Well, it's Friday, and you know what that means. For me, it means I'm really discombobulated, because I had yesterday off, so yesterday felt like Saturday, then today felt like Monday, but then I have tomorrow off again so I don't know whether to scratch my watch or wind my arse.
It is also Ask June day, and really, why wouldn't you trust the answers of someone who is so pretty, eats so well, and clearly seeks the correct bosom support? Have I got SANDBAGS in my shirt? What gives?
This flattering pic is actually two years old, and was taken on our cross-country journey involving moving from LA to NC. You can see why Marvin made sure he took me along and didn't go screeching off in a trail of dust as soon as I hit the restroom or anything. Pretty.
Let's try to forget my SAG award and move on to the questions at hand, shall we?
Erin D. asks, What if you got to pick your name?
Well, Erin D., this falls under the category of one of those things I know I have talked about before, but I will tell it again because maybe not everyone has read it. And for all the Culpeppers and What About Moms who are all, This tired story again? You guys can just bleep over to question number two.
My parents were big old hippies, Erin D. They were big old hippies in the factory town of Saginaw, Michigan, which was not something you encountered every day. I do not know why they became hippies when pretty much everyone around them was heading off to the General Motors plant to tighten the same bolt for eight hours straight day after day, but somehow the heady scent of patchouli reached them, and although they weren't going to San Francisco (well, actually, my father did, and brought them back some lovely matching tye dye t-shirts), they did kind of symbolically wear some flowers in their hair.
All this is to tell you that when they had me, when they were both approximately seven years old, they named me "June" (which of course isn't my real name, my real name SCREAMS 1965. I am totally the Hannah of my generation, and I am also kind of the Mildred of my generation, as no one–and I mean no one–names their kid my name anymore, and you can never find pens or cups or magnets with my name. You can, however, find 187,000 Jacob pens and cups and magnets, which my name decidedly isn't).
However, when I was around four, my parents, who looked when I was four as they did in the picture above (look at how hot mom was), sat me down for an awareness session. We probably sat on the floor. We may have had tea. Anyway, they said, "June, man, you're your own person, man." (I didn't even really know how to pull my own tights up yet, but okay.) "Your name is June right now, but when you're ready, if you want to name yourself, you come tell us what you want your name to be."
I am not making this up.
I ruminated on this for several days, although my parents were forever springing new ideas like this on me, so it wasn't that big of a thang. They had once told me it was okay to swear. That one was fun, until I really started doing it and I sounded like the kid from The Exorcist and they decided my free expression wasn't cool.
Anyway, I sat them down for another awareness session. "Pam, John. I've wrapped my head around this, and I have a name. I am Sparkly Rose Blossom."
You guys. It is the BEST NAME EVER for me. I really AM Sparkly Rose Blossom. And I do not know why my parents ever had the cockamamie ideas, because they said no to this one, too, just like the swearing and also to the whole let's-sell-the-car-and-get-a-motorcycle-and-June-can-ride-in-a-side-car thing we considered for awhile.
At this point, Erin D., you probably wish you had never asked. But I really think that I perfectly captured my inner name at age four. So let's go to question two.
Arlene ponders, The word is strength. I keep hearing it pronounced as 'strenth' as though the g is silent. In ancient days we pronounced that g! It sounds so lazy when the g is dropped. Dear June, do you have any words of wisdom for me…other than "chill?"
Well, Arlene, I am the last person to tell you to chill, seeing as just today someone at work said "You must have been taken back when that woman hit Tallulah!" (which is another post) and what I was TAKEN BACK by was that yet another person thinks it's TAKEN BACK and not taken Aback. I found myself answering, "I WAS taken AAAAAAAback" in a way that I hoped would be subtle, but you know it wasn't. So me? Tell you to chill? Come on.
Anyway, Merriam Webster, who I would marry if he/she/it were available, and what a fine wedding portrait that would be, tells us that both pronunciations are acceptable, but that pronouncing the "g" is preferred. I looked into it a little, and it seems that NOT pronouncing the "g" seems to be a Midwest thing. I'd be interested in hearing from people–how do you say it and where are you from?
Patty asks, I am pretty good with grammar and punctuation, but I've always been stumped by "bring" and "take." I've heard the rule a hundred times, and usually it's pretty intuitive, so I know which to use, but sometimes I don't know. Can you help?
Well. This is not an easy one, Patty. And let me tell you, when I have a question like this, and people start saying things like "object of the preposition" and all that crap (not that that applies here in the slightest, but you know what I mean, when they use all that English major gobbledygook, and I AM an English major!), I just get even more confused. And also really, really bored.
So what works best for me is a game of some sort. So here is my game for bring and take. When you travel, you take. "Take a good bra with you when you go to A&W." You use "take" when the action is away from the speaker. So that's how I remember it, the "t" for travel. (Grammar Girl remembers "take" and "takeout food." You don't get "bringout" food.)
When the action is toward you, use bring. I am having the action come toward me. "Bring me that supportive undergarment." So I remember the I in bring.
Now, when the action can go either way? "I might bring/take a set of falsies with me next time I go to A&W." Believe it or not, either is acceptable.
Hyphen Mama, who apparently gave birth to hyphens and I would like to hear about that, asks, Why is it that I'm not allowed to "feel badly", I'm only allowed to "feel bad" (to "feel badly" would mean that I'm not able to feel very well). But I can miss somebody very badly, I can do badly on an exam and I can smell badly?
Mom of many hyphens, (well, really, I don't know how many hyphens you gave birth to. Maybe you are just hyphen mama to one. Are you planning to have more hyphens? Is there an em dash in the future? Okay, I'll stop.) "badly" is an adverb, which means it describes a verb. And there I go doing the thing I said bored me and made me confused.
So what I mean is, when people say they feel badly, as you know, what they are saying is they are not doing well at feeling something, like their fingers are numb or something.
Same thing if you say you smell badly. You are saying that you can't smell anything. The correct way to say it would be "I smell bad."
Grammar Girl says use "bad" with words having to do with feel, taste, and smell.
People get confused by this because it IS correct to say "She behaved badly" because "behaved" is a verb. So is "do," which is why it's correct to do badly on an exam.
CariOkie, who has the best name ever, wonders, How can I take anyone seriously who consistently says nucular when referring to nuclear energy? And I'm not just referring to George W. I hear it all the time!! Of course, I live in the part of the country where everyone is always "fixin" to do something, and where the phrase "all y'all" pops up regularly.
Cari and your Okie, I too am bothered quite a bit by the noocuular thing, but you know what? People think I am going to be bothered by vernacular stuff like "fixin' " and for some reason I never am. I am kind of delighted by it, actually. Okay, "all y'all" is pretty bad only because it is redundant.
But when I lived in California I loved learning all the Hispanic words like meja, which I guess is spelled meja, I don't even know if it's a real word, and all the really wonderful insults I learned from the African American women I worked with, like calling people heifer ("That heifer better not think she's leaving early.") And if you think I haven't learned 12 million hilarious Southern phrases already (my favorite thus far has been "grinning like a possum eating s**t off a hairbrush") (because really, you can so SEE how wide of a grin that would be. It is just so perfect. And so something my grandmother would have said had she ever learned that particular phrase).
And none of what I said above counted as incorrect English, but what I mean is, the fixin' and the axe and the Canadian "eh" and all that? I like 'em.
So I guess like the Nester, I think it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. But I would like it to be correct as often as possible. Does that make sense?