Posts Tagged 'If you use the wrong word I will make fun of you'

Please stop abusing the hyphens

What-if we lived in a-world where people knew-how-to use hyphens-correctly? Can you-imagine how fucking-wonderful-that-world-would be? I can-barely-contain-my-excitement-at-the-thought.

Okay, I think I killed too many brain cells doing that.

One of my pet peeves related to grammar is hyphen usage, or the complete general ignorance of how to use hyphens correctly. I give a certain amount of leeway when it comes to these things on the Internet. The Internet is universal, so you can’t expect everyone to know every nuance of every language. So if I see a poor, abused hyphen, I’ll just cringe and move on. Frankly, even though I’m a copy editor for a living, I HATE when people have to comment on someone’s blog or another comment correcting someone’s grammar or spelling. FUCKING LET IT GO. Breaking news: In a casual setting like the Internet, it’s a fruitless argument. Sure, some people are impossible to understand because of the grievous mistakes they make, but trust me, it’s better that way. And odds are they won’t appreciate your nitpicking and you won’t educate them or change their minds. It will just turn into a flame war. LET IT GO. I do, even though some mistakes I see are just laughable.

But when it comes to my job, or business e-mails, I cannot STAND misused hyphens. What did the hyphens ever do to these people? Why do they have to be tortured like this and randomly stuck between words where they don’t belong or left out when they’re needed? PLEASE BE GENTLE WITH THEM. THEY’RE JUST TINY BITS OF PUNCTUATION. THEY CANNOT DEFEND THEMSELVES.

Now, I will admit that the rules of hyphen use are some of the most ambiguous around. But by utilizing a dictionary and a style guide, you really cannot go wrong. Some words always have hyphens in them, such as jump-start. Some words will only have hyphens when they are jointly modifying another word, like slow-witted employee. The general rule is that they should be used to avoid confusion or ambiguity. Now that can mean different things for different people. But it’s still not a hard rule to follow. While I might find the term sea-surface temperature to be ambiguous and thus need a hyphen, others might think sans hyphen—sea surface temperature—is just fine. Its presence or absence is not bothersome there. I’m talking about examples like in my opening paragraph, where the hyphens are serving no purpose and are extraordinarily annoying. STOP HARASSING MY EYES WITH UNNECESSARY HYPHENS, ASSHOLES.

For-example, you never need-a hyphen in a sentence-like-this-one. Ugh, typing that made me nauseous. I mean…I feel like anyone with even a most BASIC grasp of the English language—and this means everyone for whom it is a first language—should see why that first sentence is just vile, and it’s all because people insist on abusing the poor hyphens. If you’re not sure if a hyphen is appropriate, USE A FUCKING DICTIONARY. Sometimes they do belong in odd places (like jump-start; most people write it as one word). And there are some times you NEVER need them. You should never use them on an adverb that ends in -ly. So “perfectly laid plan” does not ever need a hyphen. STEP BACK. I SEE YOU EYEING IT. PUT THE HYPHEN DOWN.

But a little research on this can take you a long way. Most people don’t give two shits about their communication skills to even care; hell, if people can’t be bothered to type “you” instead of “u” (barf), I guess I can’t expect them to care about hyphens. But, frankly, I’d rather they NOT BE USED than be overused in the way that they often are. It verges on a felony, the way they’re abused.

I won’t get into all the time/reasons/places to use or not use hyphens, because this isn’t a copy editing blog. I’m just saying, if you have even one brain cell left, please put it to work learning how to use hyphens.

And don’t Even get me Started on random Capitalization of words. ARGH. I have to go lie down before my brain explodes.

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Bumper stickers are like an early warning system…

…for stupidity. This way I can tell without even meeting someone if they are, or are related to, a moron. Gauging intelligence is just about the only benefit that bumper stickers offer. And let me tell you, from reading some of the bumper stickers on the cars in this area, I’ve discovered that Significant Other and I unwittingly moved to Conservative Crazypants town. Hooray for us.

I’m just going to go one by one in convenient list form to avoid getting so worked up that my brain explodes. I’ve linked to images below, but they are not necessarily the exact bumper sticker I saw, although the phrase is exactly as I saw it (I may or may not have copied them down the minute I saw them. I ADMIT NOTHING).

  1. Keep Christ in Christmas.
      Significant Other can attest to the fit I threw when I saw this bumper sticker. This is just one of the most asinine things to come out of public discourse in years. It ties into my pet peeve of people in a majority acting like they’re persecuted. Breaking news: If you’re in the majority, you cannot be ostracized. It doesn’t work that way. So, Christians, sorry to burst your bubble, but nobody is trying to take “Christ” out of “Christmas.” 

      FIRST OF ALL, he wasn’t in Christmas to begin with. Let’s be serious here, okay? The only assholes who don’t know by now that “Christmas” used to be a Pagan holiday that was appropriated by the Christians are just in denial. So you can’t really take something out that wasn’t there to begin with. But for centuries now, Christmas has been what it is currently (maybe not with the crazy gift giving, but with the Christian religion, I mean), so even if we’re throwing the appropriation factor aside, there are still other issues.

      SECOND, nobody is trying to take “Christ” out of “Christmas.” If my memory serves me right, this fucking hoopla started when people wanted to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” to be all inclusive and not assume that the person they’re talking to is a fucking Christian. BUT FOR SOME REASON BEING INCLUSIVE IS A TERRIBLE THING! May we be struck down if we want to acknowledge the fact that there are other holidays that occur near the end of December! IT MEANS WE ARE TRYING TO PERSECUTE CHRISTIANS!

      Okay, read that paragraph again and then try to explain how it makes sense. You won’t be able to, because it DOESN’T. Trying to be all inclusive is just that—INCLUDING EVERYONE. “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” ENCOMPASSES ALL THE FUCKING HOLIDAYS, ASSHOLES. THAT MEANS CHRISTMAS TOO. So take your “Keep Christ in Christmas” bullshit and shove it, because it’s ridiculous.

      THIRD, and last on this topic so I can get through the other bumper stickers before I have an aneurysm, the people who want to say “Happy Holidays” in a department store just want people to have a happy fucking holiday regardless of their religion. Nobody is trying to remove the Christian religion from the sentiment of their version of Christmas. I never see bumper stickers that say “Keep Christ Out of Christmas.” It’s a non-issue. NOBODY IS FUCKING WITH YOUR HOLIDAY, OKAY? SO STOP ACTING LIKE THAT’S WHAT’S GOING ON. In other words, get the fuck over yourselves.

  2. Protect the Unborn. (Google images failed me on this one.)
      Ugh, this one. THIS ONE. I haven’t gotten around to writing my rant about abortion rights, but I’ll give you the short of it up front: I am pro-choice. Anyone who is not pro-choice is ANTI-CHOICE. They are not pro-life. If you’re pro-life, that should mean you are pro-letting people do whatever they want with their lives, meaning other people can get abortions if they want. But if you are anti-abortion, you are ANTI-CHOICE. You are trying to restrict other people’s lives and choices. 

      Now that we’re clear on terminology, this bumper sticker boils my blood. Mostly because the people who want to “protect the unborn” don’t give a shit about the billions of people who are already on the planet. Protect that lump of cells in some random woman’s uterus, but don’t provide universal health care or expand welfare or unemployment! Don’t help people who had that baby actually take care of it! These assholes don’t give two shits about the already born. They just care about imposing their personal beliefs on everyone else. Breaking news: Just because abortion is an option doesn’t mean you need to choose it. But it means that someone else can choose it if they want! FANCY THAT.

      I’m a big fan of the “it’s none of your damn business” concept. It’s none of my fucking business who gets abortions. It’s not going to affect me or my life, but it may help improve the life of the woman getting an abortion. So it really pisses me off when people try to stick their nose into someone else’s business pretending to be all concerned about health or safety or whatever, when really they are just self-righteous assholes who can’t stand the idea of someone else, anywhere, doing something they don’t like.

      And I’m sorry (no I’m not) if I think the life of the already-existing woman is more important than the current non-life of her (not a person yet, sorry folks) fetus. I’m sorry (again, no) if I think that a woman shouldn’t be punished for having sex by having to birth a child. I’m sorry (getting the sarcasm point now, I hope?) if I think women should have complete control over their reproductive health and use of their reproductive organs. I’m sorry that I don’t think there should be a law that interferes with women making their own decisions.

      Breaking news: Women are completely capable of making their own decisions and weighing their own pros and cons in any situation, including when considering abortion. And one woman’s pro and con list will differ from another’s! GO FIGURE; WOMEN ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS.

      So fuck off with your “Protect the Unborn” shit. Let’s first take care of the teeming mass of people already on the planet, and then we’ll talk. We’re not in danger of going extinct of our own volition any time soon.

  3. I Don’t Believe the Liberal Media.
      HOORAY FOR YOU; WOULD YOU LIKE A COOKIE? So what media do you believe, then? Because I was ALWAYS taught that taking everything I see on any news channel or in any newspaper at face value is AN EXCELLENT IDEA! So do you believe everything Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly spout out of their putrid mouths? THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT PLAN. 

      Look. I’m not going to argue if the media is liberal or conservative, because it’s a futile argument that cannot be won. If you watch a news program and a comment is made you don’t agree with, you’re going to call them the opposite of what you are. Ideally the news would be fair and balanced, but anyone with half a brain knows that’s not true no matter WHAT program you’re watching. But taking what pundits say at face value without doing your own research and investigating to form your own opinion is just idiotic. Breaking news: Use your own fucking brain to form your own fucking opinions. CRAZY, I KNOW. Because pundits are paid to get ratings and cause drama, basically, and spout their own opinions. And a lot of them have opinions that aren’t based on facts or logic. And then that idiocy spreads like wildfire and people like me with an iota of intelligence are left to weep in the corner.

      So while I think saying the media is “liberal” is just laughable, my real problem is that the people who would put that bumper sticker on their car obviously didn’t think twice before doing so. Because guess what? FOX news, Glenn Beck et al., are PART OF THE MEDIA. So how can “the media” be “liberal” if THESE KNOWN CONSERVATIVE PEOPLE/STATIONS EXIST. Just…just something to consider, there. It’s not like FOX is an underground, unpopular station. It’s one of the highest-rated news stations lately. So, uh…hm. How can I put this politely? Your fucking logic fail is showing.

  4. Born Free. Taxed to Death.
      Boo hoo. You like to enjoy things like libraries and highways and public education and the fire department, but you don’t want to pay your damn taxes in order to get these public services. Woe is you! Your life is so hard! You have to pay taxes like every other fucking adult in America! 

      Suck it up, asshole. Pretty much by the time I was 12, before I even had a job, I knew that taxes existed and that someday I would have to pay them. Nobody LIKES to pay taxes, but some of us understand it’s a necessary evil. Because while I hope I never need my local fire department, I sure as hell want them available to me if I do. Or the police, for that matter. And I went through public school and came out just fine (not to say improvements couldn’t be made). And I like having libraries and paved roads. And I don’t mind paying a school tax even though I don’t have children. HOLY HELL, I MUST BE A SOCIALIST BECAUSE I DON’T WHINE AND COMPLAIN ABOUT A REALLY VERY TINY FRACTION OF MY PAYCHECK BEING USED TO BENEFIT SOCIETY. BURN ME AT THE STAKE IMMEDIATELY!

      People who complain about taxes are immature assholes who have no idea how any level of government works. If we took away everything that taxes pay for, these assholes would be the first to complain about the disrepair of all the roads or that they can’t afford to send their kids to a fancy private school and there’s no public option available. Part of being an adult is paying taxes. And America’s tax rates aren’t the worst in the world. Why don’t you complain about politicians who waste the tax money on vacations or private jets instead? Maybe if they didn’t guzzle this “free money” down, it could be used to improve things that really need it, like education. STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT THE WRONG ISSUE, ASSHOLES. ARGH. Taxes do SO MUCH to make our lives easier, and people would rather whine about it than use their brains to think about it. And the only thing that makes something bad worse is when people complain incessantly about it. It’s like being stuck at the airport security line behind the guy who has to complain THE WHOLE TIME about how inconvenient it is to have to take off his shoes. Yeah, we all know it’s inconvenient. But your complaining DOES NOT HELP.

      Breaking news: Everyone thinks taxes, in general, suck. But they are necessary (no, really), so the fucking mature adults among us have learned to let it go. If you value your life, you will stop complaining about taxes, because I have about reached my limit when it comes to hearing (or reading) people complain about this. Do a little research into what your fucking taxes pay for, and then think how often you or someone you’re related to or someone you don’t know uses and benefits from those services, and then think how much harder everyone’s life would be without them.

      If your brain survives that little mental exercise of THINKING ABOUT SOMEONE OTHER THAN YOURSELF FOR TEN SECONDS, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE LEARNED HOW TO THINK LIKE AN ADULT.

      If not, no one is mourning your loss. Trust me.

_____

Oh, my bad. Did my fucking logic just burst your Conservative Crazypants bubble? It’s OK to cry. That way I know I’ve done my job.

We’ll be there between now and the end of time

Someone please tell me what the point is of making an appointment if you’re just going to show up whenever the fuck you feel like it?

Oh wait, no one can tell me the point because THERE ISN’T ONE.

Unsurprisingly, home ownership comes with a lot of responsibilities. When we moved in, we knew that one of our bathtubs (don’t get excited; we have two, not ten) would need to be reglazed because it was rusted around the drain. So two weeks ago I called a place and made AN APPOINTMENT.

Friends, let’s turn to the trusted Merriam-Webster yet again for the definition of APPOINTMENT, just to make sure we’re all on the same page:

Main Entry: ap·point·ment
Pronunciation: \ə-ˈpȯint-mənt\
Function: noun
Date: 15th century

1 a : an act of appointing : designation b : the designation by virtue of a vested power of a person to enjoy an estate
2 : an arrangement for a meeting : engagement <an appointment for an interview>
3 : equipmentfurnishings —usually used in plural <expensive homes with luxurious appointments>
4 : a nonelective office or position <holds an academic appointment>

I am referring to definition 2, in case that wasn’t obvious. I was under the impression that when this company told me someone would be coming at 9AM today, they meant 9AM in REALITY. Maybe that was my mistake. I didn’t realize they meant 9AM in some ALTERNATE DIMENSION where it is really 1:45PM here in the real world. Maybe this company is an affiliate of NBCSports!

Luckily I already work from home most the time now, so at least it wasn’t a waste of a day off or anything. And, to this company’s credit, they did call me multiple times throughout the day to let me know they were delayed; apparently one of their people called out sick so they were short-staffed. I can sympathize. But I almost wish they hadn’t been quite so good at keeping in touch, because it resulted in this:

9:15AM
Phone: Rings.
Anger Ball: Answers.
Company Representative: Explains one of their guys called out so they’re sending someone else who should arrive at 9:30.

10:30AM
Phone: Rings.
Anger Ball: Answers.
Company Worker: Explains that he has been assigned to my APPOINTMENT and that he should arrive between 12 and 12:30, but that he’ll call when he’s on his way.

1:20PM
Phone: Rings.
Anger Ball: Answers.
Company Worker: Says he is 20 minutes away.

He did arrive within 20 minutes that last time. But for obvious reasons, most of my day was spent yelling “WHERE THE FUCK IS THIS GUY?!” or being placated by YET ANOTHER PHONE CALL from them.

I’m sorry if I’m used to the REAL WORLD where when an appointment is made, it means that a service will be rendered at that time. And it’s not like they gave me a RANGE originally: they were supposed to come at 9. It’s not like the cable company where they say “We’ll be there between 10AM today and 10PM in three days,” because then at least you know your entire week is going to be spent waiting for these assholes. Since I had what I thought was a concrete appointment, I was expecting a service to be provided at 9AM. NOT FOUR HOURS LATER.

But mostly the reason this is irritating is that it doesn’t work the other way around. I know of a few comedians who have addressed this point, but it’s fucking true. If I hadn’t been home at 9AM and the guy actually showed up on time, I couldn’t call him and be like “Oh, I’m running two hours behind, the bank took longer than I thought. I’ll be there between 11 and 11:30, I think, but I’ll call when I’m nearby.” Ha. That asshole would get in his truck and drive off and probably I’d still be charged for an appointment. Yet I cannot charge them money for being late, which seems unfair. I think when something like this happens, at least $10 should be deducted from the price for every hour they’re late. I don’t think that’s unreasonable in this situation. Look, I understand that this is the nature of jobs like this: you don’t always know exactly how long a task is going to take because it depends on the situation. But then give me a time RANGE instead of implying that you will show up at a specific time. At least then I might be angry (because I’m pretty much angry all the time) but I would know ahead of time that you might show up between 9 and 3 instead of expecting you at 9, then 10, then 12 because that’s what you keep telling me. I wouldn’t need hourly status updates if you were just honest in the first place and gave me a time range, because that inherently implies uncertainty. Plus, it’s nice to know in advance when something’s going to be fucking annoying and take all day.

Oh, also, you wouldn’t look like as much of an asshole when you’re late.

That is the exact opposite of what you mean

Breaking news: Specific words have specific meanings.

I know, I know, I just shattered your world. But I’m not sorry. Because this bullshit has got to stop.

You know what I don’t find amusing? When I am told one thing by someone when they mean the opposite. Everyone has probably heard someone rant about the usage of literally vs. figuratively, so I’m not going to talk about that here (at least right now). But I have a prime example of something even stupider.

Anyone who knows me (and now even people who don’t!) knows that the only sport I give a shit about is tennis. It’s the sport that I grew up playing with my dad, grandfather and grandmother. I played on the team in middle school, high school and college. I watch every Grand Slam I can. I go to the US Open as often as possible. I’ve even been to Wimbledon once. I love this sport.

When Significant Other and I moved, we decided to ditch cable, because let’s face it: It’s fucking expensive and most shows you can watch on Hulu and most movies you can get from Netflix. So why pay $100/month for channels we’re never going to watch? It doesn’t make sense.

For those who don’t know, Wimbledon is going on right now. And the semifinals were yesterday and today and the finals are this weekend. Today, I wanted to watch the matches instead of just seeing the live scores, but NBC owns the airing rights in the U.S. to, I believe, all the Grand Slams. WORST IDEA EVER. Here’s why:

So much lying!

Lies, lies and more lies

They are liars.

You may wonder what exactly is wrong with this image. Well, lucky for you I’m here to fucking break it down. First off, Wimbledon takes place in England, which is FIVE HOURS AHEAD of the U.S. Often the matches start in the late morning/early afternoon U.K. time.

Do you see the problem yet? No? Let me break it down even further.

I took this screencap today around 11AM U.S. time. After the first men’s semifinal match had concluded and the second semifinal match was about to start. But NBC says their “live” stream schedule is 12-5 Eastern Time.

HOW IS THAT LIVE?! Breaking news: It isn’t live if it’s shown on a fucking delay, assholes. That is the exact opposite of the meaning of “live”. At first I thought maybe there had to be a delay to account for transmitting the signal across the ocean, but that’s bullshit. Today, the first semifinal match started at 8AM ET time (1PM at Wimbledon). But NBC wasn’t offering “live” streaming until 12PM (5PM at Wimbledon).

Hm. That’s an interesting use of the word live.

Then I thought, maybe they’ll be showing the second semifinal live, even though they’d be picking it up after the start. So I checked around 1PM (at the same time watching the live score update on Wimbledon’s website, so I knew that they were in the third set at this point). Lo and behold, NBC is showing the second set, which had ended about 30 minutes earlier, and for which I ALREADY KNEW THE RESULT. What the fuck?

THAT IS NOT WHAT “LIVE” MEANS. YOU ARE SHOWING THE VIDEO ON A DELAY. YOU ARE NOT FOOLING ANYONE.*

Now, I can understand why people sometimes use a word incorrectly. It still drives me crazy, but I certainly do not have impeccable grammar in conversation, so I don’t expect other people to (although that is slightly different than using a word incorrectly, but my point is I’m not as much of a stickler during conversation). But a corporation like NBC should be able to invest in a fucking dictionary in order to figure this shit out. Hell, they don’t even need to BUY a dictionary now. There are multiple websites that serve as dictionaries! So NBC is pretty much just a bunch of fucking liars and/or lazy assholes at this point. I clicked on their video link expecting to see LIVE VIDEO, and instead it was a set behind the action. A WHOLE SET. Not even like two or three games, which could be chalked up to an unavoidable delay because of distance. But this is just NBC being a bunch of assholes. Or, if for some reason their five-hour delay really is unavoidable (HA, try to convince me of THAT), they should MAKE THAT CLEAR. Because right now they just come across as liars or idiots, or both.

But aside from the fact that they are using the wrong word, they also need to get with reality. Breaking news: It is 2010. There is no excuse to 1) be lying about “live” video and 2) purposely delay your coverage just to be assholes to people who do not have cable. This actually doesn’t make me want to purchase cable and it certainly does not endear NBC to me. SO THERE IS NO FUCKING POINT TO THIS STRATEGY, except to make me glad that I don’t pay for NBC anymore.

I’m tempted to purchase a pocket dictionary and send it to NBCSport’s office. Although I wonder if anyone there would even know what it was or how to use it.

*Okay, maybe they’re fooling really stupid people, but that hardly counts.

EDIT: Oh look, The New York Times agrees with me! SUCK ON THAT, NBC!

Cell phones are dangerous to public health

Because they make me want to punch people. This is clearly dangerous to the general population.

Don’t misunderstand me. I own and use a cell phone every day. In fact, I don’t even have a house phone anymore. The cell phone is my primary line. But I fucking have some decency when I use the damn thing. For example, I don’t use it in public restrooms.

The idea of talking on the phone while I am on the toilet makes me physically ill. It’s fucking gross, people. But you know what? If you want to do it in the privacy of your own home, that’s none of my damned business. Have a fucking teleconference while you’re taking a dump if you want; I don’t care as long as I’m not participating in that teleconference. But when you are in the office, it is NEVER OKAY TO TALK ON YOUR CELL PHONE WHEN YOU’RE IN THE BATHROOM. NEVER. There is no phone call important enough to justify this. It doesn’t matter if you’re actually using the bathroom or just in there loitering to talk on your phone. It is NOT APPROPRIATE in either instance. Because even if you aren’t using the bathroom, other people are. Maybe multiple people, since there’s more than one stall. In fact, that’s even MORE creepy than if you were using the toilet too. Instead, you’re talking to your friend on the phone and possibly transmitting the sounds of other people’s bathroom use. ISN’T THAT GROSS?! Even thinking about it feels gross. So just cut it the fuck out. Our office has a lobby for you to go take your personal calls in. Let me do my fucking bathroom business in peace.

Another thing I don’t do with my cell phone: Have loud conversations in public.

Breaking news: Nobody wants to hear your whole conversation, not to mention only your half of the conversation. It’s bad enough having to listen to some of the dumbass things people choose to say aloud when they’re with their friends. I don’t want to hear the dumbass things you’re saying over your phone. I understand that sometimes people do need to take a call in public for whatever reason, but there is never a need to fucking yell into the phone, for one. And for two, about 75% of the people who answer phones in public don’t need to. Ever. Few people are actually that important. Deal with it. Personally, I don’t want 100 strangers hearing any part of my conversation, no matter how inane it is. I wish other people felt the same way. But everyone thinks they’re so fucking important, so of course they’re always going to answer their phone. You’re not fooling anyone, though. Nobody thinks you’re cool or popular. Especially if you don’t have an indoor or private voice. If you’re talking so loud that everyone in the subway car or on the sidewalk can hear you, you need to tone it down. NOBODY ELSE IS AS INTERESTED IN YOUR LIFE AS YOU ARE.

Plus, it’s really hard for me to resist the urge to point out to people when they use a word incorrectly. If they’re talking loud enough for me to hear, I can only assume that they want me to participate in their conversation, but most people don’t seem to appreciate when I try to butt in. IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO PARTICIPATE THEN KEEP YOUR DAMN CONVERSATION TO YOURSELF.

The final cell phone issue I will cover today is: I try to avoid texting or talking on the phone while I’m walking.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Most people cannot even think and breathe at the same time, so trying to talk or text while walking is like doing a triathlon for the average person. Just today, trying to walk from my office to the subway, I nearly kneecapped three people for this offense. It starts out fine; we’re all moving at a reasonable walking pace, and then suddenly the person in front of me almost comes to a dead stop, then starts walking again, then stops. Like they’re a fucking wind-up toy that needs someone to turn the key again. I don’t even have to check anymore; I always know immediately that when someone does this, it means they just pulled out their fucking smart phone or whatever and started checking their e-mail or texting their friend. You know what? Put the fucking phone away until you’re waiting for a crosswalk signal or you’re on your train, because it’s obviously too much of a challenge for you to use technology while walking. There’s a whole fucking world around you that does not revolve around you and your social schedule, so get a fucking move on when you’re in public. Detach yourself from the phone for ten fucking seconds so that you can walk down one city block without looking like you’re having a seizure of some kind. That text message? It can wait. Trust me. It’s for your own good.

I guess most of my problems with people’s cell phone etiquette (because you better believe I have more than the ones covered here) is that they have none. I think cell phones are great, I really do, but I wish people weren’t so fucking addicted to them. They’re always out—on the subway, while people are walking, while they’re talking to a friend face-to-face—it’s obnoxious. Put the fucking thing on silent and stick it in your pocket for an hour. Maybe then you’ll remember how to use your brain again.

Nice try, you lying assholes

Today, friends, we are going to talk about advertisements I see on public transportation. Well, really, we’re going to talk about one ad in particular that pisses me off every fucking time I see it, because they’re trying to capitalize on controversy to sound like they’re being really generous.

The ad is a lie!

Hint: None of those is an alternative to abortion

If you will look to the right, you will see the ad in question. Sorry for the blurry photo, but I was standing at the time and also trying not to get too many people in the photo. I cut out the phone numbers because they are not relevant to my rant, but otherwise this photo is unaltered. If you can’t read it, it says:

FREE ABORTION ALTERNATIVES

  • FREE Confidential Options Counseling
  • FREE Pregnancy Tests
  • FREE Ultrasounds

Doesn’t that sound generous? All of these abortion alternatives are being offered for FREE!!!! It’s so wonderful!

Except for one tiny problem: THOSE ARE NOT ALTERNATIVES TO ABORTION. ARGH.

This ad seriously gives me an aneurysm every time I see it because it is just A FUCKING LIE. I know they did it on purpose to take advantage of people who are pregnant and conflicted about it and to also take advantage of the abortion “controversy” to try and make it seem like they are really generous, offering all these ALTERNATIVES for FREE. I just can’t even believe they’re allowed to put such a blatantly false advertisement out in public.

For those of you still unclear on my qualm, let’s go to Merriam-Webster to get the definition of “alternative”:

Main Entry: 2alternative
Function: noun
Date: 1624

1 a : a proposition or situation offering a choice between two or more things only one of which may be chosen b : an opportunity for deciding between two or more courses or propositions
2 a : one of two or more things, courses, or propositions to be chosen b : something which can be chosen instead <the only alternative to intervention>
3 : alternative rock music

synonyms see choice

That is copied and pasted right from the fucking dictionary website. Now, I like to think most the people reading this have at least two fucking brain cells to rub together, but I’m sure there’s at least one person who still fails to see the problem. So I made a handy flow chart to illustrate:

You're doing it right

As you can see, you have two choices once you are pregnant

If you are pregnant, you only have TWO FUCKING CHOICES. And that is to either to have a baby or to terminate the pregnancy. If you decide to abort, that’s the end of your choices at the moment. If you decide to have the baby, you can then decide to KEEP the baby or put it up for adoption. So now with this wonderful flow chart I created, and the definition of “alternative” provided by Merriam-Webster, any idiot can see that this advertisement is a fucking joke. But let’s break it down even further:

  • FREE Pregnancy Tests

The organization that created this advertisement clearly has no fucking idea of what parallel options or alternatives are. To them, an alternative to abortion is a pregnancy test! That’s interesting, because most women I know don’t think about getting an abortion at all unless they already know they are pregnant. So if you already know you’re fucking pregnant, why would you need a pregnancy test, free or otherwise? YOU ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THE PREGNANCY. A PREGNANCY TEST IS NOT AN ALTERNATIVE TO ABORTION. Jeeze, this one alone is giving me a conniption, it’s just so obviously fucking stupid. Who in their right mind would read that and think this was a good deal? Unless there are women out there who go around constantly thinking about abortions even if they aren’t pregnant, in which case my message to them is: Seek mental help immediately.

  • FREE Ultrasounds

Again, I think it’s pretty obvious that this is not an alternative to abortion. The choice is not “Hm, do I get an abortion or do I get an ultrasound?” It’s “DO I FUCKING HAVE THIS BABY OR NOT?” An ultrasound is irrelevant to that choice. It’s something you get done once you’ve decided to have the baby, or if you go to one of those fucking terrible clinics that make you have an ultrasound before you get an abortion to try and guilt you into keeping a baby you don’t want (but they’ll be damned if they help you out once you have the kid they made you feel guilty for wanting to abort! I don’t even know how those fucking places are allowed to exist, but I digress). It’s once again fucking painfully obvious that this organization is basically going to coerce you into having the baby whether you actually want it or not. Which brings me to the final bullet point:

  • FREE Confidential Options Counseling

Normally, I would say this is a good and beneficial service, because choosing to have a child or not is a big, life-altering decision, and if you are at all uncertain you definitely should talk to someone about it. BUT this organization has made it painfully obvious in less than 100 words on their advertisement that they don’t know anything about “options”. Their goal is to make you keep that baby no matter what, and I’ll bet anything their “counselors” don’t even talk about abortion as a viable option, but rather as a terrible crime. So they can take this “options counseling” and shove it up their fucking stupid asses, because it’s bullshit. If  they’re headlining this advertisement with a false statement that is not backed up by the information listed, I wouldn’t fucking trust these assholes to spell my name correctly, nonetheless try and counsel me on a major life decision.

So, let’s recap:

You're doing it wrong

You are doing it so, so wrong

Abortion, Ultrasound, Pregnancy Test and Counseling are NOT alternatives for one another. They are not alternatives for one another by any definition of the word “alternative” on any fucking planet in the universe. Next time you want to be ignorant, try to make it more subtle, because this is just painfully stupid.


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