Friday, June 5, 2009

Keep yer illiterate hands offa me

Possibly it's just the third trimester rage talking, or maybe I just really miss grading papers, but this pamphlet copy - extracted from a larger collection of advertisements dumped in my lap on the first day of my $300-ish "natural childbirth" class - made me particularly happy that we own a paper shredder:

Motherhood is wonderful but we often underestimate the physical demands of being a mother. Dr. Knitcrit says: Awkward, redundant sentence structure. Also, we seem to underestimate the utility and necessity of commas. We are carrying the baby all of the time which puts a lot of pressure on your shoulders. Dr. Knitcrit says: We? You? Which is it? Pronouns must agree and strictly speaking, the second person should not be abused in this manner, even if it is used consistently. Maybe breastfeeding is causing tension in your shoulders. Dr. Knitcrit says: Maybe. But your writing isn't helping, either. Lack of sleep can cause emotional stress or anxiety. Dr. Knitcrit says: Well, so long as it can't cause both. Is it getting harder and harder to ignore the knots and pains in your body? Dr. Knitcrit says: Not as long as your prose provides the welcome distraction of righteous indignation. Well let us spoil you just a little with a massage designed for the needs of a mother. Dr. Knitcrit says: Again, do not fear the comma even though at this point it actually kind of fears you. Studies have shown 1 hour of massage can help replace 4 hours lost sleep or a more relaxed Mama is a more effective mother for her child. Dr. Knitcrit says: (1) footnote the source (2) Studies have also shown that this statement - and please note that it is a "statement," not a "sentence" - is completely incoherent. (3) Numbers should be written out.

$100 = 60 minutes
$145 = 90 minutes
Dr. Knitcrit says: Would you accept a copy of Elements of Style lieu of cash?


YDH said...

YDH says thats a very expensive massage.

Abbeykins said...

YIKES! Do they take insurance? Maybe an English class or two?

How many weeks do you have to go?

knitcrit said...

These people _are_ native speakers of English - I know this because they were at the birth class and in any case, the non-native speakers of English (mostly undocumented workers from east Asia) don't charge nearly as much for a massage. My due date is the 23rd of July.