Behind the Scenes
English lessons with Ma
My mom recently (finally) started using email. I set up a yahoo account for her and she doesn’t understand the concept of passwords, so neither my father or I can use our yahoomail accounts, as we must keep her ‘signed in’ at all times. The few times when I signed her out, she freaked. She has officially acclimated/regressed like the rest of us. Now she emails me every day ad infin asking me to edit her emails to her friends in China. This was today’s discourse:
I. Mom to me:
Jimmy, I was going to forward all my email to you after I send them,for correction.But I change my mind,instead I’ll forward them before I send out. ( I’ll let you correct them first and then sent out). see below
rwei shan, Gloria Chu mentioned that you are coming to Bay area this summer, please email me prior to your arrival.so I can arrange a lunch meting for 3 of us. see you!
II. Me to mom:
Ma, ‘See you’ implies that it will happen for sure. ‘Hope to’ acknowledges its pending status. You want to convey that she has the option to say no. Thus, the latter is more polite and appropriate.
Here’s the corrected version:
Gloria Chu mentioned that you are coming to Bay Area this summer. Please email me prior to your arrival so I can arrange a lunch meeting for the three of us. Hope to see you soon!
III. Mom to me:
Jimmy,how about the part I wrote to you? and this one. please correct everyone. thank you.
IV. Me to mom:
Ma, you need a space after commas and periods – you know this. And capitalize the first letter of every sentence. ‘everyone’ is a group of people. ‘every one’ is every (single) one. ‘send’ and ‘change’ should be ‘sent’ and ‘changed’ because you are referring to past tense.
Jimmy, how about the part I wrote to you? And this one. Please correct every one. Thank you.
Jimmy, I was going to forward all of my emails to you after I sent them for corrections, but I changed my mind; instead I’ll forward them before I send them out. (I’ll let you correct them first and then send out.) See below.
V. Mom to me:
VI. Me to mom:
Ma, corrected text:
I was being a jerk with the last one, that’s what she gets for throwing away my Queensryche “Operation: Mindcrime” cassette tape thinking it was satanist. (It’s about a nun — geez Ma!) For those of you who question the relevance of this post, let us refer to HTMLG’s tagline: the internet literature magazine blog of the future. This post discussed the internet (yahoo mail), literature (grammar and rhetoric), and the future (ad infin editing).
But seriously, the disparities of tongues on the english language leads to some brilliant (albeit inadvertent) poetry. If someone wrote these things aesthetically, it would be genius. Mama,i’m coming home.thank you