A Dramatic Reading of a Real Break-Up Letter

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Who knew that shoddy grammar was such a rich seam of comedy gold? I thought I'd reached the peak of grammatical hilarity when I found the alot. I was wrong.

Have you guys ever listened to A Dramatic Reading of a Real Break-up Letter? [WARNING: the sound plays automatically and it's really not funny without the sound, so maybe don't play it at work. Or in a library. Or anywhere where it might be a problem if you become incapacitated by streaming tears of laughter and unable to speak in coherent sentences for approximately five minutes. Don't say I didn't warn you.]

On Saturday morning, I sneaked out of bed when Fin was still asleep to get my illicit internet fix and eventually I stumbled randomly upon this site. Fin burst into the room five minutes later, convinced that I had received some terrible, tragic news, because how else to explain the loud, racking sobs echoing from the living room? Unfortunately I was so consumed with laughter that I was completely unable to explain myself - I could only point helplessly at the screen and hit refresh.

I am without doubt a grammar geek. To me, knowledge of proper punctuation is not a luxury or an old-fashioned frippery. It is essential to our understanding of the written word - to our understanding of the world, even! Probably!

Of course I devoured Eats, Shoots and Leaves, and I can't get enough of Cate's occasional series on common grammatical mishaps and misunderstandings (as an actual proper linguist, she is far more tactful and helpful than me. I just scream, "IT'S WHOSE NOT WHO'S, DUMBASS!!" at my screen about five times a day, which is clearly neither tactful nor helpful. Unless you count being helpful to me). But nothing makes me happier than when someone brings to life the sheer ridiculousness that ensues when a writer's grammar, spelling or punctuation (and preferably all three) goes horribly awry.

Which is exactly what this Dramatic Reading is all about. I must confess that I have never actually been dumped in my life (I know! I'm surprised too. That's just what happens when you marry the guy you met when you were 18) but I like to think that, no matter how heartbroken or humiliated I might be, I would still hit the spell-checker before I pulled the trigger on a break-up letter. In fact I think I'd make it my priority.

Because nothing says, "You have hurt me, but I shall maintain my dignity and composure in the face of adversity," quite like the phrase, "Your such n ass wipe n bastert!!".

Images: 1. Letterpress card by Sapling Press 2. For the girl who *really* loves punctuation, via American Apparel

10 boats moored

  1. It's genius. On a semi-related-but-not-really note, you may also enjoy http://damnyouautocorrect.com/

  2. I really need to go back and take a picture of some graffiti correcting the grammar on a sign! I laughed

  3. Oh how funny - does she know what a comma is!?

  4. That was...special. (That letterpress card is genius, though.)

    And I must refer you to this NPR article for more grammar books. And there's another that I can remember neither title nor author, but it's about a guy - maybe 2 - who went across the US correcting signs. I have it written down somewhere, but that somewhere isn't with me right now.

  5. I'm at work and since I have also been known to scream obscenities in the face of terrible grammar (and I get the bonus fun of saying "English is my second language and even I can get that right!!!) I will be sure to bookmark this and check it out when I get home.

  6. oh my word, tears of laughter

  7. i am grammer challenged but hopefully still a good person? it's not me it's my dyslexia.

    though I do try to get my angry ex-girlfriend letters proof read.

  8. I love that first picture, it is amazing and I want to have it printed on a bag that I carry with me everywhere.


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