Breaking up with an English Teacher
[The following text exchange took place between a female business executive named Roxanne and her boyfriend of four years, Virgil, a high school English teacher.]
Roxanne: Dear Virgil, I gotta tell you something and it’s been on my mind for a long time.
Virgil: Good evening, Roxanne. Thank you for your text. By the way, “gotta” is not proper English. I believe you meant to say, “I must” or “I have to.” What’s up?
Roxanne: We need 2 talk.
Virgil: You errantly used the digit “2” as in one more than one. So, you’ve lost me. We need “one plus one talk?” That makes no sense. Please clarify.
Roxanne: Oh, for God’s sake, Virgil. 2 is short for “to.” We need TO talk. I cant wait any longer.
Virgil: Sorry, still not clear on what you’re trying to convey – unless you mean “no, I can’t” in which case, don’t forget the apostrophe since it’s a contraction.
Roxanne: Geez. Okay. Got it.
Virgil: Who’s got what? “Got it” is missing a subject. Who has it? A policeman? The Queen of England? My schnauzer? My brain buzzes with possibilities. Could you clarify who it is that has it and what specifically does he or she have?
Roxanne: Jesus, Virgil. I’m talking about US. We need to talk about US.
Virgil: Capitalizing the letters US only makes sense if you’re referring to our country. But even then, technically you should put periods after the letters since it’s an abbreviation for United States.
Roxanne: Virgil, focus. For the millionth time, I don’t need another syntax lesson.
Virgil: I believe you mean “another grammar” lesson. Syntax is about word order. Your mistake was –
Roxanne: My MISTAKE was taking four freakin’ years to tell you what I should have told you four years ago. It’s over. (more…)