Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lushes, Tweekers, and Nymphos are People Too

Education should benefit not just the  intelligent, the innocent, and the disciplined. It also should serve the stupid, the criminal, and the addicted.

What if that alcoholic serving time for a string of DUIs needs to communicate clearly in a letter to his family which of the prison's inmates is his new bitch and which of the inmates he is the bitch of? That could be critical if someone ends up pregnant.

And if that meth-head who can cook his own stuff without blowing off half of his arm could write an instruction manual, he'd not only save countless limbs, but make millions while doing it.

But, of all the addicts out there, Nymphomaniacs have a need for the mastery of language much more than any other. Matthew Cullinan Hoffman reported in Newsweek last year that "40 million people a day are logging into porn websites, (about 13% of the US population). Up to 9 million may qualify under the strict clinical definition of a 'sex addict'."  If nymphomania is going viral, the ability to express oneself in writing will become a must. Unlike the alcoholic rapist and the illegal chemist, nymphomaniacs feel safer broadcasting the different facets of their addictions because they aren't a felony.  

Just as knowledge of subject and direct object aids the alcoholic in the same way that mastery of transitional phrases and organization guides the meth-head, knowing what to do when you miss your period is key for the sex addict. Do you see that alcoholic crawling out from bar bathroom he passed out in to buy a copy of Strunk and White's Elements of Style?  A meth-head jamming cotton into his bleeding nostrils so he can go out and pick up Diana Hacker's A Writer's Reference?

That's why Jenny Baranick newly published book, Missed Periods and Grammar Scares, is brilliant. Not only does the title catch the eye (not the one-eyed monster, you pervert) but her examples and explanations of grammar basics revolve around two things that nyphos can relate to the most: sex and the drama that comes with it.

But, Baranick does not pigeonhole her market. Those lovely ladies who want to avoid being labelled a whore (and these days all a girl has to do is speak to more than one man within 30 minutes to be branded as such) need to know that even the smallest comma error can come back to haunt her. Take, for example, the following sentence from Missed Periods' chapter on commas:

Before you begin turning a trick is to find a spot on which to focus.

Forget the comma after "turning," a hooker's advice is befuddled by those extra words "is to." Knowing that a comma is necessary after "turning" will keep all those innocent and delicate ballerinas, well . . . innocent and delicate.

The title of Baranick's book may not immediately grab a man's attention, but the content is just as valuable.  Men are getting smarter and consulting their female friends when they are trumped up by love. But what if he texts this sentence (also taken from Missed Periods) to his homie with the double XX the day after his girlfriend (Kim) breaks up with him?

Do you think it was due to my pet python escaping daily requesting threesomes with her friends Laura and Samantha texting constantly while Kim and I were on dates or forgetting her birthday three years in a row that made Kim break up with me?

Receiver of said text can't offer her wisdom because she isn't even sure what question he's asking. Did Kim get the flock out because his python escaped daily? (Once would have been enough for me.) Or did Kim dump him because he daily requested threesomes? Did he want to have threesome with any of her friends or just Laura and Samantha? If he wanted to have threesomes with Laura and Samantha did he want Kim watch? Did he want Kim, Laura and Samantha to have threesomes while he watched? Did he want to be involved in this estrogen fueled threesome? Wouldn't that make it a foursome? And the texting: is Kim's issue with who is texting or when the texting was being done or both?  The interpretations are endless.  If the commas were in their proper places, it would be easier to say whether or not Kim dodged a bullet or if she is just a bit possessive and a lot conservative.

So, no matter who you are, which vices you do or don't indulge, you can only benefit from buying a copy of Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares. It will help keep it real.

1 comment:

Please validate my existence.