Minor Greivance

Well, I did finally get a confirmation on the start date for my new job. Monday, but instead of putting me to work on my shift, they want me from 0800 to 1700 M-F for the first week, because that's when the regulars (non-contract) will be there to train me. Not a bad idea, it's just that now I'm going to have to flip back to a day schedule since I had already changed to my "normal" mode of staying up all night. Oh well, should be interesting nonetheless, though traffic is probably going to have a little extra helping of suck added on to it.

I was reading a book today and couldn't help but notice that the author kept referring to the brakes on a character's car as "breaks." I hate it when things like that happen. It breaks up the whole flow of the story for me. Things like this jump out at me and kill whatever other mental processes are going on at the time. It's not really much, but it does lower my overall enjoyment of the experience. Now in normal amateur writings (like blogs or forum posts for instance) I really don't mind this, and to a certain extent expect it. But in a novel put out by a publisher that has presumably been gone over by professional editors and through several readings this sort of thing shouldn't happen.

I notice small spelling and grammatical mistakes quite often, and in some rather unusual places. I suppose I have my mother the english teacher to thank for this. I do make it a point not to correct the individual unless of course I have been asked to proofread or edit. I suppose that would make me a closet grammar-nazi. I notice the mistakes, and as loudly as I'm screaming profanities against the abuser within my mind, but I don't point them out in any sort of public way. I suppose I could blame the education system for failing to teach these people proper spelling and grammar, but that would be too easy. Granted, the education system in this country is far from ideal, but I believe that it is merely indicative of a greater societal problem. Nobody cares about spelling or grammar anymore. Especially with the texting and internet focus of our younger members where the idea is to get across a complete idea using as few keystrokes as possible. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing as it takes a little bit of critical thinking ability to figure out what "gtgttyl" actually means, but I think it's a poor substitute for actual communication.

Which brings me to my next topic. I don't like communicating with people unless it's face to face and in person. My preferences for talking to another individual would be as follows, from most preferred to least: In person, telephone, webcam, e-mail, chat, writing a letter, semaphore, smoke signals, texting, carrier pigeon. In a face to face conversation you can impart more information in a shorter time than any other listed mode, not just with your words, but with body language, tone, intonation, and whatever other subtle cues you may not even realize you are sending or receiving. Telephone would be next because although you lose the visual medium, you are still able to hear inflection and intonation. Webcam would actually be one higher if it weren't for two things, it pretty much means you're rooted to one spot, and it's still not perfected resulting in flat sounds and choppy motion. E-mail, while chopping off both the visual and audible aspects, still allows for full words and sentences, plus it has the added benefit of contemplation of what you are saying and your word choices before you send them. Chat would be another one that could be higher, but people tend to focus more on the instantaneous aspect than the communication aspect, typing in shorthand, or worse, in a group chat, everyone talking at once. Letter writing might be higher given that it has the potential for hand-writing and thus imparting some sense of the personal, but it takes too long (relatively) and is expensive (again, relatively). Semaphore and smoke signals, while impractical would still re-incorporate the visual aspect. Texting... texting could be a lot higher on my list, but the modern attitudes towards it are just abysmal, basically, you only really text when you have a cell phone, so why not just give me a call and allow for more information to be exchanged in a shorter period of time with more personality behind it as well. Carrier pigeon would be the archaic version of texting, 'nuff said.

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