I Am More to Be Pitied Than Censured

photo of man in dunce cap from gibbsmagazine.comLast night I was looking at my site stats.  Yesterday was an unusually busy day here at Strange Figures and I was feeling very chipper about how many people had viewed my posts.  And then I scrolled past the title of Tuesday’s postUnruly Mob of Homeschoolers Terrorize Borders’ Patrons.  I stopped and read it again.  Wait, did I really do that?  Did I really fail in the simplest of all grammatical tasks:  subject/verb agreement?

It’s true that I’m not a stickler for grammar.  I love a good sentence fragment and I’m shockingly careless about whether I’m using colons and semicolons correctly.  I also – and I’m sure you’ve noticed this – hyphenate like crazy.  But, seriously, putting “mob” and “terrorize” together?  That’s just mortifying.  After spotting the mistake I spent the next ten minutes thinking of all of my friends who are teachers, homeschoolers, English professors, for crying out loud – and I imagined the scorn they were all heaping on me when they saw that title.  Why didn’t one of you send me a message telling me (gently, privately) what I had done?  I have a degree in English, taught English as a second language, and am responsible for the education of my children.  I’m supposed to be able to use my native tongue.

I  suppose I brought this on myself by showing contempt for grammatical correctness in my very first post.  I have no one to blame but myself.

By the time you read this, I’ll have corrected the offending blog title.  But it’s seared into my brain.  Any of you who concluded on Tuesday that I am a complete idiot, please give me another chance.  I’ll try to do better.


About Sharon Autenrieth

Wife, mom to 5, homeschooler, Christian Education Director, idealist, malcontent, follower of Jesus.
This entry was posted in blogging, education, humor and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to I Am More to Be Pitied Than Censured

  1. Hollie says:

    oh don’t be too hard on yourself…you homeschool…your not perfect ;o)


  2. snarks04 says:

    I just viewed it as symbolic – a pluralistic mass with a singular goal – I found it very profound. Words are never just words, ya know!

    Also, I didn’t notice it until you pointed it out… but I only have a public school education, so that is to be expected 😉


  3. Actually, I consider that particular error to be relatively harmless—somewhat sloppy, but harmless. Notably, even the rule it self (that “mob” should be followed by a singular, although more than one person is involved) is not universal.


  4. Bill Davis says:

    I think you are right that “mob” should take a singular verb, but don’t agonize over it too much! =) I find that more and more writers are taking plural mass nouns and using plural verbs (“the committee think”), etc. So eventually, it may be considered “standard.” Things change…


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