bright spot in your day. Whoever said the Creator doesn't have a sense of humor?

You don't need to use "particular" when you'll only be talking about one story. "Particular" would be used to disambiguate "this story" from some other story, of which there is none. Don't need the comma after "it." You used "vision" incorrectly; even if this usage is considered to be a colloquial expression in modern times, it's only because people cannot properly articulate their ideas. "Leaves a bright spot on your day" does not mean anything. We get it: you wanted to say that you "hope it leaves you with a feeling of warmth" or something. It's still incorrect. "Whoever said" should be followed by something that someone said, hence the next phrase should have quotation marks around it, signifying that it is the object of your question.

Dwight Nelson recently told a true story about the pastor of his church. He had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, etc. The kitty would not come down.

Who is Dwight Nelson? Is he a liar? Do we expect him to be telling an untrue story? If so, you should explain that. If not, there is no reason for the word "true." Is "he" Dwight or the Pastor? Oh, I see, you tell us in the next sentence. I think you give "warm milk" to children who can't get to sleep, not cats stuck in trees.

The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and drove away so that the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten.

Awful, awful run-on sentence. Also, who the fuck would do this? Also, if he could reach the top of the tree to tie the rope up there (which is what physics, or common sense, tells us would be necessary for this plan to work), why not just pluck the kitten out of the tree?

He did! All the while, checking his progress in the car frequently, he then figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved a little further forward, the rope broke. The tree went "boing!" and the kitten instantly sailed through the air - out of sight.

"He did?!" What the fuck did he do?! "All the while" is unnecessary, "checking the car's progress," tense change, "farther" vs. "further" (though that is, sadly, relatively advanced English these days). Another tense change. Trees do not go "boing!" We have not advanced to anthropomorphisms or personifications quite yet. The word "instantly" is used to clarify when something might not usually happen so suddenly. For example, "He waved goodbye and disappeared instantly." A cat cannot slingshot out of a tree any other way than "instantly."

Look, I can't do this anymore. I think that we all knew where this story was going from the moment that a man of the cloth decided that the best way to get a kitten out of a tree would be hooking his Humvee up to one of the branches. Blah blah blah, little Mary-Sue gets the cat she always wished for, God works in mysterious ways, send this to ten people in the next ten minutes and God will buy you a new kitten.

PLEASE STOP SENDING ME THESE THINGS. PLEASE. I know that you need a way to kill time at work. That is why some dorks at MIT invented the internets for you. No need to involve innocent bystanders, my dear old ladies in accounting.

Also, today at work this girl who looked like the kind of girl who took her older brother to senior prom started hitting on me, but she used the "OMG you look liek Toby Maguire" angle, so I was all like "Whatever, dude. Out of yr league. Amiright?"



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