Believe me, I can talk like a sailor, but I was raised with decorum. I knew people didn’t smoke cigarettes in church, spit in hallways, nor kick puppies. I also knew there was a time and place when it was not appropriate to use expletives.
In my 18 years on the school board of a large, suburban school district, I never swore from the dais. I may have thought it, but I didn’t verbalize it. I knew better. Further, I didn’t want teachers cussing at students. Thus, I set an example. However once, in front of my mom, I accidentally dropped the f bomb. She heard it fly from my mouth.
“Sue, when people use gutter talk, it’s the sign of a severely limited vocabulary. Not to mention a lack of decorum and civility. Your hero, Mark Twain, was a genius at penning classics without swearing. We readers fully understood what Huck Finn was really saying, but Mrs. Samuel Clemens edited the base vernacular from his manuscript.”
Hmm. Mark Twain was a genius–a stable one.
Admittedly, I’m a technological immigrant. Further, I’m technologically challenged. I belong in a special class with any 10-year-old teacher. Even five-year-olds today, know more than me. My daughters and the school board folk have drug me into this new arena, and I know just enough to be dangerous. While I enjoy that the world is now just one arrow key away and adore my cell phone convenience, I abhor “auto correct” and the feature of speaking rather than typing. Lord knows, I sent far too many incoherent messages and emails. A heinous crime, when the author is an English major!
On the other hand, I laugh uproariously when I receive one of these messages. This week I received the following:
Hmm. A large cicada, which looks like a desert tortoise. I was engulfed in laughter. A family pet? Even funnier. Did they clip its wings so it wouldn’t fly off?
Really? I see no likeness in the least. Yet, I was sad I have no artistic talent. Can you imagine the joy of creating such a creature? I bet Dr. Seuss would have drawn and made millions on this hybrid character.
My neighbor and I had several hilarious conversations discussing the email. We concluded the sender must be whacked. Twas, not the case. Damnable auto correct was at fault. Behold the sulcata tortoise.