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Grammatical slaughter: Comma misteaks to much too take

Morning, UP

June 16, 2012
By RENEE PRUSI - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

When a certain television commerical airs, I laugh.

It's not an intentionally funny ad, but the absurdity of what the first person who speaks actually says makes me chuckle.

It's an ad for and it opens with a man who's "a real customer" saying, "There's nothing worse than going to the post office and waiting in line."

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Really? Nothing worse? How about a screaming child at the movie theater? Finding half a worm in the apple you're eating? Seeing photos of yourself from the big '80s?

Nothing worse? Obviously this gentleman has never had a colonoscopy.

It makes me shake my head and laugh: The absoluteness of it - Nothing worse. Now if the commercial had the guy saying "it's no fun standing line at the post office" that would be better because for the most part, it's no fun standing in line. Period.

But we seem to be living in times in which hyperbole rules, the true meaning of words is not valued and grammar is going out the window.

And that's making me even more of a curmudgeon.

The words never and always are used quite frequently in situations in which the absolute isn't necessary.

"She never showed up last night." Saying "She didn't show up last night" covers it.

Or "The light is always red" probably is not true. Usually, maybe. But always? Doubtful.

But those aren't as annoying as the grammatical slaughter that has become the trio of their, there and they're or the duos of you're/your, it's/its and to/too. Those words are not interchangeable, my friends.

Granted, my annoyance with the growing grammatical slaughter is likely an indication I spend too much time on Facebook. People post Facebook status updates in a hurry ... or so I tell myself as I squelch the urge to correct the grammar when someone posts something such as "I'm going to the free concert. Your invited to."

Argh. Appreciate the sentiment, hate the grammar.

It's not just on Facebook where grammar is being assaulted but it is there where examples are often brought to light. An example? Someone posted a doctored magazine cover featuring Rachael Ray holding her dog, Izzy, that carried this as its headline: "Rachael Ray finds inspiration in cooking her dog and her family."

Oh, what the lack of well-placed commas can do. Forget them and Rachael Ray is a cannibal.

Of course, now that this column is in print, it will behoove me to be extra cautious in what I write and what I post on Facebook.

The Grammar Police: There out their and its they're job to make sure it's write on.

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is



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