By-products of my English Degree
You would think that spending a whole bunch of time and money getting a degree would result in a job. Not the case. A degree in English does not get you a job. It gets you a slightly heightened understanding of complex symbolism in novels and short works of fiction. However, my money was not totally wasted. Recently, I’ve noticed that my degree has resulted in some unanticipated by-products:
Question to the pharmacy down the street: why don’t you ask someone smart to proofread your sign? If you’re going to get a sign made, and put fancy graphics all up on it, and spend time thinking about the font choice, and go to the large-format-sign-making-store, and pay someone to print the sign, then hang the sign in your window to represent your business and the intellectual capital held within, why not spend 30 seconds asking someone to proofread it?
Because, pharmacy down the street, if you did that, then my brain wouldn’t be on the verge of exploding when I see that you don’t know how to use apostrophes. I mean, I assume that a pharmacist would have to go to school. I mean, aren’t you prescribing medicine that could seriously harm someone? Didn’t that pharmacist in “It’s a Wonderful Life” kill some kid because prescribed like arsenic instead of cod-fish-liver-oil or some shit like that? I can only assume that this lethal mix-up was due to the large amount of brain power he was using to decipher apostrophe usage rules (or the fact that his son died or something, I don’t remember). I’m not saying that you need to have a copy of Oxford Grammar Rules under your pharmacy counter. Just have the sense to proofread your fucking signs.
Tell me something, high school English teachers: how do you fight against a world that keeps perverting grammar rules like a Texan at a dinner party? Every word now has a condensed format, or an acronym that is totally socially acceptable to use. All of those hours, sitting alone, learning tenses and proper apostrophe usage! WASTED! I guess there is one positive to this grammar disaster: all those idiots who couldn’t spell in Grade 12 are now thanking the technological gods that they now can reduce their running brain usage percentage to 2.4%. I did not realize the extent to which the ‘texting abbreviations’ ( or ‘txt abbrv’) craze had spiraled out of control until visiting this site. There are even texting abbreviations that are slang for other abbreviations. What the ball-sack? I think my favorite is “NALOPKT = “Not a lot of people know that”. Do you need to text that so often that you need a specific abbreviation for it? Jesum.
Hey, did you know that the people who make movies and TV shows actually try hard to make them like, all, symbolic and shit? Those dink-balls put all this secret effort into their work to increase your enjoyment of their art in a multi-layered, super-intellectual and nerdy way? Yeah. Did you also know that most people just want to enjoy the frigging movie and not focus on all that shit?
Guess what? If you get a degree in English, you’ll be able to ruin all sorts of entertaining movies for your friends. You can be the annoying one saying:
“Did you know that the blood on his sleeve is the same shape as the cloud and the cloud is the same shape as the pancake in the first scene, and the pancake was made by that big Jesus-y looking guy? I think it’s supposed to be a comment on God and how “pancakey” he was. Because that jesus-y looking guy was on screen for like, 45 seconds, and why would they spend so much screen time on that guy if they didn’t mean something by it? Or it’s a commentary on the consumerism of modern man and how all of our hopes and dreams (represented by the clouds) are reduced to consumable items (represented by the pancake), and we’re killing our species because of it (represented by the blood)!”
Yeah, all of your friends will be TOTALLY stoked that you pointed that out. Additionally, they’ll be thrilled that you continue to point out stupid and incorrect symbols as the plot continues to unfold. Furthermore, they’ll LOVE that you go right onto imdb.com after the movie to either confirm or discount your jesus-pancake-cloud-blood theory.
Here is an excerpt from a book about my life:
“CHAPTER ONE: THE SUN RISES
The alarm rang to jar Natalie out of her restless sleep. She had set her phone alarm on the Moog version of “O Solo Mio” to make her morning extra special. As the piercing electronic sounds of the first few beats attacked her ear-hole, she sat up. ”BAAAALLLLLLLSSS” she exclaimed with fervour. “I wish I could sleep longer”. Such poignant, philosophical thoughts often plagued Natalie’s daily musings. She was just that interesting.
She swung her pudgy thighs around to the side of the bed, exposing the over-sized, hole-y plaid men’s pyjama pants that hung on her body seductively. Coupled with the old striped t-shirt that was purchased in the sale section of Old Navy in 1998, she was a sight to behold. Her hair cascaded down her back in a frizzy, tangled mess of split ends. Her face, smattered with pillow creases, was puffy and swollen from awkward neck positioning during the night.
She put a pearl-sized glob of toothpaste on her electric toothbrush and activated the “pulsing cavity-fighting action” of her Colgate Total. As she sat on the counter of the bathroom, brushing her teeth, she began to think about a spreadsheet she was currently completing at work. This spreadsheet was focused on analyzing training budgets. No one would ever look at the spreadsheet but her. It would be stored in a folder entitled “2010 Training Budget” and would eventually become obscure and out of date.
She spit out her toothpaste.”
COMING SOON… CHAPTER TWO: EXAMINING HER DOG’S POO TO DETERMINE LEVEL OF CANINE HEALTH
Yeah. Thank god I got that degree.