The Revenge of the Grammar Nerds

You had meI spent the better part of yesterday writing, rewriting, agonizing over, editing and rewriting again, a long dissertation about the recent North Miami Beach Sanitation Workshop regarding the outsourcing of the sanitation department.

Then I trashed it.

I figured if I was that disinterested in my own opinion, none of my readers would care, either.  I may have to revisit the issue if and when the subject is brought up again, but I hope not.  When the Mayor asked me if I supported outsourcing, I told him that it wasn’t something I particularly wanted to discuss.  I’m pretty sure most people in NMB aren’t interested in talking about garbage, either, as long as theirs is hauled away and they don’t have to pay more than they already do for the privilege.

To take it a step further, I’d venture a guess that at least 90% of the residents in North Miami Beach – you know, the ones who don’t vote anyway – have no clue what goes on at City Hall, who their representatives are, what the term “legislation” means, or any of the other stuff that the proverbial Same Ten People, a/k/a STPs, care about.  While the vast majority of the general population is either unconcerned, apathetic, or both, about our local government, the STPs care so intensely about every single thing that happens inside our five square miles of real estate that I’m convinced they lie awake all night long trying to come up with new ideas about running the city, without having to actually run for office.

Not me.  I have no desire to either run the city or run for office.  I’d rather sit back, watch the show and write about it if I feel inclined.  As for the topic of garbage, no matter how hard I try to work up the enthusiasm to write about it, I am so not inclined.  It’s just not happening.  I give up.

I’d much rather write about something that does enthuse and amuse me, such as making fun of the spelling- and grammar-challenged among us.  The best part about being a Grammar Nerd is that there is never a shortage of samples to critique.  It’s even more fun when I discover fellow Grammar Nerds who also enjoy messing with idiots.

My hero of the day is an anonymous teacher who received a rude letter, riddled with grammatical errors, from a high school senior who appeared to be suffering from a severe case of Senior-itis.  There is no other explanation, or excuse, for the F-bombs and insults he hurled, or the fact that he posted the letter on his teacher’s door.

The teacher, who hilariously red-penciled the letter, is obviously blessed with an admirably keen sense of humor.  After she tore his essay to shreds, she re-posted the letter back on her door in full view of the entire student body.

Teacher letter

Almost as funny as the teacher’s critique is a column by Conner Toole entited, Senior Looks Stupid When Teacher Edits The ‘F*ck You’ Letter He Posted On Her Door.  He praised the teacher’s rebuttal, and added his own fabulously snarky comments:

“Of course, I do have some issues with the overly pedantic nature of the corrections. Granted, if a student left me an error-ridden note telling me to f*ck off, I probably would have done the same thing, but some of these corrections seemed a bit unnecessary.

Conjunctions at the beginning of a sentence are all the rage in modern grammar, and formal writing should include profanities whenever possible.”

Amen to that!

Stephanie Kienzle
“Spreading the Wealth”

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19 Comments

  1. Peter A Roland April 27, 2014 11:52 am Reply

    Perhaps your right Stephanie. Many NMB residents don’t care. Having lived here since 1968, I can assure you.. It’s always been that way. However, the people who DO care, can & DO make a difference!
    You for instance!
    Plus the people who volunteer their time to make things better in their community.
    Yes, it sometimes feels like the problems are overwhelming, & one person cannot make a difference.. But, I assure you that’s not true! Having lived here so many years, I have known thousands who have made our city a great place to live.
    Most of them where never heralded for their for their contributions to their community, and many have been long forgotten. But, NMB is a better place because they cared enough to get involved.
    Sadly, we no longer honor our volunteers with an annual dinner.. But I never met a volunteer who did it for the recognition.
    Most were (are) just wanting to help their families, neighbors, and city employees with a job that elected officials can NEVER do alone! Make their hometown of NMB, a better place to live!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

    • Stephanie Kienzle April 27, 2014 2:55 pm Reply

      Peter, your grammar and spelling errors aside, I want to thank you for the compliment. I do try to make a difference whenever possible, but I’m only one person out of over 42,000 residents. The fact that we usually have only 10-15% of the registered voters come to the polls for a city election is discouraging and disheartening. My response is to repeat Plato’s adage that those who don’t involve themselves in politics end up being governed by their inferiors.

      That being said, I am also very big on volunteerism. I do agree that people who give of themselves to help the community do not do it for the recognition. The annual volunteer dinner was a nice touch; however, please remember that it was a huge waste of tens of thousands of our tax dollars. Those dinners were mainly planned so that previous administrations could throw a big party for city officials and citizen board members for the purpose of patting themselves on the back for a “job well done.” They did their jobs so well, they gifted themselves with lifetime health insurance on top of being able to drink themselves silly at the annual appreciation dinner. Talk about self-appreciation! In any event, we can’t afford that shit anymore. Just saying.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

    • NMB Pride April 27, 2014 6:11 pm Reply

      Mr. Roland,
      As a longtime resident of NMB and follower of our politics, if there were “thousands” that made this city a better place to live in, most must be residents that take care of their properties, pay their water bill regularly, and return their library books on time. Remember, back in the day both adults in the household didn’t have to work, or work ended at 5:00 PM and there was no internet or free long distance to really end their days work when they walked through their front door. Maybe in those days there were “hundreds” of volunteers, but today one really has to pick and choose where their volunteerism should be placed as we are all so busy. There is also something to be said about volunteers using their time to make a better NMB and those that think they are volunteering when all they are doing is finding what they think is wrong with City Hall.
      As far as the volunteers and recognition goes, since when should a city volunteer need to be recognized with a lavish dinner at a country club like the ones that used to occur back in the day? If we only had the monies spent on those annual kiss ass, vote for me dinners maybe the city would have more money to be better spent.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  2. rickyticky April 27, 2014 12:54 pm Reply

    Speaking of “horrible” grammar, let me just mention the second of many poorly written words written by the previous poster, Peter.

    Perhaps your right Stephanie.

    It is you’re…….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

    • Stephanie Kienzle April 27, 2014 2:57 pm Reply

      Ricky, sometimes I give the red pencil a rest.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  3. TC99 April 27, 2014 5:53 pm Reply

    I’m sorry, not everyone is a college educated person. Many words that get misspelled are auto-corrected by computers who cannot determine the usage intended by the person typing the message. I forgive misspelled words because of this.

    Peter is a long time volunteer of the city who has a great heart. Being a Veteran, his commitment to North Miami Beach is only dwarfed by his commitment to his neighbors in Highland Village. As Chairman of the Code Enforcement Board, he shows a lot of compassion when it comes to making decisions that reflect our residents.

    Please reserve your judgment of someone until you have actually met him/her.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

    • NMB Pride April 27, 2014 6:20 pm Reply

      TC,
      While Mr. Roland has volunteered for a decade or better on the Code Enforcement Board, which is commendable, please also know that he had a made up organization in Highland Village that endorsed “friends” running for office. Unfortunately not everyone is as transparent as you would like them to be or assume that they are. With all that said, a huge thanks to Mr. Roland and his service to our Country.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

      • TC99 April 27, 2014 11:19 pm Reply

        If those “friends” were running to make my local area better for those living here, I would do the same. I believe people in Washington Park, Uleta, Skylake, Oakgrove, Sunray (East and West), etc would also do the same to improve the areas of North Miami Beach they live in as well. This is one reason I believe the city needs to have district voting so as to have representatives from each area of the city instead of having 4 of the 7 councilmembers from Eastern Shores. The Mayor and 2 Council Members are city wide and the other 4 from distinct districts in the city.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

        • NMB Pride April 28, 2014 6:31 pm Reply

          Seriously T.C.? Friends or not, you have an organization that is suppose to be unbiased and made up of other individuals in the area not just one! You most likely weren’t around in the past to see this. And if he thought his “friends” were making a difference here in NMB then please tell us why we have had to make so many changes in our city over the past 6 years?
          As far as districting, that could potentially destroy our city. I could care less where my elected officials come from as long as they represent the entire city and obviously that they are honest, dedicated and smart. Have you seen the residents that run for office? Imagine if you district. The choices we’ll be that much less. Good grief!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

          • TC99 April 30, 2014 2:12 am

            I will agree to disagree at this time. I believe in the districting of our city as I see the difference in the looks from the poorer areas like Highland Village, Washington Park, etc. to the richer areas like Skylake and Eastern Shores. I know some of it is the lack of pride for some residents in these areas, but if all the beautification monies are spent in only a small portion of the city, than the city as a whole does not get better. You may see more community activism develop within these districts if they know they have “their” representative to hear them and more pride taken in the way the streets look in their neighborhoods. Do I need to remind you how often Stephanie reminds us we are getting more ghetto-like?

            I have seen the residents that run for office, around half of them are not even involved in the city. There are many boards that need qualified volunteers to help guide the Council members, as well as come up with new ideas to help the city grow. I don’t see many people who have run in the past come from these committees. People run so they can be popular, but it is more of a public service mentality than popularity that is needed. Being a public servant, you will find not all of your decisions will be popular, and you will create more enemies than friends. You need to have thick skin if you want to serve the public.

            I have started to see names from the past showing up at City Council Meetings lately because they want to “show” they are involved because they want to run for office. I say they should join a committee as well (if they can pass the smell test of the Council to get nominated). As noted in an earlier post, I also see how our upcoming election is going to be hijacked by these carpetbaggers if we don’t get more involved.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. NMB Pride April 27, 2014 6:23 pm Reply

    Stephanie,
    If you corrected every person that commented on your blog with “our” misspelled words, poor grammar and wrong punctuation, not to many would post again. Not everyone is an expert writer, but at least they are expressing themselves none the less.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

    • Stephanie Kienzle April 28, 2014 11:54 am Reply

      You’re absolutely right! I don’t do that because I appreciate everyone who comments, whether or not I agree with them. I only sharpen my Grammar Nerd red pencil for people who really piss me off. Everyone else gets a pass.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  5. NMB Lady April 28, 2014 11:21 am Reply

    To NMB Pride: You commented “if there were “thousands” that made this city a better place to live in, most must be residents that take care of their properties, pay their water bill regularly, and return their library books on time.” You are wrong. They live among you feeding the homeless, repairing houses, planting gardens, cleaning up parks, driving the elderly to appointments, teaching in after-school programs. They are the fabric of our community and you should realize they are here. Some of them are also employees for the city who volunteer extra hours to make our city a better place. Stephanie, I care desperately about “garbage” and the workers in our sanitation department. I do not believe we gain anything by privatizing public services that are paid for with public monies. The first problem is the profit motive. There is nothing wrong with the American dream, working hard for a better life, but I do have an issue with my city using public tax dollars to prop-up a private company. You want to privatize? Fine. Negotiate directly with the customer. I want twice a week garbage pick-up and twice monthly bulk trash haul-away. How much is that? I will pay the man with the truck, no problem, but just don’t ask me so subsidize the CEO of a major waste management corporation who makes his money paying lower wages than the city would dare. I detest these hybrid private/public situations
    that only work in favor of the corporate swells and the dudes making the deals. Another not so pleasant consequence of dancing with the private devil is the lack of transparency. What does a private company pay its directors as compared to the drivers? What is the turnover rate of the employees? What kind of benefits do they offer? What else do they own? They don’t have to tell us because they are privately owned..kinda, sorta.
    Finally, “Grammar Nazis” is the term most use to describe individuals who get inordinate satisfaction pointing out the typos and mistakes of people who are simply commenting on an issue about which they care deeply-except for D-Heads like the student. He deserved every red slash. Oh, and Peter, thank you for your service.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Stephanie Kienzle April 28, 2014 11:50 am Reply

      There was a reason I steered clear of the issue. Thanks for reminding me.

      I also refrained from using the word “Nazi,” although that reason should have been obvious.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • NMB Pride April 28, 2014 6:37 pm Reply

      Seriously T.C.? Friends or not, you have an organization that is suppose to be unbiased and made up of other individuals in the area not just one! You most likely weren’t around in the past to see this. And if he thought his “friends” were making a difference here in NMB then please tell us why we have had to make so many changes in our city over the past 6 years?
      As far as districting, that could potentially destroy our city. I could care less where my elected officials come from as long as they represent the entire city and obviously that they are honest, dedicated and smart. Have you seen the residents that run for office? Imagine if you district. The choices we’ll be that much less. Good grief!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      • Stephanie Kienzle April 28, 2014 7:12 pm Reply

        I have to agree with you about the districting issue, and I would add one more reason. Over in North Miami, each council member has his or her own district, except for the mayor, who represents the city at large. Have you ever watched one of their meetings where they fight over the spoils for their own specific district? I have and it’s not pretty. Phyllis once made a comment about just that, and I had to agree with her. It’s more important that each representative answers to the entire electorate rather than to one specific neighborhood. Just my humble opinion, of course.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    • NMB Pride April 28, 2014 6:39 pm Reply

      To NMB Lady: I was directing my comments to Mr. Roland and I believe he was replying about those residents that volunteer for the city itself (aka committees, boards etc.) not within the community or outside of the community. I would never, ever insinuate that the very people you speak of are not the very ones that make up the fabric of a community.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. NMB Lady April 28, 2014 1:58 pm Reply

    Never known you to be PC. Sometimes English is a stupid language. Did you know the word “graffiti” is plural – “Graffito” is its singular form. Code Enforcement should incorporate this word, as in “Please remove the graffito from the side of your house”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    • Stephanie Kienzle April 28, 2014 2:06 pm Reply

      Just because I’m not PC doesn’t mean I’m not capable of being nice. You don’t give me enough credit.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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