Language (General)

I’m a Pedantic, Pretentious Bitch

There. I said it. Vocabulary mix ups and grammar slips drive me insane. Not necessarily in conversation. You can’t be expected to speak with absolute perfection in an off the cuff chat.

I do have problems with misuse of words on sites were someone is supposedly being proofread. Over the last few years I’ve noticed that loath and loathe are constantly mixed up. And I loathe it. Of course, I am loath to complain because I mess things up all the time. I am far from being a writer. I just let my fingers fly. But this error in particular is getting on my last nerve. Mainly because it makes me doubt myself. Every.damn.time.

Seriously. I see some one write “I loath peas. I have never been able to eat them.” and my eye starts to twitch. Then I start to doubt my very knowledge of the two words. I will google “loath vs loathe” and breathe a sigh of relief. Whew. I *do* still know the difference. Still, why is the error being made so often? Or do I just notice it more?

And why am a such a judgemental bitch about it?

Tune in next time for rein vs reign (and my embarrassment at discovering I made the mistake!)

Note: You can bet your sweet bippy I tried to proofread this post. But we all know what happens when you are proofreading your own work, right? Oh, and karma is a judgemental bitch too, so I’m watching out for her 🙂

Life, The Universe and Everything

Why I Hate Math(s)

Confession: I suck at math. Really suck. Somehow I’ve gotten through life and gotten a college degree without officially taking algebra. Some concepts of algebra may have been covered during that remedial math class I had to take before taking “Math for Elementary Ed Majors”, but algebra has never graced my transcript. (And yes, “Math for Elementary Ed Majors” did feel a bit like code for “Math for Stupid People” and yes we were all insulted by it.)

So I decided to fix my deficiency. The Calculus teacher at my school agreed to help me out. Poor guy. So we get rolling and he gives me my first set of homework problems. I’m feeling pretty good and he gives me a second. And there are fractions…multiplication and division of fractions.

I panicked. I don’t even remember how to add and subtract them! (See “I suck at math” above.) So I pulled out an old 6th grade math textbook and got to work. (I have no idea why I even have a 6th grade math book.)

I guess I don’t really hate math, but now that I’m going back and trying to make up for my deficiency I’m starting to see where all my confidence issues may have started and where I got lost.

I’ll submit as evidence this picture:

See that last problem? 399 over 32??? Ugly. Just not pretty. I was clicking along feeling pretty good about myself and then I started getting answers like 156 over 63 and 399 over 32.  It just seems wrong to start a kid off with all these even numbers that simplify like a dream and then throw that crap at them. No wonder I started thinking I sucked at math. These were not easily simplified and who the hell ever uses fractions like that? I must have it all wrong, right? (And I probably do.)

But I’m not giving up. When I’m done with 6th grade math I’m going for the gold with Algebra and Geometry. I’ve got my books ready!

Maaaath

Books and Reading

Library Stories 

I have to make a confession.

I’m almost 50 years old and in my lifetime I’ve barely used the library. I absolutely love the idea of the public library. It’s fundamental to democracy and literacy. I just don’t use it much. Partly because I’m lazy (ugh. Get dressed? Go somewhere?) And partly because I just read so damn slow and in the past I just never knew what I was in the mood to read. But I decided to get off my ass after I heard about The Budget Cuts. The Library needs me!!

The first step I took was to get in the habit of always checking my library catalog online before going to Amazon. For the most part this works. I’ve got a shortcut on my phone home screen and I can sign in and add a book to my library wish list wherever I am. Still it’s been a little frustrating.

Even with Hoopla and Overdrive, my library doesn’t seem to have a lot of recent bestsellers and books I like to call viral (you know what I’m talking about…the ones that are all over Goodreads and Litsy for a period of time until the next one comes along.) Worse, I would sometimes find the book, but they only had it in CD format. Maybe I’m not understanding something, but it still feels strange to me that The Mothers by Brit Bennett was only purchased on CD. Of course the Littens helped me out. Many asked if I could get in interlibrary loan.

Next confession: I had to get the school librarian to show me how to request an interlibrary loan.  I decided to request You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain from a library about two hours away. (The Mothers? Oh. Um. Yeah. I had already purchased it…) We hit “request” and I didn’t get anything. No confirmation e-mail, no “success!” pop up. We both found it odd, shrugged our shoulders and moved on.

Fast forward a week or two…

I get a call. It’s not a number I recognize so hell no I’m not picking it up. They left a voicemail. It was the library. First they apologized for not getting back to me sooner. Then they explained that they had received my request, but since the book was so new they weren’t able to get it. Books less than a year old are generally not eligible for ILL. BUT they were going to order the book for our library because it was one they really should have. Since I was the one who requested it, they will contact me as soon as it comes in!

I am in awe. I am cynical by nature so when all the Littens were saying that libraries really want to help the patrons and get what they want I sort of scoffed. I have been proven gloriously wrong.