Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Nation of Nincompoops

I was having lunch with Rita, her niece Elizabeth and Cindy"Oh My Stars and Garters" Sterling, and Cindy related a grammar story to us today. yesterday Cindy went to (an unnammed bakery) and asked that a message be written on a cake for her mother. "Please have it say, 'Happy Birthday, comma, Dot'." The woman proceeded to write the greeting in icing. The first line said Happy, the second Birthday, and just as the decorator skipped to place the comma on the third line, Cindy stopped her. "It's a personal directive. You place the comma on the same line!"

Granted, most of us do not punctuate our cakes other than an ocasional exclamation point, and many of us may not have noticed the grammatical faux pas and let the woman contunue, and the cake would have read:


Which I think is funnier, but Cindy, and her years of teaching English and grammar, could not in good conscience let it go.
"We're living in a nation of noincompoops," she said at lunch.
So grammar, evn on our pastires, does count people.



  1. The poor, sweet bakery decorator clearly did not understand -- I could tell by the puzzled look on her face -- that a comma precedes a noun of direct address, and that I wanted a grammatically correct cake rather than a cake that was not. You'd think businesses would want to put out a proper product, but everyone seems to have forgotten how to punctuate and no one cares anymore. We are sadly becoming a Nation of Nincompoops!

  2. I agree with Moe, it would've been funnier if you let her do it. :)